When you think of Children’s Fairyland, you may think of playful attractions, the Jolly Trolly, and imaginative puppet shows. But ever since it opened in 1950, Fairyland has been first and foremost about stories: fairy tales, tall tales, nursery rhymes, and more. And Fairyland’s Turn the Page! children’s book festival, now in its fourth year, celebrates that mission in a big way.
The children’s book festival, Saturday, May 18, 2019 from 10 to 4, will bring together more than 30 Bay Area children’s authors and illustrators who will do read-alouds and demonstrations and talk about their craft with kids and parents.
Bookstore partner East Bay Booksellers will sell books by all the authors, and the Oakland Public Library will sign children up for library cards—including a brand new Children’s Fairyland design, to be revealed that day.
The roster of best-selling authors includes many beloved and bestselling authors of board books, picture books, and chapter books. Among the featured speakers is Todd Parr, whose books for young children include The Thankful Book, I Love the Earth, and The Cars and Trucks Book. Todd is known for his brightly colored illustrations and positive messages that encourage children to express their feelings.
Kids’ activities at Turn the Page!
After the author read-alouds, what else is going on?
- Craft activities at the Oakland Public Library “pop-up branch” and first dibs on Fairyland-themed library cards
- Bookstore partner East Bay Booksellers, independent bookstore in Rockridge, will sell books by all the authors – and encourage kids to have them autographed by their creators.
- Don’t forget: you can still explore Fairyland’s rides, animals, and other charms while you’re there!
Falling in love with reading
The annual event—one of very few book festivals especially for your children—is a rare chance for kids to meet and talk to the people who made the books they love. “I love seeing kids excited to read!” says Nidhi Chanani, who is returning to Turn the Page! for the second year. Adds Annie Barrows: “Turn the Page! combines the fun of Fairyland with the fun of a good story. What could be better?” Fairyland executive director C.J. Hirschfield says the event is one of the high points of her almost 17 years at the park. (She will be stepping down in August.) “We look for diversity in voices, in themes, and in representation,” she says. “It’s a magical thing when kids can see themselves portrayed in stories.”
Plan your visit to Turn the Page!
Turn the Page! is free with Fairyland admission ($12 general, free for Fairyland members). This is a family event: no child without an adult, no adult without a child. Recommended for ages 10 and under.
Detailed directions and parking/transit info on the website.