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Boston children’s lit events for February

Brr! What’s better to get you through a snow day than a good book? Head to one of these events to get a loved one (or yourself) a signed copy, then snuggle in someplace warm. Be sure to check our monthly events calendar for all the details.

To celebrate Black History Month, local author Michelle Chalmers will lead diversity workshops for children at libraries in and around Boston throughout February. The workshops include a reading of Chalmers’s picture book The Skin on My Chin, discussion of diversity, and a craft activity. Catch her tomorrow, February 5th, at 4:00 pm at the Boston Public Library’s Roslindale branch; see the BPL’s calendar for more sessions.

Nínive Calegari (co-founder of 826 National, co-author of Teachers Have It Easy, and the co-producer of documentary American Teacher) kicks off the BPL’s “Gateway to Reading” Lowell Lecture Series on Thursday, February 6th, at 6:00 pm. The series features authors, scholars, and experts in the field of children’s literature and literacy.

vampire academy posterVampire Academy, the adaptation of the first book in Rochelle Mead’s YA fantasy series of the same name, opens in theaters on Friday, February 7th.

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 Friday, February 7th, at 10:00 am.

Touring theater company Big Wooden Horse presents their musical production of Oliver Jeffers’s picture book Stuck at The Carle Museum on Saturday, February 8th. Showtimes are 11:00 am and 2:00 pm; tickets are $10/members, $12/nonmembers (museum admission included). Author/illustrator Jeffers himself will be at the museum to sign books at 12:30 pm. The signing is free with museum admission.

On Sunday, February 9th, at 2:00 pm, author Adam Rubin and illustrator Daniel Salmieri (Dragons Love Tacos, Those Darn Squirrels) will celebrate National Pizza Pie Day — and the release of their new book Secret Pizza Party — at The Carle with a pizza party, presentation, and book signing. Free with museum admission.

CBB logo_draftAt 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 13th, at Simmons College, Children’s Books Boston will host “Why Did THAT Book Win?,” a panel discussion about the 2014 ALA awards. Discussion by panelists Martha Parravano of the Horn Book, Julie Roach of the Cambridge Public Library, and Vicky Smith of Kirkus Reviews and Simmons College will be moderated by Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton. Space is very limited; RSVP to

The Writers’ Loft’s monthly picture book manuscript critique group meets Thursday, February 13th, at 7:00 pm. Manuscripts for critique should be submitted by the Monday prior to the meeting. The Loft’s monthly YA Think Tank writing group will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, February 15th. Participants will workshop their YA works-in-progress; manuscripts for critique should be submitted one week prior to the meeting.

Berkshire Theatre Group will perform their adaptation of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” at The Carle Museum on Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th. Showtimes are 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm both days; tickets are $5.50/members, $6.50/nonmembers (museum admission not included).

On Tuesday, February 18th, at 7:00 pm, Porter Square Books will host a book launch party for Lady Thief, the second entry in A. C. Gaughen’s YA series Scarlet.

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School will perform “The Fairy’s Mistake” (based on the novel by Gail Carson Levine) at The Carle Museum Tuesday the 18th through Thursday the 20th. Showtimes are 11:00 am and 1:00 pm every day; tickets are $5.50/members, $6.00/nonmembers (museum admission not included).

I Have a DreamToni “Bee” Brooks will perform an interactive reading of Kadir Nelson’s I Have a Dream at the Cambridge Public Library’s main branch at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, February 19th.

The Massachusetts chapter of the national kidlit book club Chapter & Verse will meet in the Stevens Memorial Library at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 20th. This month, author Anne Broyles and librarian Marina Salenikas will facilitate discussion of the 2014 Caldecott, Printz, Sibert, Geisel, King, and Belpré awards and honors.

On Saturday, February 22nd, at 2:00 pm at the Writers’ Loft, web developer Ray Brierly will lead a workshop on creating an author web presence. Topics include making a website, choosing a website theme, starting a blog, and SEO; basic computing skills required.

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

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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