Tarrytown resident Nick Bruel, author of the Bad Kitty series, Boing, and Who is Melvin Bubble? will be one of 50 writers and artists participating in the 13th annual presentation of Celebrate Children's Day at Sunnyside on Sept. 19 at Washington Irving's home and grounds in Tarrytown.
The Celebrate Children's Day activities take place from noon to 6 p.m.
The program provides a treasure trove of children's literature for book buyers and an opportunity for readers of early ages to meet and mingle with a large assembly of writers.
"No where else have I seen such a heavy concentration of luminaries in the children's book world all gathered in one place," said Bruel.
The Sunnyside program includes book readings, demonstrations, magic tricks, live music, and book signing at author tables.
Costumed characters, dressed as figures from children's tales, will roam the grounds—including Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bunnicula, Biscuit, and Franklin the Turtle.
Magician Dikki Ellis will entertain from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Carole Demas, a resident of Irvington, and Paula Janis, the creators and stars of the legendary children's television show The Magic Garden, will appear from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Bruel, who is also a self-taught illustrator and cartoonist, will read from his latest book Bad Kitty Vs. Uncle Murray, his ninth book, from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at the Literary Tree. He has also illustrated five books for other authors.
Born and raised on the Upper West Side of New York City, Bruel attended Haverford College in Haverford, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he majored in English and prepared a comic strip called Kawala Bob for the college newspaper.
Following college, he worked as a freelance illustrator for trade publications and wrote and drew a comic strip for NY Weekly, a New York City newspaper no longer published. Bruel became familiar with children's books as a book seller for 15 years, seven of which were at Books of Wonder, a downtown Manhattan book shop. A customer would later become his agent.
Bruel has lived in Tarrytown for five years.
Bad Kitty is about the misadventures of a family pet, Boing relates the experiences of a baby kangaroo learning to jump, and Hairy Hezekiah is about a mean-tempered, runaway camel.
Two more books are in the works. Bad Kitty Meets the Baby has been finished and will come out in the spring, it will be followed by a picture book called A Bad Kitty Christmas.
Bonus for Attendees: Free Tour of Washington Irving's home
As an added incentive to attend the Children's Day event, all registrants will be offered free tours of the Sunnyside estate's cottage. Washington Irving was the writer of two of literature's most famous short stories: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle; he also wrote The Life of George Washington and A History of New York — the latter under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker.
Celebrate Children's Day was produced by Beth Vetare-Civitello and Susan Brandes and is sponsored by Sunnyside Federal Savings and Loan of Irvington.
Picnic food will be offered for purchase at the fair, provided by Geordanes, a food basket specialist with a shop in Irvington.
The admission cost is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for children 5 to 17, and free for children under 5 and Historic Hudson Valley members. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.hudsonvalley.org.
Washington Irving's Sunnyside, a Historic Hudson Valley site, is located on South Broadway (Route 9) at its intersection with West Sunnyside Lane in Tarrytown, approximately one mile south of the Tappan Zee Bridge. 914-631-8200.