This week, the SCBWI’s board of advisors takes its annual retreat; author-illustrator Adam Rex has a fruitful book launch; author Abdi Nazemian holds an ‘authentic’ celebration; and it’s all stars and cake for author Bao Phi.

One for the Ages

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Board of Advisors recently gathered for its annual retreat, which was held in Santa Monica, Calif. Board members discussed plans and strategies for the organization for the next five years. But it wasn’t all business: they took time to catch up, and came together for this epic photo. Front row (from l.): Cecilia Yung, David Diaz, Arthur A. Levine, Stephen Mooser, and Laurent Linn. Middle row (from l.): Emma Dryden, Priscilla Burris, Lin Oliver, Judy Blume, Lisa Yee, Bonnie Bader, Linda Sue Park, Ellen Hopkins, Kathleen Ahrens, and Dana Carey. Top row (from l.): Melissa Stewart, Pat Cummings, Paul O. Zelinsky, Ruta Sepetys, Kwame Alexander, Laurie Halse Anderson, Bruce Coville, Tracy Barrett, Susan Patron, and Christopher Cheng. Not included in the photo are board members Peter Brown, Matt de la Peña, Jerry Pinkney, Jane Yolen, and Cheryl Zach.

‘Orange’ You Glad You Came?

Adam Rex came to Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz., on August 5 for the launch of his picture book, Nothing Rhymes with Orange. Audience members joined Rex and his Orange puppet on stage with their own fruit-shaped puppets that were crafted by the store’s children’s buyer, Brandi Stewart.

Authentically Yours

Author Abdi Nazemian held a launch party for his debut YA novel, The Authentics, on August 9 at Skylight Books in Los Angeles. The book is about a Persian-American girl who discovers that she was adopted and that her biological mother is actually Mexican. Here, Nazemian (seated) is joined by fellow members of L.A.’s Iranian-American community.

All Stars

Capstone author Bao Phi celebrated the launch of his debut picture book A Different Pond, illustrated by Thi Bui, at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn., on August 8. Here, Phi stands with Red Balloon co-owner Holly Weinkauf, showing off his book-themed cake. Phi is also holding six stickers, representing the starred reviews the book has received.