Children’s Book Art Auction Raises Thousands to Support Free Speech

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Two auctions of children’s book art held in conjunction with this year’s BookExpo America have raised more than $56,000 to help the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression  (ABFFE) defend the free speech rights of kids.

One hundred and fifty pieces by leading artists and illustrators were sold in a live auction at BEA and an online auction in the following  week. The BEA auction, co-sponsored by ABFFE and the ABC Children’s Group at the American Booksellers Association, was held in the River Pavilion of the Javits Convention Center. The BEA auction, which was chaired by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, featured a variety show by the Slushpile Family Circus, a group of authors and artists who displayed some of their non-literary talents. Shannon Hale and Michael Buckley organized the show.

“We had a lot of fun and the art was superb,” ABFFE President Chris Finan said. “We are tremendously grateful to Jarrett, Shannon, and Michael and to the artists and bidders who made the auction such a big success.”

The BEA auction also featured a tribute to Dr. Seuss. Thirty artists created pieces honoring him. The Seuss Foundation donated three limited edition prints.

Auction proceeds support Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, and the Kids’ Right to Read Project, which is co-sponsored by ABFFE and the National Coalition Against Censorship.