MILLBROOK — The 10th annual Millbrook Literary Festival will feature a special line-up of children’s programs as part of its anniversary celebration. Festival founder Scott Meyer was always proud to offer something for everyone, and this year’s festival is no exception. Along with a variety of literary offerings for adults, there will be workshops, music, picture book readings and much more for the younger crowd. All events are free and take place at Millbrook Library on May 19.
To start the day at 10 a.m., artists of all ages can learn the craft of designing a picture book from gifted illustrator Steven James Petruccio. Petruccio has been a professional artist and illustrator for 35 years, with works in public and private collections and over 80 illustrated picture books. Parents are encouraged to attend the workshop with their children. All who are interested can register at Millbrook Library or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those more lyrically inclined are sure to enjoy Lucinda Snowdrop, a musical tale by author and composer Marian Grudko. Lucinda is only a toy bunny, but it is up to her to save Emmie’s grandma. Will Lucinda make the right choice? Will she do the right thing? With the help of the Great Silver Falcon, Lucinda sets off on a transformative journey and learns the power and pain of promises and love. Grudko performs this poignant tale, accompanied by her enchanting music. For ages 4 through adult, Lucinda Snowdrop is now an illustrated book, available at Merritt Bookstore.
In addition, an impressive line-up of picture book authors will be conducting story-time throughout the day. Author/illustrator Michael Garland will share his newest picture books with subjects ranging from science (Birds Make Nests), to music (Daddy Played the Blues), to just plain fun (Pizza Mouse). Garland’s books have been recognized by the National Science Teachers Association, the National Council for Social Studies, and the Junior Library Guild. He will be joined by talented picture book authors Karen Kaufman Orloff (Goodnight, Little Bot), Susanna Leonard Hill (When Your Lion Needs a Bath), Iza Trapani (Old MacDonald Had a … Zoo?), and Nancy Furstinger (The Forgotten Rabbit) as they share their latest works.
To round out the array of genres, actor and storyteller David Neilsen will provide (age appropriate) chills and thrills with his scary stories. Neilsen is the author of Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom. He is sure to craft a tale that will leave his audience with goosebumps.
The program will conclude with a talk by middle-grade author Jana Laiz. While teaching ESL to African students in 2006, Laiz wanted to introduce them to an African American hero. She stumbled upon Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, who was the first enslaved African American to file and win a freedom suit based on the words of the newly ratified Massachusetts Constitution, “all men are created equal.” Upon finding Mumbet’s story had never been officially written, she took pen in-hand, along with co-author Ann-Elizabeth Barnes and published A Free Woman On God’s Earth. As a result of that one small book, published in 2009, Laiz was approached by Hollywood. Now eight years later, Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water, Hidden Figures, The Help) has signed on as Executive Producer.
Books by all authors and illustrators at the festival will be available for purchase. Authors will be signing their books immediately following their program or activity. In addition, non-presenting authors will be in the Book Tent on the library lawn to sign their work and meet visitors all day. Children are also sure to spot Bee Bee the Clown and her balloon animals.
See the Millbrook Literary Festival website at https://millbrookliteraryfestival.org/ for more details and updates on the full 2018 line-up of Festival events.