PJs and Pages
A little over a year after the Pajama Program reached a significant milestone – one million books and pairs of new pajamas given to children in need nationwide – the nonprofit announced a second milestone: two million book/pajama donations have gone out, thanks to help from major partners Scholastic and Carter’s, plus thousands of local charity drives. At the Pajama Program’s Reading Center in midtown Manhattan, more than 1,000 children enjoy one-on-one and group reading sessions with volunteers, among them Rebecca Gales (at right), shown here with Jeaniah and Alliyah, both 10, and Jayla, five. To serve an ever-growing waiting list, the Pajama Program is scheduled to open a new Reading Center in April.
‘Holes’ Lotta Love
Louis Sachar traveled to Decatur, Ga., last week for the On the Same Page program, organized by Little Shop of Stories. The community-wide program engages readers of all ages in reading the same book; the selection of his Newbery winner Holes was announced earlier this year at the Decatur Book Festival, with various book-related events taking place throughout the fall, culminating in Sachar’s recent trip. Over the course of two days, the author visited more than 700 kids at local elementary schools, including Oakhurst Elementary, shown here. The grand finale, an evening public event at Agnes Scott College, attracted 300 people.
A Very ‘Twisted’ Christmas
’Tis the season for paranormal romance, at least for author Leanna Renee Hieber, seen here signing for a fan at New York City’s Bank Street Bookstore. On December 7, the store hosted a Twisted Tragic Victorian Christmas Party for the author, whose young adult novels – including her most recent, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Sourcebooks Fire) – are set in 1880s New York City. Like the author, fans and friends turned out in costume for the event, where Hieber read from and signed copies of Twisted Tragedy, the second book in the Magic Most Foul series, after 2011’s Darker Still.
The Spirit of Giving – and Swapping
HarperCollins Children’s Books’ marketing department celebrated the holidays on December 6 with its annual party and Yankee Swap, a 10-plus-year tradition. Everyone brings in a gift for the swap, and is given a number; in number order, each person picks a wrapped present. Don’t like what you picked? You can make up to three trades with your co-workers. The catch – the other person has to trade, even if they prefer not to (things get competitive, as one might imagine). Some of the hot items this year included Bookopoly, Bananagrams, a wreath of shot glasses, lunchbox Tupperware, mustaches, and lots of candles. Sounds like a party to us.
The Show Must Go On
Halloween may be one of the most anticipated holidays in the publishing industry, but this year, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, many companies’ plans were disrupted or canceled. That didn’t stop the intrepid Scholastic marketing team, who donned their costumes a few days after the original October 30 party date for a photo op as the cardboard army, inspired by Doug TenNapel’s Cardboard (Graphix). Two staffers, Antonio Gonzalez and Krista Kucheman, are using their costumes as inboxes. Reportedly, the marketing crew also had a Gangnam Style choreographed dance routine planned – maybe they could be coerced into a Groundhog Day reprise?