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November 9, 2017

BookFest @ Bank Street  was celebrated on October 28th for the 8th consecutive year at Bank Street College and the 46th year in its history!

Luminaries of the children’s literature community joined us for an unforgettable day!  The event featured a full day of panel discussions on topics relating to children’s literature and a keynote address from author Carmen Agra Deedy (The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!)

The first panel #NoWords: Picture Books for Children was led by illustrator, Stephen Savage (Where’s Walrus). He moderated a discussion with artists David Wiesner (Flotsam), Jerry Pinkney (The Lion and the Mouse) and Barbara Lehman (The Red Book) about crafting wordless stories.


Legend: Stephen Savage with David Wiesner, Barbara Lehman and Jerry Pinkney


The second panel: It Makes Me Laugh: Humor in Children’s Literature was led by Betsy Bird (Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature). Contributors to this panel were Carmen Agra Deedy (The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!), Rita Williams-Garcia (Clayton Byrd Goes Underground), and Jon Scieszka (the Guys Read series).


Moderator Betsy Bird with Carmen Agra Deedy, Rita Williams-Garcia and Jon Scieszka


Next, children’s book historian, Leonard Marcus delivered a presentation on the history of Little Golden Books and their connection to Bank Street.


Leonard Marcus with author Jon Scieszka


Afterwards, participants attended break out session discussions  on specific book genres.

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The third panel of the day was led by author Carole Boston Weatherford (Schomburg), The panel was entitled, The New Golden Age of Nonfiction for Young People. Carole led Candace Fleming (Giant Squid) Don Tate (Strong as Sandow) Tonya Bolden (Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls) and Eric Velasquez (Schomburg) in a discussion about their writing and researching processes.



Moderator Carole Boston Weatherford with Eric Velasquez, Tonya Bolden, Candace Fleming and Don Tate


BookFest’s keynote speaker was Carmen Agra Deedy (The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!). Closing out the day’s events, Deedy delivered a high energy and emotional address.

Carmen Agra Deedy giving keynote and with Center for Children’s Literature Director, Cynthia Weill


At the end of the day,  participants bought books, authors signed copies  and socialized with participants.

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If you missed the event you can watch archived portions  at: KidLitTVBookFestLivestream

Articles written about BookFest:

Publishers Weekly


Educating Alice

Thank you to our sponsors who paid travel costs for authors and illustrators, contributed to our fabulous gift bags as well as sponsoring breakfast.

Candlewick Press, Charlesbridge, Cinco Puntos Press, Disney Book Group, Enchanted Lion Books, Epic!, Hardball Press, Harper Collins, Holiday House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jimmy Patterson, KidLit TV, Lerner, Little Brown and Company, MacMillan, Peachtree Publishers, Penguin Random House, Phaidon, Rodale Kids, Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, Sleeping Bear Press

Director of Library Services, Kristin Freda with gift bag.  Library staff assembling bags.


A few more photos of the day:

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Photo credits:  Cheryl Simon and Kate Marcus

A special thanks to our wonderful volunteers:

Michie Thomas, Myriam Chapman, Elizabeth Segal, Elizabeth Levy, Morika Tsujimura, Kate Marcus, Gillian Engberg, Todd Zinn, Alex Iwachiw, Peter Hare, Allie Bruce, Susannah Richards and Leslie Wagner

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