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Kerrytown BookFest announces its 2014 author and illustrator lineup

raschka ballThe 2014 Kerrytown BookFest will celebrate books and authors, but also the “Art of the Book” at its 12th annual BookFest Sunday, September 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market in downtown Ann Arbor.

Robin Agnew, BookFest President and co-owner of Aunt Agatha’s mystery bookstore, said each year the BookFest highlights a specific theme and the Art of the Book “is a perfect fit for this year’s event.”

“The heavens aligned this year and we were able to land the three Caldecott award-winners as headliners, along with a graphic novel artist and writer with three Eisner nominations” she said.

More than 40 authors and book illustrators will participate in panel discussions and demonstrations throughout the day including the 2011, 2012 and 2014 Caldecott award-winning children’s book illustrators Erin Stead (“A Sick Day for Amos McGee”), Chris Raschka, (“Hello, Goodbye Window” (2006) and “A Ball for Daisy”) and Brian Floca (“Locomotive”) who will be part of a panel discussion on the “Art of Illustration”.

Stead lives in Ann Arbor and Raschka once lived in Ann Arbor and played the viola in the Symphony Orchestra before pursuing his illustration career. The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the illustrator of the most distinguished children’s book. Floca and Raschka also were the authors of their Caldecott books while Philip Stead, the spouse of Erin, authored her award-wining book.

steadOther specific art of the book themes include a cutting-edge program on “The Art of the Graphic Novel” featuring Jim Ottoviani, Dave Coverly, Matt Faulkner (all from the Ann Arbor area) paired with Matt Phelan of Philadelphia who illustrated “Bluffton”, a 2014 Michigan Notable award-winning book and nominated for three Eisner Awards.

In addition, Charles Belfoure author of the “Paris Architect” will be interviewed by local architect Dan Whisler in a session titled “The Art of Architecture”.

Other panels include the art of Historical Romance, Biography, Memoir, Suspense, Mystery and a look at Detroit through the eyes of a French photographer and the son of a labor leader.

There will also be numerous hands-on activities for children and adults involving the art of the book. Participants will be able to do letterpress book markers and assemble accordion-style books among other book making activities.

flocaAgnew said more than 100 vendors also will be on site selling books and book-related and paper items.

“Each year we are able to produce a varied one-day BookFest with authors representing differing genres and interests,” Agnew said.

“It has become an early fall tradition for entire families,” she said. She also said the BookFest has added two new events for authors and attendees.

For the first time an award-winning New York author will review manuscripts for aspiring authors and conduct a one-on-one 20 minute critique. Tim O’Mara, a mystery writer from New York City who won a Barry Award for best first novel, will review up to 15 manuscripts for free (donations to the Kerrytown BookFest will be accepted.) The first 15 manuscripts received will be reviewed. Send submissions (not more than 20 pages) to Robin Agnew at or by calling 734-769-1114 to schedule an appointment.

In addition, a special author breakfast featuring the three Caldecott winners and several other published children’s authors and illustrators (Matt Phelan, Nancy Shaw, Deborah Diesen, Ruth McNally Barshaw, Philip Stead, Matt Faulkner, Kris Remnar and Shanda Trent will be held 9 a.m., September 7 at Zingerman’s Event space on Fourth St.  Only 60 guests will be seated and registration for $30 is available at

Major sponsors for the BookFest are: Crazy Wisdom Book Store and Tea Room, Kerrytown Market and Shops, and The Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Agnew said the BookFest is planned and executed by and all-volunteer staff.

“We’ve kept overhead to a minimum and I am very proud of that,” she said.

For a complete schedule and a list of authors and presenters visit

Exhibitors can also register online.




  1. Maria Gianferrari My daughter, Anya, now 10, is a great reedar, but we still love reading picture books (fiction & non-fiction & poetry) as well as wordless books together. I love A Ball for Daisy since I’m a dog lover too. One of her favorite wordless picture books (if you can call it that) is Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. The pictures are sequential, somewhat nostalgic due to their sepia tones, yet they are also quite fanciful and full of whimsy and longing. It’s a touching story.