Mill Creek Park hosts annual Children’s Reading Festival

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County portable library van was present at Fellows Riverside Gardens April 27 for the annual Children's Book Festival.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Children created puppets out of paper bags April 27 at the annual Children's Book Festival organized by Mill Creek Park and the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Children played games and made crafts all with a superhero theme at the annual Children's Book Festival April 27 at the Fellows Riverside Gardens.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Youngstown Mayor Jamael Brown and his family attende the annual Children's Book Festival April 27 at Fellows Riverside Garden themed Reading is my super power.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Author and Illistrator of "What a Mess" Keith Allen was presenting selling and signing copies of his book at the annual Children's Reading Festival April 27 at Fellows Riverside Garden.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Youngstown Mayor Jamael Brown was one of many guests who read to children gathered at the Childrens Book Festival April 27 at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Mill Creek Park in coordination with the public library hosted the annual Children’s Book Festival on April 27.

Samie Winick, who organized the event, said that this is the 13th annual book festival and this year’s theme was reading is my super power.

“We have a superhero theme going on, but we also have the idea of every day heros,” Winick said.

She said that many local heros from the area attended the event as guest readers including the Fire Chief Barry Finley, a deputy sheriff and Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown.

“It’s the idea that not every hero wears a cape,” Winick said.

Along with guest readers the event featured a variety of authors and illustrators with their books.

Lindsay Ward, author and illustrator of “Brobarians” and Keith Allen author and illustrator of “What a Mess” were present at the event.

“It’s a lot of fun coming out here and enjoying the day,” Allen said. “I love connecting with people who enjoy my work.”

A variety of story tellers both local and across state lines traveled to the event according to Winick.

“We have a lot of support, it’s a great event,” Winick said.

Children in attendance also got a visit from Alpha Pig from the television show Super Why!

Peter Porker, a baby potbelly pig who lives at the Mill Creek Metro Park Farm, was also in attendance during the event.

Children were able to meet with both Alpha Pig and Peter Porker for photos.

They were also able to make a variety of superhero themed crafts and play games throughout the event.

The event provided prizes and supplies for children to make paper plate shields, paper bag puppets and more.

“There is a lot to do here, we plan for a lot of people,” Winick said.

Children were also introduced to the artist Yayoi Kusama through her book “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors”.

Community members were able to recreate her famous art piece Infinity Mirrors by placing stickers on a white cardboard set up outside the park.

“It’s a cool way to introduce kids to art and books,” Winick said.

The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County also parked their portable library van outside for anyone interested in taking home a library book. All children in attendance went home with a free book as well.

The event has 94 volunteers who made it possible, according to Winick, many of whom volunteer year after year.

“We plan year round so as soon as this festival ends we will be working on the next one,” Winick said. “We couldn’t do this festival without the volunteers.”

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