This week I’m reposting some ideas for celebrating Harry Potter and Peter Rabbit. Enjoy!
Are you looking to add a dose of literary fun to your family life this week? Celebrate one of these upcoming bookish birthdays!
Two wonderful literary Potters, Harry and Beatrix have birthdays coming up. Harry Potter was born on July 31st and Beatrix Potter on July 28th.
Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday:
Attend a Harry Potter Birthday Party
If you or the little ones in your life are Harry Potter fans, check your local library or bookstore to see if they have a birthday celebration planned for Harry that you can attend. This is such a wonderful way to engage with the book and spark excitement for readers of all ages.
Can’t attend a Harry Potter birthday celebration? Why not throw your own?
If you’re looking to celebrate at home, I love this Sorting Hat Cupcakes recipe from Little Sugar Snaps. When you bite into them, the cupcake reveals which Hogwarts House you would be in!
Gather your friends for some cupcakes and nerdy Harry Potter debate over whether you’re actually a Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. If you have little ones, I also love the idea of eating these cupcakes during a family read aloud of Harry Potter or while you just chat about your favorite characters.
Read One of the 20th Anniversary Editions of Harry Potter
The books feature new cover designs by Brian Selznik with the original interior illustrations of Mary GrandPré.
Enter to Win Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I recently learned that there is a weekly lottery for tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! Check out Today Tix Lottery: “Every Friday, we release 40 tickets for some of the very best seats in the theatre at $40 ($20 per Part) for every performance for the following week. Submit your entry from Friday at 12:01AM ET to Friday at 1:00PM ET.” For more information or to purchase general tickets visit: Harry Potter the Play
Celebrate Beatrix Potter’s Birthday:
Have some bookish fun with younger readers in honor of Beatrix Potter’s birthday on July 28th.
Read Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
I am such a big fan of Peter Rabbit. There is nothing better than snuggling up with my daughter while we read this classic. We’re also automatically in the Beatrix Potter spirit in her room since the nursery has a Peter Rabbit theme! This is a great time to enjoy this book with your children and share the magic of the story.
Watch a Peter Rabbit Read Aloud on Storyline
While the book is the perfect size for tiny hands and one-on-one sharing, I find it doesn’t work as well for reading to a larger group. I actually love this Storyline Online read aloud with Rose Byrne and have shown it to kindergarteners in my school library. Everyone can see the illustrations and Byrne is a wonderful narrator. Storyline also has many other free read aloud videos.
Enjoy Peter Rabbit Coloring Pages
These Peter Rabbit coloring pages are available for free from Educational Coloring Pages. This would be a fun activity to follow your read aloud!
I hope these ideas add some bookish excitement to your home!
Will you be attending a baby shower or buying a baby gift soon? This is a great time to help build baby’s library and make sure the nursery is well stocked for many bedtime read alouds to come!
If you’re the one planning a baby shower, I love when the invitation asks guests, “Instead of a card for baby and mother, please give a book with your thoughts in the cover”. Many of my daughter’s favorite books and read alouds were baby gifts from friends and family and it is so wonderful to open a book and see a loved one’s name inside.
Not sure what book to choose? Here are some ideas to get you started!
Ten Bookish Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower
1. A Fun, Silly Board Book by Sandra Boynton–she has many!
Board books are also a perfect, durable choice for easy sharing with a little bookworm that might love chewing on the pages.
2. One of Nancy Tillman’s Sweet Stories
These board books make loving, sentimental read alouds. On the Night You Were Born is our favorite.
3. A Delightful Bedtime Read Aloud
Meet Little Nutbrown Hare in the classic Guess How Much I Love You or discover beautifully illustrated dreamlands in Dream Animals. Both are perfect for reading over and over with a sleep little one!
4. A Board Book for Learning
Try a book that teaches–from where baby’s eyes and nose are (Where is Baby’s Belly Button) to baby’s First 100 Words, or well known nursery rhymes such as “Humpty Dumpty” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb” (Usborne Very First Nursery Rhymes).
5. Holiday Read Alouds
A great idea for building baby’s library is by gifting books for holidays. We received books for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Halloween and more at our baby shower and it has been so helpful to have those ready to share with our little one! Some of our favorites are Leslie Patricelli’s funny stories such a Boo!, Fa La La, and Huggy Kissy.
6. A Classic Picture Book
Help build baby’s library with one of these wonderful picture books to enjoy for years to come!
7. A More Recent Picture Book Favorite
Gift one of these stellar books to stock the nursery! Capture the imagination with The Dot or Sam and Dave Dig a Hole andinspire perseverance (Ada Twist Scientist) and gratitude (Last Stop on Market Street). You also can never go wrong with a book from Mo Willems’ crowd pleasing, laugh out loud Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon series.
