Barrington Books Presents The 4th Annual Fall Festival of Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators

[ 0 ] October 15, 2012 |

The 4th Annual Fall Festival of Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators will include an all-star lineup of award-winning children’s book authors including Newbery Honor-winner Grace Lin (WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON), Mary Jane Begin (THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE), Peter Mandel (JACKHAMMER SAM), Eileen Rosenthal (I MUST HAVE BOBO!), and co-authors Carol Liu and Marybeth Caldarone (ARLENE ON THE SCENE). The festival takes place on Saturday, October 20, from 12-3pm at Barrington Books in Barrington, Rhode Island.

This year, the store is introducing an all-new format for the annual event, which includes readings from each of the participating authors starting at 12pm, followed by a live Q&A with the audience, and a group book signing.

“We want to give young readers and their families the opportunity to really connect with the authors,” said Jennifer Massotti, store manager. “It’s a truly special experience for fans to meet and ask questions of award-winning authors they admire, so we’ve structured this to be a lively, interactive and exciting event!”


Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of picture books, early readers and middle grade novels. Grace’s 2010 Newbery Honor book WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON was chosen for Al Roker’s Today Show Kid’s Book Club and was a NY Times Bestseller. LING & TING, Grace’s first early reader, was honored with the Theodor Geisel Honor in 2011. An Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee for the US, most of Grace’s books are about the Asian-American experience because she believes, “Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal.” Her latest novel, STARRY RIVER OF THE SKY, a companion book to WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON releases on October 2nd, 2012.

Mary Jane Begin is award-winning Illustrator and author known in particular for her acclaimed picture books, LITTLE MOUSE’S PAINTING, BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, A MOUSE TOLD HIS MOTHER, a retelling of THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE and WILLOW BUDS, tales inspired by Kenneth Graham’s THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS.  Her latest offering, MY LITTLE PONY: UNDER THE SPARKLING SEA will be available April 2013.

In addition to writing and illustrating, Mary Jane is a professor at Rhode Island School of Design, where she has taught for twenty-one years, and also serves as the Internship & Professional Development Advisor for the Illustration Department. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Steven Donahos Award and multiple Certificates of Merit from the Society of Illustrators, multiple Awards of Excellence from Communications Arts, the Irma Simonton Black Award, and the Critici Erba Prize at the Bologna Book Fair. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country with one-woman shows at Books of Wonder Gallery in New York and Beverly Hills and the National Museum of American Illustration in Newport. She has also exhibited at the RISD Museum, Society of Illustrators (NY), The DeCordova Museum, and Storyopolis in LA. Mary Jane lives with her husband and two children in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Peter Mandel is an adventure travel journalist and the author of eleven books for kids including the new JACKHAMMER SAM, called “wonderful and overwhelming, rattling and mesmerizing” by Publishers Weekly. Also new is ZOO AH-CHOOOO, a PBS Reading Rainbow selection. “Lively pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoon illustrations join with the humorous text to tell the tale with panache,” says School Library Journal. “Gusty splatters and loud, boisterous sneezes can’t lose,” says Kirkus Reviews. Published two years ago, BUN, ONION, BURGER was named a Summer 2010 Children’s INDIE NEXT pick by the American Booksellers Association. Other titles include PLANES AT THE AIRPORT, BOATS ON THE RIVER, MY OCEAN LINER, SAY HEY! A SONG OF WILLIE MAYS and RED CAT WHITE CAT. Originally from Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, Mandel lives in Providence these days with his wife, Kathy, and cats, Betty, Emily and Cecil.

Eileen Rosenthal worked as a children’s book designer for Alfred A. Knopf in New York and as a designer of museum and exhibition graphics.before writing her first book, I MUST HAVE BOBO! She met her husband, illustrator Marc Rosenthal, in New York City while working at the same design studio. Since then, they have enjoyed many years of peaceful co-habitation and collaboration. Marc is the illustrator of I MUST HAVE BOBO! and the follow up, I’LL SAVE YOU, BOBO! They have a wonderful son, a charming cat, and live in the Berkshires. A third book: WILLY, BOBO & EARL will be out in 2013.

Marybeth Caldarone was born in Westchester, New York, growing up with four older brothers in a boisterous Italian family. She also grew up increasingly unable to walk and move her hands and fingers. Despite her father being a prominent pediatrician and Marybeth having seen the best doctors in the area, no one could explain why she was losing mobility. By high school she was using a wheelchair full-time. She went on to college at the University of Rhode Island, and earned her master’s degree in Speech/Language Pathology. It was only after her second child, daughter Grace, began to exhibit signs of similar mobility problems that Marybeth learned of her diagnosis. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease was causing the progressive degeneration in Marybeth’s peripheral nerves, and the genetic condition had been passed on to Grace. There is currently no cure.

Armed with knowledge, a newfound community of support, and a mother’s relentless sense of purpose, Marybeth set out to change the landscape for her daughter. She began working with organizations to raise funds for cure-driven research. She also set out to raise awareness, believing that with awareness, comes the understanding, empathy and support that she wants for her daughter. The book series, ARLENE ON THE SCENE, is part of this mission. Through collaboration with friend Carol Liu, Marybeth intends to redefine disability as difference, and to then show young readers the value in not just tolerating, not accepting, but rather embracing the differences among us. Currently, Marybeth lives in Kingston, RI with her husband and two children and works for Chariho Public Schools as a speech and language pathologist.

Carol Liu grew up in a quiet neighborhood in Warwick, RI. She remembers as a child wanting to become a writer and has stacks of handwritten stories and poems to prove it! Somewhere she changed directions, though, and earned a degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island, following that up with a master’s in social work from Columbia University. Wanting to take her advocacy one step further, Carol added a law degree from Georgetown University and began her career at the Legal Aid Bureau in Maryland, representing children in abuse and neglect cases. She then began providing individual and group therapy at a school serving kids with emotional and behavioral challenges. Most recently, she returned to legal work, once again representing children in abuse and neglect cases, this time in Washington, DC.

When her friend Marybeth Caldarone told Carol about an idea to write a children’s book series to deepen understanding of disability and difference, Carol jumped at the chance to write again, now for a deeply personal purpose. With ARLENE ON THE SCENE and the sequel, ARLENE, REBEL QUEEN, (spring 2013), Carol hopes to help raise awareness of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects Marybeth and her daughter Grace, and to raise funds for research, with 100% of sale proceeds being donated to the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation. Carol currently lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, two children, and two (wild) dogs. For more about the series, visit

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Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

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