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Children’s Book Feast offers generous helpings of renowned authors May 9

Kids find inspiration from authors and illustrators at annual literary festival

If You Go…

What: Children’s Book Feast

When: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, May 9

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library and the Depot Art Center

Cost: Free

— Children of all ages will have the unique opportunity to indulge their appetites for reading at the third annual Children’s Book Feast.

It’s an event that invites award-winning authors and illustrators to interact with kids through lectures and workshops delving into the details about the craft of writing and illustrating books.

Brian Floca, deemed one of the hottest names currently in Children’s Literature has received he prestigious award of the 2014 Caldecott Medal for his novel “Locomotive,” has received four Robert F. Sibert Honor Awards. He has also illustrated many chapter books for young teens written by other authors including “Poppy” and “City of Light, City of Dark,” written by another 2015 Book Feast Author, Avi.

If You Go…

What: Children’s Book Feast



When: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, May 9

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library and the Depot Art Center



Cost: Free

Originally a playwright the author who goes by the pen name, Avi will be one of the featured authors for the third annual Children’s Book Feast.He has received many notable awards, including a Newbery Medal for “Crispin: the Cross of Lead,” two Newbery Honors, an O’Dell award, and many children’s choice awards.

“Here they get not just one author to learn from, but several in one day, and they get to interact and ask questions and talk on a more personal level rather than being in a huge auditorium,” said Sherry Holland, kids’ desk librarian at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs. “It’s so much about getting the kids connected to the writers and illustrators and is an opportunity to just really get them excited about the whole world of literature.”

The literary arts festival is for all ages and this year it will be offered to the community at no cost. With a focus on graphic novels and the illustrated side of kids’ books, the festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at the library and the Depot Art Center.

Appealing to kids in kindergarten through eighth grades, or even high school, the author presentations will feature four nationally and internationally known authors and illustrators, including:

• Brian Floca, popular illustrator and author who won the 2014 Caldecott Medal for “Locomotive” and has been selected twice for The New York Times’ annual 10 Best Illustrated Books List among other awards.

• Avi, a part-time Steamboat resident, who has received a Newbery Medal for “Crispin: the Cross of Lead,” many children’s choice awards and will soon release a new novel, “Old Wolf,” set in Steamboat Springs and illustrated by Floca.

• Author-illustrators duo, Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer from Fort Collins, who created the award-winning Aldo Zelnick comic novel series.

“The authors and illustrators are really top-notch this year,” Holland said. “How much better can you get than a Newbery author and a Caldecott illustrator?”

For the younger, pre-reading crowd, the festival offers a Creativity Fair from 10 a.m. to noon on the library lawn, weather permitting. Children will have a chance to read to dogs, listen to Spellbinders storytelling, get their face painted and participate in about a dozen craft stations run by local artists. From noon to 1 p.m., the local juggling and comedy troupe We’re Not Clowns will perform accompanied by music from Brad Kindred.

“I think it’s really cool for these kids to be able to meet an author because they get to meet a celebrity in a way,” said Sarah Kostin, the library’s youth services librarian. “They read these books, and when they get to meet that author who wrote it, they may feel like it’s someone very special who created those characters they love. It’s really inspiring.”

Kostin said at the past two events kids have walked away wanting to be authors or illustrators with a newfound enthusiasm for reading and creativity. Most of the books from the featured authors “fly off the shelves” shortly after the festival, according to Kostin.

Most of the authors who visited in the past have books that are still popular at the local library today.

“You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it,” Holland said. “Sometimes, even the parents are just sitting there with their eyes wide open. It’s surprising just how much the authors share about their imagination, creativity and writing that really lends itself to a broader audience.”

Schedule of events:

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Author presentations | Library Hall

  • 10 a.m. Brian Floca
  • 11 a.m. Avi
  • 1 p.m. Kendra Spanjer and Karla Oceanak
  • 2 p.m. Floca and Avi

3 p.m. | Book signing with all authors | Library Hall

10 a.m. to noon | Creativity Fair | Depot Art Center

  • 10 a.m Kendra Spanjer and Karla Oceanak (white board pictionary)
  • 11 a.m. Elyssa Pallai and Ken Nager (help to illustrate a Steamboat Kids’ Book)
  • 10 a.m. to noon | Creativity Fair | Library Lawn
  • 10 to 10:30 a.m. Kids yoga with Carrie Nelson
  • 10 a.m. to noon Read to dogs, storytelling, face painting, arts and craft stations with local artists

Noon to 1 p.m. | Live music with Brad Kindred | Comedy and juggling with We’re Not Clowns | Library Lawn

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1


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