An author speaks to children under a reading tent at last year’s Bath Book Bash. Contributed / Bath Book Bash

The Bath Book Bash returns for its third year Sept. 9, this time with a bigger lineup of children’s authors and illustrators, board games with authors and a special appearance by Pete the Cat.

Thirty-five authors and illustrators will be participating in the event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Library Park, about 10 more than last year, according to Sheryl Ritchie, one of the organizers.

“The majority are Maine authors, but some are coming from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont” and elsewhere, Ritchie said. “We’re expanding in scope.”

A children’s book character costume contest will be held, along with a costume parade led by Pete the Cat from the popular book series illustrated by James Dean. Authors will be the contest judges and prizes will be awarded. Ritchie said she expects a lot of excitement around meeting Pete the Cat and getting to be in a parade with him.

Participating authors include Megan Frazer Blakemore, whose titles include “Frankie Sparks,” “Princess of the Wild Sea” and “Good and Gone.” Contributed / Megan Frazer Blakemore

Also new this year will be a board game tent, “an informal way for readers to get to know authors, with classic kids’ games like Jenga, Candyland and Tic Tac Toe,” Ritchie said.

Workshops and story times will also take place, as will the return of a favorite event from last year, a draw-off, in which illustrators participate in “a friendly competition judged by kids who will determine the winner,” she said.


Authors of picture books, chapter books and young adult books will be featured. Many are award winners, Ritchie said.

“I love it every year because it feels like such an amazing community event,” participating author Megan Frazer Blakemore of Kennebunk said. “There are so many readers who come and people are excited to talk about children’s books.”

The board game tent will be “a chance for (kids) to see that authors and illustrators are regular people, and that will make them think about themselves as creators.”

“There have been kids who come up and they almost can’t get the words out because they’re so excited to meet me,” said Blakemore, who has authored numerous books for children and teens, including her latest, “Princess of the Wild Sea.”

“This feels good personally, but also I’m a school librarian, so seeing the way that books hit kids emotionally” is really special, she said.

Blakemore said that literature is “a chance for kids to see themselves and also see into other lives, and that’s part of what helps kids grow up to be thoughtful members of society, because reading helps you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand different perspectives.”

“Hopefully we have another beautiful day this year and lots of people excited to attend,” said Ritchie.

A complete schedule and list of authors can be found by searching for Bath Book Bash 2023 on Google or on the Bath Book Bash Facebook page.

Last year’s crowd at the Bath Book Bash. Contributed / Bath Book Bash

Comments are not available on this story.