The 13th annual Brooklyn Book Festival—the largest free literary event in New York City—took place in downtown Brooklyn on September 15 and 16, featuring more than 300 authors, including many children’s and YA creators. We’ve rounded up a selection of highlights from some of the Children’s Day and pre-festival events, including Drag Queen Story Hour, puppet shows, signings, and more.

Author Ame Dyckman and illustrator Scott Magoon shared their story of the Misunderstood Shark.

The “Family Friendships and Fun” panel included chapter book authors (from l.) Laurel Snyder (Charlie Mouse; moderator), Mac Barnett (Mac B., Kid Spy: Mac Undercover), Debbi Michiko Florence (Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper), and Shelley Johanne (Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker: Incognito).

Jessica Love (r.), author-illustrator of Julián Is a Mermaid, with Angel Elektra, who performed during a Drag Queen Story Hour.

Artists (from l.) Dan Santat, Galia Bernstein, LeUyen Pham, and Mike Lowery faced off in an Illustrator Smackdown.

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson signed copies of her new picture book, The Day You Begin, illustrated by Rafael López.

Authors (from l.) Robin Talley (Our Own Private Universe), Richard Lawson (All We Can Do Is Wait), Brandy Colbert (Finding Yvonne), and moderator Caitlyn Morrissey of Bank Street Bookstore after their “Love in YA for Everyone.”

Author-illustrator Tad Hills got an early start on Halloween, signing Duck Goose, Honk! Quack! Boo!

During the “Coming-of-Age” panel, authors (from l.) Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears), Veera Hiranandani (The Night Diary), Kheryn Callender (Hurricane Child), and moderator Brigit Young (Worth a Thousand Words) shared their approaches to writing for middle graders.

The “Resist” panel featured YA authors (from l.) Brendan Kiely (Tradition), Justina Ireland (Dread Nation), Mark Oshiro (Anger Is a Gift), and Sara Farizan (Here to Stay), who spoke about the journeys of their intersectional characters.

Author-illustrator David Ezra Stein presented his new picture book, Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise, in a puppet show.

Authors (from l.) Adele Griffin (Tell Me No Lies; moderator), Emily X.R. Pan (The Astonishing Color of After), Ashley Woodfolk (The Beauty That Remains), and Arvin Ahmadi (Down and Across) discussed portraying hurt and healing in their books, during the “Life Hurts” panel.

The “Story Pirates Greatest Hits Show” celebrated students’ creative writing through music and sketch comedy, as well as the first Story Pirates book, Stuck in the Stone Age by Geoff Rodkey.