Village Books observes Children's Book Week with several events for kids from tots to teens this weekend and next, including a pair of fantasy writers and local author Clete Smith with his newest book.
Children's Book Week, May 13-19, has been sponsored since 1919 by the Children's Book Council, a nonprofit trade association to promote children's literature. Village Books donates 10 percent of all children's books sold during the week to the children's sections of libraries in Whatcom County.
Order a free 2013 Children's Book Week poster by award-winning writer and illustrator Brian Selznick ("Hugo") at bookweekonline.com. There's also a bookmark to print featuring the work of Grace Lin, who won a Newbery for "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon."
First on the list of local activities is a reading by Stacey R. Campbell, author of "Hush," and Danika Dinsmore, whose "Ruins of Noe" is the latest installment in the Faerie Tales from the White Forest series.
Both are writers whose audience is middle readers, ages 9 to 12 years old, and whose works feature strong girl characters. They are getting good reviews at online book discussion sites.
Dinsmore - who has been a screenwriter and is well known for her spoken-word performances and other work in the Seattle avant-garde poetry scene - will visit three local elementary schools Friday, May 10. From 6-7 p.m., she'll join the Friday Night Writes group of young writers in the Book Fare Cafe on the mezzanine level of Village Books, 1200 11th St.
"I'm going to give them a writing assignment," Dinsmore said last week from her home in Vancouver, B.C. She said she intends to talk about how to approach stories and how to create the setting for a novel, what she calls a "world-building" process.
"I focus on imaginary world-building (in her novels)," Dinsmore said. "But every time you write, you have to build a world."
She describes Brigitta, the heroine of her novels, as someone with "a little more teeth" than a Disney princess.
At 7 p.m., after the book club meeting, Dinsmore joins Anacortes resident Campbell for a discussion and reading in the bookstore's downstairs Readings Gallery. Dinsmore will share a selection from her second book, "The Ruins of Noe," and offer sneak peek at the third book in the series.
Other Children's Book Week events include:
A Curious George preschool storytime from 11-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 14.
Katie and Neal Swanson of Katie's Cupcakes, will read from their new picture book, "Papa Loses His Magic," from 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14. There will be free mini cupcakes and coloring books for all children in attendance.
"Lily's Purple Plastic Purse" preschool reading and activity from 11-11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 16.
Bellingham writer Clete Barrett Smith, author of the popular "Aliens on Vacation" series, offers a Q&A and book signing of his newest book, "Aliens in Disguise," at 5 p.m. Friday, May 17.
Several events focus on food Saturday, May 18. At 11 a.m. Katherine Pryor reads from "Sylvia's Spinach"; at 1 p.m., Rick Swann discusses "Our School Garden"; at 4 p.m., Sarai Stevens presents her book of paper cuts, "Seeds for A New Day," in an event for parents.
Suggest your ideas for family-friendly events or day trips to Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.