Catie the Lab meets young fans
at the Boston Book Festival.

When the Boston Globe Children’s Book Festival announced earlier this year that it was canceling its seventh book fair, the inaugural Boston Book Festival, which was held last Saturday in Copley Square in downtown Boston, upped its children’s programming. Even with short notice the BBF, the brainchild of founding president Deborah Z. Porter, was able to fit in a number of activities just for kids, from a tea with Catie Copley, the Labrador that inspired Catie Copley’s Great Escape (Godine) by Deborah Kovacs, illustrated by Jared Williams, to a tribute for two-time Caldecott Medal winner Chris Van Allsburg, hosted by Brian Lies, author of Bats at the Library (Houghton Mifflin).

Curious George along with characters from the Nutcracker Suite strolled through Copley Square and the Boston Public Library, which hosted much of the children’s programming. And some so-called “adult” events involved young people, like the pre-festival celebration held on Friday evening, which included performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus and Livingston Taylor, who said that his favorite book is Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Pictured here (from l. to r.), Grace Lin, author of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little, Brown), and Alice W. Flaherty and Scott Magoon, author and illustrator of The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster (Houghton Mifflin), pause while autographing books following a session on dragons and monsters.