This week, the New-York Historical Society talks Harry Potter; Selina Alko presents the ABCs of Brooklyn; author-illustrator Bethan Woollvin tours the U.S.; and Chana Stiefel parties with Animal Zombies.

The Magic Art

The New-York Historical Society, in partnership with Scholastic, recently hosted a panel discussion with illustrators Mary GrandPré and Brian Selznick. The event was held in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the opening of the exhibition, “Harry Potter: A History of Magic.” GrandPré illustrated the first U.S. book covers for the Harry Potter series and Selznick illustrated the covers for the anniversary editions and special edition boxed set. Joining GrandPré and Selznick was Scholastic creative director David Saylor. The discussion was moderated by Tina Jordan from the New York Times Book Review. Seated (from l.) are Jordan, GrandPré, Selznick, and Saylor.

Give Me a B!

Selina Alko was a guest author at a literacy event held on October 17 in her Brooklyn backyard. The event was sponsored through the social service organizations St. Nick’s Alliance and United Neighborhood Housing. Alko read to from her ABC book, B Is for Brooklyn (Holt), and each family in attendance received a copy of the book to keep.

Once Upon a Time…

British author-illustrator Bethan Woollvin came to the U.S. for a five-city tour for her picture book, Hansel & Gretel (Peachtree). Woollvin visited New York City, Washington, D.C., Athens and Atlanta, Ga., and Chicago. During her events at schools and bookstores, she spoke about restaging fairytales, writing independent and empowered female protagonists, and her creative process. Here, Woollvin reads to attendees at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Ga.

Wild Things

During a book launch party on October 28 at the Teaneck Public Library in Teaneck, N.J., Chana Stiefe, author of Animal Zombies! (National Geographic Kids), entertained more than 100 kids and parents with a reading and creepy crafts. She was joined by Enzo the Lizard Guy and his cadre of geckos, snakes, a giant tortoise, and the big finale—a boa constrictor named Rocky Balboa. Pictured here (from l.): Robin Mendelsohn, Chana Stiefel, Rocky Balboa, and Enzo Cristantiello. Photo: Larry Stiefel.