Noteworthy events as Decatur Book Festival kicks into high gear

With something to fit just about everyone’s interests, the AJC Decatur Book Festival kicks into high gear Saturday with 17 downtown Decatur stages humming with author talks, panel discussions, music and dance from early morning to near sundown. Here is a sampling of highlights:

9:45 a.m.: Caldecott medalist Jerry Pinkney will lead a children’s parade and then discuss his children’s book illustrations, which also will be the focus of an exhibition at the High Museum of Art this fall. The parade steps off from the lawn of DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 N. McDonough St., at 9:45 a.m., with kids encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook character. Then Pinkney speaks at 10 a.m. at the Children’s Stage.

11 a.m.: “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking” co-authors Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Stevens Graubart stir things up. Both are sure to talk up their new books: “Nathalie Dupree’s Comfortable Entertaining” and Graubart’s “Slow Cooking for Two.” Cook’s Warehouse Stage.

12:30 p.m.: Decatur sports writer Ray Glier, who has covered the Southeastern Conference for 26 years, gives a talk based on his new book, “How the SEC Became Goliath: The Making of College Football’s Most Dominant Conference.” Eddie’s Attic.

12:30 p.m.: Tom Rankin, director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, speaks about his book, “One Place: Paul Kwilecki and Four Decades of Photographs from Decatur County, Georgia.” Bainbridge native Kwilecki, who died in 2009, created a timeless chronicle of a small southwest Georgia community through its high school proms, shade-tree tobacco farming, factory work, church life and more. City Hall Stage.

1:45 p.m.: “Kathy and Karin Talk Mystery,” Karin Slaughter, the best-selling Atlanta crime writer whose latest is “Unseen,” teams up with forensic anthropologist-turned-author Kathy Reichs of Charlotte (“Bones of the Lost”). First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary Stage.

3 p.m.: A panel talk, “Women on the Verge of a Breakdown / Breakthrough,” featuring Sheri Joseph (“Where You Can Find Me”), who teaches in Georgia State University’s creative writing program, and Madison, Wis., author Susanna Daniel (“Sea Creatures”). Their new books are sparked by the natural and seemingly supernatural tensions of motherhood and marriage. Decatur Library Stage.

5:30 p.m.: After a full day of hoofing it from stage to stage, everyone probably could benefit from hearing Decatur author Jonathan Herman discuss Taoism’s underlying principles, such as an appreciation of quiet, from his book “Taoism for Dummies.” Marriott Conference Center Auditorium.

7 p.m.: Capping off the first day of Art DBF, the new fest-within-the-fest featuring more than 40 Atlanta arts groups performing and otherwise engaging with book festival guests, the plaza above the Decatur MARTA station will be overtaken by DBF After Dark. The free event features pop-up performances by the Atlanta Opera, Serenbe Playhouse, 7 Stages, Staibdance and Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi, plus a video installation by Micah and Whitney Stansell.

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