Columbus Children’s Book Festival features nationally renowned authors, illustrators

The Columbus Book Festival has become a popular annual event, as shown in this file photo from the September 16, 2017, event in the Columbus Public Library.
The Columbus Book Festival has become a popular annual event, as shown in this file photo from the September 16, 2017, event in the Columbus Public Library. Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

Tens of thousands of Chattahoochee Valley children and family members have met nationally renowned writers and illustrators the past five years at the Columbus Children’s Book Festival. The sixth annual edition promises another impressive lineup, as well as entertainers and crafts.

The free-admission event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, 706-243-2669.

The featured authors and illustrators are scheduled to present at these times in the Grand Reading Room on the second floor:

11 a.m. — Betsy Lewin, illustrator of “Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type” and its sequels. Lewin won the 2001 Randolph Caldecott Medal for that book. She has illustrated more than 50 others. Exhibitions of her work have been seen at the Pratt Institute, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Society of Illustrators and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. In collaboration with her husband, Ted Lewin, she created the “Adventures Around The World” nature book series. She will sign autographs at noon.

Noon — Laura Numeroff, creator and author of the international bestselling “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie” and its sequels. The series has sold more than 4.5 million copies in 33 years. In 2016, Numeroff introduced a new children’s book series celebrating dogs with incredible jobs. The “Raising A Hero” series supports the Canine Companions for Independence, which provides assistance dogs free of charge to recipients. She will sign autographs at 1 p.m.

1 p.m. — Jennifer L. Holm gained acclaim for the “Babymouse” graphic novel series, which won a 2013 Eisner Award. With her brother, Matthew Holm, she created the spinoff series “Squish”. She has received three Newbery Honors for her young-adult novels “Our Only May Amelia”, “Penny from Heaven” and “Turtlein Paradise”. She will sign autographs at 2 p.m.

2 p.m. — Kwame Alexander, author of the 2015 Newbery Medal-winning “The Crossover” and its sequel, “Rebound”. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition radio program. His accolades include the Coretta Scott King Book Award, three NAACP Image Award nominations and the Pat Conroy Legacy Award. He will appear with musician Randy Preston, then sign autographs following their presentation.

3 p.m. — The interactive children’s musical duo Kitty Kapow and Professor Whiskers will perform in the Synovus Meeting Room.

Other guests — Galactic Quest Comic Books Hero Cats creators Kyle Puttkammer and Marcus Williams will have their comic books and graphic novels available for purchase. Entertainment from Adam the Juggler, magician Arthur Atsma, storytellers Babatunde the Griot and Fiddlin’ Dan the Mountain Man, rescued animals of Animal Adventures and puppets of All Hands Productions. Book characters such as Pancake Pig and CookieMouse, Llama Llama and Babymouse also will attend.

Other activities — Craft-O-Mania, a series of craft projects for children inspired by the festival authors; the Simple Steps Garden, an area of play, reading and crafts for babies, toddlers and preschoolers; and the Pratt & Whitney Makes-To-Take craft and gaming area for older children and teens.

Festival bookstore — The Muscogee County Friends of Libraries will run the festival’s bookstore. Books from all of the featured authors, plus additional works, will be on sale.

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.