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Don’t miss this year’s children’s line-up!

This year our Children’s Tent is packed with activity. We kick off the day at 11 with our beloved Mother Goose, the favorite of the very littlest bookfest visitors.

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Mother Goose

At 11:45 author Shanda Trent will join us to read her new picture book, Giddy-Up Buckaroos.

giddy up

At 12:15 we have husband and wife Matt Faulkner & Kristen Remenar. Kristen wrote the charming Groundhog’s Dilemma, and Matt supplied the gorgeous illustrations. They’ll be reading the book.


1t 1 p.m. you won’t want to miss the talented Kelly DiPucchio, who will be sharing How to Potty Train your Monster. 

potty train

From 2 p.m. on the tent is filled with returning favorites! At 2 p.m. storyteller and librarians Laura Pershin Raynor and Kayla Coughlin present fall stories, along with an autumn craft for cruising through the festival.  This is appropriate for younger kids.

laura raynor

Laura Pershin Raynor

And to cap off our day at 3:30, Ruth McNally Barshaw, the creator of the inimitable Ellie McDoodle, joins us for a drawing workshop where she’ll teach everyone How to Make a Lion from a 5.  All ages are welcome at this presentation.

ellie mcdoodle

Ellie McDoodle

Traveling the Lakes

“. . . Oh! you won’t know why and you can’t say how
Such a change upon you came,
But once you have slept on an island,
You’ll never be quite the same.” — Rachel Lyman Field


Isle Royale

This year’s theme, “Travels with Books”, is truly personified by writers Loreen Niewenhuis and Maureen Dunphy, who have traveled quite literally almost everywhere on our beautiful Great Lakes. They’ll be discussing their favorite islands at 2:45 in the Concert House.

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Loreen, by training a scientist and by passion a writer, has written both fiction and non fiction but has always felt drawn to Lake Michigan – so she decided to walk around it. She also took a 1,000 mile walk where she touched ALL of the Great Lakes, and most recently, she’decided to explore the islands of the Great Lakes. These journeys have all resulted in books.



Maureen Dunphy

Maureen also shares a passion for the lakes, and in one year made a total of 27 trips to 136 Great Lakes Basin Islands. These were all of the islands she could find, accessible by ferry or bridge, in the Basin–which includes the connecting rivers/straits as well as the five Great Lakes themselves. On each of these island trips, she was accompanied by a woman friend or relative, who provided another pair of eyes through which to filter the island experience.

Through words and images, these women will share their passion for our beautiful Lakes as well as for  their favorite islands.

Meet Ava Chin

Ava Chin, the author of Eating Wildly, joins us in the Concert House at 1:30. She’ll be interviewed by Crazy Wisdom manager Rachel Pastiva.

ava chin

Ava Chin

Along with an impressive array of writing credits – she’s written articles for Marie Claire, the Village Voice, The Los Angeles Time Sunday Magazine and SPIN, she’s also the former urban forager columnist for the New York Times.

Eating Wildly reveals how foraging and the DIY-food movement helped Chin to heal up from the wound of an absent father and taught her important lessons in self-reliance. After a romantic break-up and the loss of a beloved family member, she immerses herself in places like Prospect and Central Parks, discovering the city’s best mushrooms, mulberries, and even a swarm of wild honeybees slated for extermination on Staten Island, meeting fellow foragers and mycologists along the way. As the seasons turn, she starts to see the world as a place of abundance and beauty, where everything is interconnected and interdependent—and timing is key.


“Foraging is not associated with Dumpster diving,” laughs Ava, addressing a common misconception. “Yes, is it a kind of ‘freeganism,’ but no, I do not eat roadkill. Foraging is a way of learning about the edible plants that are all around us, whether in a city, a suburban yard, or a state park.”

Nowhere near the wilderness? Ava wants you to know that the “concrete jungle” actually hides many wild edibles. “You can find a variety and abundance of wild foods in a city or in the suburbs.”

Ava forages for treasures in the city all the time. Check out a few.


I love the lemony kick of wood sorrel in salads. Note the heart-shaped leaves and the clover formation. No wonder it’s also called “shamrocks.”



One of the choicest mushrooms in North America, yellow morels can only be gathered from the wild. Note the honey-comb pattern, and — unlike the “false morel” — Morchella esculenta is hollow inside.

The Parade of Great Exhibitors Continues!

The Kerrytown BookFest is known for having an exciting set of panels each year featuring a wide range of authors, and this year is no exception. But another notable feature of the BookFest is the large number of exhibitors present throughout the day from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. This year our exhibitors represent the entire range of the book world, from book-related artists to authors to publishers to book sellers to non-profit organizations. Today we’d like to introduce you to more of our exhibitors who are eager to tell you a bit about themselves, and about the things they are most excited for BookFest visitors to see and learn about at their booths.


