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April children’s lit events in the Boston metro area

There’s lots to celebrate this month: National Poetry Month, D.E.A.R. Day, World Book Night, Poem in Your Pocket Day, El día de los niños/El día de los libros — and let’s not forget much nicer weather! See below for children’s lit–related events coming up in the greater Boston area. Be sure to check our monthly events calendar for all the details.

April is National Poetry Month!

Paleontologist Barnas Monteith will read from his new book The Furious Case of the Fraudulent Fossil and lead paleontology activities at Wellesley Books this afternoon at 4:00 pm.

kochalka_glorkian warrior delivers a pizzaAlso today at 4:00 pm, Vermont’s cartoonist laureate James Kochalka will celebrate the publication of The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza at the Cambridge Public Library. Pizza included (while it lasts).

The Phantom Tollbooth author Norton Juster will speak as part of the “Gateway to Reading” Lowell Lecture Series tonight at 6:00 pm at the Boston Public Library main branch.

The John F. Kennedy NHS and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will hold “To Light the World: Stories of Hope & Courage for Challenging Times,” a conference for educators and librarians for grades 3-8, tomorrow, April 3rd, beginning at 8:00 am. Registration is $100.

The Writers’ Loft will host its new Middle Grade Morning Critique group tomorrow and on Thursday, April 17th, at 10:00 am. Please email if you are interested in submitting a middle-grade manuscript in progress for critique.

Nonfiction author Susan E. Goodman will speak about and sign her space travel guide How Do You Burp in Space? at The Clay Center Observatory at Dexter Southfield school at 6:30 pm tomorrow.

The Writers’ Loft’s picture book manuscript critique group meets Thursday, April 10th, at 10:00 am. Manuscripts for critique should be submitted by the Monday prior to the meeting.

Trident Booksellers and Cafe will host a panel on self-publishing — including YA author Brendan Halpin and middle-grade author Meg Wilson — at 7:00 pm on Thursday the 10th.

Writers interested in breaking into nonfiction freelancing work or critiquing a nonfiction manuscript are welcome at the Loft’s new Nonfiction Think Tank, which meets this month on Friday, April 11th, at 10:00 am.

The annual Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day, inspired by Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby, Age 8, will be celebrated on Saturday, April 12th.

The Foundation for Children’s Books will hold their spring half-day conference “What’s New in Children’s Books?” on Saturday the 12th, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at Lesley University. Authors Steve Sheinkin, Jason Chin, Kathryn Lasky, Michael Tougias, and Melissa Stewart will be special guests. Registration is $65 for individuals, $25 for students, and $40 for each member of an institutional group.

The Writers’ Loft will host a historical fiction panel with Alisa Libby, Susan Meyer, and Marissa Doyle at 2:00 pm on Saturday the 12th.

Learn about Simmons College’s satellite MA and MFA Children’s Literature programs at the Carle Museum by attending an informational session at the museum on Sunday, April 13th, at 12:00 pm.

gerstein_first drawingOn Sunday the 13th at 2:00 pm, Caldecott Medal winner Mordicai Gerstein will read and discuss his latest picture book The First Drawing at the Carle Museum. A drawing demonstration and book signing will follow.

Frances Driscoll will read and sign her picture book The Swan Boat Ride at the Boston Public Library main branch on Sunday the 13th at 2:00 pm.

Also at 2:00 pm on Sunday the 13th, the Belmont Gallery of Art will host an opening reception for its new exhibition “Books on the Charles,” a celebration of illustration in Boston-based publisher Charlesbridge’s picture books.

Meet more than twenty children’s book authors and illustrators at Authorfest, held at Winchester Town Hall on Tuesday, April 15th, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. The authors will also be visiting Winchester schools during the school day.

Author/illustrator Tad Hills will read and sign his latest picture book Duck & Goose Go to the Beach at the Burlington Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, April 16th, at 10:00 am.

The Massachusetts chapter of the national kidlit book club Chapter & Verse will meet in the Stevens Memorial Library at 6:30 pm on Thursday, APril 17th. This month, author Anne Broyles and librarian Marina Salenikas will lead discussion of poetry collection What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and verse novel Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Matthew Cordell.

The monthly YA Think Tank writing group will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 19th. Participants will workshop their YA works-in-progress; manuscripts for critique should be submitted one week prior to the meeting.

Susan Schwake, author of 3-D Art Lab for Kids, will lead a free paper sculpture activity for children at the Carle Museum on Saturday the 19th at 1:00 pm. A book signing will follow.

Hampshire College Theatre’s Seedling Productions presents Lily Plants a Garden by José Cruz González at The Carle on Saturday the 19th with performances at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Tickets are $4 in addition to museum admission.

This year’s World Book Night will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 23rd.

CactusHead Puppets presents The Bremen Town Musicians at The Carle Museum with performances at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm on Wednesday the 23rd, Thursday the 24th, and Friday the 25th. On Saturday the 26th, performances will be held at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Tickets are $5 (members $4.50) in addition to museum admission.

taylor_dreams of gods and monstersOn Wednesday the 23rd at 7:00 pm, YA author Laini Taylor will celebrate the publication of Dreams of Gods and Monsters, the final entry in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, at the Brookline Library.

Poem in Your Pocket Day will be celebrated on Thursday, April 24th.

Grub Street instructor Jane Kohuth will lead a three-hour crash-course in picture-book writing at Wellesley Books on Thursday the 24th at 6:00 pm. Registration is $55 for Grub Street members and $65 for non-members.

Instructor Emily Prabhaker will guide participants through the history of the Caldecott Medal in The Carle Museum’s workshop “A Caldecott Celebration” at 9:30 am on Friday, April 25th. Registration is $34 for Carle members and $40 for non-members. (3 PDPs)

Author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka will read and sign his new picture book Peanut Butter and Jellyfish at The Carle on Saturday, April 26th, at 2:00 pm. A drawing activity is included.

On Saturday the 26th, at 2:30 pm, Timothy Young will present the 2014 Annual Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture entitled “Extinct Monsters: What Scholars Learn from Children’s Books” at The Carle. (1 PDP)

Join acclaimed children’s poets Jane Yolen, Richard Michelson, Jeannine Atkins, Heidi Stemple, and Steven Withrow for The Carle’s Family Poetry Jam on Sunday, April 27th, at 1:00 pm.

jeff kinneyDiary of a Wimpy Kid series author/illustrator Jeff Kinney will speak as part of the “Gateway to Reading” Lowell Lecture Series on Sunday the 27th at 2:00 pm at the Boston Public Library main branch.

Annie Cardi will present and sign her debut YA novel, The Chance You Won’t Return, at Porter Square Books on Tuesday, April 29th, at 7:00 pm.

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 30th.

Local author Michelle Chalmers will lead a diversity workshop for children at the Boston Public Library main branch on Wednesday the 30th at 4:00 pm. The workshop includes a reading of Chalmers’s picture book The Skin on My Chin, discussion of diversity, and a craft activity.

On Wednesday the 30th at 7:00 pm, The School for Good and Evil #2: A World without Princes author Soman Chainani will discuss fairy tales and literature with fairy tale/folklore scholar Maria Tatar and Wicked author Gregory Maguire at the Harvard Coop.

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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