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National Book Festival

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Creative kids at The National Book Festival

Eye Spy - Festival Poster

2013 Poster
2013 Poster (PDF, 590 KB)

Thanks to the Mensa® Education and Research Foundation for developing the Eye Spy activity for this year's festival poster.

2013 Festival Artist Suzy Lee

  1. Question: How many children do you see in the poster?
  2. Question: How many books are in the deer’s antlers?
  3. Question: What is sharing a book with the ladybug?
  4. Question: How many books is the elephant reading?
  5. Question: A friendly animal from Texas is balancing five books on his head. Do you know what that animal is?
  6. Question: Can you find a duck with her legs crossed?
  7. Question: Can you find two animals with books in their mouths?
  8. Question: How many books can you find with polka-dot covers?
  9. Question: Can you spot six things that are flying?
  10. Question: In addition to books and animals, there are some other items in this amazing book tree. Can you find a yellow umbrella and a polka-dot tea pot?
  11. Question: Owls are symbols of wisdom. Can you find the owl reading in the tree?
  12. Question: Can you find the mom and baby pair sharing a book? What kind of animal do you think they are?
  13. Question: Three of the animals in the poster can also be found on the cover of Festival poster illustrator Suzy Lee’s book “Open this Little Book.” Can you find them?
  14. Question: There is an orange spotted cat lying on its back. Can you find it? Even though you can’t see its trademark tear lines, can you guess which kind of cat it is?
  15. Question: Can you find the animal that is asleep?

Here’s a poem about the poster. Can you find everything mentioned in the poem?

Two birds of pink and a bear of blue,
A chameleon with a book of rainbow hue,
A tiger with a smile and a hippo of green,
An inchworm so small he can hardly be seen,
A hedgehog of yellow and a bunny so white,
Three books in a knothole wedged in tight,
A blue cloud above and orange flowers below,
A little mouse and her book swinging to and fro,
A green snake all twisted around and around,
An elephant whose branch is almost on the ground,
A peacock with feathers fanned out on display,
All come to read on this glorious day.

2011 Poster
2011 Poster (PDF, 463 KB)

Thanks to the 3rd graders in Jennifer Langam’s class at Oakridge Elementary in Arlington, Virginia for suggesting the wonderful questions for this Eye Spy activity. Look carefully. Perhaps you can come up with even more questions to challenge your friends

2011 Festival Artist Jon J Muth has created a colorful picture of one his heroes reading to the festival crowd.

  1. Question: How many tents do you see on the poster?
  2. Question: What are the names of the two buildings located behind the tents?
  3. Question: Who is the famous person sitting and reading in the giant chair? What book do you think he might be reading to his audience?
  4. Question: How many bears can you find in the poster? Do you recognize any of them from stories you have read?
  5. Question: Jon J Muth uses many colors in his poster. Can you spot the boy wearing an orange hat? How about the little orange balloon? What else can you think of that is usually orange?
  6. Question: Do you see a lady dressed in purple?
  7. Question: Can you find a lion hiding in the crowd? How about a white cat?
  8. Question: Can you spot the bird that has dark and white feathers and blue FEET?
  9. Question: It must be a sunny day. Lots of people are wearing hats in the poster? How many hats can you count? Can you find the man in the yellow hat that looks like Curious George’s friend?
  10. Question: People of all ages and sizes come to the National Book Festival. Can you spot a baby?
2010 Poster
2010 Poster (PDF, 465 KB)

Peter Ferguson – 2010 Festival Artist – has created a visual story picture of literary characters eagerly listening to a book being read aloud.

