This week, a baby elephant – and a book – receive an enthusiastic hello; Lisa Brown’s picture book takes off; fans get acquainted with Aaron Becker; book launch guests embrace their inner rodents; and a fantasy series becomes a rock opera.

Raise Your Trunks!

Author Varsha Bajaj celebrated the release of This Is Our Baby, Born Today (Penguin/Paulsen) illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, at Blue Willow Bookshop on August 6. At the event, Bajaj spoke in conversation with her mentor, author Kathi Appelt, about being a children’s book writer and baby elephants. Here, friends, family, and colleagues in the audience do their part to welcome the book baby into the world – elephant style.

Meet Me at the Airport

The Chatham Municipal Airport on Cape Cod was the fitting location for the launch of Lisa Brown’s The Airport Book (Roaring Brook/Porter) on August 2. Guests gathered at the airport’s Hangar B Eatery to celebrate the picture book’s release, all in view of the runway. Kid attendees received “Airport Expert” badges and Airport Book luggage tags to use on their next voyages, and had the chance to tour some of the planes on-site. Here, Brown, her agent Charlotte Sheedy, and local author Bob Staake share a celebratory moment.

Many Happy Returns

The Eric Carle Museum held an event in celebration of Aaron Becker and the publication of the final book in his Journey trilogy, Return (Candlewick), on August 6. The event was packed with fans of the series, including (seen here with Becker) Charlie and Amelia Parmenter, whose mother has been taking photographs of the kids interacting with Becker’s picture books for three years.

Oh, Ratsos!

The Rhode Island children’s book community turned out to support local author Kara LaReau and the release of the first book in her new series The Infamous Ratsos. The event was held at Barrington Books Retold in Cranston, R.I. Attendees practiced their best rodent impersonations, thanks to costume pieces supplied by LaReau, while also holding signs expressing themes from the book. From left: Liz Goulet Dubois, Mary Pierce, Laurie Smith Murphy, Charlotte Taylor, Kara LaReau, Christopher Denise, Anika Denise, Christina Rodriguez, and Jamie Michalak.

Magic on Stage

Jaclyn Dolamore’s YA fantasy duology Magic Under Glass and Magic Under Stone (Bloomsbury) was adapted into a rock musical performed by the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts: Toby’s Teen Professional Theatre in Howard County, Md. Dolamore wrote the script for the musical, with Michael Francis Kline composing the music, and Toby Orenstein directing. The production ran July 28–31.