Welcome to Kids’ Book Fest and The World of Eric Carle!
by Elizabeth Stilwell, Early Childhood Specialist, Family Reading Partnership
It’s that time again. The days are shorter and cooler, but there is a big bright spot on the horizon. Saturday, November 14th from 10-4, Boynton Middle School in Ithaca, NY will be transformed into a fun and magical venue for children and families to participate in Family Reading Partnership’s annual Kids Book Fest! This year’s Kids Book Fest theme is “The World of Eric Carle,” in celebration of 20 years of welcoming babies in the community with the special gift of Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” through Family Reading Partnership’s “Welcome Baby!” program sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company.
Kids’ Book Fest is a fun, free, family-friendly celebration that focuses on the joy of books and reading aloud with young children. The whimsical illustrations and stories of beloved author and illustrator Eric Carle, will be central to this year’s event. To build anticipation, over 3,600 children in Pre-K – 3rd grade in the TST-BOCES District have received their own copy of Eric Carle’s, “The Mixed-Up Chameleon,” thanks to funding through Wegmans Reading Centers and local schools. Classroom teachers have been invited to engage their students to create artwork and projects related to this book. This helps to connect children throughout the community to the celebration and to each other. The children’s work will be displayed prominently and proudly at Kids Book Fest, transforming the hallways into beautiful galleries of children’s creative thought and process.
Other highlights of this year’s Kids’ Book Fest include:
- The Tompkins County Public Library will host an interactive, mobile library. Children will be able to check books out and families can help their children and babies sign up for a library card.
- Storybook Theater–Ithaca College students from Voice and Movement classes will bring children’s books to life through simple interpretations of stories by Eric Carle and many more.
- Children will be invited to enter the world of “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” through a special interactive book room.
- Ithaca Children’s Garden will sponsor a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” interactive experience and invite children and families to provide input into the design of their new Very Hungry Caterpillar Boardwalk to be installed at the garden next year.
- Community Organizations will provide an array of fun activities related to many different Eric Carle books. Participants of all ages will be invited to contribute to community art projects including a color chameleon mural and a word wall.
- Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can relax and play in a special area just right for them and their parents to take a break from all the Book Fest fun.
- Additional parking will be available at the Ithaca High School with a free Kids’ Book Fest shuttle van.
A great way to begin to enjoy “The World of Eric Carle” before coming to Kids’ Book Fest, is to read some of his more than 70 children’s books. Here are some favorites that you can find at your local library.
“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” Gently rhyming and beautifully illustrated. every page introduces the reader to a new character, all of which are adorable animals. Children quickly learn to chant along with the text.
“The Very Busy Spider.” This story follows the tales of a number of farm animals who are trying to divert a very busy spider from completing the spinning of her web. She persists anyway, and creates something that is both beautiful and useful.
“A House for Hermit Crab.” As children learn about the life of a hermit crab this story also teaches about nature and the benefit of working and living together as a community.
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. This is a tale of a father’s love for his daughter. and includes interactive fold-out pages for extra charm
“Pancakes, Pancakes!“ Jack would really like to enjoy some delicious pancakes, but first he’s got some chores to do!
“The Tiny Seed.” This story gently invites children to learn about the life cycles of nature. The text is quite poetic and beautiful, but certainly simple enough for young readers to enjoy.
Please come and join Family Reading Partnership at Kids’ Book Fest as we celebrate books, children and connecting our community through the joy of books and reading!