This week, a beloved hippo finds its place in the corner of a local bookstore; middle grade authors discuss their books, launching Books & Books’ virtual fall event; and summer turns spooky with a spine-tingling read-aloud.

Happy Hippo Happenings

On August 13, author-illustrator Richard Cowdrey (Fiona the Hippo, Zonderkidz) sketched a mural of internet-famous hippo Fiona of the Cincinnati Zoo, the hippo that Cowdrey’s picture book is based on. The mural is located on a corner of local bookstore Paragraphs Bookstore in Mt. Vernon, Oh.

Spooky Summer Celebrations

Stonington Public Library hosted a summer reading celebration on August 21 at Small Cove Park in Stonington, Maine, where author Anica Mrose Rissi read two spooky stories from her recent release, Hide and Don't Seek: And Other Very Scary Stories (HarperCollins/Quill Tree). Guests enjoyed refreshments and kids took home books they won in the library's summer reading raffle. The event was extra special for Rissi, who grew up going to the Stonington Public Library; this was her first in-person event since the pandemic.

Middle Grade Madness

On Monday, Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla., hosted a virtual event featuring middle grade authors (clockwise from bottom l.) Greg van Eekhout (Weird Kid, HarperCollins), John David Anderson (Stowaway, Walden Pond), and Chantel Acevedo (The Mystery of the Tenth (Muse Squad #2), HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray) moderated by Jess Redman (The Adventure Is Now, FSG). The event is part of Books & Books’ Shelf Stuff events that will take place this fall.