Celebrating the Kendra Kandlestar finale

Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for ArazeenIt’s been a long time in coming!

I recently celebrated the launch of the final book in my Kendra Kandlestar series—Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen—with an “Eentastic” party.

Here are some favorite photos from the event . . .

My wife, Marcie, played the part of official greeter. She spent hours doing her “Een” hair:

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But she wasn’t the only one wearing Een-style braids at the party. In fact, we had an official “braiding station.” Even the boys put braids in their hair. (That’s because everyone—boys included—wears braids in the Land of Een to honor their founder, Leemus Longbraids.)

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In addition, all attendees were given a quick form and a name tag so that they could invent an “Een” name. This meant that everyone had his or her own alias for the entire evening.

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Here’s the entire series on display, along with the museum of Een artifacts.

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What’s a launch without great food? Check out this beautiful Kendra Kandlestar cake, designed and baked by Carrie Bercic.

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It was almost a shame to have to cut it. (We ended up removing the Kendra decoration, first.)arazeenlaunch_cakecutting

Plenty of Eenberry beverages were on hand, too! arazeenlaunch_eenberryjuice

There were many activities at the party, including “Pin the braid on Kendra” and “solve a secret code,” but there’s no two ways about it—the most popular station was “Survive the Rumble Pit”, which was managed by my friend, author James McCann. It’s a card game played with Dungeons & Dragon dice. You pick a warrior and a weapon and then battle other contestants. Nothing is more fun that to watch a mouse with an onion try to fight a giant with a pickle. (But, hey, those are all things from the Kendra Kandlestar books!)

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As part of the festivities, I did a short presentation on the background for Kendra Kandlestar series. This was a lot of fun because I got to show photos of some of the real-life places that inspired the book and talk about how they connected to Kendra’s overall journey.

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We had a lot of great prizes at the launch, including T-shirts, buttons, and posters. But the grand prize was an original piece of artwork from the book. Here’s a photo of my emcee, Dona, and the winner, Joseph. (He’s looking pretty pleased with himself!)

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Of course, the great thing about a launch is that you get things coming the other way. This is a card made by Sarah (or, as it says on her tag, Sarla Sunstar) and her brother. (Looking at this photo now, I see that I was really rocking the Tin-Tin hair that night!)

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A big thanks to EVERYONE who helped make this a huge success. I called in all my author friends to help. James McCann ran the Rumble Pit, kc dyer took photos, and Kallie George (who is also the editor of the series) managed the braiding station. And a super big thanks to my actress wife Marcie Nestman who squeezed in all that extra time during a busy week of directing and acting to help with the launch.

Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen is now available for purchase or order at your favorite bookstore (mine is Kidsbooks on West Broadway!). You can find out more at the official Kendra Kandlestar website.

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You’re Invited!

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A Launch for Robert Heidbreder’s Latest Book – Tomorrow, May 13th!

song for a summer night

Publisher’s description:

As night falls on a soft summer evening, neighborhood children are drawn out of their houses by the sights and sounds of the world after dark. First the fireflies come sparkling past, followed by a host of domestic and wild animals, from cats and dogs to owls and skunks. Accomplished children’s poet Robert Heidbreder creates a world of enchantment, while Qin Leng’s illustrations conjure the harmonious interplay between our everyday domestic world and one that is just a little bit wilder. All the characters, both human and otherwise, have their moment on the nighttime stage, but eventually, the curtain falls, and sleepiness beckons.

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A Launch of Paul Yee’s Latest Book on May 3rd!

chinese fairy tale feasts

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Photos from World Read Aloud Day

Back on Wednesday, March 4th, CWILL BC members took part in two WRAD events: one at Richmond Public Library and the other at Christianne’s Lyceum .

Participants included Lori Sherritt-Fleming, Tiffany Stone, Rie Charles, Silvana Goldemberg, Cindy Heinrichs, Duane Lawrence, Janet Whyte, Suzanne de Montigny and Dan Bar-el.

Audience and authors came together for the pure joy of sharing and listening to stories and poems. Those in attendance who were not children did indeed feel like children that day, wrapped up all cozy in the words being read to us.

Here are a few photos taken mainly by Lori:

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In Person: Jacqueline Woodson, May 8, 2015

Join us on Friday May 8 for an engaging conversation with 2014 National Book Award Winner, Jacqueline Woodson

JackieWoodson74810-web-only2014 National Book Award Winner for her memoir, Brown Girl DreamingJacqueline Woodson is also the author of more than two dozen books for young adults, middle graders and children. The recipient of many awards, she is a three-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, as well as a Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books include The Other SideEach KindnessBeneath A Meth Moon, the Caldecott Honor Book Coming On Home SoonFeathers, and Miracle’s Boys, which received the LA Times Book Prize and was adapted into a miniseries directed by Spike Lee. Jacqueline is also the recipient of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature. In 2013 she was the United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Ms. Woodson lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. May 8, 2015 | Robson Square Auditorium | 7:00 pm | $25 |

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