WNY Children’s Book Expo

NOVEMBER 10, 2018 10 am – 3 pm Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

KidsLit Week NYS-approved CTLE Workshop 38 authors/illustrators & thousands of children

About the WNY Children’s Book Expo

Buffalo’s premier literary event for children is composed of two parts: KidsLit Week, and EXPO Saturday and is FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

During KidsLit Week, internationally acclaimed authors will visit area schools, libraries, museums and other cultural venues. The visits, scheduled Monday, 11/5/18 – Friday, 11/9/18, aim at inspiring a love of books in students grades pre-K through middle school.

EXPO Saturday is a day-long showcase of new and beloved books written for kids. Here, authors interact directly with children through readings, book-signings, presentations and demonstrations. Educators too have a niche at EXPO Saturday. A NYS-approved 4-hour CTLE Workshop is held annually before the Expo opens to the public.  Here, registered educators have the opportunity to interact with a panel of authors/illustrators featured at this year’s Expo as well as current trends in education. We hosted 127 educators from across Western New York and Southern Ontario, Canada. The workshop received excellent reviews from both the educators and the panel participants.

Contact Info

Monkey See, Monkey Do … Children’s Bookstore

9060 Main St, Clarence

Read to Succeed Buffalo

92 Pearl Street, Buffalo

+1 (716) 204.8417

5 – 10 November 2018

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

153 Franklin Street

Buffalo, NY 14202

Our Authors & Illustrators

We are thrilled to welcome the following authors and illustrators to the 2018 EXPO!  Please check back often as the author listing will be updated as changes are known.

Jim Averbeck


Author of:

  • One Word from Sophia (2015)
  • The Market Bowl  (2013)
  • Oh, No, Little Dragon  (2012)
  • except if  (2011)
  • In a Blue Room  (2008)

Carmela Coyle-Lavigne


Carmela LaVigna Coyle is an award-winning author of over a dozen picture books and board books. Her first published book, Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? illustrated by Mike Gordon (Rising Moon), is a favorite among the not-your-average-princess crowd. Her latest picture books include, Wild Zoo Train, illustrated by Steve Gray, (Muddy Boots Books) and Do Princesses Live in Sandcastles? Her many princess books have been modified into Keepsake Doodle editions and Board books, as well as Spanish, Korean, and Chinese editions. Her book, The Tumbleweed Came Back, illustrated by Kevin Rechin, (Rio Chico) won 2014 Colorado Book Award.

Carmela has a degree in Education and Art. Her interests (besides writing) include inventing recipes, dabbling in watercolors, growing pumpkins, anything puppy dog and little kid related, heart-rock hounding, feeding the birds, and long solitary walks in nature.

She is in awe of the remarkable artists and writers in her field, and keeps an ever-expanding collection of their extraordinary books. This year marks her 3rd year as a SCBWI mentor. Carmela lives in Colorado with her family and a lively shi-poo dog named, Lulu.

Elizabeth Leader

Elizabeth grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Massachusetts College of Art, she moved to Rochester, New York to earn her MFA degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She settled happily in Upstate New York and worked as an art instructor, graphic designer and artist, first in Rochester and then in Buffalo. There she experienced the awesome power of a blizzard, and immediately knew she wanted to create a storm story for the children of Buffalo. Buffalo Snow proved to be very popular and copies are now in hands around the world. Elizabeth is also the illustrator of Max Meets the Mayor, by Mark Goldman, and has several other books in the works. She can be reached at Studio 507 at the Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main Street, Buffalo, NY and online through

Joy Keller

Joy Keller is the author of fun and fantastic picture books, including MONSTER TRUCKS and the upcoming MISS TURIE'S MAGIC CREATURES. When she's not writing, she's teaching fourth graders how to write. She lives in Fairport, NY, with her husband, two children, and several cats.

David Kalvitis


In 2000, author/designer David Kalvitis, started a dot-to-dot revolution, producing award-winning dot-to-dot puzzles. He has been dedicated to creating the most amazingly complex and artistic dot-to-dot puzzles to ever hit the market. The Greatest Dot-to-Dots aren't just for little kids and here's why: The final image cannot be determined until completion of the puzzle; puzzles can number in the thousands; and there are 17 different ways of completing these dot-to-dot puzzles.

Kalvitis's puzzles challenge children and adults of all ages, are an incredible learning tool, and are a fantastic way to relieve stress. With nearly 1 million Greatest Dot-to-Dot Books sold worldwide, David Kalvitis continues to strive to make connecting and coloring dot-to-dots a wonderfully enjoyable and relaxing experience.

Brian Herberger

Brian Herberger has spent much of his career teaching middle school English. His favorite genre, whether encouraging students to read, reading to his own kids, or simply relaxing with a good book, is young adult fiction. Brian weaves many of his personal interests into his books, Miss E. and Cross Country. The activism and free-spirited culture of the 1960s, memories of flying in his father's airplane as a boy, the adventure of a cross-country trip, and the sights and sounds of his hometown of Buffalo - all of these elements find their way into his stories, along with engaging characters who bring his historical fiction to life.  Brian lives in the Washington DC area, but he'll always call Buffalo home.

