The Kerrytown BookFest is quite different from most book festivals, it’s probably the only book festival in the country where you can find jumping frogs next to rare books. The free BookFest not only features authors (more than 35 this year) but also focuses on the book arts with more than 15 book artists demonstrating and discussing their crafts. But wait there’s more: the BookFest also includes 76 vendors and exhibitors, both selling their wares, promoting their services and highlighting their missions as several non-profit organizations are doing.
Once again this year there is an interesting contingent of booksellers including Motte & Bailey Bookseller, Westside Books, Kaleidoscope Books, Castbooks and Garrett Scott Bookseller all from Ann Arbor. This year there is one new book dealer, Bay Leaf Used and Rare Books from Sand Lake Michigan. Returning booksellers are Curious Books, Magina Books, Sheldon Fine Books, Plain Tales Books, and Out-of-the-Way Books. There will also be a variety of publishers, authors and book artists selling and promoting their products. Every vendor offers something unique so plan to stop by vendors such as Barbara Brown and Friends which will be selling artists’ one-of-a-kind books.
Now, about those “Jumping Frogs of Washtenaw County”, which will be sold by the youngest exhibitor we have ever had at the sale, Izzy Yates, the daughter of Lynn and Bill Yates, longtime exhibitors at the BookFest. Izzy makes frogs and sells them for a quarter for the small ones and 50 cents for the large frogs (even Mark Twain would be pleased.) Did I mention the frogs are origami frogs? Each frog is tested for jumping ability in terms of height, distance and 360 degree axial spins.
Izzy’s mom says all the proceeds go toward the purchase of the fifth installment of her favorite comic series, “Amulet”. Izzy will also be offering a free demonstration at the BookFest on how to fold a frog. Come learn origami from an enthusiastic vendor.
Izzy has been coming to the BookFest for seven years (she’s 10 now) and in 2006 she earned an Honorable Mention as the first child entrant in the Edible Book Contest. Her book entitled “What I Did Last Summer” was made of kale, watermelon and zuchinni bread, all pressed in her mother’s book press.
Check out the complete list of 76 vendors here. Libraries exhibiting at the BookFest this year are the Bentley Historical Library and Clements Library from the University of Michigan, the Library of Michigan and the Ann Arbor District Library. Then there’s papermakers and fine binders and book artists and publishers. Once again, this year, there will be a tour of an old-time printing facility and a look at a linotype machine. Remember Alice’s Restaurant where you could get anything you wanted? It’s the same deal for the Kerrytown BookFest as long as what you want has something to do with books or writing.