This week, Renée Watson speaks with Ta-Nehisi Coates; a California bookstore celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month; Oge Mora has a fitting event for her new picture book; Heather Smith wins a Canadian prize; Peter H. Reynolds paints a mural with Manhattan students; and Sarah Glenn Fortson’s launch is a rootin’ tootin’ good time.
On the evening of October 21, Renée Watson (Some Places More Than Others, Bloomsbury) returned to her hometown, Portland, Ore., for a discussion with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Presented by Literary Arts, the sold-out event was held in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The bestselling authors conversed about Coates’s new book, The Water Dancer; Toni Morrison’s influence on both of them; and advice for aspiring writers.
Petunia’s Place, a children’s bookstore in Fresno, Calif., hosted its annual Hispanic Heritage Month fête on October 12. Authors (from l.) Margarita Engle (Dancing Hands, Atheneum), Jennifer Torres (The Fresh New Face of Griselda, Little, Brown), Janie Isidoro (Let Me Take You, My Eyes y Corazon Press), and Ashley Mireles (Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida, Familius) shared their work. Afterward, Latinx dancers and musicians performed, and the authors were available for book signings.
Come Saturday Morning
Caldecott Honor winner Oge Mora launched her second picture book, Saturday (Little, Brown), on Saturday, October 26, at Books on the Square in Providence, R.I. Guests enjoyed flamingo cupcakes inspired by the book, as well as free prints and a signing. In Saturday, a mother and daughter’s weekly quality time seems ruined, until the girl encourages her mom with a new perspective.
On October 15, Heather Smith was presented with the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for Ebb & Flow (Kids Can Press), her middle-grade novel in verse. At the gala in Toronto, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre granted more than $100,000 to Canadian authors and illustrators. Here, Smith (l.) receives her $50,000 prize check from Naki Ostuei, TD Bank Group’s associate v-p of corporate citizenship.
Say What You Wanna Say
Author-illustrator Peter H. Reynolds recently visited Mosaic Preparatory Academy in East Harlem, N.Y., where he co-created a mural with students (pictured), spoke, and gave the children a sneak peek of his forthcoming book, Be You! (Scholastic/Orchard). Mosaic Preparatory Academy won Scholastic’s Say Something Sweepstakes, wherein teachers submitted photos or videos celebrating student voices in honor of Reynolds’s picture book Say Something.
Hey Howdy Hey
On October 19, author Sarah Glenn Fortson celebrated the release of her debut, This Cowgirl Ain’t Kiddin’ About the Potty (Peter Pauper). The Book Market, the Glenview, Ill., outpost of Barbara’s Bookstore, hosted the launch. The picture book features a cowgirl named A.K. who is reluctant to ditch diapers until she realizes her heroine, Wild Wilma Wilkee, wears underwear.