The Gaithersburg Book Festival once again will bring literature to life for readers of all ages. The Festival’s Children’s Village, sponsored by Washington Parent, will offer an incredible program for all children – from the newest book lovers to avid teen readers and writers – featuring some of today’s top authors in children’s and young adult literature, hands-on activities and interactive workshops.
The Festival takes place Saturday, May 16, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall, 31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877.
Among the award-winning and best-selling authors and illustrators coming to the Gaithersburg Book Festival this year are:
- Kwame Alexander – Recipient of the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. Alexander has written 18 books, including the award-winning children’s book “Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band,” which was recently optioned as a children’s television show, the young adult novel “He Said She Said” and his middle grade debut, “The Crossover.”
- Ally Carter – New York Times best-selling author of “Heist Society,” “Uncommon Criminals” and the popular Gallagher Girls series, which together have sold more than two million copies and have been published in more than 20 countries. Carter will talk about “All Fall Down,” the first title in her new Embassy Row series.
- Jessica Day George – Author of “Tuesdays at the Castle” and theNew York Times best seller “Wednesdays in the Tower,” as well as the Twelve Dancing Princesses series and Dragon Slippers series. Her newest book is “Thursdays with the Crown.”
- Gareth Hinds – Creator of several critically acclaimed graphic novels based on literary classics, including “Romeo & Juliet,” “The Odyssey” and his most recent, “Macbeth.”
- Michelle Knudsen and Matt Phelan – Knudsen is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 40 books for young readers, including the picture books “Library Lion,” “Argus” and “Big Mean Mike.” Her new picture book, “Marilyn’s Monster,” was illustrated by award-winning artist Phelan.
- Phyllis Reynolds Naylor – Author of more than 140 books for both children and adults, including Newbery-award winner “Shiloh” and the popular Alice series about a girl growing up in Silver Spring. Her latest book (and the last) in the Alice series is “Now I’ll Tell You Everything.”
- Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal – Messner is an award-winning author whose books for kids have been New York Times Notable, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound and Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections. Her forthcoming picture book, “Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt,” was illustrated by Neal.
- Robert Sabuda – One of the most innovative and inventive children’s book creators, Sabuda is known worldwide for his amazing pop-up paper engineering. His books include “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and his newest book, “The Dragon and the Knight.” He also is expected to lead a workshop on paper engineering/pop-up books.
- Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri – Rubin is the New York Timesbest-selling author of half a dozen children’s stories including “Secret Pizza Party,” “Big Bad Bubble” and the Darn Squirrels Trilogy. He will be presenting with Salmieri, illustrator of Rubin’s book “Dragons Love Tacos.”
- Jon and Pamela Voelkel – Jon and Pamela Voelkel are the author-illustrators of the Jaguar Stones series; Pamela does most of the writing and Jon does most of the illustrating. The couple will talk about the books in this series, including the most recent, “The Lost City.”
- Gene Leun Yang – Author of “American Born Chinese,” the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the ALA’s Printz Award, Yang also is author of “Boxers & Saints,” about the Boxer Rebellion, which was nominated for a National Book Award and won the LA TimesBook Prize.
These authors are joined by a host of other talents in children’s and young adult literature, including Jorge Aguirre, Tracey Baptiste, Fred Bowen, Winifred Conkling, Karen Deans, Lana Krumwiede, Magician Mike Lane, Marissa Moss, George O’Connor, Kevin O’Malley, Erica S. Perl, Dave Roman and Nancy Shaw.
Imagination Station is where books come alive through storytelling, juggling, drama and dance. Performances include:
- Fizzical Fairytales – The Selfish Giant learns that sharing leads to good friendships and a warm heart in this adaption of an Oscar Wilde classic that includes puppets and participation from its young audiences. Designed for children ages 4 to 10.
- InterAct Story Theatre – This program combines storytelling, drama and songs, allowing children to get into the act and experience world cultures.
- Penny Theater – Sponsored by the Quince Orchard Chapter of the Friends of the Library, Penny Theater will perform the “Three Little Pigs” and “Where the Wild Things Are” for children ages 3 to 6.
- Story Tapestries with Arianna Ross – Eat your fill of stories with The Giggling, Wiggling Book Worm. Participants in this interactive program will dance, sing, wiggle and giggle as the book worm in you finds an exciting new story to read, write, draw, dance, make music and, of course, tell other stories about.
- Twinbrook Tellers of the Dogwood Dogs 4-H Club – This group will tell “Tales of Magic and Adventure” for children of all ages.
- Voices in the Glen – A nonprofit guild of storytellers and story listeners in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, Voices in the Glen promote the art of storytelling and provide opportunities for local storytellers to grow in their art and practice.
