A Show of Support

Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Jill Biden, illustrated by Raúl Colón (S&S/Wiseman), recounts a year in the life of Biden’s granddaughter Natalie while Natalie’s father, Beau Biden, served in Iraq with his Delaware National Guard unit. In honor of Veterans Day, Biden and S&S (through First Book) donated copies of the picture book to military basis across the U.S. And throughout the fall, Delaware libraries have been presenting programs honoring the contributions of men and women serving in the military, including Biden’s November 16 reading and signing at the Dover Library. This past Saturday (pictured), the author signed at a Costco in Fairfax. Va.

Yee-haw for Books

The RoadRunner Press, based in Oklahoma City, hosted its second annual Red Dirt book launch party on November 10 in Ponca City, Okla., after the local Veterans Day Parade. More than 400 people gathered on the lawn of the Ponca City Library to meet RoadRunner authors like Barbara Hay (r.). Hay’s newly released middle-grade novel, The Tale of the Ill-Gotten Catfish, is the first entry in the Bulldoggers Club series, about four boys who start a rodeo club. Entertainer Marty Tipton (l.), known as the Oklahoma Kid, shared roping tricks with attendees; other down-home activities included pony rides and live music by the Red Dirt Rangers.

Team Spirit

More than 30 children’s publishing staffers braved rain (and unseasonably early November snow) to vie for golden bunny trophies at the Children’s Book Council Early Career Committee 9th Annual Extreme Trivia Challenge. Hosted by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park and held at Scholastic’s NYC headquarters, the competition tested contestants’ knowledge of children’s literature – both classic and current – with questions like: How many animals does Bear have to ask, “Have you seen my hat?” before he first meets the rabbit who stole his hat? (Answer: two). Shown here are members of the winning team, hard at work (l. to r.): Stephanie Stein (HarperCollins), Rotem Moscovich (Disney), Amy Rosenbaum (S&S), Susan Dobinick (FSG), “team cheerleader”/ECC board member Annie Stone (Harlequin). Not pictured: Allegra Green (Little, Brown).

Readers Anonymous

On tour for Days of Blood & Starlight (Little, Brown), the sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor visited the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Tex. For the event, which was arranged by local indie BookPeople, students donned colorful masks in homage to the books’ covers; they also sported henna hamsas (palm-shaped amulets) similar to the ones main character Karou is described as having on her hands. Next up for the flamingo-tressed author: two appearances in Los Angeles (November 15 and 16); a slot at Miami Book Fair International (with Tonya Hurley and Gennifer Albin); and dates in Kansas City, Mo. (November 19 and 20) and Portland, Ore. (November 27).

Face to Face

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia brought its glow-in-the-dark production of Treasured Stories by Eric Carle to New York City’s Symphony Space on November 10. The show brings to life The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. At a media meet-and-greet, journalists, bloggers, and their families got a backstage tour, met the performers, and got a close-up look at some of the puppetry used in the production. Here, Jack – whose mother, Megan Pachal, blogs at Bicultural Mama – meets Carle’s ravenous insect, post-metamorphosis. The show will tour the U.S. and Canada through June 2, including a 10-date run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., between December 27 and January 6. Photo: Megan Pachal.

How Sweet It Is!

Fans of the Cupcake Diaries series (Simon Spotlight) are rolling up their sleeves and donning aprons for the Second Annual National Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off. More than 150 groups from 41 U.S. states, plus Brazil, India, and the United Arab Emirates, are holding bake sales through November 18. The effort, spearheaded by nonprofit organization She’s the First, aims to raise $50,000 in scholarships for girls in developing nations. (Shown here is Anne Nestor, a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s campus chapter of She’s the First.) To support the initiative, Simon & Schuster has printed “She’s The First Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off” ads in 100,000 copies of its Cupcake Diaries series, and is donating giveaway items to encourage elementary school participation.