Bookstore and literacy programming organization Boogie Down Books is partnering with nonprofit Randall’s Island Park Alliance to host the first Randall’s Island Children’s Book Festival, on September 17.
The book festival will take place at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island Park, kicking off at noon and ending at 3:30 p.m.. The event will feature book giveaways, interactive activities for children including a story hour with drag queen Bella Noche, and readings from authors and illustrators primarily from the Bronx and Harlem.
“We decided to focus on authors and illustrators from the neighborhoods that are geographically closest to Randall’s Island Park and where there is a significant need for literacy,” Rebekah Shoaf, the store owner of Boogie Down Books, explained. “We also want to ensure that festival attendees see the voices and experiences of their communities reflected in festival programming.”
Boogie Down Books, described as a “bookstore without walls,” is dedicated to empowering young readers and providing access to books and literary events focused on the Bronx and New York City area. This collaboration will extend Boogie Down Books and Randall’s Island Park Alliance’s work together, expanding on their previous partnerships including family-friendly outdoor literacy events, such as Boogie Down Storytime and seasonal pop-up book shops.
The festival is free and open to people of all ages, and features programming focused on young readers.
Authors and illustrators appearing at the festival include Raj Haldar, Emma Otheguy, Vincent Tirado, Joshunda Sanders, Lauren Semmer, Vincent Tirado, and Saraciea J. Fennell, founder of The Bronx Is Reading.
“The Randall’s Island Children’s Book Festival is a celebration of books, reading, community, and local authors and illustrators,” Shoaf said. “It is our intention that every child who attends the festival will leave with at least one book of their own.”
For more information about the festival, click here.