Books, storytelling and more at annual fairThe ninth annual 57th Street Children's Book Fair -- named "the first of its kind for children and a premier event for families" in a special resolution passed by Mayor Richard Daley and the city council earlier this month -- will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, 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 fair will begin at 1 p.m. with a parade down 57th Street of storybook characters, including Peter Rabbit, Paddington Bear and -- for the first time at the book fair -- Spot from the popular Where's Spot? series.
The fair will have three entertainment stages, featuring storytellers, musicians and dancers. Performers will include Chicago-area storyteller Shanta as well as storytellers Donna Washington and Naomi Liethold; Marilyn Price, a contemporary puppeteer; the Music Theater Workshop with Mary Ellen McGarry; and 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.
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.
Giant cutouts of Frog and Toad, the Little Engine That Could and Charlotte from Charlotte's Web will be displayed.
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.