Pair your gift of a classic picture book with a coordinating bookish onesie!
9. A Storybook Gift Basket
You can create a gift basket with a children’s book and coordinating stuffed animal or other items. I’m a big Peter Rabbit fan and loved the coordinating blanket and baby dish set we received. Barnes and Noble has quite a few character stuffed animals including Peter Rabbit, Pigeon, and Madeline. Your local bookstore would be another good place to try.
We received a Hello magazine subscription as a baby gift and it has been a hit! It’s fun to get mail each month and the magazinemakes a great read aloud choice. My favorite part though is how perfectly constructed this is for babies and toddlers– it’s the perfect size for little hands (and to throw in the diaper bag), the pages can be chewed on and tugged without ever getting damaged and you can wipe it down.
Do you have a favorite bookish gift idea for a baby shower? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.
Don’t forget to subscribe to A Bookish Home to receive your weekly email with a new post sharing ideas for building a culture of reading in your home.
Are you in the Boston area and looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?
These are just some of the fabulous authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area next month. Some of these events require tickets so be sure to book your spot soon!
Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list and get to the top of the library holds list. And be sure to check the events calendars for your local libraries and bookstores.
“Every porcine wonder was once a piglet! Celebrate the joy of a new arrival with this endearing picture-book prequel to the New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson series.
Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door. In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive — and the Watsons’ lives will never be the same.”
“Please join us on Sunday, June 2 at 3pm, when Rajani LaRocca launches her middle grade novel, Midsummer’s Mayhem!
Rajani LaRocca was born in Bangalore, India, and immigrated to the US with her parents when she was a baby. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from Harvard with both a BA and an MD, and has worked as a primary care physician since 2001. She lives in Concord with her family.”
“An Unlikely Story is hosting a launch party like no other, with not one but TWO beloved authors! Jenna Blum will launch the paperback of The Lost Family in conversations with New York Times bestselling author Jane Green, who will be introducing her latest novel, The Friends We Keep. Please join us to celebrate—and bring your book clubs! Appetizers and cocktails from both books will be served.
“Legendary YA author Sarah Dessen will be here to discuss and sign her new book, THE REST OF OUR STORY, a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn’t known since she was a little girl – and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer.
“From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.”
“Scott Magoon will be visiting to read, draw and present his new picture book LINUS THE LITTLE YELLOW PENCIL.
Linus and his eraser, Ernie, don’t always see eye to eye. But with the family art show drawing near, these two will have to sharpen their collaboration to make something neither one could do on their own!
This ode to art by the illustrator of Spoon and Chopsticks points out the power of sharing the creative process and sticking with it.”
“Listening to a good author speak is like riding a bike—you never forget! An Unlikely Story welcomes middle-grade author Meg Medina to talk about her 2019 Newbery award-winning book, MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS. In the book, sixth-grader Merci is trying to balance feeling alone at her private school and feeling confused at home about the strange changes in her grandfather’s behavior. At the event, Meg will talk about her thoughtful coming-of-age novel, answer audience questions, and sign books.”
“We invite you to join The Silver Unicorn Bookstore and three local authors for a unique celebration of food and fiction at Orange Door Kitchen. Novelists Marjan Kamali, Grace Talusan and Whitney Scharer will sit down with guests for a delicious meal inspired by their recently published works and then linger over coffee for book signing and more conversation.
ONE // The Body Papers // Lumpia Shanghai (Filipino egg roll) with sweet and sour dipping sauce
TWO // Age of Light // Moules Mariniere with smoked paprika, tomato and feta
THREE // The Stationary Shop // Persian Spiced Chicken with jeweled rice
FOUR // Rose Cardamom Avocado Ice Cream with cinnamon pastry
Tickets include a copy of the novel of your choice plus non-alcoholic beverages and a four-course meal prepared by Orange Door Kitchen. All three novels and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.”
For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.
Stay tuned for a summer reading preview episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with Paul Swydan, owner of Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, MA.
Harvard Book Store welcomes writer and culinary enthusiast CRYSTAL KING and author, illustrator, and designer KRIS WALDHERR for a discussion of their respective new novels, The Chef’s Secret and The Lost History of Dream.
From one of our most astute observers of human nature, a far-reaching exploration of Japanese history and culture and a moving meditation on impermanence, mortality, and grief. Iyer leads us through the year following his father-in-law’s death, and as the maple leaves begin to redden and the heat begins to soften, Iyer offers us a singular view of Japan, in the season that reminds us to take nothing for granted.
