Jarrett J. Krosoczka to Host Children’s Art Auction at BEA

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The Annual Children’s Book Art Auction and Reception at BookExpo America to benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) will be hosted this year by bestselling author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. The auction, which is co-sponsored by ABFFE and the ABC Children’s Group at ABA, will be held on Wednesday, May 28, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the River Pavilion of the Javits Convention Center.

A highlight of children’s programming at BEA for the last 20 years, the auction offers a unique opportunity to buy original works by award-winning artists and illustrators during an event that brings people together from all sides of the children’s book industry — booksellers, publishers, authors, artists, illustrators, and other industry professionals.

Auction proceeds will support ABFFE’s defense of the free speech rights of young readers. ABFFE and the National Coalition Against Censorship co-sponsor the Kids’ Right to Read Project, which helps students, parents, teachers, and librarians fighting book challenges around the country. ABFFE is also a principal sponsor of Banned Books Week, the only national celebration of the freedom to read.

“I am very pleased to be the honorary chair of this year’s Children’s Art Auction at BookExpo America,” Krosoczka said. “Every single piece of artwork will help create an atmosphere in which our children have the right, and the freedom, to read.” Krosoczka has written a letter urging artists and illustrators to donate to the auction. A donation form and auction FAQ have also been posted online. The deadline for submitting artwork is May 1.

“Jarrett has been advocating for kids’ access to art for years,” said ABFFE President Chris Finan. “We couldn’t think of a better host.”

This year’s auction will include a variety show organized by award-winning writers Shannon Hale and Michael Buckley that will feature other leading authors and illustrators, including The Slushpile Family Circus, Jon Scieszka, Scott Westerfeld, Libba Bray, Brandon Mull, and Tom Angleberger.

It will also include a special section of artwork honoring the subversive Dr. Seuss, whose The Lorax was once challenged for its critical portrayal of the foresting industry.

Light appetizers, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. Tickets are $105 and may be purchased online. There is no charge for ABFFE members or bookseller members of the ABC Children’s Group.

Immediately following the Javits event, ABFFE will launch an online auction so that people around the world can participate in the excitement. It will feature art donated exclusively for the online auction, as well as pieces that do not sell at BEA. The online auction will begin on Thursday, May 29, at noon EDT, and will end on Thursday, June 5, at noon EDT.