Happenings at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage

School has started and the air is crisp, which can mean only one thing…the Baltimore Book Festival is back! Find something interesting for booklovers of all ages September 28-30, 2018, 11:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. at the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore. The Pratt has exciting programming all weekend, featuring interactive programs for the whole family, with popular local and nationally known authors of books for children and teens. Staff will be available all weekend for library card sign-ups to start your journey at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. You’re Free to Bmore #atthepratt. Check out the schedule below!

Friday, September 28

12-1pm             Zumbini with Miss Kelly

Join Miss Kelly, children’s librarian at Southeast Anchor Library, for a Zumbini® demo! Zumbini® is a music and movement class for children 0 to 3 that will have dancing, singing and instruments. It will feature the theme: “Kalino Finds the Music”! Please register online at Zumbini.com to attend the demo class.

1:30-3pm          Paper Magic with Mr. Matt

Learn how to make magical toys out of simple pieces of paper with Central Library children’s librarian Matthew Hickey. Flexagons are paper toys that have the magical quality of changing images as they are flexed or folded. In this program we will learn how a simple piece of paper can be transformed to make flexagons, exquisite corpses, and accordion style booklets.

3-4:30pm          Open Works Mobile Workshop

Open Works Mobile (OWM) is Baltimore’s first and only mobile maker-space offering an introduction to “maker” based education. The workshop on wheels travels to schools, community centers, and community event sites to demonstrate basic digital fabrication technology with a desktop 3D printer, CNC machine, and Laser engraver. Join them today for a brief demo and the 3d printing pen activity.

 

Saturday, September 29

12-1pm             Nita’s First Signs Storytime for Families

American Sign Language makes it easy to communicate with your child. Come and discover how with Kathy MacMillan, author of Nita’s First Signs, a lively family story that teaches 10 basic ASL signs! We’ll celebrate with stories, songs, and more. Appropriate for all ages.

1-2pm               Whose Book Is It Anyway?: Picture Book Edition

Face off against six wily picture book authors and illustrators and win a signed book!  Can you spot which book excerpts are real and which are clever fakes?  Don’t miss this lineup: Lulu Delacre (Turning Pages), Patricia Valdez (Joan Proctor, Dragon Doctor), Laura Gehl (I Got a Chicken for My Birthday), Liz and Jimmy Reed (Sweet Success), Rachel Kolar (Mother Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters), Moderated by Rebecca Evans (Masterpiece Robot and the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack). Co-sponsored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators MD/DE/WV Region.

2-3pm               Read to Reef Book Club featuring Ricardo Cortés’s, Sea Creatures from the Sky

New York Times best-selling illustrator author Ricardo Cortés reads from Sea Creatures from the Sky, a touching story of a misunderstood shark. Hear the story before reading it in the National Aquarium and Pratt Library’s Read to Reef Book Club in October. Following the reading, dive deeper into the shark’s watery world with Aquarium educators who will be on hand with real shark artifacts to explore and an interactive presentation about these toothy predators.

3-4pm   We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices panel featuring Carole Boston Weatherford and Jeffrey Weatherford, and publishers Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson, hosted by Deborah Taylor

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices publishers, Wade Hudson, inductee into the International Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, and Cheryl Willis Hudson, inductee into the International Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, discuss their anthology, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, with contributors  Carole Boston Weatherford, New York Times best-selling author and NAACP Image Award winner, and Jeffrey Weatherford, illustrator and founder of global hip hop collective known as “TRiiiBE Worldwide”. Hosted by Deborah Taylor, school and student services coordinator at the Pratt Library.

4:30-5:30pm     Brigid Kemmerer, More Than We Can Tell, in conversation with Nisha Sharma, My So-Called Bollywood Life, moderated by Matthew Winner of The Children’s Book Podcast

Nisha Sharma grew up immersed in Bollywood movies, eighties pop culture, and romance novels, so it comes as no surprise that her first novel My So-Called Bollywood Life features all three. Brigid Kemmerer is the author of dark, contemporary Young Adult romances like More Than We Can Tell and Letters to the Lost as well as paranormal YA novels like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water.

 

Sunday, September 30

1-2pm Children’s Picture Book Panel hosted by Paula Willey featuring Sarah Jacoby, Forever or a Day, Minh Lê, Drawn Together, and Elizabeth Lilly, Geraldine

Paula Willey, librarian and organizer of the annual KidLitCon conference, interviews three fantastic picture book authors: Sarah Jacoby, award winner from the Society of Illustrators (Gold Medal), Creative Quarterly, and Communication Arts, Minh Lê, author of Drawn Together illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat and Let Me Finish! named an NPR Best Book of 2016, and Elizabeth Lilly, whose debut, Geraldine, received a starred review from School Library Journal.

2-3:30pm          Dear Martin, Nic Stone in conversation with Letrice Gant of Baltimore Ceasefire

OneBook Baltimore is a new initiative that provides opportunities for Baltimore City 7th and 8th graders, their families, and community members to connect through literature by reading the same book. This year’s book is New York Times bestseller Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work. Baltimore Ceasefire 365 is a self-determination movement started by residents in Baltimore City to reduce murder and celebrate life by calling quarterly Ceasefire weekends.

3:30-4:30pm     Kate Reed Petty, Chasma Knights, in conversation with Elissa Brent Weissman, The Length of a String

Kate Reed Petty is a 2018 Rubys Artist grantee in Literary Arts and a 2018 Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence. Elissa Brent Weissman is an award-winning author of novels for young readers. Best known for the popular Nerd Camp series, she and her books have been featured in Entertainment WeeklyThe Washington PostThe Los Angeles TimesThe Huffington Post, NPR’s “Here and Now,” and more.