An Unlikely Story invites readers to a book party for the new release from Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of the New York Times bestseller, FISH IN A TREE! In a celebration with the author herself, there will be activity booths and raffles, and Lynda will speak about her new book, SHOUTING AT THE RAIN. A soft and sweet story, SHOUTING AT THE RAIN tells of weather-loving Delsie’s adventures around Cape Cod with a new friend as she discovers the true meaning of family and friendship.
For more information and to order tickets visit the event website.
So You Want to Write a Children’s Book?
Join the Boston Authors Club and authors Nancy Tupper Ling, Padma Venkatraman, Susan Lynn Meyer and host Peter H. Reynolds for a lively and informative discussion on writing and publishing children’s literature of all genres! Located at The Blue Bunny Bookstore. Free and open to all!
As the weather is warming up, our Saturday Morning Story Time is the perfect destination for a family morning walk! Hayley Barrett will be reading her debut picture book, Babymoon.
Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern. While the term “babymoon” is often used to refer to a parents’ getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding. Paired with warm and winsome illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal, Hayley Barrett’s lyrical ode to these tender first days will resonate with new families everywhere.
Hayley Barrett says that fond memories of her own days spent nesting and cocooning with her husband and each of their newborns inspired her to write Babymoon. She lives in eastern Massachusetts
From a very young age, Sue Hendrickson was meant to find things: lost coins, perfume bottles, even hidden treasure. Her endless curiosity eventually led to her career in diving and paleontology, where she would continue to find things big and small. In 1990, at a dig in South Dakota, Sue made her biggest discovery to date: Sue the T. rex, the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever unearthed. Named in Sue’s honor, Sue the T. rex would be placed on permanent exhibition at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. When Sue Found Sue inspires readers to take a closer look at the world around them and to never lose their brave, adventurous spirits.
Toni Buzzeo is the author of the Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times bestseller One Cool Friend and many other books for children. She lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Jeffrey S. Cramer is the editor of Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, winner of a 2004 National Outdoor Book Award, and The Quotable Thoreau, recipient of an Umhoefer Prize for Achievement in Humanities. In 2017, Cramer was the historical consultant for the Ken Burns–produced documentary Walden, created for the Walden Pond State Reservation during the Thoreau Bicentennial. Cramer is the curator of collections at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library. He lives in Maynard.
April is Poetry Month! Celebrate by reading poetry with the children in your life or by picking up an adult collection. Here are some ideas to get you started:
For collections that celebrate poetry and reading, try Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poetry by Kwame Alexander and Book Speak!: Poems About Books by Laurie Purdie Salas:
If you’re looking for a funny poetry book, try A Light in the Attic or anything else by Shel Silverstein, Laugh-eteria by Douglas Florian, and I’m Just No Good At Rhyming And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris.
Travel the world, celebrate sports, and explore animal life in these collections: The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry Edited by J. Patrick Lewis, Amazing Places with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More by Jack Prelutsky.
For fun, creative pairs of poems that can be read in reverse I recommend Mirror Mirror, Follow Follow, or Echo Echo, which are all by Marilyn Singer and are based on fairy tales and greek myths.
You could also celebrate Poetry Month by reading a novel in verse. These also make fantastic choices for listening to as audiobooks.
Novels In Verse:
From Kwame Alexander’s Crossover (Plus Booked and Rebound),to Sharon Creech’s Mooand Another Day As Emily there is great kids’ realistic fiction in verse! (Bonus for Poetry Month: Another Day As Emily’s Susie decides to try living like poet Emily Dickinson).
For a historical read in verse try Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai or Jacqueline Woodson’s incredible memoir BrownGirl Dreaming.
For a beginning chapter book in verse read Gone Fishing (Also Gone Camping) or the sweet, funny series of books beginning with Like Pickle Juice On A Cookie by Julie Steinberg.
I also adore “A Child’s Garden of Poetry” which HBO created with the Poetry Foundation. You can watch video clips of some of the poems on The Poetry Foundation’s website.
I usually spend so much time sharing children’s poetry during April, that I haven’t made enough time for adult poets! This year, I picked up two collections from my local public library, Yeats’s When You Are Old: Early, Poems, Plays, And Fairy Tales And Maya Angelou’s The Complete Poetry:
What books are you reading and sharing during Poetry Month? Leave me a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.
Are you looking for a fun way to connect with your child over books? Start a parent/child book club!
As a school librarian, I helped host a 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club and was always so moved by the conversations and insights shared at these events. Books can be a wonderful way for kids to open up about problems they are facing or feelings they are having, that they may not have shared otherwise. It is also valuable for kids to see their peers as well as adults reading and chatting about books in a meaningful way.
