Morpurgo Visits ‘Today’

Author Michael Morpurgo stopped by NBC’s The Today Show Thursday morning; Morpurgo’s 1982 novel War Horse (Scholastic) was the latest pick for Al Roker’s Book Club for Kids. The children in Roker’s Book Club saw both the Tony-winning play at Lincoln Center and the Steven Spielberg–directed film version of War Horse, which releases on Christmas Day, before meeting the author. While in the green room, Morpurgo learned that the film was nominated for a Golden Globe in the best picture/drama category.

Christmas, Couture, and Children’s Books

The holiday windows at Neiman Marcus Copley Place in Boston have their inspiration in a children’s book (and DVD) this year: Jan Brett’s The Night Before Christmas Deluxe Book & DVD Edition (Putnam, Nov.), which pairs Brett’s artwork with music by the Boston Pops Orchestra and narration by Jim Dale. Scenes from Brett’s version of the holiday classic appear in the flagship store’s windows along with couture gowns created by designer Bibhu Mohapatra.

Arizona Authors Unite

This past Saturday, eight Arizona-based middle-grade and YA authors met at the home of writer Lisa McMann (The Unwanteds) for an open house to thank local teachers, librarians, and booksellers for their support. As McMann wrote in a blog post, “Arizona has had some tough times and no funding for books in libraries and schools lately. We wanted to help, and we wanted to get more new books into our local schools and libraries.” The authors’ publishers donated books and ARCs to give away, and 150 people turned out for the gathering. Seen here, l. to r.: Janni Lee Simner, Amy Dominy, Aprilynne Pike, Lisa McMann, Bill Konigsberg, Tom Leveen, James Owen, and Janette Rallison.

Lunch with Two Children’s Book Champions

Last Thursday, Katherine Paterson (l.), the current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, met with Dr. Siobhán Parkinson, Ireland’s first Children’s Literature Laureate, to discuss literary and children’s books at a luncheon held in Vermont for librarians, authors, teachers, booksellers, and more. Attendees included authors David Macaulay and Nancy Graff, Horn Book executive editor Martha Parravano, and several faculty members at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Parkinson, who was in the U.S. for a literary salon held at the New York Public Library this past weekend, is most recently the author of Long Story Short (Roaring Brook, June); Paterson’s successor in the role of ambassador will be named on January 3.

Norton Juster, Tollbooth Operator

Author Norton Juster was in Atlanta last week, where The Phantom Tollbooth was celebrated as the first pick for local bookstore Little Shop of Stories’ new community reading program, “On the Same Page.” Joined by Leonard S. Marcus, who contributed to The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth (Knopf, Oct.), Juster made school appearances as well as a public event for 700 people. As seen here, Juster also tested out Little Shop’s in-store tollbooth. This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Phantom Tollbooth’s publication.