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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at

“Something’s happening at the library!” in Portland, Maine

I was lucky enough to go on a moms’-overnight to Portland, Maine (with one of the travelers being this wonderful Horn Book contributor). Our hotel, which once housed the Portland Press Herald newspaper office and printing press (so cool!), featured newspaper-headline wallpaper; decorative typewriters everywhere; and printer rollers in the elevator. The bar menus were repurposed picture books (gimmicky but cute), and it being Read Across America, “pink ink drink” (a.k.a. strawberry lemonade) was on offer.

Our visit corresponded with the city’s First Friday Art Walk, and out on the street, something caught our eye. “Something’s happening at the library!” A pop-up, feminist Odyssey was being performed in the lobby of the library building, with several other venues also highlighting the work of local artists.

I had been to Portland several times before with my family — there is an excellent, compact children’s museum and theater there, including a “Creating Communities” exhibit featuring a selection of Anne Sibley O’Brien’s illustrations (from the book Talking Walls). Mama Kitty and I even met up once when both of our families were visiting. Children’s books remind us that Maine has a lot to offer — and it was fun to explore Portland for a day with a group of fellow mamas.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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