Poughkeepsie Public Library District’s first-ever Kids Read: A Book Festival opens on Saturday April 13, showcasing 39 authors and illustrators of youth literature. The festival will run from 10 am to 4 pm at Our Lady of Lourdes High School and is free of charge. Kids Read: A Book Festival offers readings and presentations on multiple stages by children’s book authors and illustrators. Strolling the grounds will be costumed story book characters such as Biscuit, Bad Kitty, Elephant and Piggy. Kids can have their picture taken with characters or authors/illustrators. Many books will be available for purchase and craft tables will offer fun projects to take home. Young readers might meetTracy Baptiste of the Mojang Minecraft series, Pat Schories, illustrator of the Biscuit books, James Preller of the Jigsaw Jones Mystery Series, Jacky Davis, creator of Ladybug Girl, and others. A complete list of participating authors and illustrators is at www.poklib.org under Events. The festival is the culmination of years of dreams and months of planning. “I’ve wanted to create an annual Book Festival for several years,” said Library Director Tom Lawrence, “and I’m thrilled by the number of popular authors who plan to attend.” The impetus for this year’s launch sprang from the work of volunteer Ruth Wally who organized an exhibit of children’s book illustrations at Boardman Road Branch Library for March and April. The exhibit at the Boardman Road library, featuring the work of Michael Garland, Steven Petruccio, Lisa Thiesing, and Iza Trapani, can be viewed through the end of April during regular library hours. For this inaugural Kids Read, the Poughkeepsie Public Library District is pleased to partner with Our Lady of Lourdes High School, the County Executive’s ‘Dutchess Reads’ initiative, and the Friends of the Library District. Merritt Book Store will be coordinating book sales for the day. The event location is at 131 Boardman Road in Poughkeepsie, but a free Festival shuttle bus will run all day from Adriance Memorial Library and the Family Partnership in the city of Poughkeepsie. For more library information, visit www.poklib.org or 845-485-3445 x 3702.