  1. Question: Let’s start with an easy task. Can you find a domed building with a statue on the top? You can see this beautiful sight from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. where the annual book festival takes place. What is this building called?
  2. Question: How many tents can you count in this drawing? Do you know how many tents there will be at the National Book Festival?
  3. Question: Thomas Jefferson said, “I cannot live without books.” Can you find a fascinated young reader sharing a book with avid listeners?
  4. Question: Peter Ferguson’s 2010 poster depicts book characters listening to a story. How many actual books can you spot in Peter’s artwork? Speaking of books, how many books to you think the Library of Congress has in its collections?
  5. Question: This animal is a member of the Ursidae family. Can you find a large furry mammal that has appeared in stories with a young golden haired girl?
  6. Question: Can you find a medium sized mammal with a pointed snout and a long bushy tail? He is wearing a scarf and has a handkerchief in his jacket pocket. Can you name a children’s story featuring such an animal?
  7. Question: Can you spot me? I have two long white ears and a habit of being late for important dates. I’m holding a book in my paws. What classic story do I appear in?
  8. Question: This animal highlights a sad chapter in the annals of animal history. Can you spot a flightless bird – almost 3 feet tall – that lived on the islands of Mauritius? It has been extinct since the 17th century. What was it called? Can you think of any children’s stories in which this animal appeared?
  9. Question: Look for a mammal with a triangular pointed face and a tipped-up nose. It has white stripes on its cheeks and one stripe running from its nose to the back of its head. It is the state animal of Wisconsin. What kind of animal is it? Can you think of any stories in which such a mammal appears?
  10. Question: Can you spot two good friends listening together? One is wearing a straw hat. His friend is standing behind him. What classic story features these famous characters?
  11. Question: This pirate character appeared in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, first published in 1883. Do you see the man wearing an eye patch? Who is he?
  12. Question: Do you see a red-haired girl with pigtails? She is resting her chin on her hands and is listening intently to the story. She resembles the main character in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel, first published in 1908. The story takes place in the village of Avonlea, on Prince Edward Island in Canada. What is her name?
  13. Question: Edgar Allan Poe wrote a poem featuring a large black bird that is a member of the crow family. Can you spot it? What is the name of the bird – and the poem?
  14. Question: This machine is often designed to replace human beings in performing a variety of tasks, either on command or by being programmed in advance. Can you spot a strange metallic creature with 2 round eyes, 2 round ears and a rounded appendage on the top of its head? What is it called? Do you know of any stories that have characters of this type?
  15. Question: An ape is a primate characterized by long arms, a broad chest, and the absence of a tail. Can you find an ape wearing a red jacket and a yellow crown? Can you think of any apes in literature?
  16. Question: Can you spot a man with a reddish beard, wearing a black hat, and holding a harpoon? In what famous story does this character appear?
  17. Question: In the world of folk and fairy tales, one often meets elf-like characters with pointy ears. Can you spot a listener who might be an elf? Have you met any elves in children’s literature?
  18. Question: In folklore and literature, animals, plants or non-living things are often given people-like characteristics. This is called anthropomorphism. Can you find a tree with human characteristics? Have you read any stories with talking tree characters?
  19. Question: This female character is holding the letter A in her left hand. She appears as the main character in an 1850 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne called the Scarlet Letter. What is her name?
  20. Question: Several listeners have extra large noses, but only one is wearing a red cape and has a pink feather in his hat. This is a real person who lived in the 17th century, and also the main character in an 1897 drama written in verse by Edmond Rostand. What is his name?
  21. Question: This literary character is wearing an armored suit and hat and is thoughtfully touching his white mustache and beard. He is the title character in a 17th century novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The story takes place in La Mancha, Spain. A popular musical called Man of La Mancha is based on this character. Who is he?
2009 Poster
2009 Poster (PDF, 625 KB)

Look closely. Charles Santore's beautifully detailed poster reveals literary characters and subjects ranging from children's literature, classics and history, to nature and the arts.