I think upper elementary school is a great time to begin this sort of book club. Invite some of your child’s friends and their parents to join. You could meet monthly or bimonthly, taking turns hosting. Food always makes a book club more enjoyable. Keep it simple and order some pizzas or do a pot-luck.
Use these middle grade book suggestions to help get your parent/child book club started. As time goes on, you could have the kids bring ideas and vote for what they want to read next.
Reading Suggestions for Your Parent/Child Book Club
joined by Lamar Giles, Raul the Third, and Kip Wilson
“Harvard Book Store welcomes Newbery Medal–winning author KWAME ALEXANDER for a celebration of the launch of his new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint, Versify, and the release of his new picture book The Undefeated.
He will be joined by Versify authors LAMAR GILES, RAÚL THE THIRD, and KIP WILSON, who will be presenting their respective new children’s books The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market, and White Rose. The event will be a special 45-minute program focused on spreading the word about how books can empower young people to imagine and create a better world. It will be followed by audience Q&A and a signing with all four authors.”
For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 – 7:00pm at Trident Books, Boston
First Draft with Sarah Enni Live: In Conversation With Sara Farizan and Katie Cotugno
“Join us for an in-conversation event with local authors Sarah Enni, author of TELL ME EVERYTHING, Sara Farizan, author of HERE TO STAY and IF YOU COULD BE MINE, and Katie Cotugno, author of HOW TO LOVE, 99 DAYS. This will be a lively chat including discussions of the themes connecting all of their books, writing young adult fiction, and an audience Q&A. This event will also be recorded and released as a bonus episode of the First Draft podcast.”
“We are extremely excited to welcome Printz Honor author Julie Berry to share her newest YA novel, Lovely War.
They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.
Author Julie Berry’s critically-acclaimed writing has been called “haunting and unforgettable” by New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys and “utterly original and instantly engrossing” by Publishers Weekly.
Julie Berry is the author of the 2017 Printz Honor and Los Angeles Times Book Prize shortlisted novel The Passion of Dolssa, the Carnegie and Edgar shortlistedAll the Truth That’s in Me, and many other acclaimed middle grade novels and picture books. She holds a BS from Rensselaer in communication and an MFA from Vermont College. She lives in Southern California with her family.”
“The Blue Bunny welcomes Hayley Barrett to share her forthcoming picture book, Babymoon. Hayley’s debut picture book encourages growing families to take time together to rest and fall in love. In a perfect gift for new and expectant parents (and siblings), a gentle story pays tribute to the wonder and emotion of a family’s first quiet days with a newborn. Once an aspiring nurse-midwife, Hayley honors the arrival of any child, whether newborn or older, by birth or by adoption, as a momentous event.”
“Meet the New York Times bestselling mother-daughter author team of Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple for a special event marking the release of their new picture book, A Kite for Moon.
The book tells a heartfelt story about a young boy’s fascination and unlikely friendship with the moon. With whimsical illustrations by award-winning artist Matt Phelan, the story begins when the little boy, who is flying his kite, notices a sad Moon. He sends up kites to her, even writing notes to Moon promising he will come see her someday. This promise propels him through years and years of studying, learning, and training to be an astronaut!
Dedicated to Neil Armstrong, this is the perfect children’s book to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first United States moon landing.”
“In 2016, Steven Rowley’s smash debut, Lily and the Octopus, was a publishing phenomenon. The magical tale of grief and friendship sent shock waves through the literary world and was heralded on both sides of the Atlantic. Sold in translation in nineteen languages, Rowley’s remarkable book made The Washington Post’s list of Notable Fiction for 2016 and is currently in development as an Amazon Studios feature film.
Rowley now delivers on the soaring promise of that debut with The Editor, a stunning exploration of the complicated bond forged within families and a tribute to the serendipitous relationships that shape and define us—perfect for admirers of Less and The Nix.”
Saturday April 13th- 11:00AM at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton
Inspiration struck when Momofuku Ando spotted the long lines for a simple bowl of ramen following World War II. Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab–a little shed in his backyard. For years, he’d dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he’d seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed.
Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting.
With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded.”
“When Mary Todd meets Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the winter of 1840, he is on no one’s shortlist to be president. Rough and reticent, he’s a country lawyer lacking money and manners, living above a dry goods shop, but with a gift for oratory. Mary, a quick, self-possessed debutante with a tireless interest in debates and elections, at first finds him an enigma. “I can only hope,” she tells his roommate, the handsome, charming Joshua Speed, “that his waters being so very still, they also run deep.”
