Quick Take

The Thalia Kids’ Book Club at New York City’s Symphony Space hosted the second annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, which showcased videos submitted by children across the country. Each offers a 90-second take on a Newbery Medal winner; this year’s selections included a stop-motion claymation Mr. Popper's Penguin, a robot version of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and a late-night talk show inspired by Because of Winn-Dixie and starring a fourth-grade class. Co-presented by Bank Street Bookstore, the event also featured authors including (from l.) Jon Scieszka, Margi Preus, Brian Floca, Kate DiCamillo, and Rita Williams Garcia, who kept the crowd entertained between films.

A Penguin, a Pinecone, a Squid, and An Octopus Meet at a Yarn Shop….

Getting an author appearance together can be a team effort. Unwind, a yarn and knitting shop in Burbank, Calif., hosted an event with author-illustrator Salina Yoon, shown here reading from Penguin and Pinecone (Walker, 2012); and Tao Nyeu, who presented Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always (Dial, 2012). The authors read and signed their books, and each did a drawing demonstration. Doing their part were Montrose bookshop Once Upon a Time, which pitched in to sell books; and Maskipops by Adri, which provided (for a small cash donation) cake pops modeled on the books’ characters. Bridge to Books, a volunteer organization whose goal is to bring literature to children, organized the event.

Eye Spy

Barbara Johansen Newman showcases her optical obsession in her fall picture book, Glamorous Glasses (Boyds Mills), about a girl who balks at getting prescription eyewear, and her best friend – and cousin – who tries to get her excited about them. So where better to offer the picture book for sale than at her favorite optician’s shop? Newman signed stacks of books for Focal Point in Newton, Mass., to sell, and then couldn’t resist trying on a few pairs of specs before she left. The author-illustrator donned purple cat’s eye frames and a pair of mottled brown glasses, but went home with two previously ordered pairs – green frames with slightly blue-tinted lenses, and tortoise shells.

Keats Commemoration

Authors, illustrators, publishers, and educators gathered at the Society of Illustrators in New York City last month to celebrate children’s literature and the 50th anniversary of Ezra Jack Keats’s Caldecott-winning The Snowy Day. Co-hosted by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, the celebration was attended by some 75 guests, including (from l.) Deborah Pope, executive director of the Keats Foundation and event co-host, and Floyd Cooper, author, illustrator, and keynote speaker.