Reading is fun – that is the message of the 3rd Canandaigua Children’s Book Fest on Saturday, October 2nd from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the main campus of Finger Lakes Community College, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive in Canandaigua, NY 14424.
“The Book Fest is a wonderful way for children ages 3 to 8 years and their families to meet local authors, hear them read from their books, and be creative through craft projects based on the authors’ books,” says Mary Ferris, Wood Library’s Children’s Librarian and President of the Community Reading Partnership (CRP), that is sponsoring the Book Fest with FLCC. CRP, an all-volunteer non-profit organization, was formed as an outgrowth of a literacy improvement initiative in the Canandaigua City School District in 1998.
Youngsters at the Book Fest will be meeting an assortment of costumed animals – a frog, a raccoon, and a squirrel, among others - each a character from a book written by one the guest authors and illustrators. Parents are encouraged to take photos of their children with these characters out on the front walkway if it is a nice day.
CRP has gathered a talented group of authors and illustrators whose books will be featured at the Book Fest. These include Laurie Gifford Adams Finding Atticus, Susan Beckhorn Moose Power, Judy Bradbury Cayuga Island Kids, Kevin Coolidge Ninja Raccoons book series, Margo Fass Froggy Family’s First Frolic, Marsha Hayles He Saves the Day, Nancy Lane KoKo Cat, Inside and Out and Call the Horse Lucky, David Smith Animal Quest series Debbi Socha How Much Longer?, Sally Valentine Theft at George Eastman House and What Stinks? An Adventure in Highland Park) Vivian Vande Velde Squirrel in the Museum and Squirrel in the House, and Elaine Verstraete Helen Keller.
Children will have the opportunity to visit craft stations where they can make something like a fire breathing dragon or a leaping frog, among other creations, each keyed to the featured books. Many of these books can also be purchased and signed by individual authors and illustrators.
Sulfur Books is the Children’s Book Fest’s official book vendor. “There will be a variety of books for children of all ages,” says Sarah Butler who manages the independent book store at 18 East Main Street in Clifton Springs. “These include wonderfully illustrated picture books, books for kids at various stages as they are learning to read, and exciting chapter books for middle readers— along with some books by authors at the event.”
Children who attend must be accompanied by an adult, and to ensure a healthy and safe environment, anyone over 2 years of age needs to wear a mask indoors.
Festival admission and parking are free thanks to many generous sponsors including the Pi State Educational Foundation of Delta Kappa Gamma, Ontario County Arts Council, Wegmans, Kiwanis Club of Canandaigua, Aldi, CDGA Coffee Co., Canandaigua School District, Finger Lakes Community College, Xpress Yourself Screen-printing, Wood Library, and Sulfur Books.
Following the Canandaigua Children’s Book Fest, author Kevin Coolidge will be presenting a free “Book Talk for Kids” at the Ontario County Historical Society (OCHS) at 3 pm on October 2nd.
Youngsters will find out that a President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, had a pet raccoon named Rebecca at the White House. The First Lady Grace Coolidge even had a treehouse built for her. The talk is presented in connection with the current OCHS exhibit, Our Family Companions: The History of Pets in Ontario County in the museum’s gallery, located at 55 North Main Street in Canandaigua.
For information: (585) 394-4975.
Kevin Coolidge is the owner of From My Shelf Books & Gifts in Wellsboro, PA. He’s the author of twelve children’s books and one fantastical adventure novella for adults.
The Community Reading Partnership’s Family
Books for Newborns:
"Read to Your Bunny" by Rosemary Wells, along with tips on reading, is given to a new parent when a baby is born at Thompson Health's Birthing Center.
Prescription to Read:
“Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” by Annie Kubler is given out at the Pediatrics offices in Canandaigua and Farmington during an infant’s wellness visit.
Welcome to Kindergarten: The book, "Pete's Big Lunch” was received by kindergarteners at Canandaigua Primary and St. Mary’s Schools upon registration in 2021, followed by its use in the classroom. Tips on eating healthy are included.
Little Red Bookshelves.
Gently used books are available free at locations throughout Ontario County.
For more information: https://communityreadingpartnership.org/.