Monday, February 25, 2013

Only Two Events This Week, but Hosting Christopher Castellani and Kevin Henkes is Kind of Dreamy (and Even Moreso with Fox & Branch Opening for Henkes).

Wednesday, February 27, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Christopher Castellani, author of All This Talk of Love.

Remember back on January 18, when I wrote about Castellani's novel? It seemed so long ago, but that time is upon us--if you've forgotten what I said, you can review the post now. Since then, the interview with Paul Salsini in the February issue of the Italian Times appeared. In addition, I received several emails from folks around Milwaukee (including local writers Liam Callanan and C.J. Hribal), telling me how much they liked Castellani and how they were looking forward to his appearance.

The story is of the Grasso family of Wilmington, Delaware. Maddalena has lost her husband and one of her sons. Her daughter Prima is a mother of four, a perfectionist who has tried to keep the family together. Her son Frankie has moved away and distanced himself. Prima's convinced that she can rekindle the spirit of the family by arranging a trip to Italy. Alas, Maddalena does not want to go and while still vibrant at 72, is beginning to experience spells. Katherine Bailey in the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune raves that "Castellani’s book is a riveting portrayal of a decent family spinning in a vortex of love, loss, hope and memory."

Christopher Castellani is the artistic director of Grub Street, where he hosts one of the largest (and from what I've heard, best) writing events in the country.

Saturday, March 2, 1 pm, at Boswell:
The kids' folk music duo Fox and Branch.

I've been hearing for years about the band Fox and Branch, and maybe my ears were listening a bit harder because I enjoy Will Branch and his family so much. As their website notes, "Dave Fox and Will Branch play a timeless kind of music. Their crowd-pleasing mix of old blues, jug band songs, fiddle tunes, New Orleans-flavored numbers and Cajun tunes makes people stop and smile. The duo has played to appreciative audiences at clubs, festivals, schools and libraries all over the midwest, as well as on the east coast and south to Louisiana. Their music has been played on folk radio across the United States and Canada."

And that's just the opener for...

Satuday, March 2, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Kevin Henkes, author of Penny and Her Marble and many other books.

You have been asking us if we'd be getting Kevin Henkes to visit since...the day we opened. There have been teases. And then Mr. Henkes appeared at the Milwaukee Public Library for the Wisconsin Writers Wall of Fame ceremony and he confirmed he'd be interested in appearing for the next Penny book. We cheered! You cheered!

The new chapter book's premise is pretty simple. Penny finds a marble while pushing her doll Rosie in a carriage. She brings it home. Her conscious begins to bother her. How can she rectify this situation. Kirkus gave the book a starred review, noting that Henkes plumbs the emotional depth of childhood as few author/illustrators can.

And Booklist also gave Henkes' latest a starred review. "Told in short sentences and simple words with a natural cadence, the story lays out a moral dilemma, lets the heroine find her own solution, and concludes with a reassuringly good outcome. Expressive ink-and-watercolor illustrations complement the text on every page. This small-scale yet immensely satisfying drama is a fine addition to the Penny series."

We're happy to let you bring books from home to be signed, though we hope you will purchase a book from us as well. We've got everything from board books to young adult novels. We even have the Penny doll for sale.  This should be about as much fun as you can have on a Saturday afternoon. Hope to see you there.

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