Dynamic Trio

Three YA fantasy authors got together for a panel discussion at the 92nd Street Y. Brandon Sanderson, who is finishing up his tour for Steelheart (Delacorte); Christopher Paolini, who is attending a series of events celebrating the 10th anniversary of Eragon (Knopf); and James Dashner, who is currently touring for The Eye of Minds (Delacorte), took the stage to discuss writing, reading, and creating fantasy realms. Alexander Galben from MTV News moderated the discussion. Following the panel, which was streamed live, (l. to r.) Sanderson, Paolini, and Dashner signed books for fans.

Playing By the Book

Authors squared off against illustrators during a rowdy game-show event at The Booksmith in San Francisco. Authors Mac Barnett, Marcus Ewert, and LeUyen Pham competed against illustrators Lisa Brown, Yasmine Surovec, and Christian Robinson at Pictionary – featuring one round of famous lines from books and another round of clichés. The teams also played a game called First Lines, in which the teams were asked to come up with fake first lines for unfamiliar galleys. After hearing the fake first lines – along with the real ones mixed in - audience members were then asked to select the lines that they believed were actually in the books. Here, during a round of Pictionary, Christian Robinson draws the Catching Fire logo (in response to the of-the-moment quote: “May the odds be ever in your favor”).

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Tad Hills, Chris Raschka, and Dan Yaccarino teamed up for a discussion called Developing and Nurturing the Young Child’s Love of Words, Language, Illustrations, and Books, hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C. It was a reunion of sorts for the three, who previously toured together for this year’s Screen-Free Week (April 29 to May 5), a campaign that encourages kids to unplug the TV and other devices in favor of reading books, writing, and making art. In an amusing twist, the fourth member of that tour, Bob Staake, could only be present via electronic device; seen here (l. to r.): Tad Hills, Chris Raschka, Bob Staake (via iPad), and Dan Yaccarino.

Writer Meets Rhino

While conducting research for the forthcoming third book in the FunJungle series, author Stuart Gibbs dropped by the San Diego Zoo, where he paid a visit to the rhinos in residence. Gibbs also made a stop at Yellow Book Road bookstore in San Diego to sign copies of the first book in the FunJungle series, Belly Up (S&S) and to share with the audience some observations he’d made at the zoo. The outside skin of a rhino is so rough, he said, it feels like one giant callus; inside the folds, the skin is soft and delicate. The second book in the FunJungle series, Poached, will be released in April 2014.

Center of Attention

Author and illustrator Chris Monroe signed and sold more books than she did artwork at the opening reception for an exhibition of her cartoons at the Red Mug Cafe in Superior, Wis., that also included a display of her children's books. Big Little Mother by Kevin Kling, illustrated by Monroe, was published by Minnesota Historical Society Press on Nov. 1.