continued “You hear about the doctor, the police and whatever, but you don’t hear about the author or illustrator, even though kids spend a good amount of time in the library surrounded by books – most people in their life don’t regularly run into authors or illustrators,” he said.
As the son of an art teacher, McElligott said he had the opportunity to meet artists as a child.
“I remember meeting some illustrators and some cartoonists that had a big impact,” McElligott said. “Meeting these people in person and seeing what they do, makes the whole idea of becoming an illustrator seem much more possible.”
McElligott also makes a number of visits to area schools each year, reading to kids and showing them the steps it takes to create books.
“What I try to do is show them how that thing they love to do – write and draw – is something that could be a career,” McElligott said.
- Saturday, April 27, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Each year the Book Festival has grown. Last year’s event drew more than 1,300 people.
The festival doors will open at 10 a.m. Children’s book authors and illustrators will be on hand to talk to kids, sign books and hold readings.
Among those appearing will be Wendell Minor, who did “Night Flight” about Amelia Earhart; Susan Keeter who wrote the book “Phillis Sings Out Freedom,” about Phillis Wheatley and George Washington; and Peggy Thomas who did the well known book “Farmer George Plants a Nation.”
In addition, there will be magicians, a children’s concert, clowns and other activities all revolving around the theme of reading.
“It sends a great message that reading is important and what authors and illustrators do is important, and it gets kids excited about books, about reading and about all of these things that we talk about all the time that are at the foundation of what it means to be educated,” McElligott said. “If at the end of the day the kids say, ‘wow if he can do that, I can do that,’ then I have done my job.
The festival will take place on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Silipigno Athletic Facility at the Albany Academy for Girls campus located at 140 Academy Road in Albany. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.albanychildrensbookfestival.com.