The Princeton Children’s Book Festival, which offers a special opportunity for children to meet the authors and illustrators of their favorite books, is happening Sat, Oct. 8, from 11am – 4pm, rain or shine. You can find more information including a complete list of authors and illustrators here. 

Mutts cartoonist, children book author, and Princeton local Patrick McDonnell has been an active part of the festival for years—he’s even created the post for this year’s festival. When State of the Arts stopped by in 2018, we found him signing and creating unique drawings for children visiting his booth. “It’s a great book festival for plenty of reasons,” he told us with a smile. “There’s so many different authors and illustrators here—an amazing amount of talent here.” 

The Princeton Children’s Book Festival is unique in that it focuses on engaging young readers and connecting them directly with their favorite writers. “There are not many opportunities for children and parents to meet authors and illustrators on this close level. To have a chance to get a personalized, signed copy—that’s really meaningful and special for a kid to take home,” noted Erica Bess, Assistant Director of the Princeton Public Library. Truly, you can see how much children appreciate this opportunity, and meeting their literary heroes is not something they’ll ever forget.

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be An Antiracist, at the 2019 Morristown Festival of Books

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be An Antiracist, at the 2019 Morristown Festival of Books

Also happening Oct. 8 is the Morristown Festival of Books. State of the Arts was there in 2019, where we met Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Atkinson, National Book Award-winner Ibram X. Kendi, children’s author Meg Cabot, and others. This festival offers a large variety of literature, from young readers to adults. 

This multivenue festival has events happening at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Church of the Redeemer, St. Peter’s Parish Hall, and the Morriston and Morris Township Library, with schedules starting at 10 am and continuing throughout the day. This year’s ticketed closing event features James Patterson in conversation with Carol Fitzgerald.

Book festivals offer the chance to put a face to the writing you’ve come to appreciate, and to provide that personal connection with the creative forces behind your favorite stories and characters. For children and adults alike, having the chance to meet and hear from your favorite author can foster a lifelong love of reading—what better way to celebrate National Book Month?