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December Boston-area book events

It’s December (what? already?!), which means that our bookish city’s typical flurry of book-related events is accompanied by a plethora of holiday-oriented book-related happenings. (Give books! Buy indie!) Here’s a sampling; check our calendar for details and even more events. Email to submit your event for listing.

On Saturday, December 2nd, at 10:00 a.m., join the Prudential Center Barnes & Noble for the Mass Literacy book fair and Literacy Champions awards ceremony.

The Harvard COOP will host Kristin Kladstrup, author of Nutcracker Mice, for a tea party at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday the 2nd. The tea party will include a reading of Nutcracker Mice, ornament decorating activity, and, of course, refreshments.

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is an annual video contest in which young filmmakers create movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in about 90 seconds. The BPL’s Central Branch will host two 90-Second Newbery events this weekend. Make costumes for the characters in Matt de la Pena’s Last Stop On Market Street on Saturday the 2nd at 3:00 p.m., then create a script and video at 2:00 p.m. the following day.

Meet author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers at one of two local events: at Tenacre Country Day School the evening of Wednesday, December 6th, at 6:00 p.m. ($5; sponsored by Wellesley Books), and at the Cambridge Public Library on Thursday the 7th at 6:30 p.m. (sponsored by Porter Square Books).

The annual Children’s Books Boston mixer and book swap will be held in Simmons College’s Faculty-Staff dining room at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 7th. Entry is a $5-minimum donation to a raffle to win signed books and other swag; raffle proceeds will benefit disaster relief.

At the annual Writers’ Loft Holiday Book Bazaar, Loft authors will gather to chat about their works. As the authors will be also be selling and signing their books., it’s the perfect time to shop for the book lovers in your life. The bazaar takes place from 12:30–4:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 9th, at An Unlikely Story.

On Saturday the 9th at 3:00 p.m., the Odyssey Bookshop will host a brilliant group of children’s book creators — Natasha Lowe, Jeff Mack, Heidi Stemple, Lisa Yee, and Jane Yolen —for a group signing.

Meet some of the accomplished authors and illustrators whose books are featured in the Concord Museum’s “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature” on Sunday, December 10th, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Explore the decorated trees throughout the museum galleries and have your books signed by D.B. Johnson, Wendell Minor, Leslea Newman, April Jones Prince, Giles Laroche, Peter H. Reynolds, Sally Sanford, and Ilse Plume, Linda Booth Sweeney, Liza Gardner Walsh, Hazel Mitchell, Yael Werber, Abigail Ewing Zelz, and Eric Zelz. Free with “Family Trees” exhibit admission.

Susan Bloom and Cathie Mercier of Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature will give the annual “The Best of the Best” presentation at The Carle Museum on Saturday, December 16th, at 11:00 a.m. Susan and Cathie will share their favorite children’s and teen books of the year in anticipation of the 2018 American Library Association Book & Media Awards. 1.5 PDPs; free with museum admission.

Also on Saturday the 16th at The Carle Museum, at 1:00 p.m., artist and author Javaka Steptoe will discuss his research and art for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and what his year has been since it won the 2017 Caldecott Medal. Free with museum admission.

See our events calendar for all details and additional events; email to submit events for listing. Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year!

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. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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