Children meet authors and illustrators from around the world at the Buffalo Convention Center

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Children packed into the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center downtown on Saturday to meet more than 40 authors and illustrators from around the world.

It was the third annual Western New York Children’s Book Expo.

Kids could meet some of their favorite characters and have their books signed, while learning about how they could become authors and illustrators.

Organizers said their focus was to encourage reading from birth through third grade.

“We know that if kids aren’t at grade level reading by the end of third grade, we know they’re much more likely to drop out of high school,” said Anne Ryan, executive director of Read to Succeed Buffalo. “This is our effort to get really high quality literature in the hands of kids as soon as we possibly can.”

More than 12 Buffalo Public Schools were represented at the event this year.

Mayor Byron Brown declared this past week Kids Lit Week, celebrating early childhood literacy.

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