The eighth annual Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival (CCBF) took place on Saturday, June 24 at the Talbot County Free Library (TCFL), drawing in over 1800 people.
Patrons and visitors enjoyed a bevy of fun activities for the whole family including music, balloon animals, and even petting snakes and chicks. Authors also had the opportunity to have a reading as well as signing books, with over 300 book vouchers being distributed to families signing up for the TCFL’s Summer Reading Program.
For the past eight years, CCBF has evolved in an event that has not only been aimed towards children from this community, but also from across the state and the region. Roshaun Williams, of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina brought her six-year-old nephew, Jayceon Gause, to explore the festival and everything it had to offer.
“I started Googling book festivals and the Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival came up. I thought that was a nice thing to be able to bring him to that is actually centered around something that he likes to do,” said Williams. “The best part of this festival is the book signings from the children’s authors that are here today. I plan to bring him again next year.”
Maryland Public Television (MPT) was a media partner during the festival. Funding was possible in part by grants from the Talbot County Council, the Talbot County Free Library Foundation, Friends of the Talbot County Free Library, Bay Imprint, Talbot Arts (with revenues provided by Maryland State Arts Council, and the governments of Talbot County, Easton, Oxford, and St. Michaels), and Stories of the Chesapeake*.
Partner organizations included Imagination Library of Talbot County (which celebrated their 10th Anniversary), Talbot Humane, MPT, Judy Center, University of Maryland Extension – Master Gardeners, the Friends of the Talbot County Free Library, Choptank Health, ShoreRivers, Talbot 4H, Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Talbot County Public Schools, and Flying Cloud Booksellers.
“During this event our community has united to offer books, authors, and illustrations, as well as more information about local organizations and the resources they have to offer,” said Scotti Oliver, Assistant Director of the Talbot County Free Library.
Authors that were in attendance included Mike Allegra, Gene Barretta, Darlene Beck Jacobson, Deborah Blumenthal, Ralph Blumenthal, Phaea Crede, Meg Eden Kuyatt, Salwa Elshazly, Claudia Friddell, Tracy C. Gold, Nancy Johnson James, Kathy MacMillan, Ann McCallum Staats, Frances Park, Ginger Park, Mary Quattlebaum, Jonathan Roth, Colleen Rowan Kosinski, June Smalls, Susan Stockdale, Nancy Tandon, Berrie Torgan-Randall, Joan Waites, Brian Wray, and Timothy Young.
Crede, a Boston native, was in attendance to do a reading of her book, “Super Pizza & Kid Kale,” and was so ecstatic to be at the festival.
“My story came from my four-year-old at the time, who had an idea of a piece of pizza wanting to be a superhero,” Crede said. “A couple of editors saw it and thought it would be best to also add a sidekick. I am so happy to be here. I did not know what to expect, but the community is incredible, the kids are amazing and there are so many readers here.”
Crede noted that events at a library hold a very dear place in her heart as an author.
For more information about registering for the All Together Now! Summer reading program or the Adult summer reading program, visit www.tcfl.org.
About Talbot County Free Library
It is the mission of the Talbot County Free Library to enrich and renew the lives of the people it serves. There are two locations: The main library in Easton is located at 100 W. Dover St.; and the St. Michael branch is at 106 Fremont St. The Maryland Room in the Easton branch holds a voluminous collection of genealogical resources and historical documents. Services at both locations include the circulation of books, DVDs, and digital devices, as well as free Wi-Fi, public computers, exhibits, and programs for both children and adults. Many of the Talbot County Free Library’s programs are made possible by the generous support of the local community. For more information, please visit www.tcfl.org. Be sure to like the library on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @Talbotcountyfreelibrary.