A2 Print Studio

A2 Print Studio , owned and operated by artist, John Gutoskey (new exhibitor): As a printmaker, I work largely with ink and paper. I work primarily in print mixed media incorporating linocut, woodcut, silk screen, lithography, collage, mono print, stencil, rubber stamps, digital image transfers, and whatever else will help me get to where I want to go with a print. I also like to incorporate found images and vintage paper ephemera into the prints I make. Much of what I make implies a story, a line of thinking, a feeling, or some issue I am mulling over. I believe art can change people’s consciousness. Artists give audiences the courage to suspend disbelief and enter into a space that is out of ordinary time and place. A space that is “in between” and this “in between” space facilitates open-mindedness, which can lead to changes in consciousness. Artists have the ability to grant people access to this liminal space. What to look for: I am most excited about promoting the A2 Print Studio which I opened last fall. The A2 Print Studio (A2PS), located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is dedicated to relief, lithography, and the use of digital technology as a tool to make printmaking more accessible in the digital age. The studio is invested in experimenting, investigating, and pushing the printed image into the future. A2PS offers workshops with small class sizes of 2-3, hosts visiting artists, and offers open studio time for individual projects. The A2 Print Studio provides small, affordable classes to anyone who wants to learn printmaking, or wants to rent time in a print studio to produce their own work. I want to help create a community of printmakers from Ann Arbor to Detroit and beyond. (I will also have lots of my handmade prints for sale!)


Randy Asplund

Randy Asplund (returning exhibitor): I am a medieval book artist in the complete sense. I make books using the same methods and materials used in the middle ages. That means animal skin parchment, genuine gold leaf, colors made from natural ingredients and alchemy, carved wood book covers clad in tooled leather with handmade metal fittings. I have also been a science fiction and fantasy illustrator, so I also make art in more contemporary media such as acrylic, oil, and pencil. Most of my work for Baen Books is digital. The Process: It is all a slow, hand-made process. After years of studying authentic historical techniques, I write my books and individual page art with a goose quill dipped in ink, which I’ve made from wasp nests. I paint with colors made with egg white, tree gum, flowers, insects, precious minerals and more. When I need a medieval tool to create a medieval look, I make it from metal, wood, ceramic or bone. I cast fittings from bronze and fine silver, or cut them from brass. What to look for: This year, in addition to the educational displays, I will be demonstrating my techniques for making authentic medieval books. You can see the art of calligraphy and illumination, and I will have a new special cut away model book showing the stages of how a medieval book is put together. I will also have copies of my latest art book The Gathering, made in collaboration with my fellow first year Magic: The Gathering game artists. I’ll have some new art illustrating books and a couple of original pencil art renderings inside copies of The Gathering. But best of all will be a look at pages from two books completed within the last year, a Psalter and a special Art Nouveau version of T.S.Eliot’s “The Love Song OF J. Alfred Prufrock,” with commentaries.

Good Eggs

The Good Eggs

The Good Eggs (returning exhibitor): My most recently published book is the third one of The Good Eggs series, titled The Good Eggs In the Community.  The genre is children’s books that teach character education in the areas of Virtues, Diversity, and Service.  The Good Eggs books is a trilogy that follows a group of elementary school “Eggs” as they grow and learn about these important topics.  They learn to help each other and themselves through various situations.  My target audience is children aged 6-12. I will have all three books available for purchase, along with parent/teacher guides.  The books are: The Good Eggs (teaches virtues); The Good Eggs Travel the World (teaches diversity); and The Good Eggs In the Community (teaches service)


Happy Sparrow

Happy Sparrow (new exhibitor): All of our products are made from used and recycled materials, primarily books. We search for old pieces and give them new life by making them into our book clutches and safes, turning unwanted and unused books (sometimes even those destined for the landfill!) into beautiful works of art with functional purposes as a fashion accessory or as secret storage in a bookshelf or office space. We begin by finding the perfect used book with a unique look, feel, or title. Since every book is unique, we design each clutch or safe separately, choosing fabric and special pages from the book to decorate the interior of the clutch or safe. We then hollow out the book, secure the pages, and (if we are making a clutch) hand-stitch in every lining that we custom fit for each unique piece into the pages of the book. The tabs for our detachable chain straps are also hand-stitched as well as glued to make sure they are sturdy and durable. What to look for: We are most excited for customers to come and check out all of our unique book clutches– since each one is made from a different used book, they all have different “looks!” We are also excited to be selling a new item: the book safe. Our book safes feature a magnet enclosure and are the perfect hiding place for any home office or bookshelf!

