This week, the force is with First Book; a children’s book podcast premieres; and a beloved author-illustrator draws a crowd.

An Epic Giveaway

Chronicle Books partnered with First Book for a book giveaway for students at P.S. 82 in Queens on December 11. The students received copies of one of the three books in the Star Wars Epic Yarns series, which features Star Wars characters handcrafted from wool, and met Jack Wang, coauthor (with brother Holman Wang) of the series. Here, Wang, P.S. 82 students, and guest Darth Vader (lurking in back) show their enthusiasm for reading, Star Wars, and perhaps needle felting?

On Air!

Suzanne McCabe (l.), Scholastic editor-at-large, spoke with Cheryl Klein, executive editor of Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books imprint, for the premiere episode of the new biweekly podcast “Scholastic Reads,” which will feature interviews and stories from the forefront of children’s publishing. In the first episode, called “The Magic of Harry Potter,” Klein talked about taking the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows through airport security.

One for the Books

Tomie dePaola signed books for fans at I Am Books, a new Italian-American bookstore that opened in Boston’s North End earlier this fall. Lines to meet and greet the author-illustrator and get books signed went down the block. Here, dePaola (l.) meets store owner Nicola Orichula, before signing his new collection, The Magical World of Strega Nona, for a fan.