This week, authors attend a book bash; John Cena applies some elbow grease; Lisa Papp reads to shelter dogs; and an award ceremony celebrates children’s books about Africa.

Drawn Together

Jarrett and Gina Krosoczka hosted The River’s Music Meltdown and Book Bash, the largest kids’ music and book festival in the Pioneer Valley, which the two cofounded with the radio station WRSI The River. The event, now in its 11th year, was held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton, Mass. This year, Meltdown welcomed Malcolm Mitchell, Joyce Wan, Jerry Craft, Scott Magoon, and Amy Ignatow. Here, Jarrett Krosoczka and Ignatow offer a drawing demonstration for readers.

Elbow Room

Professional wrestler and actor-turned-author John Cena visited the Strand in NYC on April 5. Despite a driving rain, 850 attendees came to meet him and get their signed copies of Cena’s Elbow Grease, illustrated by Howard McWilliam (Random House). Here, Cena meets two of his fans.

WAGS to Riches

Author-illustrator Lisa Papp (pictured here) and local students read Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog (Peachtree) and other books to dogs at Knox County Animal Shelter in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, on April 6. The event was hosted by sixth grade teacher Trudy Debolt and her WAGS (Working Dog Awareness Group) program.

Honoring Africa

The 26th annual Children’s Africana Book Awards ceremony was held on April 6 at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. The awards honor the authors and illustrators of the best children’s and new adult books about Africa published in America. Grandma’s List was selected as a Best Book for Young Children. (From l.): illustrator Toby Newsome (South Africa), author Portia Dery (Ghana), v-p of Africa Access, Harriet McGuire; Deborah Ahenkorah, publisher and founder of the Golden Baobab Prize; and CABA founder Brenda Randolph.