This week, Mark Oshiro, TJ Klune, and Lauren Shippen discuss mental health representation; Mari Mancusi and Henry Clark have a fiery launch; Andrea Beaty and David Roberts honor Iggy Day; and Barbara McClintock gives a fur-miliar nursery rhyme a facelift.

Representation Matters

Commemorating Mental Health Awareness month, Tor Teen presented a virtual panel, “Empathy over Stigma: A Conversation on Mental Health Representation in YA,” on May 18. The Crowdcast livestream featured (from l.) Mark Oshiro (Anger Is a Gift and the forthcoming Each of Us a Desert), TJ Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea and the forthcoming The Extraordinaries), and Lauren Shippen (The Infinite Noise and the forthcoming A Neon Darkness) in conversation. The authors discussed writing about different types of mental health issues, the significance of representation, their personal relationships with mental health and respective coping strategies, and normalizing therapy and seeking help both in YA and in life.

Here Be Dragons

On May 19, BookPeople in Austin, Tex., hosted a dragon-themed digital launch party featuring Little, Brown middle grade authors Mari Mancusi (Dragon Ops) and Henry Clark (What We Found in the Corn Maze and How It Saved a Dragon). Over Zoom, Mancusi and Clark discussed their favorite dragons in pop culture and the disparities between their dragon depictions, read excerpts from their respective novels, hinted at their next projects, and played several rounds of dragon-themed trivia with guests.

Gettin’ Iggy with It

To launch the latest chapter book in the bestselling Questioneers series, Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion (Abrams), author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts held a virtual publication celebration called Iggy Day. Beaty read from the book, Roberts gave a drawing demonstration of the titular character, and a couple of guests visited to share their expertise. Pictured here, SLJ’s 2017 school librarian of the year Tamiko Brown discusses book recommendations with the author-illustrator team.

What’s New Pussycat?

Earlier this month, Boogie Down Books, a Bronx-based “bookstore without walls,” held a storytime event in the digital space with author-illustrator Barbara McClintock. McClintock read her latest picture book, Three Little Kittens (Scholastic Press), a reimagining of the classic anthropomorphic nursery rhyme attributed to Eliza Lee Cabot Follen. McClintock continued with a tour of her studio, demonstrating how she draws creative inspiration from her surroundings.