2022 Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day Shines Through the Rain

On Saturday, October 1, the Brooklyn Book Festival held its second in-person Children’s Day since the pandemic. The day was packed with kid-friendly activities, including panels with authors of all ages, an all-day reading stage, and children’s publishers and booksellers selling books at stalls. Author and illustrator appearances included Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Kyle Lukoff, Emma Otheguy, Dan Santat, Stephen Savage, Raúl the Third and more.

Children’s book publishers were looking forward to returning to the festival and engaging with readers and parents again after the pandemic disruption. However, the bad weather spoiled the celebrations a bit. The festival, scheduled to come rain or shine, moved all panels on Center Stage to the Brooklyn Heights Library for better conditions.

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For vendors, the weather presented a new challenge as foot traffic briefly slowed and some vendors even packed up their things for the day, unprepared for the difficult weather.

“We’re just determined!” said Angus Yuen-Killick, editor of Red Comet Press, who was waiting out the storm. “No matter if hell or high water, we wanted to stay. You don’t get a second chance. You have to wait until next year.”

But the rain wasn’t enough to deter visitors from continuing the fair. After the hour-long shower, it was literary fun again for everyone, with participation in the outdoor events and vendors reviving.

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“After the rain stopped it was just as crowded as at the festival [back] in 2018,” said Zoe Kelsey, Marketing Associate at House of Anansi Press. “Lots of kids. Lots of cute dogs. Everyone is back. Everyone’s out!

The focus of the festival activities was the community aspect with other book lovers. The publishers in attendance also gained a better understanding of the interests of young readers and how their guardians buy books.

“It’s nice to be able to connect with people face-to-face again,” said Katherine Kakoutis, House of Anansi Sales Representative. “And it’s been cool to see what people gravitate towards at the desk, which we don’t really see that often in the office.”

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Alex Ransom, associate marketing manager at New York Review Books, said similarly, “They have some idea of ​​who’s going to buy books and what audiences are going to be. But then it can be very different when you actually meet the kids and parents in person and actually figure out how to market the books to them in real life.”

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