It’s not long, though, before she sees the Lincoln that Speed knows: a man who, despite his awkwardness, is amiable and profound, with a gentle wit to match his genius and a respect for her keen political mind. But as her relationship with Lincoln deepens, she must confront his inseparable friendship with Speed, who has taught his roommate how to dance, dress, and navigate the polite society of Springfield.
Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, and rich with historical detail, Courting Mr. Lincoln creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation’s most beloved presidents.
Louis Bayard, a master storyteller at the height of his powers, delivers here a page-turning tale of love, longing, and forbidden possibilities.”
“An eye-opening, inspiring, and timely account of the complex relationship between notable suffragist Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson in Alice’s fight for women’s equality. From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Wilson, Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? reveals the inspiring, near-death journey it took, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, to grant women the right to vote in America.”
“Valeria will be in conversation with Christopher Lydon, the host of WBUR’s Radio Open Source.
From the two-time NBCC Finalist, an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border – an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.”
“Soman Chainani will introduce the fifth installment in his New York Times bestselling fantasy series, the School for Good and Evil. Sophie, Agatha, and their friends must find a way to overthrow the sinister evil that twists lies into the truth and seeks to rewrite their story. While you’re waiting for the event, you can enroll at the School for Good and Evil and take the entrance exam!”
“Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated writer and podcaster GRETCHEN RUBIN—bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before—for a discussion of her latest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness.”
For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 11:00am at Belmont Books
Josh Funk’s 10th Book Celebration!
“Hansel and Gretel will not listen to their storyteller. For one thing, who leaves a trail of bread crumbs lying around, when there are people starving? Not Hansel, that’s for sure And that sweet old lady who lives in a house made of cookies and candy? There’s no way she’s an evil witch As for Gretel, well, she’s about to set the record straight–after all, who says the story can’t be called Gretel and Hansel? It’s time for these wacky siblings to take their fairy tale into their own hands. So sit back and enjoy the gingerbread
With laugh-out-loud dialogue and bold, playful art (including hidden search-and-find fairy-tale creatures), this Hansel and Gretel retelling will have kids giggling right up to the delicious ending.”
“Please join us on Sunday, March 10 at 3pm, when acclaimed author Jabari Asim presents We Can’t Breathe, Insightful and searing essays that celebrate the vibrancy and strength of black history and culture in America.”
“Harvard Book Store welcomes LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON, the award-winning, bestselling author of Speak, for a discussion of her new memoir, SHOUT—a searing poetic memoir for the #MeToo era. Anderson will be joined in conversation by a special guest, to be announced.”
“For fans of the Royal Diaries series and Gail Carson Levine, Newbery Honor-winning author Kathryn Lasky delivers the first enchanting adventure in a compelling new middle grade series about a newly orphaned girl who finds herself time-travelling between the present day and the court of the two most memorable English princesses in history.”
Sunday, March 24, 2019 – 10:00am at An Unlikely Story in Plainville
“Suit up for some monster-fighting fun with LeUyen Pham, the illustrator of THE PRINCESS IN BLACK series! Her colorful illustrations always bring alive the humor and action in the stories and the newest installment, THE SCIENCE FAIR SCARE, is no different. In the book, when a goo monster threatens the interkingdom science fair, only Princess Magnolia’s monster-fighting alter ego, Princess in Black can save the day. At the event, LeUyen will give a presentation and do a drawing demonstration, followed by a signing.”
“Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writer LAILA LALAMI—author of Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Moor’s Account—for a discussion of her new novel, The Other Americans. She will be joined in conversation by MIN JIN LEE, author of the celebrated National Book Award–finalist Pachinko.”
Each year, Dr. Seuss’s birthday is celebrated on March 2nd with Read Across America Day. Join in the celebration of these classic books and of the importance of reading! You can take part at home or see if there is a celebration at your child’s school or local library.
Green Eggs and Ham is a Dr. Seuss classic. This story is a crowd pleaser for children of all ages. That “Sam-I-Am” asks over and over again for the main character to try green eggs and ham. Sam sure is persistent before he finally gets his wish! And low and behold, the green eggs and ham are a hit!
What better way to start off Dr. Seuss’s birthday than to read the book aloud to your kids at breakfast and then eat some of your own green eggs and ham! You can scramble eggs and add chopped up spinach or kale to make them green. I’ve also made our eggs green by mixing in avocado. Or if you want to get a bit fancier, you can buy some green food dye to use. You can either chop up small bits of cooked ham, or if like my family you’re not big ham fans, serve your eggs with sausage or bacon instead. And if getting out the door in the morning is too rushed to make this happen, why not do breakfast for dinner?
