Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In da house!

Who's sari now, Judy O'Malley?

This has got to be in the top ten reasons to work at Charlesbridge: our authors and illustrators take such interest and care in our grooming habits. While editrix Judy O'Malley is normally well-dressed and professional, author Mitali Perkins saw room for improvement and at our recent open house, she wrapped Judy up old school Bangla style! America's Next Top Multiculti Model.

Reason #2 to love coming to Charlesbridge: Ralph Masiello will not let you spend your life in some sort of artist purgatory reading books and--in the case of our stellar guests--teaching, being children's librarian, talking books, selling books, etc. You will draw and you will like it. The book industry, children's books in particular, isn't always about work, work, work; sell, sell, sell; read, read, read. Sometimes it's about mighty dragons eating their own tails. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Look! Illustrator Jamie Hogan can draw a dragon, too!

May 24th was a fine day for a spring gathering. We love to have our friends over for a glass of lemonade and to play dress up and color. Thanks to everyone who joined us. We hope everyone else can join us next year. Promise there will be some good food and interesting people... pretty please won't you come? With a cherry on top? Ralph will draw something less scary... like ponies and mermaids and stuff.

One more picture because Jenny is such a publicity hound. >>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Read a book and a blog, cupcake.

On a drizzly Saturday afternoon, I dragged my boyfriend Mike across the river for what was the cupcake event of the year – Grace Lin’s Birthday, Book & Boston Blogger Party! And sure enough when we arrive at Spark Craft Studio in Somerville, we were greeted by brightly frosted cupcakes – carrot, red velvet, and lemon to be deliciously specific.

Susan Sherman introduced me to Anna Alter. She is the illustrator of Pricilla and the Hollyhocks that is due for release next spring. Anna is also one of the Blue Rose Girls with Grace, Elaine Magliaro, Alvina Ling, Libby Koponen and Linda Wingerter. Each BRG wore a blue rose in her hair.

Mike and I bought raffle tickets with high hopes to win one of Grace’s prints. Neither of us won, but it was well worth the price of the ticket as all the money went to a good cause – the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I also managed to snag a goodie bag that contained a chocolate rat and an arc for Year of the Rat.

Kudos to Grace and the BRG for throwing a great party.

Posted by Jenny, pictured above with Grace.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

IRA, eh?

While record numbers of people stayed away from IRA this year, Charlesbridge had a great time in Toronto--our neighbor to the north.

It was great to have meaningful conversations with teachers from all over the U.S. and Canada. We gave away copies of Camel Rider and The Golden Dreydl, so all you teachers out there: share them with your classrooms and let us know what you think.

Our favorite part of IRA, besides meeting teachers and talking books, was our brief exploration of Toronto. An evening run along Lake Ontario, dinner at The Queen Mother Cafe on Queen Street (highly recommend this understated restaurant with a pub-like atmosphere and an empirical and eclectic menu), sheepishly considering going into an establishment called Philthy McNasty's with an author (highly inappropriate for children's book publishers), and going to the top of the CN Tower--the tallest structure in the world, not "building," "structure." I don't know, that's what the guide book said.

If you didn't get a chance to go to IRA this year, we'll see you next year in Hotlanta! And if you were in Toronto, it was good to see you!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Keeping the Independent Bookstore Tradition Alive!

A big thanks to Northtown Books of Arcata, California, for hosting author Ellen Dee Davidson at a signing for her new book Princess Justina Albertina.
My reading at Northtown Books was lots of fun. Best was when one of the children told me it was a "really really good story" and asked me if I could read it again. Also, it was fun when everyone laughed at my attempt to impersonate the Nanny.

Also, I am experiencing the thrill of having a fan. A four-year-old boy now carries Princess Justina Albertina with him everywhere he goes, and has made his mom read him the story so many times that she now knows it by heart. He says it is his favorite book--ever! - Ellen Dee Davidson

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Tattered Cover is a book lover's respite

Charlesbridge's own Kim Courchesne recently visited the Tattered Cover Book Store in downtown Denver, Colorado.

"I visited the Tatter Cover Lower Downtown location in Denver, Colorado, and found a wonderful independent bookstore. In this store, there are nooks and crannies where you can grab a coffee at the on-site café and relax, read, snooze, write or whatever for an hour or an afternoon."

Visit this favorite independent bookstore online and "indulge your love of reading."

Friday, May 4, 2007

Congrats Independents!

Boston Magazine has named Amherst Books in Amherst, Massachusetts, the Best Bookstore of New England. They said of the store: "The shop thrives thanks to a breathtaking selection of poetry, literature and philosophy, in addition to a sizable assortment of small press titles and literary journals. There are no gimmicks or marketing schemes at work here--just a refreshingly genuine appreciation of the art of reading."

You would expect no less in Emily Dickinson's hometown. Congratulations Amherst Books.

Congratulations also to Wonderland Books and Toys in Rockford, Illinois--the winner of the Pannell Award in the children's specialty category. And to Books and Books in Miami and Coral Gables, Florida, the winner in the general bookstore category.

Read more about the Pannell Awards given by the Women's National Book Association at Bookselling This Week (May 2, 2007)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Celebrating Independents!

Over at Shrinking Violets Promotions blog spot, Mary Hershey and Robin LaFevers have declared May National Independent Bookseller Month. We here at Charlesbridge are always looking for another reason to celebrate pretty much anything, but especially independent booksellers.

So, to get in the spirit, we would like to highlight a few (of the many) of our favorite independent bookstores. Let's start with Bestsellers Cafe in Medford, Massachusetts -- right in our own backyard. Owner Rob Dillman gave us a warm welcome one warm August 2006 day as we traveled the highways and byways of Eastern Mass with author Mitali Perkins introducing her new book, Rickshaw Girl. A great store in a great Boston neighborhood. Salute, Bestsellers Cafe!