Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023
The Anderson Center at Tower View is pleased to present the 24th annual Minnesota Children's Book Festival on Saturday, September 16, 2023, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., featuring presentations of eight new books by award-winning children's & young adult authors and illustrators: Phyllis Alsdurf, Daniel Bernstrom & Heidi Woodward Sheffield, H.M. Bouwman, Drew Brockington, Ty Chapman, Shannon Gibney, Monica Rojas & Emiko Rainbow, and Sarah Warren. Taking place at the Anderson Center’s beautiful, historic Tower View campus, the Children's Book Festival is an ideal opportunity for families to connect, learn and play.
This year's titles present various narratives around the natural world, skill-building, and diverse perspectives that help kids, as well as their adults, understand each other and the world around them. Throughout the afternoon, each author or illustrator presents their work, reads from their book, and participates in a meet & greet and book signing booth.
Taking place outdoors, the event also features Face-Painting by Sheila, stilting, tours to the top of the Anderson Center's landmark water tower, activities & literature from the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota, bookmaking with ArtReach, bookmaking with Anderson Center artist-in-residence Rhea Nowak, outdoor games with Tootsie Too's, table tennis, a hands-on activity by Goodhue County Historical Society, balloon animals by Heather Olson, an activity with the Minnesota Humanities Center, and local Food Trucks. All ages are welcome!
Emphasizing the joy of learning through reading and arts activities, the Minnesota Children’s Book Festival has received national acclaim for its efforts to promote literacy among young people.
Red Balloon Bookshop is the official bookseller of the 2023 Minnesota Children's Book Festival.
M. Rojas & E. Rainbow
D. Bernstrom & H.W. Sheffield
Book Signing Schedule
11 AND 11:45 a.m.
11:25 a.m. AND 12:15 p.m.
11:55 a.m. AND 12:45 p.m.
12:25 AND 1:25 p.m.
M. Rojas & E. Rainbow
1:05 AND 2:05 p.m.
D. Bernstrom & H.W. Sheffield
1:45 AND 2:35 p.m.
2:15 AND 3:05 p.m.
2:45 AND 3:35 p.m.
2023 Featured Book Titles
In Halloween in the Orchard (Beaming Books, 2023) by Phyllis Alsdurf, the apples are ready for harvest and Halloween is here! What better way to celebrate than by donning homemade costumes and going to the local apple orchard? In this charming story, a boy and his family enjoy everything the orchard has to offer, including searching for scarecrows, getting lost in a corn maze, and going on a hayride. Backmatter includes a search-and-find key for finding scarecrows in the book and instructions for decorating a homemade trick-or-treat bag. Recommended for kids ages 4 – 7.
- Presentation: 3:05 p.m.
- Signing: 2:45 - 3:05 p.m. AND 3:35 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Daniel Bernstrom &
Heidi Woodward Sheffield
Good Night, Little Man (HarperCollins, 2023) by Daniel Bernstrom is a rhythmic, heartwarming bedtime romp featuring vibrant and nuanced illustrations by Heidi Woodward Sheffield. When a persistent Little Man can’t sleep without his Sheep-Sheep, he turns the house upside down looking for his stuffed animal. His journey is stopped by an impatient father and very big emotions. Will Little Man reunite with his beloved stuffed animal before bed? Good Night, Little Man is a positive depiction not only of the bonds of father and son, but also of a multigenerational, multiracial family with roots that run deep. Recommended for kids ages 4 – 8.
- Presentation: 1:25 p.m.
- Signing: 1:05 - 1:25 p.m. AND 2:05 - 2:30 p.m.
In Gossamer Summer (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2023) by H.M. Bouwman, four sisters coping with the death of their grandmother find their summer vacation taking a magical turn when they stumble into the world of some rather unexpected fairies. A heartwarming middle grade story using fantasy and humor to explore themes of grief and friendship, Bouwman’s writing is a complete delight of originality and specificity. For the characters in Gossamer Summer, making everything right again ultimately requires a different kind of magic: the magic of sharing stories…and letting go. Recommended for kids ages 8 – 12.
- Presentation: 12:15 p.m.
- Signing: 11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m AND 12:45 – 1:10 p.m.
