9 ways to celebrate Children’s Book Week in Chicago

by Rosanne Tolin

There are more ways than ever to read today – just choose your tablet/e-reader/mobile device of choice, or grab an old-fashioned book off the shelf and dive in! And during National Children’s Book Week, May 2-8, 2011, take your child’s love of reading off the page (or screen) and celebrate the joy of storytelling with a lineup of events around Chicago.

There are more ways than ever to read today – just choose your tablet/e-reader/mobile device of choice, or grab an old-fashioned book off the shelf and dive in!

Children are invited to come along as Ree Drummond introduces usto her short-legged canine in her first picture book, “Charlie theRanch Dog”. Doing the work of a good country hound is hard work!Charlie is always busy fixing fences, minding the cattle, helpingout on the range…when he’s not eating bacon or sleeping, thatis!

Ree – who left the city behind to be a country wife – lives on areal live ranch near Pawhuska, Oklahoma, with her husband, theirfour kids, and of course, her beloved basset hound. In her popularblog, “The Pioneer Woman”, Ree shares anecdotes of ranch life,along with hearty recipes that will satisfy any cowboy’sappetite…or their dog’s.

Meet an Author: Ree Drummond

Katherine Hannigan, whose first children’s novel was theaward-winning “Ida B”. Now she presents “True…Sort Of”, amiddle-grade novel about friendship, truth, and standing up forothers in trouble.

True: It took Katherine two years to write this book!Protagonist Delly Pattison like “surpresents” (presents that are asurprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly’s sure a specialsurpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinkswill be fun and exciting turns into trouble instead. After all,Ferris Boyd isn’t like anyone Delly has ever met. Ferris is a realmysturiosity (an extremely curious mystery). Delly’s never needed asurpresent more than now!

Meet an Author: Katherine Hannigan

Chicago author Adam Rubin will appear at The Bookstall atChestnut Court for a storytime/book signing featuring his new book,”Those Darn Squirrels and The Cat Next Door”. A gifted and funnyperformer (Adam does improve theater with several Chicago groups),his books are hilarious for adults and kids alike! In thisfollow-up to “Those Darn Squirrels!” the tongue-in-cheek text tellsthe tale of how a clever group of squirrels save the neighborhoodfrom the new cat next door.

Adam Rubin, author of “Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door”

WestChicago Library | West Chicago

 May 6, 3:45 - 4:30 p.m.

Sing…er, make that ring in National Children’s Book
Week with traditional Latin, folk, and fairy tales as told by
talented storyteller Holly Nagel, owner of Twist ‘n’ Shout, a party
balloon company. Holly uses stories, songs, gourds – and of course
balloons! – to create an unforgettable cultural experience
for you and your kids.

Listen to a storyteller

Borders - State Street | Chicago

 May 2, 2 p.m.

Calling all pharaohs! Walk like an Egyptian, brush up on yourhieroglyphics and get ready to party with Rick Riordan in honor ofhis new release, “The Throne of Fire,” the latest release in hisseriously best-selling “The Kane Chronicles.” Plus, there’s aPharoahs’ Quest LEGO giveaway! Space is limited, so RSVPASAP.Borders Books, 150 North StateSt.,(312) 606-0750

Visit ancient Egypt and build with LEGOs

Don’t miss this totally unique chance to share poetry and music- at the same time! – with your young ones. Jack Prelutsky himselfbrings poetry to life as he headlines an amazing afternoon atNaperville’s Pfeiffer Hall. The event features the DuPage SymphonyOrchestra performing Camille Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of theAnimals”, along with Jack’s accompanying narration. Rounding outthe program will be additional animal-oriented and child-friendlyworks by the symphony, and the winning poetry submissions of threelocal students.

Tickets to this intergenerational opportunity are $10 per adultand $8 per child, and are available through the North CentralCollege Box Office. But that’s not all! Beginning at 5:00 p.m., apost-concert reception honoring Jack Prelutsky takes place withadditional poetry readings, snacks, entertainment by studentChamber Orchestra musicians and raffle prizes. Thisafter-party, located at Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson inNaperville (within walking distance of the concert), requirespurchasing premium tickets for $30 (adult) and $15 (child).

Concert with America’s children’s poet laureate

Celebrating books doesn’t have to be all about words on a page.
Theaters around Chicagoland are putting classic stories on the

Charlie and the Chocolate
through May 8 at the Apollo Theatre
Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl’s sweet classic, Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory? Snag a (golden) ticket and watch it reenacted on
stage (left). Details

Hip Hop Aesop II
May 5 – June 3 at Jeta Creative Arts

Who said teaching morals is tedious stuff? This sequel to last
season’s smash hit uses a diverse blend of music and dance to take
on”The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg”, “The Gnat and the
Lion”, “The Ant and the Grasshopper”, and many more. Details

Watership Down
through June 19 at Lifeline Theater
There’s more to the bunnies in this famous book than meets
the eye. When their birthplace is destroyed, brother rabbits Hazel
and Fiver lead a misfit band of survivors on a quest for a new
home. Confronted with insurmountable dangers on all sides, the
refugees must join forces with unexpected allies and conquer their
deepest fears in order to endure. Introduce your kids to this
stirring adventure, reworked for the Lifeline stage by the
award-winning adaptor and director of Johnny Tremain. Details

The play’s the thing

Check out the 2011 Children’s Choice Book Awards. Have your kidsread any of the winning picks? The Children’s Choice Book Awardsare the only national book awards chosen by children and teens! Goto bookweekonline.com for more info.

Pick a winner

Calling all artists-in-training! A Midsummer Knight’s Read isthis summer’s theme at Helen Plum Memorial Library (110 WestMaple St., Lombard,) and the library is seeking some original
artwork. Castles, dragons, knights – what will your kids
create? Winning entries will be used for new mouse pad designs in
the library. Entries can be made at home or by using supplies
provided at the library. Winning designs will be “knighted” during
Children’s Book Week. The selected artwork will be featured on new
mouse pads in Youth Services!More information at helenplum.org

Design a mouse pad

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