Maria DiVencenzo

Maria DiVencenzo is an author and founder of Winterlake Press.  She is an award-winning author and publisher of books for children including The Scariest Dream Ever and The Star of Christmas. Maria also wrote three Little House novels depicting the childhood of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother, Caroline. An independent publisher, Winterlake Press uses proceeds from book sales to support children’s programs in schools and libraries. In 2010, Winterlake Press became a founding sponsor of, a storybook support program that connects deployed US service men and women with their families back home. She also works with teachers and librarians to provide seminars and enrichment programs for classrooms. Maria lives in Western New York with her husband, four children, and shaggy black Schnoodle.

Dee Romito

Dee Romito is a middle-grade author and former elementary school teacher, Dee lives in her hometown of Buffalo, New York, where she and her family are steadily checking items off their own bucket list of adventures. You're likely to find her at the local ice cream shop, writing at a cafe, or curled up on the couch with her cats. And while she does her best to be a grown-up most of the time, giggling with her BFFs is still one of Dee's all-time favorite things. To join the fun and create your own bucket list, visit

Thomas McDade & Melanie Morse

Authors & Production Specialists
Thomas McDade is television producer, director, and editor who has traveled throughout the world over the past 20 years. He is the owner of Honey + Punch LLC, a Buffalo-based media production company. Melanie Morse is a mother of three boys, an experienced educator, a daydreamer, a traveler and a storyteller. When she’s not wrapped up in an adventure with her super awesome boys, or with Seymour & Hau, she is the Producer for commercial storytelling company Honey + Punch.

Vanessa B. Newton


Vanessa Brantley Newton was born during the Civil Rights movement, and attended school in Newark, NJ. Being part of a diverse, tight-knit community during such turbulent times, Vanessa learned the importance of acceptance and empowerment in shaping a young person’s life. When she read Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, it was the first time she saw herself in a children’s book. It was a defining moment in her life, and has made her into the artist she is today. As an illustrator, she includes children of all ethnic backgrounds in her stories and artwork. She wants all children to see their unique experiences reflected in the books they read, so they can feel the same sense of empowerment and recognition she experienced as a young reader.

Vanessa celebrates self-love and acceptance of all cultures through her work, and hopes to inspire young readers to find their own voices. She first learned to express herself as a little girl through song. Growing up in a musical family, Vanessa’s parents taught her how to sing to help overcome her stuttering. Each night the family would gather to make music together, with her mom on piano, her dad on guitar, and Vanessa and her sister, Coy, singing the blues, gospel, spirituals, and jazz.  Now whenever she illustrates, music fills the air and finds its way into her art. The children she draws can be seen dancing, wiggling, and moving freely across the page in an expression of happiness. Music is a constant celebration, no matter the occasion, and Vanessa hopes her illustrations bring joy to others, with the same magic of a beautiful melody.

Rachel DiNunzio

Author / Illustrator
Rachel DiNunzio is a local author, illustrator and publisher.  She has written several books in the Forsynthia series. Her latest project involves students in elementary school to college, its called: My Thoughts Can Change the World. Rachel believes that what you do outwardly and what we think internally, impacts everything around us. The project’s goal is to make a positive impact for people, animals, plants, and our environment, through the sharing of thoughts and ideas. Rachel loves working with schools to empower the students into not only believing that they can make a difference, but also works with them to write down their thoughts.

Sean Jensen

Sean Jensen was born in South Korea, but he was raised in California, Massachusetts and Virginia, mostly on or near military bases. Given his unique background, he's always been drawn to storytelling, a skill he developed at Northwestern University and crafted for the last 16 years, almost exclusively covering the NFL, for major newspapers and websites. During his career, he's fostered strong relationships with athletes in multiple sports, and penned profiles on Jared Allen, Jason Brown, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Randy Moss, Derrick Rose and Adrian Peterson, among others. He's earned distinctions from the Illinois Associated Press, Minnesota Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Pro Football Writers of America and Associated Press Sports Editors. In 2006, he received a special achievement award from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He founded E & Z Enterprises, a marketing consulting company that works with leaders, nonprofits and businesses to showcase stories of impact and influence. In his spare time, he volunteers in his community, including as a board member of a Twin Cities community soccer club. He's trying to eat more carrots and veggies, though he craves buttered movie popcorn and chicken wings. He lives in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minn., with his wife, two children and dog.

KidsLit Week 2018

5 – 9 Nov 2018

KidsLit Week is where we bring the authors and illustrators to the schools in the Western New York region!   Schools can contact Kim or Kathleen at Monkey See, Monkey Do … Children’s Bookstore for more information on booking an author or illustrator for your school.



Come to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center with the kids in your life for an exciting day of authors, illustrators, presentations, reading corners, crafts, characters and fun!  FREE ADMISSION.  Books for sale.  


8:00 – 11:00

10:00 – 3:00



Our Sponsors

We are grateful for the partnerships we’ve made to make this day a reality for the children of Western New York.