Moby Dick Marathon Reading Session Aboard a Whaleship Celebrates Melville’s Birthday

From noon July 31 through noon August 1, the Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum in Mystic, CT, held its 32nd annual Moby Dick reading marathon. Visitors were invited aboard the 19th century whaleship (and now teaching vessel) Charles W. Morgan and read Herman Melville‘s (1819-1891) nautical adventure. Read all about it here, on the Fine Books Blog.

Birth Day

@nancypaulsen @penguinrandomhouse

This Is Our Baby, Born Today, by Varsha Bajaj; illustrated by Eliza Wheeler; Nancy Paulsen Books, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 1-4.


What do you get for the newborns who, unbeknownst to them, have everything awaiting their arrival? Rather than saddle expectant parents with another swaddling blanket or fancy doodad, consider a charming picture book like This Is Our Baby, Born Today. Varsha Bajaj’s poetic ode to new beginnings chronicles the arrival of a baby elephant while celebrating the joy of life and the importance of family and friends. This pint-sized pachyderm is cuddled and caressed by its doting mama and a menagerie of exotic visitors. (The baby’s gender isn’t offered, and it doesn’t matter whether we’re reading about a boy or a girl, the point is the same–babies are gifts, to be treasured and nurtured and loved.) Older readers may recognize Bajaj’s name; her debut effort was the critically-acclaimed middle-grade novel Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood. Lush, full watercolors by New York Times bestselling illustrator Eliza Wheeler bathe the characters in a warm jungle glow, no doubt infused with the love that surrounds and embraces this happy elephant family.


(images copyright 2016 Eliza Wheeler, text copyright 2016 Varsha Bajaj. Reproduced with permission from Nancy Paulsen Books.)

(Children’s) BookNotes, April 13, 2016

Beverly Cleary turns 100, and Scholastic announces a poetry contest.

Publisher’s Weekly interviewed beloved children’s book author Beverly Cleary, who turned 100 on April 12.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Scholastic and
U.S.A. Gold®

Pencils company announces a student poetry contest for public school children in grades 1-6. Read the details here. (Hurry! The contest ends April 29.)