Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 4, 2012

Children's Book Festival next weekend


TRAVERSE CITY — Young bibliophiles and bookworms rejoice, there is a festival just for you.

The third annual Traverse City Children's Book Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the City Opera House. The festival offers a sampling of children's books from a variety of national publishers.

Authors, illustrators and publishers from California to New York will be on hand to showcase their latest titles. The festival also offers parents and kids a chance to interact with a book's creator, said Amy Shamroe, festival director and book award coordinator for the Jenkins Group, a Traverse City-based book publishing and marketing company that puts on the festival.

"You walk in and find rows of great books all over the place," said Shamroe. "People can talk with authors and connect to the roots of the world of books."

Festival highlights include stage performances by authors and family-friendly activities hosted by area nonprofits including SCRAP TC and BlackBird Arts. Volunteers from Pathfinder School will staff a craft table where kids can create book marks and journals. The Old Town Playhouse Young Company will also preview their new production, "Honk!"

Young festivalgoers can even watch performances or read in a "kid pit" area full of pads and pillows.

The Traverse City Children's Book Festival is becoming a well-known industry showcase for up-and-coming children's book authors and publishers, said Shamroe. This year's festival features a diverse range of offerings, from prolific teenage author Taylor Joseph to "Christina's Favorite Saints," a biography on more than a dozen saints.

Joseph published her first novel, "The Crossing," a story on illegal immigration, at age 15. Today the 19-year-old Canton, Mich., resident is the author of eight books.

"Taylor is a dynamic young person making her own path in the publishing community, and that is not easy," Shamroe said. "It is inspiring for other kids to meet someone like them who is a published author."

For aspiring children's book authors, a workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the Traverse Area District Library. "Children's Book Publishing 101" will cover design, editing, budgets and identifying markets. The free workshop is presented by the Traverse City Children's Book Festival and Jenkins Group.

Sponsorship proceeds from this year's festival benefit children's literacy through the Grand Traverse Area Literacy Council and Read Aloud, a national organization that promotes reading with children every day for at least 15 minutes.

"Parents reading to a child at a young age can instill a love of reading for the rest of their life," said Shamroe. "Reading is not seen as an assignment or chore, but something exciting that can introduce them into other worlds."

Festival admission is free. For more information, visit To register for the publishing workshop, visit the festival website or call 800-644-0133, Ext. 1000.