The Westchester Children’s (and Teens!) Book Festival

Come meet over twenty authors and illustrators at Westchester Children’s (and Teens!) Book Festival, White Plains Public LibrarySaturday, October 17 from 11 am to 4 pm. No registration is required and the event is entirely free!

Families will have a chance to attend a host of readings, purchase books (and have them autographed) through Barnes & Noble Booksellers–which will be operating a pop-up store at the Festival–and more. Everyone will receive a free book–courtesy of First Book–and light refreshments will be available for purchase. KidLit.TV, “helping parents and educators explore the world of children’s literature,” will be on hand throughout the day to interview authors and record some of the fun.

Below are participating authors and illustrators and their most recent books, although many earlier publications will also be available.

All the authors will give a reading; check back for the schedule.

This is the second Westchester Children’s Book Festival, a partnership of the Harlem Book Fair, the White Plains Public Library, The City of White Plains, the City of White Plains Youth Bureau, and the White Plains Library Foundation. Our sponsors (thank you!) include TD Bank, New York-Presbyterian Westchester Division, MVP Health Care Hudson Health Plan, Westchester Knicks, and First Book.

Presenters

Julie Chibbaro
Julie Chibbaro
Delores Connors
Delores Connors
Jerry Craft
Jerry Craft
Matt Davies
Matt Davies
Jason Edwards
Jason Edwards
Gary Golio
Gary Golio
Torrey Maldonado
Torrey Maldonado
Scott Menchin
Scott Menchin
LaShon Ormond
LaShon Ormond
Susanna Reich
Susanna Reich
Stephen Savage
Stephen Savage
Alyssa Sheinmel
Alyssa Sheinmel
Courtney Sheinmel
Courtney Sheinmel
Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel
Richard Simon
Richard Simon
Danielle Small
Danielle Small
Jean Marc Superville Sovak
Jean-Marc Superville Sovak
Neil Swaab
Neil Swaab
Bianca Turetsky
Bianca Turetsky
Eric Velasquez
Eric Velasquez
Susan Verde
Susan Verde
Anya Wallach
Anya Wallach
Tracey West
Tracey West
Mary O'Keefe Young
Mary O’Keefe Young

Schedule of Readings

Galaxy Hall: 2nd Floor, in the Trove. For Young Children

10:30   Mary Young
11:00   Gary Golio
11:30   Mark Siegel
12:00   Matt Davies
12:30   Stephen Savage
1:00   Richard Simon
1:30   Eric Velasquez
2:00   Susan Verde
2:30   Scott Menchin
3:00   Tracey West
3:30   LaShon Ormond
4:00   Danielle Small

Auditorium: 2nd Floor, right off the Gallery. For Middle-Schoolers

11:00   Delores Connors
11:30   Susanna Reich
12:00   Jerry Craft
12:30   Neil Swaab
1:00   Anya Wallach
1:30   Jason Edwards

First Floor: Outside the Edge. For Teens and Adults

12:00   Julie Chibbaro and Jean-Marc Superville Sovak
12:30   Bianca Turetsky
1:00   Alyssa Sheinmel
1:30   Torrey Maldonado
2:00   Courtney Sheinmel

Edgewater
Courtney Sheinmel
Description

Lorrie Hollander lives with her unstable aunt Gigi in a decrepit eyesore of a mansion called Edgewater, but when Charlie, the son of an esteemed senator, takes an interest in Lorrie she is ashamed of her lifestyle until she learns Charlie's family is hiding something too, and that their secrets are inextricably tied. "With powerful messages of family and self-reliance, Sheinmel's coming-of-age tale captivates with its masterful storytelling style and intricate detail," according to Publishers Weekly.

Bio and Honors

Courtney Sheinmel is the author of several books for kids and teens including Edgewater, Positively, Sincerely, and the Stella Batts series for young readers. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Sequoyah Award (Positively), a National Parenting Publication Awards honorable mention (the Stella Batts series), and have appeared on recommended lists, including the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teenage, and the ABC Best Books for Children. She lives in New York City.

Faceless
Alyssa Sheinmel
Description

When Maisie gets into a terrible accident, her face is partially destroyed. She’s lucky enough to get a face transplant–but how do you live your life when you can’t even recognize yourself anymore. She was a runner, a girlfriend, a good student . . . a normal girl. Now all that has changed. As Maisie discovers how much her looks did–and didn’t–shape her relationship to the world, she has to redefine her own identity, and figure out what “lucky” really means. Bestselling author Luanne Rice called Faceless “gorgeous and wrenching… a vivid, compelling, beautiful, immediate novel.”