4:30-5:30pm     Tony Medina, I Am Alfonso Jones, in conversation with Matthew Winner of The Children’s Book Podcast

Dr. Medina, Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, professor of creative writing at Howard University, and two-time winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, discusses his graphic novel, I Am Alfonso Jones with Matthew Winner of The Children’s Book Podcast.

RSVP on the library event page.

The 2018 Pratt Library Poetry Contest Winner: “Death in Dubai” by Kanak Gupta

This is a poem that will stop you on the street,” said Little Patuxent Review editor Steven Leyva. He was talking about Kanak Gupta’s poem, “Death in Dubai,” which won the 2018 Enoch Pratt Free Library / Little Patuxent Review Poetry Contest and which begins, “I will die in Dubai / under the faint drizzle / of a foggy morning[…].” (Read the whole poem here.)

We asked Kanak to tell us how the poem happened. She wrote the following:

“Death in Dubai” (titled after the city I live in when I’m not at school in Baltimore) has two parts; they were, however, originally written as separate poems at different times, with very different writing styles. But it is the clear juxtaposition between the two—one claiming that “no one dies in Dubai” while the other talks about a death there—that connects one to the other, like the coexistent contradictions of life in a big city.

The first part, “Variations on Variations on a Text by Vallejo,” began as an exercise in imitation in one of my writing classes. It seemed fitting to imitate Donald Justice’s poem “Variations on a Text by Vallejo,” which itself is an imitation of an older poem, “Black Stone on a White Stone” by César Vallejo. In both the poems the poets first predict their death and funeral in a city, then tell you why, and finally look upon their funerals, as they believe they will actually happen. Vallejo predicted that he would die in Paris (as it happens, he was right), Justice, in Miami (he, however, wasn’t as accurate). Both the poets wrote about the cities they resided in, and it seemed obvious for me to do so too. When I started writing the poem, however, I simply couldn’t picture myself dying in Dubai. In fact, I couldn’t picture anyone dying there at all. Naturally, I proceeded to make myself do just that. As it turned out, the city’s sanitary untouchability and barrenness were ripe ground for a poetic death.

The summer after I wrote “Variations,” I was back in Dubai, when the events of the second poem transpired. Perhaps it was the sheer irony of it all, or witnessing a real death in the city after having speculated about one with considerable difficulty, but there was something so resonant about these events, I couldn’t stop thinking about them for days. They made me realize that it wasn’t that no one died in Dubai, rather that so many did that they were just swept under the rug as numbers, their homogeneity giving the city a mask of perfection. More importantly though, they made it apparent to me the universality of the principle that the more lives there are in a place, the more trivial the value of every life becomes. So, while writing the “Variations on Variations on a Text by Vallejo” was something of a personal challenge, “Obituary” practically forced its way out of me.

Next Tuesday, August 21, at 6:30 p.m., Kanak will read her poem at a special celebration of the contest results. Please come!

Rockin’ Reads, Part 7: More Reviews from Adult Summer Challenge Participants

What’s next on your to-read list? Adult Summer Challenge participants have some suggestions:

Michael H. on Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski: Loved this book! Great combination of readability and reliability, applies physics principles to everyday life. Enjoyed reading anecdotes to my wife.

Connie G. on Factfulness by Hans Rosling: Superba must-read for anyone interested in clear, dispassionate thinking about the serious problems facing us now.

Brynez R. on Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes: Great self-help and empowering book around being open to all possibilities despite your fears and the good that can come when you do that.

Meredith V. on The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall: This remains one of the sweetest and most delightful series ever. I really enjoyed spending the book with Lydia. I kind of wanted some more time with the older girls, but I understand why the book wasn’t written that way. And the ending made me literally hug the book in happiness. I’m going to pretty immediately go back and start the series over.

Meri R. on Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan: Jennifer Egan does not disappoint. I read this book in a day, which is very fast for me, but every turn in the story was true and richly described. For a period novel, this book included details that felt lived in and personally important instead of carefully researched and curated. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

Zachary F. on Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber: The concept of this book is really interesting. Essentially humanity has to revert to the dark ages with a repressive religion and one person who remembers the pinnacle of civilization has to try and bring this backward version of humanity into the future. The implications of having a religion that had eight million people around for the creation of the world and saw entities they believed to be archangels is really interesting. The plot is solid. I love the parts where they discuss advancing technologies. Some parts are a little over the top and sometimes the dialogue is a bit more wordy than necessary.

Kelly H. on All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin: This is an incredibly timely novel but it’s also got a new slant: it’s told from the perspective of the parents (Finch’s mom and Lyla’s dad) and not the teens themselves. It was especially interesting to hear from Finch’s mom, because it’s clear that she struggles with loving and wanting to protect her son but, at the same time, being horrified at what he did (and with it seeming like he doesn’t fully get exactly why it was so wrong). This novel also touches on class differences (Lyla is at the school on scholarship; Finch can have pretty much literally anything and everything he wants) and that’s also interesting. Finch’s dad believes that his money can get them out of any predicament (he tries to bribe Lyla’s dad to drop the matter and gives him $15,000. It’s clear that he doesn’t think of that as a large amount of money…which I can’t even imagine, btw).  If you want your beach reads to be more than a guilty pleasure, check this one out.

Join the fun! For a chance to win fabulous prizes in the Adult Summer Challenge, create a free Beanstack account and log each book you finish between June 13 and August 15.