Community, Inclusivity & History to Come Alive again this Fall on October 2
In the past year and half, COVID has caused many events and milestones to be cancelled–from birthdays to Bar Mitzvahs, vacations to family reunions. In Chappaqua, the town missed one of its most beloved events, the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival (CCBF), which is set to make a much-anticipated return this Fall.
Now in its 8th year, the Chappaqua Children’s book Festival will take place on October 2, 2021 with many familiar faces and traditions, as well as some changes.
“We are beyond thrilled to be back,” said Dawn Greenberg, Executive Director of, who originally championed bringing the festival to town almost a decade ago. “This feels like a true celebration, a reawakening in this town. This event truly brings our community together–from our planning committee to volunteers, local business, and even local authors–and we cannot wait to bring something familiar and joyful to town after such a rough time.”
A Community Tradition
Each year, thousands of visitors descend on Chappaqua for the CCBF, to enjoy a beautiful Fall day meeting their favorite authors and enjoying all the town has to offer. This year, due to COVID, the day might look slightly different, with a scaled back author list (about 60) and a new location (the Chappaqua Train Station), but many of the familiar faces and activities will remain, including author signings, panels, sponsor activities, and costumed characters. The festival will follow up-to-date COVID guidelines and protocols, regarding social distances, crowd numbers and masking policies.
All guests over the age of two will be required to wear masks.
“The CCBF is an “all hands on deck” volunteer event spearheaded by the indefatigable Dawn Greenberg and others who tirelessly promote literacy, reading, and countless beloved authors while reminding us that even in the era of screens, there are few things more valuable than a good ole’ fashioned paper book,” said Jeremy Saland, Acting Town Supervisor. “The Chappaqua Hamlet and greater New Castle are fortunate to host this festival and showcase the people and spirit that makes our community so welcoming to visitors and a place we are fortunate to call home.”
Despite the reduced number of authors, organizers are working to get as wide a mix as possible, from genre to subject matter and age group. Local authors and illustrators including Matt and Mara Van Fleet, Sujean Rim and Bob Bianchini will be on hand, as well as fan favorites like Dan Gutman and Alyssa Capucilli and Pat Schories of Biscuit fame. The full roster of authors and community sponsors can be found on the CCBF site.
Focus on Inclusivity
In addition to a wide mix of genres and ages, the festival will also focus on content, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Celebrated author Torrey Maldanado (What Lane), Mike Curato (Flamer) and Brendan Kiely (All American Boys) will participate, with special panels and presentations in the works.
“It is our mission to represent ALL voices,” said Greenberg. “We are so fortunate to be able to draw these esteemed authors, whose works can start so many important and often difficult conversations.”
History Celebrated & Jean Craighead George, Remembered and Honored
An exciting celebration will take place at this year’s fest, of famed Chappaqua resident Jean Craighead George’s 100th birthday and the inclusion of many of her books, some unpublished. This Fall marks the debut of her never-before-seen book, Crowbar, revised by her children Luke and Twig George, and illustrated by longtime collaborator, Wendell Minor, a veteran CCBF author who will attend again this year and feature many of George’s classics in his booth.
This celebration coincides with a new town initiative, where a local park will be named after the author, a fitting tribute to the author who wrote about nature for children.
“All is decidedly not right with the world. but when young readers, authors, illustrators, and educators converge to celebrate literacy at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival, all will be right with the world,” said Alan Katz, author. “The Festival is always one of my favorite days of the year, and I am thrilled and grateful that the organizers have found a safe and healthful way to bring it back. The plans to honor the wonderful Jean Craighead George make it all that more special.”
8th ANNUAL CHAPPAQUA CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL
Saturday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Chappaqua Train Station