Out of This Galaxy

During a book signing for Sue Schmitt’s Planet Kindergarten at a Barnes & Noble in Calabasas, Calif., the author – who works in children’s theater and came dressed in a spacesuit – was joined by The Galaxy Girls, a musical group formed specifically for Planet Kindergarten events, which includes Schmitt’s daughter, India (far l.). The other Galaxy Girls are (l. to r.): Gabbi Beauvais, Mikayla Williams, and Skye Smith. The group sang an original song called “Planet Kindergarten,” written by singer-songwriter Lonna Marie for the occasion. More than 70 kids attended the event.

Clean Machine

The streets of Excelsior, Minn., were overrun with vacuum cleaners during a parade themed after Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, in which a girl saves a magical squirrel named Ulysses from her neighbor’s vacuum cleaner. The July 26 event was part of a Kate DiCamillo Day wrap party, which concluded a month-long Flora & Ulysses scavenger hunt promotion sponsored by Excelsior Books. DiCamillo was at the helm, displaying her own vacuum for a crowd of about 100 people who turned out for the day’s squirrely activities.

What an Adventure!

Debut middle-grade author Jessica Lawson visited the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn., on July 24 as a special guest at the Summer Ice Cream Social to promote her book The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. Like her eponymous protagonist, Lawson sported a pair of overalls as she dug for treasures in a makeshift cave with a young explorer.