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4th Annual Rí Rá Children’s Festival of Literature

  • Irish Arts Center 553 West 51st Street New York, NY, 10019 United States (map)

“A cultural twist on story time” —Time Out New York

Stay all day or pop in to play at our fourth annual literature festival celebrating work from the best contemporary Irish and New York-based children’s authors and illustrators, including Rowboat Watkins and one winner chosen in collaboration with Children's Books Ireland. Readers tall and small discover new books, meet the creators, and participate in storytelling workshops and activities.

Presented in association with Children's Books Ireland.

Sessions 1-3 are recommended for readers 4-8 years old, and the last event of the day, Children’s Book Publishing 101 is recommended for adults, however all events are open to (and fun for!) all.

*IAC members, for group discount email

Box Office


What does "Rí Rá" mean?

The term "Rí Rá" comes from a longer colloquialism "rí rá agus ruaille buaille," which loosely translates to "fun and madness." Additionally, Rá is a word with a double meaning, also meaning "to say."


Session 1: Dragtivity Time with Drag Queen Story Hour and Sez Me
12–1pm | Recommended for ages 4-8, but open to and fun for all!

Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and community spaces. Through a fun and fabulous literary experience, DQSH teaches children about gender diversity and difference, builds empathy, and teaches tolerance. In this workshop a drag queen will read books, sing songs, and lead an activity from The Dragtivity Book, our one-of-a-kind activity book that helps kids and parents understand drag and gender identity. 

Session 2: Meet the Author/Illustrator from New York: Rowboat Watkins
1-2pm | Recommended for ages 4-8, but open to and fun for all!

Meet Brooklyn based author/illustrator Rowboat Watkins. Learn about how he made his new his new book Most Marshmallows and design a marshmallow friend to take home.

Session 3: Meet the Author/Illustrator from Ireland: To Be Announced 
2-3pm | Recommended for ages 4-8, but open to and fun for all!

This year’s author/illustrator will be chosen in collaboration with Children's Books Ireland. 

Children’s Book Publishing 101 for Adults with Maya Marlette of Scholastic Inc. 
3-4pm | Recommended for an adult audience but open to all!

Are you interested in writing a children’s book of your own? Have you written a story but not sure how to get it out into the world? This informative presentation will focus on what makes a good children's book and address questions like: What’s the difference between board books, picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult? Do I need an agent? How do I find one? What about illustrations? How do I submit work? There will also be a Q&A component.

Earlier Event: June 1
Read With Fergus
Later Event: June 3
Stone Soup Storytime and Craft