Bio and Honors

Alyssa Sheinmel is the author of several young adult novels including Faceless and Second Star, as well as the co-author of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl.    Of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, bestselling author R.L. Stine said, “I was on the edge of my seat from the very first page,” and horror icon Wes Craven wrote, “Things that go bump in the night are afraid to read this book… Read it if you dare, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”  Alyssa grew up in Northern California and New York, and attended Barnard College. She now lives and writes in New York City.

Into the Dangerous World
Julie Chibbaro (author) and Jean Marc Superville Sovak
Description

At a family meeting, Ror declares her purpose: She is an artist. But she doesn't really know what that means. Raised on a commune, she's never attended a day of school, and has seen little of the outside world. When her father torches the commune--and himself--Ror's life changes. She, her mother and sister end up in a homeless residence in Manhattan. On the city's streets, and in its museums and galleries, Ror finds herself pulled in different directions. What does she want? Ror's journey is a seamless blend of words and pictures, cinematic in its scope, "infused with creative energy and excitement for the artistic process"--Booklist.

Bio and Honors

Julie Chibbaro is the author of Deadly, a medical mystery about the hunt for Typhoid Mary. Deadly won many awards, including the 2011 National Jewish Book Award and was named Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association. Jean-Marc Superville Sovak is an artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the world, including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and Manifesta 8 European Biennial of Contemporary Art. He is the illustrator of Deadly and lives and works with Julie in Beacon, NY.

Secret Saturdays
Torrey Maldonado
Description

Sean is Justin's best friend, at least Justin thought he was. But lately Sean has been acting differently: telling lies, getting into trouble at school, and hanging out with a tougher crowd. When Justin finally discovers that Sean's been secretly going to visit his father in prison and is dealing with the shame of that, Justin wants to do something to help before his friend spirals further out of control. But what if confronting Sean means Justin loses his very best friend? "...A a moving portrayal of the hope to be found through honest relationships"--Publishers Weekly.

Bio and Honors

Voted a "Top 10 Latino Author" and best Middle Grade and Young Adult novelist for African Americans, Torrey Maldonado was recently honored as a top teacher by NYC’s School Chancellor.  His work builds boys into multidimensional males and youth into global, caring citizens. Praised for its timeless feel, Secret Saturdays, made states’ reading lists and is assigned alongside classics and in anti-bullying initiatives. His forthcoming works also are inspired by his and his students’ lives.

Bird & Diz
Gary Golio
Description

An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist improvise a playful tribute to the creators of bebop--Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. When sax player Charlie "Bird" Parker and trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag. Blending a playful, rhythmic narration with dynamic illustrations, this tribute will have readers hankering to listen for themselves. With "language and images are every bit as vibrant as the music they celebrate"---Publishers Weekly.

Bio and Honors

Gary Golio is the author of several best-selling and award-winning musical picture-book biographies, including Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow, When Bob Met Woody, and Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane's Musical Journey. Gary Golio lives in Hudson Valley, New York.

Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency - INITIATIONS
Jason Edwards
Description

Middle school sleuths Will Allen and Jeannine Fitsimmons are unmatched when it comes to solving mysteries, but not even all of their cleverness can save them when monsters begin springing to life all across their town! Now, in their Baptism of Fire, these newly christened monster detectives race against time to unravel the clues and uncover the secret of the dreadful HIDDEN BEAST in time to save themselves and their friends from its terrible power!

Bio and Honors

Jason Edwards produces books that are at once funny, moving, scary, and useful for helping children confront anxieties and other issues.  His books have earned the Mom's Choice Award for Family Friendly Media and an endorsement from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Cow Won't Bow
Danielle J. Small
Description

The friends rehearsed all the day long when suddenly things went terribly wrong. Whatever did Cow say to make her friends quit the play? Will the friends continue to fight, or will Cow bomb on opening night? Cow Won't Bow is indeed a lovely romp of a story that is sure to tug on every heart string. As the friends navigate life's journey, they quickly discover the value in commitment, team work, and friendship.