The birthday celebration at the Dr. Seuss Museum looks too good to be missed! With Dr. Seuss’s birthday falling on a Saturday this year, this could be the perfect time to join in the fun!
“Celebrate beloved children’s author and Springfield native Theodor “Ted” Geisel–aka Dr. Seuss–on his 115th birthday. This action-packed day features Seuss-inspired cakes and decorations; a dance party; art and science activities; and meet and greets with The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Grinch and the Lorax.”
Highlights from this year’s celebration include:
“The Cat in the Hat and Friends, 11 am-1 pm, 2-4 pm The Cat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Grinch and the Lorax are here to celebrate their creator’s special day. Get a hug or a high five and snap a selfie with your favorite character.
If I Ran the Zoo, Noon-3 pm Meet from our friends from Forest Park Zoo! Theodor Robert Geisel (Dr. Seuss’s dad) was superintendent of Forest Park Zoo and his work may have inspired many of Dr. Seuss’s wild characters! Get up close and personal with some birds, mammals, and reptiles.
Karaoke and Dance Party, 11 am-3 pm DJ Marty invites you to bust a move in your dancing shoes and maybe even belt out a tune of your own.
Dr. Seuss Photo Booth, 11 am-4 pm Grab a Seussian prop to take some fun and memorable family photos.
Seuss Puppet Theaters, 11 am-4 pm Create your own performance with our Seuss shadow puppet and finger puppet theaters.”
Read Oh The Thinks You Can Think! And Make Something Up!
If you want a book that celebrates the power of the imagination, look no further than Oh The Thinks You Can Think! Dr. Seuss comes up with so many fantastical creatures and settings. For older children, I love to make the connection with kids that this is an awful lot like what great fantasy writers like J.K. Rowling have done. Someone had to dream up Quidditch, Butterbeer, and Blast-Ended Skrewts! Challenge your kids to come up with their own made-up creatures, games, foods, or places. Then they can draw, paint or use craft supplies to make their creations the way they imagine them. And of course, name them!
“Do you like green eggs and ham?” asks Sam-I-am in this Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss. In a house or with a mouse? In a boat or with a goat? On a train or in a tree? Sam keeps asking persistently. With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, Dr. Seuss’s beloved favorite has cemented its place as a children’s classic. In this most famous of cumulative tales, the list of places to enjoy green eggs and ham, and friends to enjoy them with, gets longer and longer. Follow Sam-I-am as he insists that this unusual treat is indeed a delectable snack to be savored everywhere and in every way. “
“Dr. Seuss creates another timeless picture-book classic with The Sneetches and Other Stories. Are you a Star-Belly Sneetch or a Plain-Belly Sneetch? This delightful book contains four tales with deliciously subtle takes on how silly it is to be, well, silly. “The Sneetches,” “The Zax,” “Too Many Daves,” and “What Was I Scared Of?” make this energetic compilation a must-have for every library. Full of Dr. Seuss’s signature rhymes and unmistakable characters, it’s perfect for new and lifelong Seuss fans.”
“Dr. Seuss presents three modern fables in the rhyming favorite Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The collection features tales about greed (“Yertle the Turtle”), vanity (“Gertrude McFuzz”), and pride (“The Big Brag”). In no other book does a small burp have such political importance! Yet again, Dr. Seuss proves that he and classic picture books go hand in hand.”
From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’” A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!
“Poor Dick and Sally. It’s cold and wet and they’re stuck in the house with nothing to do . . . until a giant cat in a hat shows up, transforming the dull day into a madcap adventure and almost wrecking the place in the process! Written by Dr. Seuss in 1957 in response to the concern that “pallid primers [with] abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls’ were leading to growing illiteracy among children, The Cat in the Hat (the first Random House Beginner Book) changed the way our children learn how to read.”
“From Aunt Annie’s Alligator to Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, this sturdy board book version of Dr. Seuss’s ABC is now available in a bigger trim size. With Dr. Seuss as your guide, learning the alphabet is as fun and as funny as the feather on a Fiffer-feffer-feff!”
Can’t Choose? Try this Collection:
Your Favorite Seuss: Thirteen Best-Loved Stories“From his very first book to his very last book, here in one big volume are 13 classic Dr. Seuss stories, everyone’s favorites. All of the words and virtually all of the illustrations are included. Each story is prefaced by a short essay by someone whose life was changed by Dr. Seuss or who is simply an unabashed admirer. Also included are photographs of Dr. Seuss, memorabilia, and original sketches from his books.”
How will you celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday? Be sure to check to see if your local library or bookstore has a Read Across America party you could attend. If your child’s school will be celebrating, you could also volunteer to be a guest reader.
Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?
Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.
Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.
Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!
