Literary Event of the Week: The Seattle Children's Book Festival

Here's something great: for four hours at Greenwood Elementary School this Saturday, dozens of children's book authors — from picture books to young adult novels and everything in between — will be signing their books, talking about the children's book industry, and generally sharing the joys of literacy with kids.

This is the first annual Seattle Children's Book Festival, and it's absolutely free. Phinney Books and Madison Books will be onhand to sell copies, authors will give talks, and kids will get a chance to meet their heroes.

Seriously, there are a ton of authors authors in attendance: Dusti Bowling, Martha Brockenbrough, Ben Clanton, Heather Fox (author of the awesome-sounding Llama Destroys the World), LeUyen Pham, Aron Nels Steinke, and Joyce Wan. Authors will be contributing to how-to-write panels, discussions about graphic novels and middle reader novels, and a "monster mashup."

Best of all, this whole affair is a fundraiser to get books in the hands of local kids who need them most. From the event's website:

During the festival you’ll have a chance to donate money to cover the cost of the direct donation of any festival author/illustrators books to Seattle Public Schools at a reduced price (these donations are tax-deductible). In addition, after the event, Madison and Phinney Books will be giving 20% of autographed book sales to our organization. The directly donated books will go into classroom libraries and the 20% of signed book sales proceeds (after recovering any outstanding festival expenses) will go towards putting on FREE book fairs at the Seattle Public Schools that serve the highest poverty populations.

This is a rain-or-shine affair, and it needs to be successful so that the Seattle Chidren's Book Festival can be an ongoing thing. So bring your kids (or bring someone else's kids — uh, with permission of course) and introduce them to their new favorite author.

Greenwood Elementary School, 144 NW 80th St, 11 am,