Bio and Honors

Danielle J. Small is a children’s book author, minister, and educator living in the New York City area. By day, she works for the New York City Department of Education as a teacher and with Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation as a theater teaching artist. Ms. Small is the founder of Starring U Kid, LLC, a children’s theater company whose primary goal is to bring fun and innovation to learning and development. She is currently working on a book series geared towards fostering positive social development in young readers.

Fab Four Friends: the Boys Who Became the Beatles
Susanna Reich
Description

Told through a lyrical text and stunning paintings, this book spotlights four ordinary boys growing up amid the rubble of postwar England who found music to be a powerful, even life-saving, force. "...A gorgeous letter to an unforgettable band," according to School Library Journal.

Bio and Honors

Susanna Reich is an author of many books for children and has won such awards as an Orbis Pictus Honor and an SLJ Best Book of the Year, among other honors. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her husband, author Gary Golio.

Description

After the star of this story gets her brother’s hand-me-down camera-phone and a quick lesson in the "selfie," there is no stopping her! Anything can be turned into a selfie, and a host of adventures and misadventures caught on camera prove her point. Turning the camera-phone on herself becomes a part of her every day, all day long. Until, that is, it’s time to call it a day. Turns out, camera-phones and kids alike need to recharge their batteries!

Bio and Honors

Scott Menchin is the creator of many children’s books, including Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things that Make Me Happy and What If Everything Had Legs? He has also illustrated texts by Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and Doreen Cronin. Scott Menchin divides his time between Woodstock, New York, and New York City.

Happy Halloween, Curious George
Mary O'Keefe Young
Description

Halloween is here, and Curious George is getting ready for the big night. There are so many costumes to try on, treats to share, and games to play! George has so much Halloween fun picking out the perfect pumpkin, decorating his house, and celebrating with his friends that he’s not sure he’s ready for the day to end. Follow the little monkey through his fun-filled day with this book of poems. Happy Halloween, Curious George is a sweet treat to help Curious George fans of all ages get in the Halloween spirit.

Bio and Honors

Mary O'Keefe Young has published more than 40 children's books as well as illustrations for book jackets, magazines, greeting cards and advertising. In 2001, she began collaborating with Pat Schories on the Biscuit Series and have illustrated 16 of them. In 2004, she began illustrating new Curious George books."I truly enjoy drawing George in the style of H.A.Rey. I like the challenge of showing him having lots of fun and as usual, getting into some type of trouble," says Mary. She lives in White Plains.

How to Read a Story
Mark Siegel
Description

Step One: Find a story. (A good one.) Step Two: Find a reading buddy. (Someone nice.) Step Three: Find a reading spot. (Couches are cozy.) Now: Begin. Accomplished storytellers Kate Messner and Mark Siegel chronicle the process of becoming a reader: from pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone with whom to share a story, to reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and--finally--coming to The End. This picture book playfully and movingly illustrates the idea that the reader who discovers the love of reading finds, at the end, the beginning.

Bio and Honors

Mark Siegel is an author, illustrator, and  editorial director of the graphic novel publisher First Second Books. In addition to How to Read a Story and Oskar and the Eight Blessings, his books include Seadogs, An Epic Ocean Operetta, Long Night Moon, and To Dance, A Ballerina's Graphic Novel (with his wife Siena Cherson Siegel). In addition, Siegel wrote the graphic novel for adults Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid in the Hudson.

Description

Yoga has the power of transformation. It strengthen bodies, calm minds, and, with a little imagination, can show us that anything is possible. New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds and author and certified yoga instructor Susan Verde team up to encourage children to explore the world of yoga. I Am Yoga is “A delightful introduction to the subject as well as a wonderful read-aloud for movement and mindfulness--”School Library Journal.

Bio and Honors

Susan Verde grew up in a brownstone in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City with her older brother Michael. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s in reading remediation and become an elementary school teacher at a school in Bridgehampton, NY. Although no longer a classroom teacher, Susan is a certified kid’s yoga instructor and teaches in both the school system and the studio setting.  Currently, Susan lives in East Hampton with her twin boys Joshua and Gabriel and her daughter Sophia. Her previous books are The Museum and You and Me.

Description

What is it like for a child to go from a mainstream classroom into a special education class? For Mark it's a challenge, and he doesn't want to go. Mark is struggling with the idea of moving from his "big classroom" into this "little classroom." Only after his teacher, Ms. Collins reminds Mark that he wants to do well and not disappoint his family does he decide to give the class a try. I Don't Want To Go, through its poignant narrative, brings home the point that emotions can have a strong impact on student learning. while looking at the dilemmas that all children face when there is a change in their lives.