empty_hallways_cover_for_kindle From web if nothing sent

Andy Lockwood

Andy Lockwood (returning exhibitor): My most recently published book is actually a series of works called At Calendar’s End. I endeavored in 2016 to release a 12-part serial. At Calendar’s End is a story in 12 episodes, each part ranging between 10,000 and 15,000 words approximately 60 pages) and released on the first of each month of the year. The story follows The Intercalary, a group of demigods that control the cycle of time. As the year draws to a close, a mysterious figure arrives, assaulting the Intercalary and killing them off one by one. My books are mainly of the supernatural genre, but I play with other genres from book to book. Empty Hallways is contemporary supernatural horror. House of Thirteen is supernatural urban fantasy. At Calendar’s End is a modern supernatural thriller. Themes I commonly return to in my stories are the subject of identity – both the concept of who we are and who we become when thrust into a new situation – and the subject of mortality – what it means to be mortal, and what we might be capable of without such constraints. What to look for at BookFest: I will have copies of Empty Hallways, House of Thirteen, and At Calendar’s End: January (Part One) on hand for sale and signing.


Women Writers of Ann Arbor/Ypsi

Women Writers of Ann Arbor/Ypsi (new exhibitor): WWAAY) is a caring community of writers organized to support and encourage women in their authoring and publishing endeavors. Our vision is to promote and support women writers by sponsoring readings of all genres, workshops, conferences, and to join members together through a website and social media. We invite women writers of all genres within a thirty mile radius of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti to join us for future events.  They can sign up for our email newsletter.  The WWAAY Fall Conference will take place October 15, 2016.  Our membership signup form and conference information may be found at our website at What to look for at BookFest: WWAAY postcards and flyers, Flyers/ postcards/book marks of our member authors, The World Famous Literary Quiz distributed and prizes given for best answers, candy bowl.


Urban Fairy

Urban Fairy Operations

Jonathan B Wright / Urban Fairy Operations (returning exhibitor): I am trained as an illustrator, graphic designer and printmaker. I also have a background in architecture and have done a lot of construction work (human size 🙂 ). For illustrations, I love the speed and immediacy of simple pencils (often mechanical pencils, bypass sharpening). I also use uni-ball® Rollerball pens in several sizes. I have been using these to inscribe and dedicate my books. I buy them by the box. I have a technique that I call “lichenschmere” and these are well suited to that. Unfortunately, pen companies tend to think smudging is a bad thing and try and “improve” their ink formulas!! For color work, I often use water colors and water soluble color pencils. As a kid I spent a LOT of time drawing animals at the University of Michigan Natural History Museum. I still collect specimens (dead bugs, feathers, bones…). While attending the University of Michigan I took Life Drawing every semester (and then beyond graduation). I utilize these experiences (and add to them) such that, when drawing from my imagination. I can bring a bit of “authenticity” to my images. Because we are in a digital age, I scan in originals (for reproduction) and I am not averse to amending or augmenting with technology. With my design training and experience, I not only did the illustrations in my book (and future books), but also the typography and book layout, before sending to a traditional printer. I am happy to say that I was able to use local printers — The first edition was printed by Thomson-Shore in Dexter, and to mix things up, the revised edition was printed by Cushing-Malloy in Ann Arbor. Future color projects might have to go further beyond our borders. What to look for: I have the “revised edition” of “Who’s Behind the Fairy Doors?”. Though that is not “new”. I will have new postcards and prints of some of my watercolors. I also hope to give some sneak peeks at new book projects that are in the works. (MAYBE a limited number of advance copies)

You can find a full list of all of the 2016 Kerrytown BookFest exhibitors in the exhibitors tab on our website. And check back here and on our Facebook page in the weeks ahead for information about more exciting exhibitors.



Donate to Food Gatherers at the BookFest!

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This year we’ve partnered with Food Gatherers and they’ll have a booth at the BookFest. They’ll be accepting donations of both non-perishables and whole produce to help promote healthy eating. Donations can be dropped off at the Food Gatherers booth.

Food Gatherers guiding principle: We believe that in a land of plenty, no one should go hungry!

As the food rescue and food bank program serving Washtenaw County, Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community. Help support this goal the day of the BookFest while also enjoying the books & authors.NicolasBooks Logo

Nicola’s Books will also be partnering with Food Gatherers. They’ll be selling copies of Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day. For every case of books sold, Workman publishing will donate a case to Food Gatherers.good-and-cheap

You’ll be able to find these two booths near each other in the Farmer’s Market the day of the book fest. Happy, healthy eating to all!