Today, the Montclair Cooperative School and Watchung Booksellers begin Bookapalooza, a three-day festival packed with fun and informative activities for families and kids of every age. Running today, Friday, October 17 to Sunday, October 19, the annual event will feature a book fair, a pop-up bookworm café, a series of ‘meet the author’ sessions and an artisan market. A highlight of the event this year is its guest author program, with writers reading from and signing their published works. This year’s theme from the chosen authors, each with a local connection, is “Eat, Read, Love.”
Popular columnist Laura Zinn Fromm will be reading from Sweet Survival: Tales of Cooking and Coping, a cookbook uniquely blending relationships, family coping strategies and cooking. Laura will read and serve her own baked goods on Oct 17, 6.30pm, adults only, no charge to attend.
Award winning TV producer, illustrator and writer Dan Yaccarino will read from Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza: Delivery of Doom with free pizza served for all children attendees. October 18, 12.30pm, no charge to attend.
Montclair resident Adriana Brad Schanen will read from Quinny and Hopper, her newest book about friendship and life in elementary school, with a special guest appearance from the novel’s voracious lollipop eating (live) chicken. October 19, 11.30am, no charge to attend.
The creatively curated book fair will feature many hundreds of books, each handpicked by the Cooperative’s teachers and the local independent child reading experts at Watchung Booksellers. The book choices will cover children from 3 to 14 years, in addition to great adult titles.
“All children are naturally curious and creative,” said Head of School Angela DeGraff. “Our goal at the Co-op is to nurture and grow this, and help build adults who will challenge, question, imagine, create and strive. One of the fundamental tenets of the school is to share this passion with the wider community and Bookapalooza allows us to do this. So be curious and come visit us!”
Carolyn Anbar, the Children’s Room manager and buyer at Watchung Booksellers, points out the other major feature that makes the Cooperative’s Bookapalooza a unique event: the book selection.
“This is not a cookie cutter book fair. Working with the master teachers at the Co-op, we personally select each title with the goal of sparking a lifelong love of reading,” she said. “These books celebrate our natural curiosity, and Bookapalooza brings that celebration to life.”
The other major features that complete the unique event are the Bookworm Café, which serves homemade takeaway meals and treats throughout Bookapalooza, and the crafts market with face painting. The event kicks off on Friday October 17, with children and teachers coming to school dressed as their favorite literary characters.
Bookapalooza Hours and Events (on school grounds at 65 Chestnut Street):
Friday, Oct. 17: open from 12 – 8: open for business. 12-5 regular book fair, bookworm café opens from 3-
5pm. Wine and books, and adult only session from 6.30-7.30pm, reading and signing by Laura Zinn Fromm Sweet Survival: Tales of Cooking and Coping.
Saturday, Oct. 18: open from 10 – 5: Dan Yaccarino at 12.30pm (Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza: Delivery of Doom. We are serving free pizza to the kids who turn up for the reading and there is still a chance to enjoy the inimitable Bookworm Cafe serving homemade takeaway meals and treats. Craft fair runs from 9-5 too. Face painting. Live music.
Sunday, Oct. 19, open from 10-2: books sales, Bookworm Cafe, and a book reading and signing by Adriana Brad Schanen Quinny and Hopper at 11.30am