Bio and Honors

Delores Connors has been teaching for 22 years, 20 of them in special education. Born and raised in New York City, she always wanted to help others, so she began as a regular teacher until the city school system needed more special education teachers. I Don't Want to Go is her first book.

Nerdy Birdy
Matt Davies
Description

Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle. When he's at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.

Bio and Honors
Matt Davies is the Pulitzer Prize-Winning cartoonist for Newsday. He also writes and draws children's books including Ben Rides On (A Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2013) and the critically acclaimed Ben Draws Trouble. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children, their creatures and a bunch of apple trees.
New Shoes
Eric Velasquez
Description

When her brother's hand-me-down shoes don't fit, it is time for Ella Mae to get new ones. But when she and her mother arrive at Mr. Johnson's shoe store, her happiness quickly turns to dejection. Ella Mae is unable even to try on the shoes because of her skin color. Determined to fight back, Ella Mae and her friend Charlotte work tirelessly to collect and restore old shoes. The girls then have their very own shoe sale, giving the other African Americans a place where they can "try on all the shoes they want." This stunning picture book brings the civil rights era to life. "It isn't easy to make a story seem as if it's telling itself, but this gripping piece of historical fiction does just that"--Publishers Weekly.

Bio and Honors

Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a child, his love for doodling and drawing was strongly encouraged by his mother. From his grandmother he inherited a love of music and from his father he developed a love of movies. Growing up in this setting, Eric says, "Becoming an artist was a natural choice for me. I have never thought of being anything else." Eric has illustrated many books to great acclaim.

Oskar and the Eight Blessings
Tanya and Richard Simon (authors), Mark Siegel (illustrator)
Description

According to Booklist, "this graphic-novel-style picture book relates the story of young Jewish immigrant Oskar who, after Kristallnacht, is sent by his parents to New York City to live with his aunt. Arriving from Europe on the seventh night of Hanukkah—also Christmas Eve—with just her address and picture, Oskar searches the big, bustling city for her home. Along the way he discovers unexpected kindnesses: a woman feeding birds shares bread, a man extends a helping hand after Oskar falls, until, finally, Aunt Esther sees him on the street and gives him a warm embrace. Oskar has received many starred reviews and is being acclaimed as "wonderfully original in every way."

Bio and Honors

Richard Simon and Tanya Simon are a husband-and-wife writing team. Richard is chair of the language department at an independent school and is co-author of a successful off-Broadway play. Tanya is co-author of the children's novel Zora and Me, winner of a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. They live in Westchester, New York. Oskar and the Eight Blessings is their first picture book. Mark Siegel has illustrated several picture books, including the Texas Bluebonnet winner Seadogs and the Siebert Honor book To Dance, with his wife, Siena Cherson Siegel. He lives in New York with his family.

Power of the Fire Dragon/A Branches Book
Tracey West
Description

It's time for the Dragon Masters to battle the dark wizard! This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. The Dragon Masters are going to visit Queen Rose's kingdom. But Rori and Drake must stay behind. Then a four-headed dragon attacks the castle--and Maldred is riding it! How is Maldred controlling this giant dragon? Will Rori and Drake have to battle the dark wizard on their own?

Bio and Honors

Tracey West has written more than 200 books for children and young adults, including the following series: Pixie Tricks, Hiro’s Quest, and Dragon Masters. She has appeared on The New York Times bestseller list as author of the Pokemon chapter book adaptations. Tracey currently lives with her family in New York State’s Hudson Valley. She can be found on twitter at @TraceyWestBooks.

Showstopper (Stagestruck)
Anya Wallach
Description

With the help of her sister and friend Austin, 12-year-old Anya puts together a kids' summer theater troupe, the Random Farms Kids' Theater, recruiting area kids as actors and crew members for a musical revue. Now after a successful first show, Anya turns her attention to the troupe's second show. But trouble rears its head almost immediately when their beloved barn venue is jeopardized. How can they put on a production without a theater? "...the story is full of heart, making it appealing to High School Musical fans. The text is riddled with musical theater references, and aspiring actors will enjoy the theater tips and lingo..."--School Library Journal

Bio and Honors

Anya Wallach is the real-life creator of The Random Farms Kids' Theater, a not-for-profit organization she started in her parents' basement when she was a teenager. Today, the Random Farms kids can be regularly seen on Broadway and in film and television. Anya also created the theater's extensive outreach program, with a focus on bullying prevention.  Her first book in the Stagestruck series, Curtain Up, was published in May. She lives in New York City.

