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Bernie’s Book Bank welcomed children and families to the inaugural Storybook Festival on May 22, 2021. This new event celebrates the fun and magic of storybooks in support of our mission to increase book ownership among under-served children throughout Chicagoland.

It was a sunny Saturday in Lake Bluff, perfect for an outdoor gathering filled with whimsical adventure. After opening remarks from CEO Darrin Utynek, children marched across the stage modeling their storybook character costumes. Then, nationally known story-performer, Chris Fascione presented his one-man show called “Bringing Literature to Life!”

The festival was filled with a variety of other activities for children and families to enjoy. There were a variety of favorite storybook characters for children to meet including Pete the Cat, Rainbow Fish, Madeline, Belle, Curious George, Man in the Yellow Hat, Piggie and Elephant. K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore offered families the chance to read books to certified therapy dogs. Children’s author Therese Van Ryne read her book “Zippy’s Special Gift” and even gave free signed copies of her book to event attendees. Storybook-themed photo stand-ins made for the perfect photo-op.

When families needed a break from the activities they could purchase food from Pizzeria DeVille and frozen treats from Suzy’s Swirl. Additionally, musicians for School of Rock in Libertyville provided live performances throughout the day.

Safety was a top priority at Storybook Festival. All attendees over the age of two wore masks in an effort to keep themselves and others healthy and safe.

Storybook Festival was made possible by our sponsors. We are incredibly grateful for their support and belief in our mission!

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for the inaugural Storybook Festival. Your generous support enables Bernie’s Book Bank to provide free books for under-served children throughout Chicagoland.

Take a look a the gallery below for photos from Storybook Festival –