Calling All Spaceheadz

Jon Scieszka visited the Barnes & Noble in Princeton, N.J., late last month to promote his new series, Spaceheadz (S&S, June), about a boy who is befriended by aliens who only speak in slogans and advertising jargon (part of Scieskza’s goal with the series is to make kids more media-literate). The aliens need to recruit 3.4 million kids to become Spaceheadz (or else the world will be turned off), and Scieszka was doing his part to increase that tally at the event. He has constructed a “machine” to help kids register (the machine, as well as Scieskza, made an appearance at ALA); kids receive a Spaceheadz certificate after doing so, and they are added to the total count of Spaceheadz online. The second book in the series is due in December.

A Regal Reading

Bookworks in Albuquerque, N.M., was the setting of a launch party last month for the sixth book in writer Carolyn Meyer’s Young Royals series, The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette (Harcourt, Apr.). In keeping with the book’s subject matter—the ascent and downfall of the former queen of France—the story had some suitably elegant gowns on hand for the reading and signing. Like Meyer (pictured here), guests could pose for photos “wearing” the gowns, which were fashioned into standees.

Nielsen Making Waves

This past weekend writer Sheila A. Nielsen launched her debut novel, Forbidden Sea (Scholastic Press, July), about a girl who discovers that a legendary local mermaid may be real, at the King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City. The Utah-based author blogged about her reading, saying, “They had starfish cookies with teal green icing. Too bad I didn't have a chance to taste one. I was too busy signing and they went real fast.” Nielsen also made an at-capacity appearance at the Provo Public Library, with the town’s mayor among the attendees.

Diary of a (Patriotic) Worm

Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss’s Diary of a Worm provided the inspiration for the Friends of the Martinez Library in Martinez, Calif.; they built a giant version of the worm for the town’s annual Fourth of July parade. Seen here with two members of the Friends of the Library who worked on the project, Barbara Hanafan and Cathy Riggs, the worm was constructed out of children’s play tunnels and covered in fabric with help from volunteers. Though the Fourth has come and gone, the worm can now found in the children’s room at the library.