This week, Lemony Snicket and Neil Patrick Harris get in the Christmas spirit; Stockard Channing reads Todd Parr; a sculptor pays tribute to the Guardian Herd; Karen Lechelt shows some love; and Keir Graff shares his latest novel with students.

Count Olaf, Meet Lemony

A series of unfortunate events unfolded at the New York Public Library on December 14, starting with the appearance of Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). The author was there to sign books and to celebrate the upcoming (January 13) premiere of the Netflix original series based on his A Series of Unfortunate Events. Also attending was actor Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Count Olaf, as well as Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes, who play Violet and Klaus in the show. Handler and the actors read a scene from the first episode of the series and also treated the audience to a reading of classic Christmas books: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, and John Updike’s The Twelve Terrors of Christmas.

Broadway in the Classroom

Actress Stockard Channing visited Dr. Wellbrock’s first-grade classroom at the American Sign Language and English Lower School in Manhattan on December 6 to read Todd Parr’s Be Who You Are to students. Channing’s visit was part of a literacy program that Dr. Wellbrock created called Broadway First Class, which brings Broadway performers to New York City classrooms. Wellbrock chose the book because it gives a shout-out to ASL, while Channing has knowledge of deaf culture through her professional life.

Written in (Sand) Stone

In the spirit of summertime nostalgia, a father who reads the Guardian Herd series by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez to his son recently sent the author a photo of a sand sculpture he created this past summer. The sculptor, Damon Langlois, entered a sand-sculpting competition at Parksville Beach Fest in Canada. The contest’s theme was “Things with Wings.” Langlois reached out to Alvarez, who was delighted to see one of her characters – Star – come to life in the sand.

Lots to Love

Debut author-illustrator Karen Lechelt celebrated the release of What Do You Love About You? (Bloomsbury) at Green Apple Books in San Francisco on December 10. Here, Lechelt, who worked as a graphic designer, web builder, and T-shirt illustrator before becoming an author, reads to an enthusiastic group of attendees.

Meet the Author

Author Keir Graff presented his latest middle grade novel, The Matchstick Castle, at a student and educator night held at Anderson’s Bookfair Company in Aurora, Ill., on December 8. A group of 50–60 students were in attendance for the event, which included a pizza feast in addition to a pre-pub peek at The Matchstick Castle.