A Shining Moment
Rachel Renée Russell and her daughters, Erin and Nikki, accepted the award for Outstanding Literary Work – Children for Dork Diaries 8: Tales of a Not-So-Happily Ever (Aladdin) during the 46th NAACP Image Awards on February 6. From l., Erin Russell, Rachel Renée Russell, and Nikki Russell.
Authors and illustrators from across the U.S. gathered for the 23rd annual African American Children’s Book Fair at the Community College of Philadelphia on February 7. More than 3,800 people attended the event to celebrate books and reading. The fair also served as a launch for the African American Children’s Book Project’s literacy initiative, Preserve a Legacy, Buy a Book, which encourages readers to seek out and purchase diverse books. In the front row: Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati (founder of the African American Children’s Book Project). Back row: (from l.) David Miller, Karen Thompson, Christie Jones, Monique Curry, Eric Velasquez, Jerry Pinkney, Gloria Pinkney, Carole Boston Weatherford, Shanequa Davis, Joel C. Gill, Sharon Dennis Wyeth, Tonya Bolden, Christopher John Farley, Zetta Elliott, and Pamela Tuck.
On Stage and On Page
Broadway actors Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead launched their debut middle-grade series that draws from their own experiences in musical theatre, Jack & Louisa: Act 1, at Books of Wonder in New York City on February 9. With around 90 guests in attendance, the authors discussed how they came to write and publish the book and talked about some of the books from their childhoods that helped inspire them. They also performed a reading from the book, with Wetherhead reading a “Louisa” chapter and Keenan-Bolger reading a “Jack” chapter.
Guests of Honor
Little, Brown hosted its annual picture book cocktail party on February 4. Booksellers, librarians, and media representatives were invited to the publisher’s new Manhattan headquarters to imbibe and view upcoming spring and summer picture books. Guest authors and artists included R.L. Stine (l.), who makes his picture book debut with The Little Shop of Monsters (Aug.), and the book’s illustrator, Marc Brown (r.). Debut author-illustrator Elise Parsley (center) was also in attendance, to share her picture book If You Ever Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!, releasing in July.
All Is ‘Pharaoh’
Author Michael Northrop is currently touring the country for The Book of the Dead, the first book in Scholastic’s newest multi-platform series, TombQuest. The second title in the series, Amulet Keepers, releases in April. Northrop (seated) visited Warwick’s Books in La Jolla, Calif., on February 5, where he was joined by Warwick’s booksellers and staff, who all donned Egyptian headdresses.
In Good Company
David Arnold celebrated the upcoming release of Mosquitoland with a dinner at Watermark in Nashville. From l. to r.: Books-a-Million employees; Diane Johnson and Luke Austin, Arnold, and Nashville librarians Angela Frederick and Jessamyn Gray, as well as Stephanie Appel of Parnassus Books. The official launch for Mosquitoland will be held on March 3 at Parnassus.