Inspired by his beloved CatStronauts stories, author/illustrator Drew Brockington’s early reader graphic novel spinoff series goes back in time to when everyone's favorite Catstronaut, Waffles, was a just kitten!
In book 3, Waffles and Pancake: Failure to Lunch (Little, Brown Ink, 2023) Waffles and Pancake build a rocket and launch themselves into problem-solving with hilarious creativity….that may involve lunch.
In book 4, Waffles and Pancake: Best Friends Fur-Ever (Little, Brown Ink, 2023) Waffles and Pancake make use of some new friends and the power of teamwork to pounce on the challenges of Space Cat Camp. Recommended for kids ages 6 – 9.
- Presentation: 11:15 a.m.
- Signing: 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. AND 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
In Ty Chapman’s Looking For Happy (Beaming Books, 2023), a young boy is having a dreary day, and nothing seems to help. But after trying his grandmother's way to shake the blues also fails, he discovers that happiness is easiest to find when you're not looking. Looking for Happy gently reminds readers that it's normal to have happy and sad days and normalizes speaking about emotions and seeking help. Heartfelt and hopeful, the story models emotional intelligence and self-awareness for readers of all ages. Recommended for kids ages 5 – 8.
- Presentation: 2:05 p.m.
- Signing: 1:45 - 2:05 p.m. AND 2:35 - 3:30 p.m.
Sam and the Incredible African and American Food Fight (University of Minnesota Press, 2023) is a seriously funny book by Shannon Gibney that explores how cultural clashes can emerge in a variety of settings--even at the family dinner table. Children will delight in imagining food being slung hither and yon, and be equally surprised to find out that the “fight” is actually cuisine served simultaneously by Sam’s Black American mother and Liberian father & aunt. Sam’s journey to ultimately learning to embrace both heritages makes …Food Fight an excellent way to prompt discussion around acceptance and diversity. Recommended for kids ages 5 – 9.
- Presentation: 11:45 a.m.
- Signing: 11:25 – 11:45 a.m. & 12:15 – 12:40 p.m.
Monica Rojas & Emiko Rainbow
In Nana and Abuela (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2023) debut author Monica Rojas recounts a sweet and funny story from her own childhood, exploring the experience of growing up multilingual and sharing love for grandparents of different heritages. Emiko Rainbow’s playful illustrations are a glorious medley of cultures, decorating a vibrant array of turquoise, red, and yellow with flowered borders that resemble rosemaling. Nana and Abuela is a story about love and listening that celebrates relationships and communication—and what young and old alike can learn from spending time with our favorite people. Recommended for kids ages 3 – 7.
- Presentation: 12:45 p.m.
- Signing: 12:25 - 12:45 p.m. AND 1:25 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
A musical toddler keeps his parents on their toes as he explores his world and turns everything--from walls to the family pet--into a means to tap out a beat. Capturing both the joy and frustrations of toddler life and young parenthood, Everything a Drum (Amicus Ink, 2023) by Sarah Warren will speak to both young rhythm makers and their parents. Humorous, touching illustrations of the exuberant musician celebrate musicality and daily family life with rhythmic phrases and sound words that are both fun to read aloud and well suited to hand-clapping or toe-tapping. Everything a Drum is an inviting endorsement of creative, musical play. Recommended for kids ages 3 – 5.
- Presentation: 2:35 p.m.
- Signing: 2:15 - 2:35 p.m. AND 3:05 - 3:30 p.m.
The 2023 Minnesota Children’s Book Festival is generously sponsored by Arnold Orthodontics, Beaming Books, First State Bank of Red Wing, First Farmers & Merchants Bank, Barb Hanson, Jones Family Foundation, Lerner Publishing Group, Merchants Bank, Minnesota Humanities Center, Munson Electric, Musty-Barnhart Agency, Red Balloon Bookshop, Ripley's Rental & Sales, Riverside Automotive, Sargent's Nursery, Siewert's Towing & Garage, Smith Schafer & Associates, Sturdiwheat, Tootsie Too's Children's Boutique, West End Liquor, Wilson Oil Company, and Xcel Energy Foundation.
This event is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.