Hello and ‘Goodnight’

On March 15, Brooklyn’s BookCourt hosted eight of the 12 children’s book illustrators who contributed to Goodnight Songs (Sterling), a compilation of previously unpublished lullaby songs by Margaret Wise Brown. Among the illustrators in attendance were (from l. to r.) Sophie Blackall, Isabel Roxas, and Linda Bleck, who met readers and signed copies of the book during the packed event. Amy Gary, who, in 1989, discovered a trunk full of Brown’s manuscripts at the author’s sister’s house, spoke about finding the work and the path toward the book’s publication. Sterling art director Merideth Harte offered an acknowledgement to the illustrators, and musicians Emily Gary (Amy Gary’s sister-in-law) and Tom Proutt rounded out the event with a performance of songs from the book.

Living History

The Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII served alongside their male counterparts in the war, yet have not always received recognition. Amy Nathan’s Yankee Doodle Girls (National Geographic) tells the story of the WASPs through photographs and text. An updated version of the book was released in January, and Nathan signed copies of the book during a March 15 event at the Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia, a branch of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Joining Nathan was 94-year-old former pilot Elaine Harmon (shown here), who warmly welcomed children to the event. A photo of Harmon is included in the updated version of the book: it shows her and a fellow pilot in the Oval Office as President Obama signs the legislation that grants the Congressional Gold Medal to the WASPs.

A Great Green Room

A March 15 Thalia Kids Book Club event at Symphony Space in New York City featured Kevin Henkes, author of the Newbery Honor-winning book The Year of Billy Miller (Greenwillow), and author Sonia Manzano, also known as Maria of Sesame Street, both shown here, backstage. As part of the event, Manzano read from Henkes’s book, and audience members were also invited to take part in an interactive creative activity. Paper and pencils were distributed, and Henkes gave the audience a writing prompt inspired by Billy Miller. Children had about seven minutes to create the start of a story, which they were encouraged to share and continue writing at home.

In Perfect Harmony

Through May 4, the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Mass., is hosting the exhibit “Natalie Merchant and Barbara McClintock: Leave Your Sleep,” named for the pair’s illustrated collection of children’s poetry. McClintock’s original illustrations for the book are on view; Merchant selected the poems for the collection, which she had previously set to music for her 2010 recording of the same name. On March 15, the museum welcomed Merchant (l.) and McClintock for a booksigning event.

Penguins 101

Melissa Guion shared her books Baby Penguins Everywhere! and Baby Penguins Love Their Mama (both Philomel) during a story hour at The Yellow Book Road in San Diego on March 17. During her time at the bookstore, she offered young attendees expert tips on drawing a penguin.

Hamster Wheels

Apparently, she’s a big wheel around here: author Cynthia Lord (l.) and her editor, Grace Kendall, visited the Monster X Tour – a gathering of monster trucks and their drivers – in Portland, Maine, on March 15. Lord brought with her a copy of the (thematically appropriate) third and latest book in her Hot Rod Hamster series, Monster Truck Mania (Scholastic), illustrated by Derek Anderson, which she pulled out for a photo op with driver Paul Breaud and his truck, Instigator.