The Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival

This past October I had the chance to go to the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival.

Granted, I had to go for my Children’s Literature Class, but it was still a great experience. It was the weekend of hurricane Joaquin and it was raining with a passion. I had managed to score a freelance assignment for The Daily Voice with my friend Mayra for covering the event. As the saying goes, two birds one stone.

You can read the article here.

Photo by Mayra Maradiaga
Photo by Mayra Maradiaga

When we arrived at the fair I was shocked at how many people were in the Bell Middle School gymnasium. There were tons of children of all different ages running around, parents yelling for their kids and volunteers always in constant motion.

The first thing I did was pick up some literature on the event and talk with the Director. She gave some great quotes for the article. Afterwards, we headed into the gymnasium where all the authors were with their books on display.

Among the authors and illustrators were Bruce Degen from The Magic School Bus and Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted. In class, we read and studied Levine’s novel.

Photo by Mayra Maradiaga
Photo by Mayra Maradiaga

I got the chance to meet Levine and talk with her for a few minutes. Before I even opened my mouth she knew that I was “one of the college students”. In our brief interlude, she told me that her latest work is currently being edited and she is also working toward her MBA.

Meeting her got me thinking about how the Ella Enchanted manuscript was continuously rejected. Levine kept sending it out though and wouldn’t quit. Keeping that in mind seeing so many young people get excited about books was refreshing to see. There were no Ipads in sight and every single kid had a book in their hand. In some ways seeing this made Children’s Literature seem more than relevant, not only for kids today, but for kids in the future.

Even though most of us are older the books we read as kids have had an effect on us. That’s why I would love for you to take the survey below! I’m interested to see which of these authors is the most popular among our age group.

The following video, which I have embedded for you all, does a great job of showcasing how and why Children’s literature is still important to children today. Some of my classmates have seen it but to any other readers out there this is something you have to see. Essentially, it’s the modern version of the classic children’s tale Good Night Moon. I hope it makes you laugh.



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