The 27th African American Children’s Book Fair at Community College of Philadelphia drew more than 4,000 attendees and more than 36 authors and illustrators. The event, which is sponsored by the African American Children’s Book Project, is one of the largest and oldest single-day events for diverse children’s literature in the country. We’ve gathered a selection of highlights from the celebration, including signings, book giveaways, and more.
Fairgoers heeded the mantra “Preserve a Legacy, Buy a Book.” While standing in line to purchase books, one woman said, “Good books that reflect my image are truly worth the wait.” As part of the Reading Circle initiative, NBC10 and Telemundo 62 pre-purchased books by participating authors to give away to the first 500 children who attended the event. Corporate sponsors of the book fair also purchased titles for the Educator’s Book Give-Away program.
Authors Derrick Barnes and Sharee Miller. Both Barnes’s picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, illus. by Gordon C. James (Bolden/Millner) and Miller’s Princess Hair (Little, Brown) carry the message of loving one’s hair and feeling confident.
Edgar Award nominee T.R. Simon, author of Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground (Candlewick), with a young reader.
Attendees and their book hauls.
Bestselling authors Sharon Draper (Blended, Atheneum/Dlouhy) (l.) and Renée Watson (Watch Us Rise, Bloomsbury).
G. Todd Taylor, author of Dad, Who Will I Be? and Daddy’s Little Princess, illus. by Delayna Robbins (Taylor Made), meets a fan.
Nikki Grimes (One Last Word, Bloomsbury) and Floyd Cooper (contributor, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, Crown).
Families and friends bonded over books.
(From l.): Bryant Greene, founder of Always Best Care Senior Services; Susan Robeson, granddaughter of Paul Robeson and author of Grandpa Stops a War, illus. by Rod Brown (Triangle Square); and city councilman Derek S. Green.
Book lovers of all ages had the opportunity to connect with more than 36 authors and illustrators.
SOURCE: Publishers Weekly, by Emma Kantor