This week, the 2020 Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Awards are bestowed; Kate Messner serves up a surprise on her book tour; DC creators descend on the Los Angeles Zoo; and Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome stop by Holiday House.

Golden Night

At last Friday’s Golden Kite Gala, held in New York City, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators presented the 2020 Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Awards during their 21st annual New York Winter Conference. The Golden Kites are the foremost children’s literary awards judged by a jury of peers, and the Fleischman Awards commemorate exceptional humor writing for young readers. Here, executive director Lin Oliver (third from l.) joins SCBWI staff and author James Patterson in celebrating the awards.

Nothing but Crickets

On February 6, Kate Messner stopped by Brazos Bookstore in Houston to celebrate her latest middle grade novel, Chirp (Bloomsbury). In honor of her entrepreneur protagonist Mia’s viral marketing plan, Messner (second from r.) started the #ChirpChallenge, offering crickets for guests to eat (crickets are a source of protein burgeoning in sustainable culinary circles, and Mia’s grandmother owns a cricket farm in Chirp). Messner kicked off her national tour on February 4 in San Antonio, Tex.; she will travel across the country through February 21, where her tour will come to a close at The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Zoo-per Fun Times

This past Saturday, DC and the Los Angeles Zoo co-hosted an interactive reading event, presenting the authors and artists of DC’s middle grade graphic novels for book signing sessions, drawing lessons, and meet and greets. Presentations with live animals, books for sale, and photo opportunities were also offered. Pictured here, (top row, from l.): Shannon Hale (Diana: Princess of the Amazons), Dean Hale (Diana: Princess of the Amazons), Ridley Pearson (Super Sons), and Kirk Scroggs (The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid); (bottom row, from l.) Victoria Ying (Diana: Princess of the Amazons), Agnes Garbowska (DC Super Hero Girls), and Michael Northrop (Dear Justice League).

A Historical Visit

Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome stopped by Holiday House last Thursday to celebrate their latest releases, Overground Railroad and Leaving Lymon. Overground Railroad, written by Cline-Ransome and illustrated by Ransome, is a poetic illustrated exploration of the Great Migration. Set in the 1940s, Leaving Lymon is a companion middle grade novel to Lesa’s Coretta Scott King Honor-winning Finding Langston; the companion centers Lymon, the boy who bullied Langston.