10 Tips for the Festival of Children’s Books and Authors

The lauded festival, held at the Lincoln School, is this Saturday, October 14.

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The Festival of Children’s Books and Authors is a treat for bookworms of all ages. Held this Saturday, October 14, the festival draws together nineteen incredible authors and illustrators — think: Rhody native Chris Van Allsburg (the brain behind The Polar Express, Jumanji and other beloved stories); Arthur‘s Marc Brown; the incredible author/illustrator behind Castle and The Way Things Work Now, David Macaulay; and The Baby-Sitters Club‘s Ann M. Martin. Here are ten tips to help you make the most of this year’s festival:

The Time: The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Cost: Tickets are $5 per person.

The Parking Situation: The Festival of Children’s Books and Authors is held at the Lincoln School, 301 Butler Avenue on the East Side of Providence (read: parking is on the street and is sometimes tight). Give yourself plenty of time to park and walk over, and bring some change to feed the meter.

The Authors and Illustrators: Chris Van Allsburg (author/illustrator, The Polar Express), R.W. Alley (illustrator, Paddington), Ann M. Martin (author, The Baby-Sitters Club), David Macaulay (author/illustrator, Castle), Marc Brown (author/illustrator, the Arthur series), Jon Scieszka (author, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales), Charise Mericle Harper (author/illustrator, the Just Grace series), Sarah Weeks (author, So B. It) Alan Katz (author/illustrator, Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs), Kara LaReau (author, The Infamous Ratsos), Gaia Cornwall (author/illustrator, Jabari Jumps), Barbara McClintock (illustrator, A Little Princess), Melissa Sweet (author/illustrator, Some Writer: The Story of E.B. White), Selina Alko (author, The Case for Loving), Sean Qualls (illustrator, Emmanuel’s Dreams), Mira Bartók (author/illustrator, The Wonderling)  Steven Weinberg (author/illustrator, Fred and the Lumberjack) and Zöe Alley (author, There’s a Wolf at the Door).

The Talks: Each author and illustrator will give a thirty-minute presentation about their work and life philosophy. Click here for the full schedule.

The Book Signings: Nearly all of the authors and illustrators will stay after their talks to autograph books. Many have additional signing times later in the afternoon, if you’re running to another talk and can’t stick around. Some books will be available for purchase. You may bring up to three books from home (by the author or illustrator, of course!) for signing.

Write Your Own Book: In a collaboration between School One and Goat Hill, the festival has scheduled short fiction writing workshops at 1 and 3 p.m. These workshops are offered as part of Write Rhode Island, a short fiction competition for Rhode Island students grade seven through twelve.

The Extracurricular Fun: Kate Lentz, a festival organizer and director of the Rhode Island Center for the Book, says other kid-friendly activities include face-painting and a Where’s Waldo scavenger hunt.

The Food: Food trucks The Gilded Tomato, Rocket Fine Street Food, Presto Strange O Coffee, La Creperie, Like No Udder and Erms Cupcakes will be parked outside for lunch.

The Good Stuff: Make sure to bring a picture book to donate to Books are Wings, a Rhode Island nonprofit that gives free books to local children.


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