CHAPPAQUA, N. Y. – More than 130 children’s book authors braved some windy, rainy weather on Saturday to participate in the annual Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival at Bell Middle School.
“The turnout is just fantastic," Festival Executive Director Dawn Greenberg said. "Families and kids still love books. We are probably at four or five thousand capacity today, even with this weather."
The number and diversity of the authors were as impressive as the audience as writers and illustrators of picture books, middle-grade books, young adult fiction and nonfiction were on hand to sign their work and meet attendees. Included among the guests were well-known illustrator Bruce Degen of “The Magic School Bus” series and “Ella Enchanted” author Gail Carson Levine.
“Every year people turn out,” Levine said, “It’s been fun meeting the readers. I’m so happy to be here.”
Laura Tainsky and her two children, who attend every year, were among many waiting on line to speak with author Lori Adams.
“We love discovering new authors here,” Tainsky said.
The majority of attendees were children accompanied by their parents; however a number of older young adults were present as well. Professor Heather Bryant, who teaches Children’s and Young Adult Literature at Pace University, had her class come to the fair.
Bryant left author Virginia Wolfe’s table inspired to add more material to her courses.
“I heard about the festival from the Chair of the (Pace University) English department,” Bryant said. “There are so many authors here, like Wolfe, that I have heard of. It’s so great to meet them.”
The Chappaqua Girl Scout Troop was on hand giving out snacks to authors and dressing up as famous characters. It was all part of a festive day that also featured face painting, live music, balloon art and archery.