The Children’s Book Festival is spearheaded by The Learning Lamp and is FREE to families by design. The goal of the event is to provide quality, interactive literary experiences that inspire children of all abilities and income levels to read, write and draw, and encourage families to read together. Highlights of the weekend include visits from:
- Eric Litwin – #1 New York Times best-selling author and musician who is best known for the original Pete the Cat series, as well as The Nuts and Groovy Joe. His books have sold over 13 million copies and have won 26 literary awards. One of three headlining authors throughout the weekend, Litwin merges literacy and music to help early learners as they enjoy The Learning Groove.
- Don Tate – the award-winning author/illustrator and founding host of The Brown Bookshelf – a blog dedicated to books for African American young readers. Tate is a member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign created to address the lack of non-majority narratives in children’s literature. Tate models for all children, but especially children of color, the adventures of reading, writing, illustrating, and storytelling. Families will be able to meet Tate as he reads, conducts writing and illustration workshops, and signs copies of his books including Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters; Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions; and more!
- Luke Flowers – an author/illustrator who has illustrated more than 60 children’s books, including A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Fred Rogers. Flowers has most notably authored and illustrated the Moby Shinobi series with Scholastic, selling over 1 million copies since the first book was published five years ago, and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth ABC Storybook.
- Wes Tank – hugely popular multimedia performance artist who will have your head bobbing as he raps zany rhymes of children’s literature over amazing hip-hop beats that both kids and parents love through StoryRaps on children’s streaming app Kidoodle.TV and YouTube. Throughout the two-day event, Wes will teach kids a magical form of storytelling that promises to be a blast!
- Joe Wos – internationally-renowned cartoonist from Pittsburgh who started drawing mazes at the age of 7 and is regarded as a master maze maker. A fan favorite, Wos wows adults and children alike with real-time illustrations and storytelling.
The festival also showcases themed arts and crafts activities, writing and illustration workshops, new and used book sales, refreshments and more! Plus, every child who comes to the Book Festival will receive a free book from FirstBook.