The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University has partnered with the following literacy and family-centered organizations for the Family Day Expo. These organizations will be set up on the Berger Family Lawn to engage in literacy-based activities and to provide resources for children and their families.

  • 826 New Orleans
  • City Year New Orleans
  • Community Work
  • Newcomb Art Museum 
  • Krewe of Muses
  • Stone Center for
    Latin American Studies
  • Impossibility Press
  • KID smart
  • Make Music NOLA
  • AfterClass
  • New Orleans Public Library
  • Public Allies New Orleans
  • Start the Adventure in Reading
  • Community Book Center
  • R.E.A.D. 

Tulane Center for Public Service: For The Children Literacy and Tutoring Program
Whole Village Art Therapy
YAYA Arts Center
Children’s Hospital Parenting Center

Family Day Schedule

All Family Day events are free and open to the public. However, advanced registration will be required for Dav Pilkey.

10 am
Dav Pilkey*
McAlister Auditorium
11:15 am
Andrea Pinkney
Scholastic Tent
11:45 am
Lauren Tarshis
Author Tent
12:30 pm
Malcom Mitchell
Author Tent
1:15 pm
Tracy Maurer
Author Tent


Additional Stages to be announced!

Meet the Family Day Authors

Rebecca Balcarcel

Rebecca Balcárcel is a bi-cultural Latina whose debut novel, The Other Half of Happy, won the Pura Belpré silver medal, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and was named one of the Top Ten First Novels of 2019 by Booklist. Balcárcel took her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, and her work has appeared in over forty journals, such as North American Review. She lives in Texas, where she enjoys her cat, hot tea, and teaching the students of Tarrant County College as Associate Professor of English.

Johnette Downing

Johnette Downing is a New Orleans multi-award winning musician, singer and author presenting Louisiana Roots concerts and author visits for children, as well as keynotes and workshops for educators globally. Dedicated to celebrating childhood, nurturing cultural exchanges and fostering literacy through her music and books, Johnette has performed in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, North America and the Caribbean. Johnette’s presentations speak to a child’s interests in an engaging, interactive, thought-provoking, educational, entertaining and culturally respectful way; earning her a reputation for being the “Musical Ambassador to Children” and the “Pied Piper of Louisiana Music Traditions.”

Downing has garnered multiple awards including a 2017 Louisiana Writer Award, 59th Grammy Award Participant Certificate, eight Parents’ Choice Awards, four iParenting Media Awards, two Parent’s Guide To Children’s Media Awards, four National Parenting Publications Awards, a Family Choice Award, two Family Review Center Awards, Family Review Center GoldAward, Family Review Center Best of the Year Award, DAR Literacy Promotion Award, an Imagination Award, and a Haiku International Association Honorable Mention Award. Her work has received rave reviews on and in Nick Jr. Magazine, Family Fun Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Parent’s Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, American Library Association’s Booklist, School Library Journal, Washington Post, Early Childhood News, Cookie Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, New Orleans Magazine, and Big Apple Parent to name a few. Further, she was selected as one of “The Women of the Year 2008” by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine, “Thirty People to Watch in 2000” by New Orleans Magazine and “Forty Under Forty” by Gambit Weekly Magazine.

Freddi Evans

Freddi Williams Evans, an independent scholar, is internationally recognized for her scholarship on historic Congo Square. She is the author of Come Sunday, A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square, which received the Independent Publisher Book Awards’ Bronze Medal in 2018 and was a finalist for the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Her book Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, the first comprehensive study of the location, received the 2012 Louisiana Humanities Book of the Year Award and is published in French. Evans publishes articles and speaks nationally and internationally on the landmark. Her research and advocacy influenced the 2011 New Orleans City Council Ordinance that made the popular name “Congo Square” the official name of the location. Evans is also the author of three picture books: Hush Harbor - Praying in Secret, The Battle of New Orleans: the Drummer’s Story, and A Bus of Our Own.

