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Make some noise: Hubbub Festival’s Creative Commotion for Kids

Hubbub is a brand-new child-centric creativity festival produced by Boston Book Fest. The festival’s mission statement:

Our goal is to inspire and encourage creativity with a combination of world-class authors and artistic acts, as well as hands-on activities and experiences where kids will experiment, design, and create. We believe that curiosity, excitement, wonder, and play are the keys to lifelong learning.  

On Saturday, June 20th, The Horn Book joined an impressive array of authors and illustrators, performers, workshop and activity leaders, and exhibitors for the day-long event. Some highlights from staff members:

Siân interviewed friend and author/illustrator David Hyde Costello.


We may not have been as glamorous as the giant Puppeteers Cooperative puppets doing laps around the square, or as enthralling as Massmouth Storytellers’ rendition of The Story of Ferdinand. But our table still drew some attention. Not all festival attendees were familiar with The Horn Book, but they looked curiously at our Summer Reading list and magazines and flipped through the freshly-stickered Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on display.

bghb winners stickered

The 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners. Photo: Roger Sutton.

(The Munchkins on the table held some attraction, too.) A few kids and grownups talked books with us; one young Richard Peck fan taught us the word susurration, which she’d learned from The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail.

Some of our visitors knew our publications well, and approached enthusiastically. (One of my Simmons classmates even welcomed us with grilled cheese from Roxy’s.) But the most energy by far came from Ame Dyckman, who stopped by our booth with her family on her way to her own reading and greeted us like old friends.

Wolfie the Bunny author Ame Dyckman

Wolfie the Bunny author Ame Dyckman. Photo: Shoshana Flax.

We thanked her for the carrots.


I didn’t see much of the festival itself, but the view from our booth was pretty great. It was wonderful to see familiar faces from around the Boston children’s lit community, ranging from my former Simmons ChLit classmates and bookstore colleagues to authors and illustrators (Jeanne Birdsall!).

My favorite visit of the day? Two little girls, ages about four and six, sporting hand-colored Pigeon headpieces. “I’m the Pigeon! I’m driving the bus!” the younger one proudly exclaimed to Roger. Not to be outdone, her big sister hollered, “I’m the Pigeon and I EAT BIRDS!” Yeah, I don’t know either.

Another, quieter moment that nevertheless captured just as much excitement about books: a girl about nine years old saw The Farmer and the Clown displayed on our table and gravitated toward it. “This is a really good book,” she told her mom, and proceeded to narrate the full story with plenty of emotional nuance.

And some pictures:

roger and mo

Mo Willems and Roger. Photo: Siân Gaetano.

sian at hubbub booth

Siân holds down the fort. Photo: Roger Sutton.

Giant puppets on parade. Photo: Shoshana Flax.

Giant puppets on parade. Photo: Shoshana Flax.

Missed it? Grab our Hubbub booth handouts here:

Bonus: here’s Elissa’s recap of a pre-Hubbub panel, which includes several recommended reading lists created just for Hubbub.

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