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July kidlit events

Summer reading events abound and many museums offer free admission — make the most of your July with these great events in and around Boston! See our monthly event calendar or click on the event links below for all the details.

The Shrewsbury Public Library will host its annual Summer Reading Carnival with author and character visits, snacks, games, performances, a cooking class, and a Frozen screening today from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

nicola's puppetsNicola McEldowney of Nicola’s Puppets presents a puppet show adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories” at Boston Public Library’s Lower Mills Branch tomorrow, Wednesday, July 2nd, at 10:30 am.

Porter Square Books will host a launch party celebrating Diana Renn’s second young adult novel, Latitude Zero, on Thursday, July 3rd, at 7:00 pm.

Worth the drive: special exhibition “Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans” (organized by The Carle Museum) opens at the New-York Historical Society on Friday, July 4th. It will return to The Carle after the New York showing closes in October.

The Edward Gorey House will have free admission on Friday the 4th as part of the Highland Street Foundation’s sixth annual Free Fun Fridays cultural program.

CatcusHead Puppets will perform folktale “The Tale of Juan Bobo” at The Carle Museum on Saturday, July 6th (11:00 am and 1:00 pm showings) and Sunday the 7th (1:00 pm showing). Tickets are $5 for nonmembers, $4.50 for members.

carle_what's your favorite animalThe Carle’s week-long “Animals, Art, and the Imagination” summer program for children will run Monday, July 7th, through Friday the 11th from from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm each day. The program includes author visits, activities, and field trips themed around Eric Carle’s collaborative new book What’s Your Favorite Animal. Registration is required ($300 general, $255 for museum members).

On Tuesday, July 8th, at 6:00 pm, Pumpernickel Puppets will perform “Sir George and the Dragon” at the Faneuil Branch of the Boston Public Library.

At 7:00 pm on Tuesday the 8th, Divergent author Veronica Roth will speak about and sign her new book Four at the Framingham Barnes & Noble. Wristbands are required; contact the store for more information.

The Burlington Barnes & Noble will host a book signing with Chris Colfer to celebrate the release of his new book The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning at 4:00 pm on Thursday, July 10th. Purchase of the book is required to enter the signing line.

The Writers’ Loft’s monthly picture book manuscript critique group meets Thursday the 10th at 7:00 pm. Manuscripts for critique should be submitted to by the Monday prior to the meeting.

Instructor Emily Prabhaker will teach a workshop on the Whole Book Approach at The Carle on Friday, July 11th, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Registration is $40; attendees earn three professional development points.

staniszewski_prank listThe Blue Bunny will celebrate Anna Staniszewski’s new book The Prank List (sequel to The Dirt Diary) with a cupcake decorating party and book signing at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 12th.

Members of The Carle are invited to a special opening reception for “Simms Taback: Art by Design” exhibition on Saturday the 12th. The event begins at 5:00 pm; a conversation with Rick Meyerowitz, Reynold Ruffins, and Regina Hayes moderated by H. Nichols B. Clark begins at 6:15 pm. Members should RSVP by Monday, July 7th, to Jenny Darling Stasinos at 413-658-1104 or Chief Curator Nick Clark will lead a guided tour of the exhibit the following day, Sunday the 13th, at 1:00 pm open to all museum attendees.

On Tuesday, July 15th at 7:30 pm, picture book author Jane Sutton will discuss her experiences collaborating with illustrators in a workshop entitled “The Marriage of Story and Art” at The Writers’ Loft.

Learn about the graduate programs in children’s literature offered through Simmons College at The Carle on Wednesday, July 16th, at noon.

Alpha is for Anthropos author Therese Sellers will introduce Greek myth, alphabet, and art at the Boston Public Library’s South End Branch on Thursday, July 17th, at 2:00 pm. The event will conclude with a calligraphy activity.

The Writers’ Loft will host its Middle Grade Critique group on Thursday the 17th at 7:00 pm. Please email if you are interested in submitting a middle-grade manuscript in progress for critique.

The Carle Museum will have free admission as part of Highland Street’s Free Fun Fridays on Friday, July 18th.

The Writers’ Loft YA Think Tank writing group will be held on Saturday the 19th at 10:00 am. Participants will workshop their YA works-in-progress; manuscripts for critique should be submitted one week prior to the meeting. A Young Adult Critique Group meets on the evening of Monday, July 21st, at 7:00 pm. Bring 3,000 words for a cold read critique. If you are interested in attending, please email

becker_questCaldecott Honor-winning illustrator Aaron Becker will introduce his new picture book Quest and talk about his creative process at The Carle on Saturday the 19th. A book signing will follow. The event begins at 1:00 pm.

Learn about Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) at two workshops at The Carle on Wednesday, July 23rd. The morning session from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm is taught by Rosemary Agoglia and entitled “VTS in the Galleries: Reading Pictures”; from 1:30 to 4:30 pm Meghan Burch will teach “VTS in the Studio: Exploring Materials.” Each session is three PDP; registration is $40 for one session or $70 for both.

Authors Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Kip Wilson Rechea, and Elana Varon will share productivity and organizational tips for writers in panel discussion “Minutia to Manuscript: Organizing Your Writing Life” at The Writers’ Loft at 7:00 pm on Wednesday the 23rd. The discussion is $5 for non-members and free for members.

Porter Square Books will host a with a launch party for Livia Blackburne’s debut YA novel Midnight Thief on Thursday, July 24th, at 7:00 pm.

The American Repertory Theater’s musical production Finding Neverland, based on the feature film about author J.M. Barrie and the family who inspired Peter Pan, opens on Friday, July 25th. Ticket prices range from $25 to $50. The musical runs through Sunday, September 28th.

rowling_harry potter and the sorcerer's stoneThe Prudential Center Barnes & Noble will host a birthday party for Harry Potter (to include trivia, crafts, activities, and butterbeer!) at 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 26th.

Author, illustrator, and  store owner Peter H. Reynolds will sign his books at The Blue Bunny’s special storytime at 10:30 am on Monday, July 28th.

Wind quartet Vento Chairo and composer Dr. Justin Casinghino will perform a free concert based on Katie Smith Milway’s picture book One Hen at the Somerville Public Library at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, July 30th.

Celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday and learn about the science behind the Wizarding World with a party at the Boston Public Library at 3:30 pm on Thursday, July 31st.

Are you hosting or attending an event we missed? Email us at or let us know in the comments!

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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