Deandrea Green-Humble

Deandrea Green-Humble author of "Skating On A Rainy Day" and "The Who Dat Movers," has written her third children's book, "DeWayne and Mr. Shrimp Po Boy." She is a plus size run way model and an advocate for helping the youth and women through her charitable work. She resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tracy Maurer

Who loves everything about books for kids? Tracy Nelson Maurer, that’s who! She’s written more than 100 books for children, including the award-winning picture-book biographies Samuel Morse, That’s Who!andJohn Deere, That's Who!These Junior Library Guild Selections have also been named “Best STEM Books” by the National Science Teaching Association. Another nonfiction title,Noah Webster’s Fighting Words, received starred reviews and inclusion on several annual “best of” lists. A frequent guest at schools and libraries, Tracy shares the stories behind the stories and reads her work with an interactive format, props, and loads of enthusiasm!She’s curious about most everything and knows a lot of odd fun facts, too, like which letter of the alphabet people use most often. (“E”, if you’re the curious type, too.)A graduate of the Hamline University MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Tracy lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Denise McConduit

Denise lives in New Orleans, Louisiana the birthplace of jazz and other unique customslike Mardi Gras, Jazz Festivals, and Debutante balls. She began writing poetry at an early age and then studied art. Her first magazine article was published in 1982 in Black New Orleans magazine. Later she had articles published in Essence Magazine and the New Orleans Tribune magazine. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, she was a weekly columnist for the Times Picayune newspaper focusing on the recovery of her neighborhood.
Preserving cultural traditions through family stories is important to Denise. It's how she grew up and it's what she passes on. Her first book, “D.J. and the Zulu Parade” depicts the adventures of her son, “D.J” when he rode in a Mardi Gras Parade. That book led to two other stories about the intrepid boy: “D.J. and the Jazz Fest”and “D.J. and the Debutante Ball”. McConduit feels that writing culturally rich books are essential because it’s important for children see themselves in literature.

Her newest book is titled, “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read”.In this book young readers will meet Robbie, a stubborn little boy who doesn't like to read. When his wish is granted by a magician, his world gets topsy-turvy and he soon learns that life without reading is nothing to wish for! Denise often advises aspiring authors, "Do you have any interesting or funny characters in your family? If you do, you may want to write a story about them. I did!"

Denise has always been an avid reader and writer. In 2016 she was a featured presenter at the Arkansas Reading and Literacy (ARA) conference and received rave reviews for herTips forReluctant Readers presentation. Her personal mission is to write fun and meaningful stories for children.

Denise holds an English degree from the University of New Orleans and is available for conferences, library and school author visits:

Malcolm Mitchell

Malcolm Mitchell was the rookie who helped the New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI. He's also the founder of an initiative called Read with Malcolm, which introduces book ownership to students, and works to improve literacy in schools. Malcolm's Share the Magic Foundation promotes the benefits of reading to kids in underserved communities. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dav Pilkey

In addition to the phenomenally bestselling Dog Man and Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey is an award-winning author and illustrator of over 60 books, including The Paperboy which won a prestigious Caldecott Honor, Dog Breath, 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, God Bless the Gargoyles, and the Dragon series. Super Diaper Baby, Pilkey's first graphic novel, was published nearly twenty years ago. His Dog Man graphic novel series, launched in Fall 2016 to multiple starred reviews, has more than 26 million copies in print and has been translated into 38 languages. The Captain Underpants series, which helped to create the industry's illustrated chapter book category for children, has more than 90 million copies in print to date, and was adapted into a movie by DreamWorks with an original TV series currently streaming on Netflix. When Dav Pilkey was in second grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and what is now widely known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Because of his learning and behavioral issues in school, he was often sent out in the hallway by his teachers. It was in his elementary school hallway where Dav created comic books about superheroes that eventually became Dog Man and Captain Underpants. Dav Pilkey was recently named one of Fast Company magazine's "Most Productive People", The Beat's "Comics Industry Person of the Year", and Publishers Weekly's "Person of the Year

Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many acclaimed books for children and young adults. Ms. Pinkney is the recipient of numerous awards and citations, including the Coretta Scott King Author Award, four NAACP Image Award nominations, and both the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture and the Regina Medal for her distinguished contribution to the field of children’s literature.

Ms. Pinkney has been named one of the “The 25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives” by Children’s Health magazine,and is among The Network Journal’s “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business.” She is included in the “50 Over 50 Extraordinary Women” noted by Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day magazines.

