Seven Cars for Seven Books

Abrams is gearing up for the eighth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, due out later this year, with a marketing campaign that has seven cars promoting Jeff Kinney’s previous books across the country. As part of the “Wimpy Kid Drives Reading” campaign, seven vehicles were wrapped with artwork tied to the first seven books in the series; the cars, which belong to Abrams reps and staffers, include a yellow Toyota Prius, which is promoting Dog Days in the Bay Area, and a brown Ford Five Hundred in Chicago, decorated to match the most recent book, The Third Wheel. Window clings and character cutout kits have been sent to bookstores and libraries nationwide as part of the campaign, which encourages people who spot the cars to tweet about it, using the hashtag #readwimpy. Here, the children of the owners of The BookHouse in Marion, Iowa, show off a red Volvo driven by rep Eric Heidemann of Fujii Associates.

A Super Lunch Launch

Have you hugged your school lunch lady lately? On May 3, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, visited his old elementary school – Gates Lane School of International Studies in Worcester, Mass. – for the inaugural School Lunch Superhero Day, a celebration of school lunch staff everywhere. Krosoczka was initially inspired to write the series during a 2001 visit to his school, when he encountered the school lunch lady he remembered from his childhood (and discovered that she doesn’t actually live at the school). Students showed their appreciation for the lunch staff with cards and handmade gifts. The event was sponsored by Random House in conjunction with the School Nutrition Association; each student also received a copy of one of Krosoczka’s books, which were donated by Random House through First Book.

An Auspicious Meeting

Two children’s book luminaries met for the first time at the International Reading Association’s 58th annual conference in San Antonio last month. Walter Dean Myers, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and Julia Donaldson, U.K. Children’s Laureate, exchanged salutations and – both adorned in their respective medals – posed for a photo in the Scholastic booth. Donaldson’s newest book, Superworm, will be published in the U.S. by Scholastic/Levine in February 2014; Walter Dean Myers’s latest novel, Darius & Twig (HarperCollins/Amistad) was released last month.

A Is for Adorable

Chris Eastland, co-author of the ZooBorns series of books featuring photographs of ridiculously adorable baby animals from zoos all over the world, visited the second annual Mamas Expo on May 5 at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens. The event featured food and merchandise vendors, workshops, and events for children up to age six (and their mothers). At the Expo, Eastland signed books and read from ZooBorns ABC (S&S/Beach Lane), which he wrote with Andrew Bleiman.