Exhibitionist Tendencies

More than 100 people joined illustrator Peter H. Reynolds and debut author Susan Verde for a launch party for The Museum (Abrams) at Reynolds’s bookstore, The Blue Bunny, in Dedham, Mass. The pair presented their collaborative effort and signed copies for fans, who ate pieces of a cake decorated à la the book’s cover and could enter drawings to win passes to the Boston Children’s Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston – suitably artful prizes.

A Sign of Things to Come

Small-town Bernard, Iowa (pop. 98) had never in its history had a billboard – until resident and author-illustrator Arthur Geisert stepped in. After securing permission from the Bernard Telephone Company, the city council, and the mayor, Geisert put up a sign announcing his May 11 book party for the forthcoming Thunderstorm (Enchanted Lion. May). The signing will be held at Coe’s Bar, which also hosted the launch of 2010’s Country Road ABC. At that event, Geisert signed and sold nearly 600 books – or six copies for every person in the city.

Holding Court

When documentarian and MTV celeb Andrew Jenks, author of Andrew Jenks: My Adventures As a Young Filmmaker (Scholastic Press), had an event at the UConn Co-op at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, he tweeted at Geno Auriemma, coach of the championship-winning women’s basketball team there, inviting him to attend. Starting center for the Huskies Stefanie Dolson (l., with Jenks) saw the tweet and stopped by to get her book signed. Jenks’s b-ball connections go deep: he got his start as a filmmaker when his high school basketball coach asked him to make a video for the team’s awards banquet.

Lending a Hand for Conservation

Phoenix Books Essex in Vermont hosted its fifth annual Newt Night with the North Branch Nature Center of Montpelier, who brought a variety of native reptiles, amphibians, and insects to the shop, including this yellow-spotted salamander (held by bookseller Rachel Oblak). The event also opened the Peepers & Creepers exhibit at the bookstore’s gallery, on view through mid-April. The environmentally conscious shop opened in 2007 with a mission to promote social responsibility, community, and sustainability.

On Their Toes

Author-illustrator Lauren Stringer’s When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky (Harcourt) celebrates the collaboration between two groundbreaking artists: composer Igor and choreographer Vaslav. For her book party at The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn., the store invited six musicians from the St. Joseph’s School of Music in St. Paul to play for the packed crowd. As Stringer (foreground r.) explains, “We were going over the five basic positions of ballet together, so that when I showed them what Nijinsky did – turning toes inward and bending elbows to create a dance inspired by Cubism and primitivism – everyone would know how different that was from the normal. [When] they played excerpts from The Rite of Spring, our bodies took on angles and everyone saw how difficult it would be for the dancers to be graceful.”

‘Good’ Handwriting

YA authors (l.) Colleen Clayton (What Happens Next, Little, Brown/Poppy), (r.) Kristina McBride (One Moment, Egmont USA), Tiffany Schmidt (Send Me A Sign, Walker), and Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits, Harlequin Teen) visited Cover to Cover Books in Columbus, Ohio, for a panel discussion and signing called “Good Girls and Bad Boys in YA.” The four also signed the store’s author wall, which has been at the current location for 16 years. The original wall, now in storage, had been in the shop’s previous space since 1981.