Author and Illustrator Nights Bring the World to Your Children’s Fingertips

As a children’s book author, I have had many opportunities to attend Author & Illustrator Nights at various elementary schools across Long Island.

Karen Bonnet is pictured with students, Holly McGullam, Isabella Lewin and Abigail Clarke from Forest Brook Elementary School.

Karen Bonnet is pictured with students, Holly McGullam, Isabella Lewin and Abigail Clarke from Forest Brook Elementary School.

Author & Illustrator Nights showcase many local children’s, and young adult authors and illustrators. During these events, they speak about their books – and why they wrote them – to children and their parents. These events are sponsored by the PTA and the school librarian. Authors are provided with a delicious meal prior to meeting the children, courtesy of the PTA, and then spend an hour-and-a-half to two hours talking to children about their books, answering questions, and personally signing books purchased by the parents and children.

I am always extremely flattered by the attention given to me and the other authors, as the children and their teachers put a lot of time into ensuring the event is a success. The children and their respective classroom teachers create a wall display that focuses on the specific author, which is hung on the wall behind the author’s table at the event. It’s plain to see that a great deal of work goes into this artwork. In addition, the children who create these art pieces also have prior knowledge about the author, as teachers spend time going over the author’s books during classes.

Recently, I had the opportunity, along with fifteen fellow authors, to attend the Author & Illustrator night at Forest Brook Elementary School in Smithtown, organized by Carrie Pecoraro, the school librarian, and the PTA. The children ranged in age from five to 12 years-old. As always, it was a great experience!

Long Island authors would like to see Author & Illustrator Nights expand into more schools, especially in Nassau County. An Author & Illustrator Night is an opportunity to spark your children’s interest in reading by allowing them to  meet the names behind the cover and titles of the books they read. Local authors invited to these events are published members of the Long Island Children’s Writers & Illustrators (LICWI) group, and would be happy to visit one of the many schools or libraries in Long Island. If you are interested in hosting an Author/Illustrator event, please contact Karen Bonnet at 516-527-7860 or fellow Author, Sandy Lanton at 516-396-0763; or you can email her at

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