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December children’s lit events

December is always a whirlwind time, and this month full of great events is no exception. Be sure to check our calendar for more information.

On Thursday, December 5th, at 7:00 pm, Marcella Pixley will read from and sign her new YA novel Freak at the Concord Bookshop.

The Concord Museum’s 18th annual “Family Trees” exhibit, featuring 38 decorated trees inspired by new and classic children’s books, opens with a fete on Friday, December 6th, at 5:30 pm and runs until January 1st. The exhibit is a fundraiser for the museum’s education programs; admission is $15 adults, $10 seniors, $6 children (4–18), and free for children under 4 and members. A full list of the featured books is available here. Many of the authors and illustrators — Micha Archer, Ed Emberley, Rebecca Emberley, Bill Harley, Jane Kohuth, Wendell Minor, Ilse Plume, and Matt Tavares — will be at the museum to sign books and talk about their trees on Sunday, December 8th, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Instructors Emily Prabhaker and Meghan Burch will lead a day-long professional development workshop entitled “The Whole Book Approach in Action” at The Carle Museum on Friday, December 6th. The morning session, “The Whole Book Approach,” runs from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. “Exploring Book Design,” the afternoon session, runs from 1:30 to 4:30 pm (Prior attendance at any Whole Book Approach workshop required.). Workshop fees are $59.50/full day, $34.00/half day for museum members. $70/full day, $40/half day for non-members.

Becoming a Ballerina by Lise FriedmanMary Dowdle, photographer of Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story, will share behind-the-scenes photos of the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker production at the Cambridge Public Library at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 7th.

Starlight’s Youth Theatre presents an adaptation of Margery Williams’s The Velveteen Rabbit at The Carle on Saturday the 7th. Showtimes are 11:00 am and 1:00 pm; tickets are $5 (museum admission not included).

Also on Sunday the 7th at The Carle, join author/illustrator Tracey Campbell Pearson for an art activity based at 1:00 pm. At 2:00 pm, she will read and share art from her new picture book Elephant’s Story. Free with museum admission.

In a two-day class entitled “So You Want to Choose the 2013 Caldecott?,” Simmons College instructors Cathie Mercier and Megan Lambert will lead a review of the year’s eligible picture books and a mock Caldecott committee vote. The second session will be held Sunday, December 8th, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Fees are $45 for Carle members and $50 for non-members.

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 the 8th at 12:30 pm.

Wellesley Books will participate in Wellesley’s annual Holiday Stroll on Sunday the 8th. The stroll takes place from 12:oo to 6:00 pm. Artist Ralph Masiello will be at the store signing books and giving art demonstrations from 1:00 to 2:30 pm; Journey author/illustrator Aaron Becker will sign from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.

On Sunday the 8th at 1:00 pm, join local author Anne Broyles for a reading, book signing, and ornament-making activity as part of Smolak Farms’s day-long Family Holiday Festival. Other events at the festival include the annual Newfoundland Tree Pull, breakfast with Mrs. Claus, and visits to “Santa’s Workshop.”

Writers interested in breaking into nonfiction freelancing work or critiquing a nonfiction manuscript are welcome at the Writers’ Loft’s new Nonfiction Think Tank. This month’s session meets on Tuesday, December 10th, at 7:00 pm.

The Writers’ Loft’s monthly picture book manuscript critique group meets Thursday, December 12th, at 7:00 pm. Manuscripts for critique should be submitted by the Monday prior to the meeting.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, second entry in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s fantasy classic, opens on Friday, December 13th.

On Saturday, December 14th, at 1:00 pm, The Carle Museum hosts Simmons professor emeritus of Children’s Literature Susan Bloom for her annual “Best of the Best” picture book lecture. The event is free with museum admission.

At 2:00 pm on Saturday the 14th at the Writers’ Loft, authors Jane Sutton, Paul Czajak, Susan Lubner, and Anne Broyles will talk about the process of publishing their picture books.

Also join Anne Broyles and Jane Sutton at the Harvard COOP for a reading, book signing, and ornament-making activity to celebrate their new holiday picture books on Sunday, December 15th, at 1:00 pm.

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 19th. This month, author Anne Broyles and librarian Marina Salenikas will facilitate discussion of middle-grade novel The Real Boy by Anne Ursu and picture book Journey by Aaron Becker.

Saving Mr. Banks, based on the real-life story of the making of Disney’s Mary Poppins film, opens on Friday, December 2oth.

The Writers’ Loft will host this month’s YA Think Tank writing group at 10:00 am on Saturday, December 21st. Participants will workshop their YA works-in-progress; manuscripts for critique should be submitted one week prior to the meeting.

Also on Saturday the 21st, author-illustrator Deborah Freedman will read from her picture books Blue Chicken and The Story of Fish and Snail at 2:00 pm at The Carle.

Do you have the inside scoop on more upcoming Boston area children’s book–related events? Let us know!

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.

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