Where No Children’s Book Has Gone Before

It’s one giant leap for children’s books. Astronauts and educators are collaborating on a new reading program called Story Time from Space. The program, which combines science and literacy education, was launched by educator Patricia Tribe and astronaut Alvin Drew. Astronauts docked at the International Space Station will videotape themselves reading children’s books and the videos will be uploaded to the Story Time from Space web site. The first set of books, written by author and astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett, are currently in orbit high above planet earth. Shown here, in a still from the first video, U.S. astronaut Mike Hopkins reads Bennett’s Max Goes to the Space Station from the cupola of the ISS.

A Night to Remember

The 26th annual Triangle Awards, which recognize works of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, were presented on April 24 at the New School in New York City. Debut YA author Sara Farizan was honored for If You Could Be Mine (Algonquin). She became the first author to win the Triangle Award in two categories, the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. Farizan (center) is flanked by (l.) Julia Allen, winner of the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, and Charlie Bondhus, winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.

And One to Grow On

During the Tribeca Film Festival’s Family Day, author-illustrator Sophie Blackall was among the guest authors to read and sign books at the festival’s street fair. Here, Blackall shares her picture book The Baby Tree (Penguin/Paulsen) with a reader, who received the first signed copy of the May 1 release. The author also handed out packets of “baby tree seeds” to the young crowd, advising: “I cannot guarantee that these will grow babies, but you should still water them, just to be sure.”

Monsters, Inc.

Bookstores from Albuquerque to Toronto hosted Daughter of Smoke & Bone parties during Laini Taylor’s tour for the final book in her trilogy, Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Little, Brown). As part of the tour, Taylor (r.) visited Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, Calif., where she posed with (from l.) Angela Mann, youth events organizer at Kepler’s, and Annette Cardwell and Ariana Snow of Wikia Books, who wore blue wigs in honor of Taylor’s blue-haired protagonist, Karou. Guests also played group trivia and indulged in appropriately themed refreshments, including blue punch and angel’s food cake. Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a book of the month selection for Wikia’s YA Society Reads.

A Ray of Sunshine

Doreen Cronin visited Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn to spend time with pediatric patients in collaboration with Project Sunshine, a nonprofit group that provides educational and recreational programming for children living with health conditions. During her visit, Cronin shared a large-format version of Click Clack Moo as well as her newest book, The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure with patients in the hospital’s Pediatric Playroom. Cronin’s visit launched the annual Project Sunshine Week, which concluded with an April 29 gala at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

At the Start

During her tour for The Last Forever (Simon Pulse), 2004 National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti stopped at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn. The author read from the book and, because seeds and plants play a significant thematic role in the story, the bookstore supplied seed starters for guests to take home.