Adventures in Bookstorming

Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma, Calif., hosts periodic gatherings that bring together authors and fans over a meal. The March 28 Bookstormer Dinner gave readers, librarians, and teachers the chance to meet film director Chris Columbus, co-author of the House of Secrets series (Columbus’s series co-author, Ned Vizzini, died last year). Columbus welcomed the group to his 1492 Pictures offices in San Francisco, where they discussed the latest book in the series, Battle of the Beasts (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray), ate pizza, and admired the movie paraphernalia in the office.

It’s a Draw!

On March 29, the sixth annual Meltdown, a book and music festival, was held in Northampton, Mass. Two thousand fans attended the event, with the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Mass., handling book sales. Among the authors and illustrators in attendance were (from l. to r.) Kelly Light, David Hyde Costello, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, and Jarrett J. Krosoczka, who took part in a collaborative game: armed with markers, the artists asked audience members to suggest subjects they should draw.

Map Quest

Author/illustrator Marc Brown stopped by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on March 30 to offer museum visitors an interactive story session. Brown read from his new picture book celebrating the Big Apple, In New York (Knopf), and afterward, worked with kids to create maps of their favorite New York City sights. Instead of a formal Q&A session, Brown got down on the floor and took individual questions from children as they worked on their maps.

On the (Fire) Fly

A launch party for Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems (Candlewick), a poetry collection edited by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, was held on March 29 at the Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta, Maine. During the event, Sweet (l.) did a collage demonstration and Janeczko (r.) led a poetry workshop. Children in attendance were then invited to share their poems.

A Time to Dance

Third Place Books in Seattle recently held a launch party for Maureen McQuerry’s first book in the Time Out of Time trio, Beyond the Door (Abrams). The Mossy Back Morris Men (shown here with McQuerry in the center), a Seattle-based traditional dance group, performed the Morris Dance, which features in McQuerry’s Celtic mythology-infused novel.

A ‘Smash’ing Party

Skylight Books in Los Angeles hosted the March 28 release party for Scott Bly’s debut novel, Smasher (Scholastic/Blue Sky). About 120 people attended the multimedia event. After Bly discussed his book with the audience, a local indie rock band, Derde Verde, performed, and MadTV veteran Orlando Jones chimed in via video to congratulate his author friend.