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November children’s lit events

There’s an abundance of children’s book–related events this November in Boston! A plethora of opportunities to meet beloved authors and illustrators (not to mention pick up signed books for holiday gifts) are below. Be sure to check our events calendar for more information.

At the Writers’ Loft tonight, November 5th, from 7:30-9:00 pm, Erin Dionne (Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking), Kim Harrington (Sleuth Or Dare series), and Anna Staniszewski (My Very UnFairy Tale Life series) will discuss the joys and challenges of writing tween fiction.

Framingham State University will hold its annual Children’s Literature Festival on Thursday, November 7th, from 3:00 to 8:30 pm. This celebration of children’s books features renowned authors and illustrators in the field and includes book signings, lectures, and workshops about the latest developments in the craft. Fees are $40 (festival and dinner) or $25 (festival only).

Also on Tuesday the 7th, Francesca Lia Block will celebrate the release of her latest novel Love in the Time of Global Warming at Wellesley Books.

Concord Bookshop will host the annual Concord Children’s Center Book Fair on Saturday, November 9th. The Concord Bookshop allocates 10 percent of all sales to Concord Children’s Center.

Not in the Boston area, but worth the drive: Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton will be a panelist at Writers Lab Mini-Conference 2: “The Nitty Gritty” at New York’s Bank Street College of Education on Saturday the 9th. Check-in begins at 8:30 am; the fee is $50.

University of Connecticut at Storrs will host the 22nd Annual Connecticut Children’s Book Fair on Saturday and Sunday, November 9th and 10th, from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

The Pajamas of My Dreams author Laurie Collins and illustrator Margie Florini will lead a pajama party storytime, signing, and craft activity at the Harvard Coop at 11:00 am on Saturday the 9th. Wear your PJs and bring a new (or gently used) pair of pajamas to donate to Cradles to Crayons.

Anna Staniszewski will appear at the New England Mobile Book Fair at 1:00 pm on Saturday the 9th for a book launch of her latest novel My Sort of Fairy Tale Ending. The event includes a reading, Q&A, and book signing.

This month at The Carle Museum, Picture Book Theatre presents its puppet and dance production of Eric Carle favorites Mister Seahorse and A House for Hermit Crab. Showings are at 3:00 pm on November 9th, 29th, and 30th; and at 2:00 pm on November 16th, 23rd, 29th, and 30th. Purchase tickets ($5) at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126.

Learn about The Carle’s joint MA and MFA programs in children’s literature with Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at an informational session on Sunday, November 10th at 11:00 am.

On Sunday the 10th at 1:00 pm, The Carle will end its year-long 10th anniversary celebration with a special conversation between 2013 Carle Honors Artist Chris Van Allsburg and Chief Curator Nick Clark. A Q&A and book signing will follow. To reserve a spot, call 413-658-1126. This event is free with museum admission.

The Writers’ Loft will have a book launch party for member Nandini Bajpai’s American release of Red Turban, White Horse at 5:00 pm on Sunday the 10th.

The 24th annual children’s book illustration exhibit at the R. Michelson Galleries opens this month and runs through January. Join the gallery for the opening reception on Sunday the 10th, at 4:00 pm.

On Monday, November 11th, at 10:30 am, author, illustration, and musician Barney Saltzberg presents a special story and music hour at The Blue Bunny.

Fresh Voices: A Night of New Authors features children’s and YA authors LJR Kelly (Blanket and Bear: A Remarkable Pair), Tui T. Sutherland (Wings of Fire series), N. Griffin (The Whole Stupid Way We Are) along with several writers for adults. This casual reception at Wellesley Books will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, November 14th.

The Writers’ Loft’s monthly picture book manuscript critique group will meet Thursday the 14th, at 7:00 pm. Manuscripts for critique should be submitted by the Monday prior to the meeting.

The Writers’ Loft will also host this month’s YA Think Tank writing group at 10:00 am on Saturday, November 16th. Participants will workshop their YA works-in-progress; manuscripts for critique should be submitted one week prior to the meeting.

Co-authors Karen Leggett Abouraya and Susan L. Roth will read their picture book Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books at The Carle on Saturday the 16th at 1:00 pm. A book signing and activity will follow the reading; the event is free with museum admission.

On Saturday the 16th at 2:00 pm at Book Ends Winchester, local author Jane Sutton will read and sign her holiday picture book Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster. Another Esther signing and craft event will be held at the Harvard Coop at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 30th.

