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Raising Readers Book Festival to be held at Pineland Farms

Families and children invited for a day of winter
book readings & outdoor activities

NEW GLOUCESTER, MAINE – Because we all love to cozy up with books in the winter, Raising Readers will be holding The Raising Readers Book Festival for children and families at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine on February 5th from 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM. The festival will celebrate winter with the reading of winter-themed picture books by authors & illustrators and with many outdoor activities. 

Kids are invited to the Pineland Farms Visitors Center where they can hear special guest authors and illustrators read winter-themed books throughout the day. Guests include picture book authors & illustrators Scott Nash, Lynn Plourde, Lindsay Barrett George and Judi Beach. Authors & illustrators will be signing their books after each reading. First Lady Karen Baldacci has also been invited to read aloud some winter book favorites.

Raising Readers, in accordance with its mission to give children beautiful new books as part of their regular healthcare visits, will be giving away picture books at the festival in exchange for a small donation to Jasmine’s Book Drive. Jasmine, a favorite cow at the Pineland Farms Dairy Barn, is helping to spearhead a book drive for the daycare center at Crossroads for Women, a shelter in Windham, Maine. Admission to the festival will be the donation of a new or gently-used children’s book to Jasmine’s Book Drive.

For each book read there will be a corresponding activity at the Visitors Center and Valley Farm or on the trails and in the woods at Pineland. Children’s book author/illustrator Lindsay Barrett George, author of In the Snow: Who’s Been Here?, will lead families on a winter nature walk. Barrett’s series of picture books help children identify tracks and other signs in the woods that show animals were recently there. Families will also be able to participate in snowshoeing lessons, hand milking at the Dairy Barn and if they bring their skates, ice skating on the Pineland Farms Pond. 

To warm up between winter activities, families can participate in indoor crafts led by festival partners including Foley’s Bakery, newly opened at the Pineland Farms Visitors Center, will be leading a hands-on bakery class for children based on the picture book Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven.

The event is sponsored by Raising Readers, a health and literacy initiative, that promotes reading to young children between birth and age 5 by giving them beautiful new books as part of their regular well child health care. Raising Readers’ goal is to give all children in Maine, regardless of their economic means, a dozen books by the time they reach age five. The program is available at no cost to all health care providers in Maine who see children between the ages of birth and 5 years. Ongoing funding is provided by the Libra Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to enriching Maine, empowering communities and enhancing the quality of life of all Maine's citizens. 

Pineland Farms, also established by the Libra Foundation located in New Gloucester, Maine, is a 3,000-acre working farm, diverse business campus and educational and recreational venue that welcomes visitors to enjoy its beautiful rural landscape. Pineland Farms' mission is to provide a productive and educational venue that enriches the community by demonstrating responsible farming techniques, offering educational opportunities and encouraging a healthy lifestyle through recreation. For directions and maps visit

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