Saturday, February 2nd – 7pm at Belmont Books
“Have a story you want to tell? Join us for a special story slam hosted by The Moth’s Steve Almond.
We have 100 tickets available for $10. Up to 10 ticket holders may participate in the story slam and will be chosen on a first-come first-served basis from a sign-up list. Ticket holders also get a one time 10% off coupon for the bookstore or cafe good for the night of the event.
If you would like to participate, please put a request in your order comments. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, purchase your ticket at the link below, give us a call at 617-923-1496, or sign up in person. Your story must be 5 minutes long and revolve around the theme “The Book That Saved My Life.” No notecards on stage so make sure you practice!
The winner will be chosen by our special guest judges, Crystal King, Edwin Hill, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, and will receive a $25 gift card to the store!”
“Harvard Book Store welcomes longtime chief executive officer and chairman of Starbucks HOWARD SCHULTZ for a discussion of his latest book, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.”
“Too intimidated to cook Chinese food at home but crave those punchy flavors? Not anymore. Put down that takeout kung pao chicken and get in the kitchen! Full of irresistible recipes that marry traditional Asian ingredients with comforting American classics and seasonal ingredients, Double Awesome Chinese Food delivers the goods. The three fun-loving Chinese-American siblings behind the acclaimed restaurant Mei Mei take the fear factor out of cooking this complex cuisine, infusing it with creativity, playfulness, and ease.Margaret, Irene, and Andrew Li are the sibling co-owners of a food truck and restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts. Their food truck, Mei Mei Street Kitchen, opened in 2012 and was soon awarded Boston’s Best Meals on Wheels by Boston Magazine. Their brick-and-mortar restaurant opened in late 2013 and was named Eater Boston’s Restaurant of the Year.”
“From the author of #1 New York Times bestselling and award winning The Hate U Give, On the Come Upis an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.
Angie will appear in conversation with Christina Tucker, co-host of the podcast Unfriendly Black Hotties. Each ticket comes with copy of On the Come Up, and Angie will do a book signing for all patrons after show.
Angie Thomas holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Thomas is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included.”
“Harvard Book Store welcomes Man Booker Prize–winning novelist MARLON JAMES—author of A Brief History of Seven Killings—for a discussion of his highly anticipated latest novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf.”
For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.
Saturday, February 9th- 2pm at Newtonville Books
Middle Grade “Luck and Magic” Author Reading with Susan Lubner, Anna Staniszewski, and Susan Tan
“Susan Lubner is the author of three picture books and the middle grade novel, The Upside of Ordinary. Her stories have also appeared in Spiderand Highlights. Besides reading and writing, Susan loves taking long walks, spending time on the water at Cape Cod, the color blue, painting, and eating lots of chocolate. She lives in Massachusetts, but was born and raised in Maine, where her family always had two, three, or sometimes four cats.”
“Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewskigrew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was a Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston and teaches at Simmons College.”
“Susan Tan has lived many places in her life, but calls Concord, Massachusetts, home. She grew up in a mixed-race family, and, like Cilla Lee-Jenkins, had very little hair until the age of five. After studying at Williams College, she earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she studied children’s literature. She currently lives in Somerville, enjoys frequent trips to Chinatown to eat tzuck sang, and teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.”
Sunday, February 10th- 1pm at the Eric Carle Museum, Amherst
Out of the Box: The Graphic Novel Comes of Age
Participating artists include Vera Brosgol, Catia Chien, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Matt Phelan, Raina Telgemeier, and Sara Varon.
This event is certainly worth the drive to Amherst for graphic novel fans!
“Meet artists from Out of the Box: The Graphic Novel Comes of Age in a fun Q&A format. Participating artists include Vera Brosgol, Catia Chien, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Matt Phelan, Raina Telgemeier, and Sara Varon.
Monday, February 11th- 6:30pm at An Unlikely Story, Plainville
Raina Telgemeier & Vera Brosgol
Be prepared to smile! Join us in welcoming two award-winning graphic novelists, Raina Telgemeier, creator of the Eisner Award-winning graphic memoirsSmile and Sisters, and Vera Brosgol, creator of the 2017 Caldecott Honor picture book, LEAVE ME ALONE! Raina and Vera will discuss the inspirations for their graphic novels SMILE and BE PREPARED, followed by a Q&A and signing.
For more event information and to get tickets visit the event website.
“Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission–they’re sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post their work online–poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial microaggressions she experiences–and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls. When things escalate in real life, the principal shuts the club down. Not willing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices–and those of other young women–to be heard.
Join us for a book discussion, signing, and free pizza!”
“Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome writer and editor KATHARINE SMYTH for a discussion of her debut book, All the Lives We Ever Lived: Finding Solace in Virginia Woolf. She will be joined in conversation by award-winning writer DARCY FREY—author of The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams.”
“We are welcoming back local author Alison Goldberg to celebrate the board book release of I Love You For Miles and Miles. This is a lovely crafted car-and-truck-and-train-filled book that compares the enduring power of love to various vehicles, and it has been a store favorite since we had Alison out last year!
Goldberg’s picture book debut, this I-love-you book is perfect for children who love vehicles that dig, carry, and lift. Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, Goldberg compares the abilities of vehicles like trains, planes, cars, boats, and construction equipment to the never-ending love a parent has for their child.
Join us to celebrate this local author, who may just have a craft for kids to do as well!”
“On this day, we are doing our first double book launch! How exciting is that! Local author Jen Petro-Roy is simulteanously releasing a middle-grade novel, Good Enough and a children’s non-fiction book, You Are Enough: Your Guide to Body Image and Eating Disorder Recovery. Both deal with eating disorders, which is something Jen has experienced and dealt with in her life.
In Good Enough, 12-year-old Riley was many things before she had an eating disorder: an aspiring artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend. Especially since under the influence of her eating disorder, Riley alienated her friends, abandoned her art, turned running into something harmful, and destroyed her family’s trust.
If Riley wants her life back, she has to recover. But when her roommate starts to break the rules, triggering Riley’s old behaviors and blackmailing her into silence, Riley realizes that recovery will be even harder than she thought.Meanwhile,You Are Enough is a book that’s written to be inclusive of people with disordered eating of all genders, races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, ability, sizes, etc. The author is taking special care to be inclusive of trans and non-binary readers, fat readers, chronically ill readers, disabled readers, cis men, and readers without insurance–all groups who are often excluded from the eating disorder recovery conversation.
Jen has drawn on her own experiences with anorexia, OCD, and over-exercising, as well as her experiences in inpatient and residential treatment. But she has also spoken to healthcare professionals, as well as other people who have suffered from eating disorders to craft what is the first book about these disorders geared toward younger readers.
These will be Jen’s second and third books, respectively. You may remember Jen’s first book, P.S. I Miss You, which we featured at an event in September!
Join us for this wonderful double book launch party!”
“Please join us on Thursday, February 21 at 7pm, when Crystal King presents her new novel, The Chef’s Secret.
Crystal King is an author, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University, as well as at GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in critical and creative thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston but considers Italy her next great love after her husband, Joe, and their two cats, Nero and Merlin. She is the author of Feast of Sorrow.”
“The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something! If you see an injustice… say something!
In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!
“Join us for the launch of the second graphic novel in the Wings of Fire series. Tui will be discussing the series, answering questions, and signing books. Tickets will be $5 and can be purchased over the phone or in store. You can also purchase tickets online here. We only have 100 tickets available so get yours now! All children under the age of 10 will need to be accompanied by an adult.”
“From the widely praised author of Paris Was the Place–a shattering new novel that bravely delves into the darkest corners of addiction, marriage, and motherhood.
When Elsey’s husband, Lukas, hands her a brochure for a weeklong mountain retreat, she knows he is really giving her an ultimatum: Go, or we’re done. Once a successful painter, Elsey set down roots in China after falling passionately for Lukas, the tall, Danish MC at a warehouse rave in downtown Beijing. Now, with two young daughters and unable to find a balance between her identities as painter, mother, and, especially, wife, Elsey fills her days worrying, drinking, and descending into desperate unhappiness. So, brochure in hand, she agrees to go and confront the ghosts of her past. There, she meets a group of men and women who will forever alter the way she understands herself: from Tasmin, another (much richer) expat, to Hunter, a young man whose courage endangers them all, and, most important, Mei–wife of one of China’s most famous artists and a renowned painter herself–with whom Elsey quickly forges a fierce friendship and whose candidness about her pain helps Elsey understand her own. But Elsey must risk tearing herself and Lukas further apart when she decides she must return to her childhood home–the center of her deepest pain–before she can find her way back to him. Written in a voice at once wry, sensual, blunt, and hypnotic, Elsey Come Home is a modern odyssey and a quietly dynamic portrait of contemporary womanhood.
Susan Conley is the author of the novel Paris Was the Place and The Foremost Good Fortune, a book that won the Maine Literary Award for memoir. Born and raised in Maine, her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Ploughshares. She has been awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Maine Arts Commission, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. She spent three years in Beijing with her husband and two sons before moving back to Portland, Maine, where she currently lives. She teaches in the Stonecoast Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine.