Annual 57th Street Children's Book Fair coming up Sept. 25
The eighth annual 57th Street Children's Book Fair -- featuring storytellers, children's book characters come to life and stacks of affordable books -- will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, on 57th Street between Kimbark and Dorchester avenues.
The free book fair celebrates reading and learning with a wide variety of events and activities for children of all ages. The event is co-sponsored by the 57th Street Preservation Association and the Mayor's Office of Special Events.
"The 57th Street Children's Book Fair truly is a one-of-a-kind event for children and adults from Chicago and the suburbs," said Rebecca Janowitz, an organizer of the fair.
The fair will begin at 1 p.m. with a parade of storybook characters, including Clifford the Big Red Dog, Paddington Bear and Cinderella.
Three entertainment stages will feature storytellers, musicians and dancers. Performers will include Chicago-area storyteller Shanta; magician Stuart Lustig; Marilyn Price, a contemporary puppeteer; and Denise Berry-Hanna and the Paint Box Theatre.
One of the day's highlights will be a performance of folk dancing from around the world by students from the Hyde Park School of Ballet.
In addition to providing entertainment, the fair is a showcase for a range of Chicago booksellers interested in children's literature -- from general bookstores selling new and used books to specialty stores focusing on books by and for African Americans and Hispanics. Literature experts will be available to advise parents with special cultural interests.
"The book fair is a great opportunity to see children's books from all over the Chicago area in one place and at one time," said Franny Billingsley, children's book buyer at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park and an organizer of the event.
Perennial favorites at the 57th Street Children's Book Fair are the life-size storybook rooms where children can wander through scenes from classic children's books, including Margaret Wise Brown's "Goodnight, Moon," Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," Eric Hall's "Where's Spot?" and J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan."
Several hands-on craft activities for children will be available, including hat-making and writing in hieroglyphics. Ms. Frizzle from Joanna Cole's "The Magic School Bus" series will display a variety of undersea animals.
Numerous face-painters will be on hand, and free balloons will add to the festivities.
In case of rain, the fair will be held at Ray School, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave. For more information, call 346-6033 or 702-6421.