The Secrets to Ruling School (Without Even Trying)
Neil Swaab
Description

It’s the first week of middle school, i.e., the Worst Place in the Entire World. How do you survive when there are tough kids twice your size, sadistic teachers, and restrictions that make jail look like a five-star resort? Easy: with the help of Max Corrigan, middle school “expert” and life coach. Let Max teach you how to win over not just one, but all of the groups in school, from the Preps to the Band Geeks. Along the way, Max offers surefire advice and revealing tips. "...Sure to hit the mark with middle schoolers in the trenches," according to Publishers Weekly.

Bio and Honors

Neil Swaab is a Brooklyn-based illustrator whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Utne Reader, the Village Voice, and most recently, James Patterson’s Middle School: My Brother Is a Big, Fat Liar. Swaab has also illustrated posters for Broadway shows and worked on Adult Swim’s Superjail!, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, and Cartoon Network’s Annoying Orange.

The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile
Bianca Turetsky
Description
 After trying on a Grecian dress, a twelve-year-old girl who likes vintage fashion travels back to ancient Egypt, where she experiences life as a handmaiden to Queen Cleopatra and learns valuable lessons about confidence and leadership. “Turetsky blends history with fashion and the normal happenings of a seventh grader seamlessly, making Louise’s adventures intriguing and even believable…Readers will be hard pressed not to want to learn more about Cleopatra after finishing this story and will anxiously wait to see where Louise’s sartorial choices will take her next”–School Library Journal.
Bio and Honors

Bianca Turetsky is the author of the stylish Time-Traveling Fashionista series, which has been translated into nine languages. A graduate of Tufts University, Bianca has been running the studio of artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel for the last ten years. She lives in a cozy studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that houses her very extensive and much-loved vintage collection.

The Worm Who Wanted No Wings
LaShon Ormond
Description

Mona the Monarch is a princess,  a caterpillar, and the first character in the Read To Me, Please! series. Mona learns and teaches lessons about growing up, change and learning to face your fears. The Worm Who Wanted No Wings is designed to excite and engage young readers. Helping children develop a passion for reading while learning life's little lessons is a great investment with an even greater return.

Bio and Honors

LaShon Ormond is a mother, a writer, an avid reader, a believer in the complete and total development of girls and women, and a champion for fairness and equity in education and education policy. She is the author of two additional titles, The Hummingbird Who Wanted to Sing and The Bee Who Wanted to Lead.

The Zero Degree Zombie Zone
Jerry Craft (illustrator)
Description

Fourth-grader Bakari Katari Johnson is having a really bad day--class bullies Tariq and Keisha are mad at him, his best friend Wardell has nominated him for hall monitor, a pack of icezombies from a frozen world are demanding he return the magic ring that Keisha has, and somehow he has to find a way to save the school. "This colorful, well-illustrated story contains friendship, magic, zombies, and plenty of adventure. Readers will surely clamor for further installments from this talented duo"--School Library Journal.

Bio and Honors

Jerry Craft is the creator of MAMA'S BOYZ, an award-winning comic strip that has been distributed to almost 900 publications, making him one of the few syndicated African-American cartoonists in the country. He has illustrated and/or written a dozen children's books. His work has appeared in national publications such as Essence, Ebony, and two Chicken Soup for the African American Soul books. He lives in Norwalk, CT.

Where's Walrus? And Penguin?
Stephen Savage
Description

When Walrus escapes the zoo with his new friend Penguin, their adventures are twice the fun! In this sequel to the acclaimed Where's Walrus?, author Stephen Savage doubles the fun when Walrus escapes the zoo with his mischievous pal, Penguin. Will the zookeeper find them? Or will these clever runaways stay one step ahead disguised as subway riders, baseball players, and even grand opera performers? Hiding in plain sight, they elude the clueless zookeeper until a fly ball at a baseball game leads Walrus and Penguin to a chance encounter with surprising results!

Bio and Honors

Stephen Savage is the author and illustrator of Where's Walrus?, which was named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, the Horn Book, and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. He is also the illustrator of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling picture book Polar Bear Night, written by Lauren Thompson, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book. When Stephen is not on the run, he lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and their daughter.

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