ST. FRANCISVILLE — While attending the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in January, Missy Couhig dropped into an education session called “Starting a Children’s Book Festival.”

A seed was planted: Why can’t West Feliciana have a children’s book festival? That idea has blossomed into the first West Feliciana Children’s Book Festival which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6 in Parker Park. 

Couhig, who co-owns the Conundrum Books and Puzzles in St. Francisville, has partnered with the West Feliciana Parish Library to create the book festival, which will coincide with National Children’s Book Week.

A logo was designed by Thomas Gresham with the theme “Reading gives you wings.” It’s the only festival of its kind in Louisiana specifically geared for children.

“Our idea is to encourage literacy and reading in young children,” said Couhig, whose bookshop features an extensive selection of children’s books and was recently named one of the 10 best of its kind in Louisiana. “Our focus is to do whatever we can do to encourage reading.”

The book festival will feature a wide array of activities for youngsters including readings and presentations by storybook authors, folks dressed as literary characters telling stories, a craft tent, book illustrators teaching illustration techniques, face painting and other activities.

A sidewalk chalk competition for various age groups with prizes will take place in front of participating businesses throughout St. Francisville, and the festival will feature giveaways such as bookmarks and paper finger puppets. An early sign-up booth for the library’s summer reading series will be on hand.

Among the authors confirmed for the festival are Leif Pedersen, Todd Michael St. Pierre, Tracey Koch and Allison Buehler with more expected to commit. In addition to reading from their books, authors will be available for signings and have books available for purchase.

Several students of West Feliciana geography teacher Nicole Means will present their books on the Galápagos Islands.

Events for middle school and high school readers will take place at the library beginning with a brown bag lunch and screening of the movie “Geek Charming” based on the Robin Palmer novel at 12:30 p.m. The movie will be followed by young adult author discussions and a presentation by author Shalanda Stanley.

In addition, Director Glenna Fallin said the library will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Little Golden Books with a special display.

For information about the West Feliciana Children’s Book Festival, visit wfcbf on Facebook or call Couhig at the Conundrum at (225) 245-5025 or the library at (225) 635-3364.