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June kidlit events in the Boston area

Get out your calendars! Upcoming children’s literature events for the Boston metro area:

Author Nandini Bajpai will sign her novels Red Turban, White Horse and Starcursed at the Bacon Free Library tonight, Tuesday, June 3rd, at 7:00 pm.

krosoczka_platypus police squadAuthor/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka (Lunch Lady series, Punk Farm) will celebrate the release of The Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy at The Cambridge Public Library at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, June 4th. The event is co-hosted by Porter Square Books.

YA authors Amanda Maciel (Tease) and Cammie McGovern (Say What You Will) will sign their novels at the Burlington Barnes & Noble at 7:00 pm on Wednesday the 4th.

The Fault in Our Stars movie adaptation opens Friday, June 6th.

Writers interested in breaking into nonfiction freelancing work or critiquing a nonfiction manuscript are welcome at the Writers’ Loft’s Nonfiction Think Tank, which meets on Friday the 6th, at 10:00 am.

On Friday the 6th at 7:00 pm, Skylar Dorset will sign her YA novel The Girl Who Never Was at Porter Square Books.

carle_what's your favorite animalThe Carle Museum will hold its ninth annual Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, June 7th, beginning at 10:00 am. This year’s festival theme is “What’s Your Favorite Animal?” in honor of a new picture book of the same name benefiting The Carle. Author/illustrator guests include Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty series), David Hyde Costello (Little Pig Joins the Band, I Can Help), Diane deGroat (Charlie the Ranch Dog), Jeff Mack (Good News, Bad News, the Clueless McGee series), Peter McCarty (Little Bunny on the Move, Hondo and Fabian), and Astrid Sheckels (Nic and Nellie, Black Cloud), many of whom are also contributors to What’s Your Favorite Animal? The event is free with museum admission; each child attendee will receive a copy of the book.

Cal Armistead will sign Being Henry David, her debut novel for teens, at Newtonville Books at 2:00 pm on Saturday the 7th.

At 5:00 pm on Saturday the 7th, author Sara St. Antoine will celebrate the publication of her novel Three Bird Summer at Porter Square Books.

Learn about the graduate programs in children’s literature offered through Simmons College at The Carle on Sunday, June 8th, and Sunday, June 22nd, at noon.

This month’s Kidlit Drink Night will be Monday, June 9th, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Orleans in Davis Square. All librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, publishers, agents, booksellers, and other friends of YA/children’s literature welcome.

The North Dartmouth Barnes & Noble will host a signing with Janet Taylor Lisle (The Crying Rocks, Newbery Honor Book Afternoon of the Elves) in conjunction with a Tiverton Middle School Summer Reading Bookfair on Thursday, June 12th, at 5:00 pm.

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

To kick off the Fox Library’s summer reading program, cartoonist, author/illustrator, and musician Jef Czekaj will present “What the Heck Do You Do All Day?” at 10:30 am on Saturday, June 14th. A book signing will follow.

potter_jubileeAlso on Saturday the 14th, author Alicia Potter and illustrator Matt Tavares will sign their new picture book biography, Jubilee! One Man’s Big, Bold and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace at Book Ends Winchester at 1:00 pm.

Keri Smith, author/illustrator of Wreck This Journal and How To Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum, will lead an art activity and sign her books at The Carle on Sunday, June 15th, at 1:00 pm.

Participate in the first-ever Wicked Boston Children’s Books Trivia Challenge, a trivia night focused on Boston and children’s books and hosted by Jack Gantos! The event will be held Monday, June 16th, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm (mingling until 9:00 pm) at M. J. O’Connor’s Back Bay; cost is $10. Organized by Children’s Books Boston.

The Writers’ Loft YA Think Tank writing group will be held on Monday the 16th at 7:00 pm and Saturday the 21st at 10 am. Participants will workshop their YA works-in-progress; manuscripts for critique should be submitted one week prior to the meeting.

The Loft will also host its new Middle Grade Morning Critique group on Thursday, June 19th, at 10:00 am. Please email if you are interested in submitting a middle-grade manuscript in progress for critique.

On Saturday the 21st at 11:00 am, the Peabody Barnes & Noble will host a storytime with author/illustrator A.J. Smith to celebrate his new picture book Even Monsters…

Comedian Josh Poirier will lead a workshop on techniques writers can crib from stand-up and improv comedy on Saturday the 21st at 2:00 pm at the Writers’ Loft. The workshop is free for Loft members and a suggested donation of $5 for non-members.

The Carle will hold a screening of documentary The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations with author Norton Juster on Sunday, June 22nd, at 1:00 pm. A Q&A session (moderated by author Jeanne Birdsall) and book signing will follow. The event is free with museum admission.

Instructor Jane Kohuth will lead a six-session “Writing Picture Books and Early Readers” Grub Street class at Wellesley Books beginning with a session from 2:30 to 5:30 pm on Sunday the 22nd.

June’s Kidlit Meet Up Night (N. Metro West Boston) will take place Tuesday, June 24th, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Aprile’s European Restaurant in Chelmsford.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Ben Mezrich (Accidental Billionaires, Bringing Down the House) for a signing of his new children’s book Bringing Down the Mouse on Wednesday, June 25th, at 12:00 pm.

gill_strange fruitGraphic novelists Jesse Lonergan and Joel Gill will discuss and sign their new books, All Star and Strange Fruit, Volume I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, at the Cambridge Public Library at 6:30 pm on Wednesday the 25th.

Instructor Annie Hartnett will teach day-long writing workshop “The Adult in Young Adult: Writing about Sex and Violence in Novels for Teens” at GrubStreet on Friday, June 27th. The class runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; fees are $110 for GrubStreet members and $130 for non-members. Please bring a notebook or laptop for in-class writing exercises.

The Carle Museum’s exhibit “Simms Taback: Art by Design” opens on Saturday, June 28th.

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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