- Young Audiences of Maryland (YAMD) – Joining the Festival for the third year, this nonprofit organization performs and demonstrates its commitment to enriching the lives and education of Maryland’s youth through educational and culturally diverse arts programs.
- The Mayor’s Book Club will announce the third grade student and class that read the most books in the month of April. The Mayor and Junior Mayor will present the awards, followed by entertainment by the Gaithersburg Elementary School Chorus.
- Richard Morris, a local author and storyteller, will entertain young audiences with stories of his childhood. Children will travel through time, racing from a freight train; running from huge, lion-worms; and battling piranhas in the Amazon.
- Juggling, Original Poems and Songs – Nicolo the Jester combines amazing juggling with storytelling, poetry, comedy, music and character acting while he encourages children to join the merry love of reading and words, and the joys of kindness and generosity of spirit.
- Comics Game Show hosted by graphic novelist Dave Roman.
Story Time Tent
The Story Time Tent is a place where children and families can enjoy listening to stories read by authors, school librarians, student storymakers and Maryland’s Outstanding Teens.
The Children’s Village will offer free writing workshops for children and teens, led by experts from local writing programs. Workshops, designed for ages 8-18, will focus on playwriting, poetry, book arts, children’s books and college essay writing, among other topics. The full schedule of workshops will be available on the Festival website in early April.
Do you know where Waldo is? We do. This year, he’ll be making his way through the Festival. In honor of his 25th anniversary, Candlewick Press is sponsoring this classic Waldo scavenger hunt. Start your adventure at the Waldo Registration Tent in the Children’s Village. Then see if he is hiding with the storytellers on Imagination Station, studying with the City’s Educational Enrichment Committee or listening to a story in the Story Time Tent.
The Book Nook
The Book Nook, sponsored by St. Martin’s School, offers a place for reading, building and learning.
- Crafts, Reading Theater and Photo Booth – St. Martin’s School will explore Aesop’s Fables and lead a craft making animal masks that can be used while participating in its Reader’s Theater. The school also will offer photo ops with Dr. Seuss-inspired props.
- Miz T Character Face Painting – After Miz T performs with Penny Theater on Imagination Station, she’ll transform children into their favorite storybook characters, including The Cat In The Hat, Winnie The Pooh, Clifford the Big Red Dog and many others.
Even More Non-Stop Activities in the Children’s Village
- Dragon and Flower Pot Crafts – Join Arts Entwine and artists from the Arts Barn as they catch a dragon by the tail and create dragon crafts with kids of all ages. With several great dragon books represented at the Festival this year, these artists will add to the “roaring good time” with a take-home craft. Arts Entwine will plant the seed of summer reading by getting “Down in the Dirt” and planting a seed that will come “Up in the Garden” in time for summer reading. Join them in decorating planters and burying the first seeds.
- Book Raffle – Gaithersburg’s Educational Enrichment Committee (EEC) will join CHARACTER COUNTS!™ to give away books, and have a special treat for all teachers who stop by our tent.
- Reading Buddies – Family Services, Inc. (FSI) will help children create “Reading Buddies” to encourage families to read together and act out stories.
- Mini-Books – Join the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capitalto make mini-books to fill with art, notes, keepsakes, photos and more. Designed for children ages 4 to 16.
- Read and Act Out Book About Play – Children ages 2 to 8 can join Pat Rumbaugh, author of “Let’s Play at the Playground,” as she reads and then takes kids for an adventure around the playground at Griffith Park at City Hall.
- Montgomery College Early Childhood Club – The club returns this year to help children with arts and craft projects as students talk to parents about the importance of reading.
- Montgomery County Agricultural Fair – 4-H Volunteers will help children create animal crafts and read animal stories while they visit a petting zoo featuring sheep and goats.
- Leah Taylor Jefferson and Oreo – Jefferson, author of “Horses of the Presidents” and “The Adventures of Oreo and Algonquin,” will give children the opportunity to dress up and get their photos taken with her pony Oreo (cost: $7), while they learn about horses and the history of the U.S. Presidents.
- Scholastic Inc. – Look for Clifford the Big Red Dog and stop by the Scholastic booth to learn more about the Kids are Authors Program and how your child can publish his/her own book.
- Monster Bookmarks – Sylvan Learning Center makes reading fun and helps kids scare away all of their fears as they make monster bookmarks for summer reading.
- Seneca Academy welcomes children to write their own story. Start with Seneca Academy’s mascot, Foxtale, and create a comic book where your child is the hero.
- Assorted crafts with Washington Parent and Activity Rocket.
For a complete list of children’s and young adult authors, as well as up-to-date details about all the activities and workshops hosted in the Children’s Village, visit the GBF website.