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It’s earlier than it’s been in the past and the location has changed from the National Mall to the Washington Convention Center but once again, it’s back. If past is prelude, then it will be just as much fun (with the benefit of indoor plumbing and air-conditioning against the dreaded DC humidity).

I’m talking about the National Book Festival, of course.

2014 National Book Festival

You can hear two-time Newbery Medalist and current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Kate diCamillo (opens in a new window). She’s sure to talk about Flora and Ulysses (opens in a new window) (the 2014 Newbery). Maybe she’ll also introduce her newest hero, Leroy and his newfound sidekick, Maybelline, a horse with very specific taste and certain demands. Readers who like to chortle are sure to enjoy Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive (opens in a new window) (Candlewick) with illustrated by Chris Van Dusen that echo and expands the story’s understated humor. And since this is Volume One, diCamillo might hint at the next adventures of contemporary cowboy Leroy and his faithful steed!

Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King award winning illustrator, Bryan Collier (opens in a new window), is sure to engage when he talks about how he creates his art, maybe even how it brings historical events into focus in My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil Rights (opens in a new window) written by Claire Rudolf Murphy (Holt).

Dav Pilkey (opens in a new window) will certainly introduce the adventures of his comic heroes Ricky Ricotta and the ever irreverent Captain Underpants.

One of my favorite authors (who is also a cartoonist), Jules Feiffer (opens in a new window), has created another picture book that captures a child’s fantasy. Mandy dances gleefully in front of her cat, Rupert. Only when Mandy sleeps does the feline display her enormous dancing talent in Rupert Can Dance (opens in a new window) (Farrar).

There are lots more authors appearing at the Book Festival, too many to list. Even if you’re not in DC for the festival or have a time conflict and miss your favorite author or illustrator, the Library of Congress (opens in a new window) will record and stream the presentations soon after.

What a neat way to celebrate summer and welcome a new season!

About the Author

Reading Rockets’ children’s literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids’ books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Publication Date
August 29, 2014