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Local children’s lit events for May

Some kidlit happenings in and around Boston this month:

The Edward Gorey House’s 2013 special exhibit “Edward Gorey’s Vinegar Works” opened for their 2013 season on April 18th. The exhibit covers the “three volumes of moral instruction” in Gorey’s Vinegar Works boxed set: The Insect God, The West Wing, and his best-known work, The Gashlycrumb Tinies.

Renowned author/illustrator Peter Sís will give the 2013 Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture (titled “Walls and Bridges…Books With Wings”) on Saturday, May 4th, at the Carle Museum at 2:30 pm. This annual lecture series is “designed to feature the country’s preeminent scholars, book collectors, researchers, editors, authors, and illustrators in the field of children’s literature.” The event is free with museum admission and will be followed by a reception and book signing. A luncheon with Mr. Sís prior to the lecture is sold out, but the museum is accepting names for a waiting list; call 413-658-1126 to be added.

On Tuesday, May 7th, children’s literature critic and former Horn Book editor in chief Anita Silvey will host an in-store book fair at Porter Square Books. The event, a benefit for the Foundation for Children’s Books, begins at 6:00 pm.

Extra Yard by Mac BarnettAuthor Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen will discuss their Caldecott Honor book (and BGHB 2012 Picture Book Award winner) Extra Yarn at the Carle Museum on Saturday, May 11th. The event begins at 2:00 pm and will include a book signing; it’s free with museum admission.

Annual national Children’s Book Week takes place May 13th through May 19th. For a nationwide event schedule, Children’s Choice Book Award voting, and the gorgeous promotional poster (illustrated by Brian Selznick) and bookmark (illustrated by Grace Lin), see the official Book Week website.

On Monday, May 13th, YA author Sara Zarr will speak and sign books at the Brookline Public Library main branch at 3:00 pm. The free event celebrates her latest novel, The Lucy Variations.

Becoming Babe RuthWellesley Books’ baseball-themed “double header” book event at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, May 14th, will feature Matt Tavares (Becoming Babe Ruth) and David Kelly (The Ballpark Mysteries). Ballpark snacks will be provided, and kids who come dressed in baseball uniforms or memorabilia will be entered to win a baseball signed by the authors.

On Thursday, May 16th, Ayanna Coleman will moderate a panel on “Diversity on the Page, Behind the Pencil, and in the Office,” co-hosted by Charlesbridge and Children’s Book Council Diversity Committee. Panelists include author Mitali Perkins, illustrator London Ladd, and editors from Boston-based publishers Charlesbridge, Candlewick, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The event will be held at 6:00 at Charlesbridge’s Illustration Gallery in Watertown. The panel is free, but space is limited, so please pre-register online.

Barbara Elleman will lead a gallery tour of the exhibit “The Caldecott Medal: 75 Years of Distinguished Illustration” at the Carle Museum on Saturday, May 18th, at 8:00 pm. The exhibit features “high quality prints drawn from more than 30 Caldecott Medal books.” Following the tour, author Lawrence Webster will discuss and sign her book Under the North Light: The Life and Work of Maud and Miska Petersham, a biography of the Caldecott-winning couple. The tour and presentation are free with museum admission.

Illustrator Raúl Colón will give a lecture entitled “Art is a Mind Game” at the Carle Museum on Saturday, May 18th, at 12:00 pm. The lecture will be followed by a book signing and is free with museum admission.

Authors Cal Armistead, Scott Blagden, Jack D. Ferraiolo, and Joe Lawlor will present a panel called “So You Want to Write a Book…” for young writers in grades K–12 at Wellesley Books on Saturday, May 18th, at 4:00 pm. Attendees can bring a single double-spaced page of original writing to receive feedback from one of the panelists. The panel is free; please RSVP to

On Wednesday, May 29th, at 7:00 pm at the Brookline Booksmith, Michelle Tea will have a book launch event for her first YA novel, the “modern-day fairy tale” A Mermaid in Chelsea Creek. Ali Liebegott, author of adult book Cha-Ching!, will join her.

Attending or hosting another children’s lit–related event in the greater Boston area this month? Please let us know in the comments!

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.



  1. Hello!
    Just wanted to let y’all know about a great teen author panel we have coming up at the Newton Free Library on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 pm. Erin Dionne (Notes from an Accidental Band Geek), Jo Knowles ( See You at Harry’s), and Gina Rosati (Auracle) will be here reading from their books and answering questions about the publishing & writing process. Very excited!

  2. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    Thanks, Liz! 🙂

  3. If you can’t make the afternoon Sara Zarr event, she will be appearing and signing in the Cambridge Public Library’s Teen Room at 7:00PM on May 13th!

  4. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    Ooh, that’s great to hear — thank you, Maya!

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