She has served on the creative teams for several theatrical and audio productions based on works for young people, including those drawn from her acclaimed books, Martin Rising: Requiem for a King, The Red Pencil, and Rhythm Ride: A Trip through the Motown Sound. Additionally, Ms. Pinkney is the chief librettist for the Houston Grand Opera’s The Snowy Day: An Opera for All, based on the beloved bestselling children’s picture book classic The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Florencia Schabelman

My name is Florencia Levinton Schabelman. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina but for the last 41 years I have been living in Metairie, LA with my husband and two sons. My oldest son has given me two of the greatest happiness of my life: my granddaughters Maia and Lia (6 and 4 years old) who are my inspiration for writing a children’s book.
I have a Master in Computer Science from the National University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1976 with thesis “Recognition of Myocardial Infarction by Digital Computer”), have a Certified Medical Manager’s degree (1991), and a diploma of Tour Guide of the City of New Orleans (1984).

I have written a previous book in Spanish, published in Argentina in 2001. You can see all the information about this book in my website:

My latest is a children’s book, self-published and in two languages: “My New Neighbors”/”Mis Nuevos Vecinos”. It’s really two books in one, on one side is the Spanish Version and when you flip it over you can read the English version.

On the surface, the book is about two Mallard ducks that arrive agitated in my neighborhood trying to communicate something that we don’t understand. All the neighbors start to help out in solving the mystery while we try to find out what they are trying to tell us. Each page ends with a question that allows kids to imagine different solutions to the difficulties the ducks and neighbors face. This also lets the story teller interact with the young audience. However, if you dig deeper into the real meaning of the story, the significance lies in the importance of communication not only in reference to language. It also reinforces the importance of collaboration and team work to get the “job” done.

I have read the children’s book in several venues and also been interviewed regarding this book. Please see below. Also find information on the children’s book at:

Mike Strecker

Slidell native Michael Strecker has performed at comedy clubs throughout the country including the Improv in Los Angeles, Ha! Comedy Club in New York and Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. Strecker’s Young Comic’s Guide to Telling Jokes, Books 1 and 2 were released by Sterling Publishing, a subsidiary of Barnes and Noble, in 2017. Strecker is also author of the soon-to-be-released Jokes for Crescent City Kids. In addition, he has published serious fiction, including A Lake Catherine Lesson which appeared in The Critic, a literary journal that has published some of the country’s most highly regarded writers including Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor and Graham Greene. Strecker and his wife Jillian have two sons, Stephen, 7, and Joseph, 2.

Lauren Tarshis

Lauren Tarshis is the author of the New York Times bestselling I Survived series. Each deeply researched book explores an important historical event through the eyes of a fictional child, with the goals of building knowledge, sparking curiosity, and modeling resilience. The series is read by millions of children, is used in classrooms across the country, and has been translated into ten different languages.

Lauren is also Senior Vice President and Editor-in-chief/Publisher, Scholastic Classroom Magazines, where she oversees 21 award-winning classroom magazines and digital resources, with a combined circulation of over 15 million. Lauren can be found online at

Kathleen Welch + Alan McGillivray

Bio for Kathleen Welch, Author of Sometimes Even Elephants Forget: A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children
Author Kathleen Welch is an adjunct professor teaching courses in public health at Tulane University and the University of New England. Before earning her interdisciplinary PhD in global health, epidemiology and sociology from Tulane University, she earned an MA in education and a BA in Russian language and literature from Ohio State University. Her peer-reviewed articles on health issues have appeared in major medical journals across the country.
Welch has been an Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador for Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. She is a recipient of the American Psychiatric Association’s Public Affairs Network Award for developing “The Psychiatrist is in City Park,” a campaign to destigmatize mental illness. A member of Delta Omega, the honor society in public health, and a named Fulbright Scholar, Welch uses her love of the arts to convey serious messages. Her husband, Alan McGillivray, helps her in these endeavors.

Bio for Alan McGillivray, Illustrator of Sometimes Even Elephants Forget: A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children

Illustrator Alan McGillivray earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Master of Architecture from Tulane University. McGillivray has taught art and design at Tulane School of Architecture, the University of Maine at Farmington, and Mt. Blue Middle School. He is a recipient of the American Psychiatric Association’s Public Affairs Network Award for art created for a New Orleans mental-health campaign. He has been assisting his wife, Kathleen Welch, integrating art and public health initiatives for over twenty years.

Jeanette Weiland

Jeanette (or "J.R." as some friends refer to her), is a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, colleague, Saints fan, and author of Beignets for Breakfast. She has lived in New Orleans almost half of her life, and finds herself infatuated with historic architecture, tropical gardens, and gregarious, neighborly citizens. She and her husband are the parents of two young children, and they relish the fact that their kids have the opportunity to grow up in a place unmatched in color and culture.