Children’s Book Art Auctions: Online May 18, Live at BEA May 29

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Posters available to promote online auction to customers

A tribute to Maurice Sendak by Liza Woodruff

Booksellers, publishers, authors, and anyone else who loves children’s book art or feels strongly about kids’ right to read should be sure to have the Annual Children’s Book Art Silent Auction and Reception on their BookExpo America calendars. Many of the industry’s leading illustrators have not only donated to the auction, but are also planning to attend the event on Wednesday, May 29, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Javits Convention Center. And thanks to the Estate of Maurice Sendak, all auction participants will have the rare opportunity to bid on an original, signed Maurice Sendak sketch during the live portion of the auction. Get your tickets now.

For book industry professionals who can’t make it to the auction, those who just want to double their opportunity to bid on great art, and members of the public, ABFFE has added an online auction component, which offers artworks not available at the BEA event. The online auction is an opportunity for people across the country to participate in the fight against censorship of books for young readers. It will be held at, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, and closing at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, May 24, 2013.

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

To help stores promote the online auction to customers and patrons, ABFFE has created a printable/downloadable PDF version of a flier in two sizes: 8.5″ x 11″ (portrait)  and 5.5″ x 8.5″(portrait).

ABFFE auction manager Kristen Gilligan Vlahos suggests stores feature the poster along with a few books by participating illustrators to drum up interest in the online auction. “Pull a few titles off your shelves and open them to the corresponding page with a sign saying something like ‘The original art from this very page of this very book could be yours!’” she said. “Be creative! This is a great, fun opportunity to connect the books on your shelves, the original art, and your customers/patrons (and yourselves!), while making them aware of the censorship of children’s books.”  Gilligan Vlahos also proposed that booksellers consider creating a scavenger hunt. “Ask customers to create a piece of their own art and hold your own auction. Be sure to get all of it on your social media platforms, too,” she said. “I’d love a photo of what you come up with!” E-mail it to [email protected] or post it on the store’s Facebook page and tag ABFFE.

Volunteer opportunities to work the auction at BEA are still available; contact Gilligan Vlahos for details.

For more information about both auctions and to preview the art (more pieces are being added all the time), visit the auction website.

Llama Llama by Anna Dewdney