Also on Saturday the 16th, The Blue Bunny will host a fundraiser for The Home for Little Wanderers. Author Donna Seim and illustrator Susan Spellman — whose historical fiction novel Charley is based on the true story of a Home for Little Wanderers orphan — are special guests. A portion of all book sales during the event will be donated to The Home. Other monetary donations, along with toiletries and art/school supplies, are also welcome.

Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner discusses the process of creating his newest picture book Mr. Wuffles! at The Carle at 2:00 pm on Sunday, November 17th. A book signing will follow. Free with museum admission.

Newtonville Books will host a book launch party for Heather Terrell’s YA fantasy series opener The Books of Eva: Relic at 2:00 pm on Sunday, November 17th. Ages 11 and up welcome.

Brookline Booksmith presents “Simon’s Cat” web cartoon creator Simon Tofield in conversation with author/illustrator Jef Czekaj (Cat Secrets) at 7:00 pm on Monday, November 18th to celebrate the release of Simon’s Cat vs. The World.

At 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 19th, Dara Goldman will read and sign her new Hanukkah/Christmas picture book Boris and Stella and the Perfect Gift at Wellesley Books. A Q&A and activity will follow the reading and refreshments will be provided.

On Wednesday, November 20th, at 7:00 pm, Wellesley Books hosts Little Island author Katharine Britton for a reception and book signing at Tenacre Country Day School.

The Massachusetts chapter of the national kidlit book club Chapter & Verse will meet in the Stevens Memorial Library at 6:30 pm on Thursday the 21st. This month, author Anne Broyles and librarian Marina Salenikas will facilitate discussion of three cow-themed picture books: Turn Left at the Cow by Lisa Bullard; Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka; and It’s Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

2013 National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang and author M.T. Anderson will discuss Yang’s new graphic novel double volume Boxers & Saints at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 21st, at the Brattle Theater. The event is hosted by Harvard Book Store; purchase the $5 tickets at the store or on its website.

Author/illustrator Steve Jenkins will give the Evelyn M. Finnegan Children’s Literature Lecture at Lesley University on Thursday the 21st. at 7:00 pm. The lecture is free and open to all, but please pre-register.

The National Council of Teachers of English Annual convention will be held in Boston from Thursday, November 21st, through Sunday the 24th. Registration fees are $275 for NCTE members, $350 for non-members, and $110 for students.

Friday, November 22nd, at 7:00 pm, author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg will read and sign his perennial Christmas favorite The Polar Express at the Burlington Barnes and Noble.

At 6:00 pm on Saturday, November 23rd, Karen Healey, A.S. King, and Malinda Lo will cover identity and coming of age in their YA novels in a panel discussion at the Cary Memorial Library.

Weston Woods Studios celebrates its sixtieth anniversary at Belmont’s Studio Cinema on Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd and 24th. Classic and new Weston Woods films will be screened each day (and anniversary cake will be served!). Picture book creators Ed and Rebecca Emberley will give a presentation at 1:30 pm on Saturday with a book signing to follow.

At 11:00 am on Sunday the 24th, Peter H. Reynolds will read and sign his new holiday book The Smallest Gift of Christmas at The Blue Bunny.

YA authors Beth Revis (Shades of Earth), Myra McEntire (Infinityglass), Jeri Smith-Ready (This Side of Salvation), and Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087) will discuss their novels in a panel at Wellesley Books from 2:00 to 3:00 pm on Sunday the 24th.

Brookline Booksmith will celebrate the releases of YA novels Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan with a joint signing with the authors. The event will be held on Monday, November 25th, at 7:00 pm.

The Carle Museum’s exhibit Leave Your Sleep: Natalie Merchant and Barbara McClintock opens on Tuesday, November 26th, and runs through May 4th, 2014. The exhibit showcases McClintock’s preliminary and finished art for the picture book Leave Your Sleep, inspired by Merchant’s 2010 double album of the same name.

As part of the Indies First initiative, children’s literature academic Anita Silvey will give personalized book recommendations for holiday gift buying at Porter Square Books on Saturday, November 30th. Ms. Silvey will be on call at the store from approximately 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.



  1. Thank you so much for highlighting the author events at the Writers’ Loft! We are a supportive writing community in Sherborn and all are welcome!

    A quick update: Nandini Bajpai’s book party will be held at 5 pm on November 10th. (We changed the time.)

    Thanks for this great list of kidlit happenings–so many events are going on my calendar!

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