Today, Saturday, July 28th, 2012, from 2pm - 5pm in the afternoon, the Lilac will host Tribeca's first-ever children's literary festival: Books Ahoy! a literary celebration for little mermaids and pirates. Sponsored by Pen Parentis, well-known for their upscale evening Literary Salons at Gild Hall, Books Ahoy! will celebrate the works of children's book authors who are also parents, presenting them reading in an open-air, open house style festival on the deck of the 1933 lighthouse tender, The Lilac. Books will be vended by Bluestockings Books, and children are encouraged to dress up as mermaids or pirates for a day of seafaring fun centered around reading. The Lilac will offer free tours that include visits to the engine room. There is even a wooden captain's wheel that kids are encouraged to spin.
Pen Parentis executive director, downtown resident and author, Milda M. De Voe has this to say about the new event, "After three years of running lovely upscale literary salons introducing writers who are parents to adult readers, it is our pleasure to finally present a books event to the Downtown community that is kid-centric." Some of the scheduled authors include notable names in children's lit such as Yona Zeldis McDonough, Melanie Hope Greenberg and Brian Floca. Many of the books presented will have a nautical theme.
And don't worry if your kids age 3-10 can't sit still for more than a few minutes. Authors will be reading between 2pm and 5pm in constant rotation and if even that is too much for the little ones, the Lilac is moored off Pier 25 at North Moore Street in Tribeca and will not leave the shore. Kids accompanied by an adult guardian can board and disembark at will, sit and listen to an author read a story, work at the art table, get a (temporary) tattoo, then wander off to the adjacent playground or buy a round of mini-golf.
Will it be an annual event? "Let's see how this one goes," DeVoe laughs, "If everyone is in the Hamptons for the weekend, maybe we'll just buy ice cream for the people who show up and call it a day."
Established in 2009, Pen Parentis is an organization that provides resources to authors who are also parents. In addition to members that include such notable authors as Jennifer Egan and Sarah Gardner Borden, the organization offers an annual fellowship, and hosts the grant-winning series the Pen Parentis Literary Salons.
Admission to Books Ahoy! is free, and everyone is invited to attend. Children must be accompanied by a guardian aboard the Lilac.
For more information, visit http://www.lilacpreservationproject.org.