Levine Retires from Whitman

Children’s book publisher Albert Whitman celebrated the retirement of editor Abby Levine (fifth from l.) at a luncheon last week, with current and former staffers in attendance. After 28 years with Albert Whitman, Levine is leaving the company this week, though she will continue to work on select projects. In addition to writing 12 picture books of her own, Levine has worked with many authors and illustrators, including Peg Kehret, Eileen Spinelli, Grace Lin, Kathy Tucker (fourth from r.), Linda Glaser, Colin Bootman, Joan Holub, and Lynn Munsinger.

A Family Affair

This past Saturday, author Meg Medina launched her first picture book, Tía Isa Wants a Car, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz(Candlewick, June) at bbgb tales for kids in Richmond, Va. In the book, a girl’s longing to be reunited with her parents is tied to her aunt’s desire to save up for a car of her own. Joining Medina (second from l.) at the event were her children, (l. to r.) Cristina, Alex, and Sandra Menendez. After the event, Medina put together a list of tips for author events on her Web site, discussing everything from planning ahead to social media strategies (“This is no longer optional, so do not fight it”) and giveaways.

‘Fast’ Out of the Gate

Last Friday, the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn., hosted a launch party for local author Geoff Herbach’s first YA novel, Stupid Fast (Sourcebooks Fire, June), narrated by high school student Felton Reinstein, who becomes a powerful runner almost overnight after a late growth spurt. Herbach (second from l.), who also teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota in Mankato, is seen here with (l. to r.) booksellers Barb Bassett, Amy Baum, Susan Hepburn, and Anneke Krall.

Take Me Out to the Library

The Boston Bruins may have won the Stanley Cup last night, but for author David A. Kelly yesterday was all about a different sport—baseball—when he made an appearance at the Boston Public Library to promote his new Baseball Park Mysteries series. The "Read Your Way to Fenway" event highlighted the first book in the series, The Fenway Foul-up (Random, Feb.), illustrated by Mark Meyers. Here, Kelly shows off a copy of the book with Wally the Green Monster, the official mascot of the Boston Red Sox.