  1. Question: Can you spot two young children stepping into this amazing scene on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.?
  2. Question: Look for the United States Capitol dome and locate the statue on the top? Do you know what this statue is called?
  3. Question: Can you find a large white marine mammal swimming towards the West? What kind of animal is it? In what 1851 novel does this animal play a major role?
  4. Question: Do you see a famous English poet and playwright holding a feather pen in one hand and a book in the other? What is his name?
  5. Question: Look for a man holding a skull. In a famous play this character said, “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” What is his name? HINT: See question 4.
  6. Question: Have you heard this limerick? “A wonderful bird is the pelican, His bill will hold more than his belican.” Can you spot a white pelican flying on the mall?
  7. Question: Can you find three extinct animals? What are they called?
  8. Question: Look for a man wearing a watch and a ring with a red stone. He is playing a musical instrument. His nickname is Satchmo. Who is he?
  9. Question: Can you spot a plate of toast? And a rabbit toasting? What is the name of the rabbit? In what classic story does he appear?
  10. Question: A green caterpillar is sitting comfortably on top of an umbrella shaped fungus. What is this fungus called? Can you spot two more in the poster?
  11. Question: This large furry white mammal is listed as threatened on the Endangered Species list. Can you spot two of them? What this mammal called?
  12. Question: Do you see a group of battling soldiers? Look carefully at the flag and the uniforms. What is the name of the war being fought? Whose side are these soldiers on?
  13. Question: Someone has come to the tea party wearing a polka dot tie and a large hat. Can you find him? What does the label on his hat say? What is this fictional character's name?
  14. Question: The National Book Festival celebrates books and reading. How many books can you spot in this poster?
  15. Question: Final Question: You've already located the United States Capitol Dome. Can you spot another domed building? What is the name of this building?
2008 Poster
2008 Poster (PDF, 216 KB)

Look closely. Jan Brett’s poster is filled with book-loving animals parading down the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Many of them represent state birds or animals.

  1. Question: Can you spot two buildings in the background? What they called?
  2. Question: What kind of animal is leading the parade? What is he carrying? How can you identify that this animal is a male?
  3. Question: What is the name of the animal wearing a red and white polka-dot neckerchief?
  4. Question: Can you spot a Badger sitting on a plaid blanket? Hint: This is Wisconsin’s state animal.
  5. Question: Do you see a Nene Goose waddling behind the parade leaders? Hint: This is Hawaii’s state bird.
  6. Question: Look for a Gray Squirrel wearing a green sweater. What kind of animal is it sitting on? What bird is reading the same book?
  7. Question: Can you find the Appaloosa Horse? Hint: This horse is Idaho’s state animal.
  8. Question: A Meadowlark and a Cardinal are sitting on the back of a Bison. What are they doing?
  9. Question: This sheep lives in high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains and has large curved horns. Can you spot it? Hint: This is Colorado’s state animal.
  10. Question: How many books are stacked on top of the Florida Panther’s head?
  11. Question: This brown rodent has a large flat tail and is an expert dam builder. Can you spot this New York state animal?
  12. Question: Can you spot two birds and two mammals riding on the back of a Nokota Horse? What are they? Hint: This horse is gray and is North Dakota’s state animal.
  13. Question: There are several species of bear in the poster. How many bears can you spot? What species are they?
  14. Question: The Bald Eagle is our national bird? Can you spot a bird that almost became our national bird? Hint: This is the Massachusetts state bird.
  15. Question: The Coyote and the Timber Wolf belong to the dog family. Can you spot them?
  16. Question: Can you spot an animal with a black and white striped tail? What is it? Hint: This is Arizona’s state animal.
  17. Question: The Pelican has a large bill used to catch fish. Can you spot a Pelican reading a book with a tan cover?
  18. Question: Can you spot a bird strutting in front of a fawn? What kind of bird is it? Hint: This is Rhode Island’s state bird.
  19. Question: How many animals can you find that have horns or antlers? What is the difference between horns and antlers?
  20. Question: Final Question: There is a very large state animal that is not pictured on this poster because it could not swim down the mall. What kind of mammal is it?

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