Children's Book Fair marks 10th year with gala celebration
A gala celebration will mark the 10th annual 57th Street Children's Book Fair, to be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, on 57th Street between Kimbark and Dorchester avenues. The event is free and open to the public.
The book fair will feature more storytellers, storybook characters and affordable books than ever before in its successful history. Food and beverages will be offered for the first time and will be sold in the new cafeteria of Ray School, at the corner of 57th Street and Kimbark Avenue.
The free 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, with support from the Independent Booksellers Association.
The fair will begin at 1 p.m. with a parade down 57th Street of many of the storybook characters who have appeared at the book fair over the past decade, including Madeline, Spot, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Wild Thing, Ms. Frizzle, Paddington Bear and Curious George.
Three entertainment stages will showcase storytellers, musicians and dancers. Performers will include Chicago-area storyteller Shanta; Marilyn Price, a contemporary puppeteer; students from the Hyde Park School of Ballet and members of the Chicago Children's Choir.
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. More bookstores than ever before will be represented at the fair, including the Andersonville-area store Women and Children First and the Chicago Academy of Sciences bookstore. Not-for-profit organizations to be represented at the book fair include University Theater, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Oriental Institute, Hyde Park Art Center, SafeKids, the Museum of Science and Industry, Child Life Center of Wyler Hospital, Children's House at Harper Square, Friends of the Public Libraries and the La Rabida Literacy Awareness program.
The event will also include some perennial favorites: free face-painting and balloons, life-size storybook rooms featuring scenes from Where the Wild Things Are, Peter Pan and Goodnight, Moon and interactive life-size storybook versions of Where's Spot? and The Three Little Pigs.
In case of rain, the fair will be at Ray School, 57th and Kimbark.
For more information, call 536-8103 or 702-6421.