Up There... Old Books for Young Readers
As questions come up around the elections, Eileen Christelow's Vote!, newly reissued with updated back matter for the 2018 midterm elections, is a helpful, fun, and kid-friendly resource for understanding how democracy works. Speaking of which, we'll be voting on our favorite entries to 57th Street Books' 35th Anniversary Contest next Small Business Saturday, November 24! Readers of all ages are invited to stop in and pick up a special commemorative 57th Street Books coloring sheet for a chance to win a $57 Gift Card and, of course, for fun! Coloring sheets can be dropped at or mailed to 57th Street Books (1301 E. 57th St.) and winners will be announced and contacted on Small Business Saturday. See more details and relive our 35th Anniversary Celebration, featuring storytime with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, here. And find new books for young readers, author interviews, and upcoming events (including our 11/24 Small Business Saturday's Storytime with Mama Fresh at 10:30am) below. Happy reading and happy Thanksgiving, with great thanks from all of us at 57th Street Books! 
Vote! (Houghton Mifflin, 2018) 
Eileen Christelow 
Three Questions for Matthew Cordell, author of King Alice
Matthew Cordell is the Caldecott award-winning author of Wolf in the Snow, Trouble GumAnother Brotherhello! hello!, and Wish. He has illustrated the books of renowned authors including Philip Stead (Special Delivery), Rachel Vail (the Justin Case series), and Gail Carson Levine (Forgive Me, I Meant To Do It). He lives outside of Chicago with his wife, the novelist Julie Halpern, and their two children. We spoke with Matthew by email about his latest picture book, which "subtly but clearly upends stereotypes" (Austin American-Statesman Newspaper) in the midst of a "slushy," imaginative snow day, just in time for winter. Learn more about King Alice and a flurry of new releases for braving the great indoors below! 
Though stuck inside on a snow day, Alice (aka "King Alice") has one loud "IDEA!" after another for passing the time, most in the form of an ongoing book. Do ideas for your books come about as spontaneously as Alice's, jumping one into another, freely skipping excess chapters, and so on?

I wish I was as confident about my ideas as Alice is! I tend to think and think and sometimes overthink when I’m working out ideas. One of the wonderful thing about children is how they don’t overthink. They tend to strike up and idea and want to act on it immediately. It’s an exciting (albeit risky) way to live!

Even though Alice declares herself "King Alice the First," she summons her powers in a spirit of collaboration (whether or not her "co-authors" are in the mood to collaborate). How do you approach illustrating books and working with other writers?

There’s different challenges when it comes to writing and illustrating my own books, as opposed to providing illustrations for another author’s story. But in all cases, I’m always collaborating with an editor and/or art director at the book’s publisher. I love Alice’s confidence, but I’m definitely a lot more diplomatic and careful than her, when it comes to working with others. I sometimes go in thinking my ideas are as good as it’s going to get, but when I hear another perspective, it can be enlightening and change the whole thing for the better. So I always want to try and remain flexible throughout the entire creative process.

Everyone is "king" of something. Besides writing and illustrating Caldecott winning books like Wolf in the Snow, what are you king of?

Besides making books and spending time with my family (my wife, Julie, is the “king” of this outfit), my favorite thing is Star Wars. I grew up watching Star Wars in the 70’s and 80’s and I used to sit around with my brother, drawing our favorite characters at the kitchen table. I’ve continued to love all of the movies and shows and toys and memorabilia. And I’m always on the hunt for some cool collectible I’m dying to have. So, yeah… I’m kinda the King of Star Wars.

@michelleobama "It seems like yesterday that Barack Obama and I were taking our girls to 57th Street Books store. Today, I was there with a book of my own. Thanks to everyone who braved the cold and stopped by. #IAmBecoming
In honor of former First Lady and Co-op Member Michelle Obama's first book signing for Becoming at the Seminary Co-op, we kickoff this month's curated selection of books for young readers with new books inspired by our favorite neighbor. Find more books about or loved by Michelle Obama here and on display at 57th Street Books! 
Read With (1-5 years) 

Be Bold, Baby: Michelle Obama
(HMH Books for Young Readers) 
Alison Oliver

Celebrate Michelle Obama’s most motivational and powerful moments, with quotes from the former First Lady, and vibrant illustrations by Alison Oliver. (A perfect little one's companion to Michelle's brand-new memoir, Becoming.)
I Look Up To... Michelle Obama
(Random House Books for Young Readers) 
Fatti Burke

It's never too early to introduce your child to the people you admire! This board book distills Michelle Obama's excellent qualities into deliciously illustrated little baby-sized bites, with text designed to share and read aloud.

Michelle Obama: Mom-in-Chief
(Grosset & Dunlap) 
Roberta Edwards

This easy-to-read biography—filled with photos of the entire Obama family—charts Michelle's life from her childhood in Chicago, through her years at Princeton and Harvard Law, to her historic arrival in the White House.

Eileen Spinelli, illus. by Archie Preston

“Low-key and gentle; a book to be thankful for.”
Kirkus Reviews

Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the firefighter, for putting the fire out, children are encouraged to be thankful for the blessings in their lives. 
(Dial Books)
Julia Donaldson, illus. by Sharon King-Chai

From ant to butterfly to caterpillar . . . to zebra and then back again, Animalphabet is an entertaining puzzle as well as a gorgeous alphabet book to treasure, from the bestselling author of Room on the Broom.
Read Aloud (3-7)
The Wall in the Middle of the Book
(Dial Books) 

John Agee

A foolish knight is certain that his side of the wall is the safe side. But when he’s almost over his head and calling for help, who will come to his rescue? An individual who isn’t as dangerous as the knight thought–from a side of the book that might just have some positive things to offer after all!
King Alice
(Feiwell & Friends)
Matthew Cordell

"On a particularly snowy day, when the family is housebound, Alice comes up with a variety of activities to wile away the hours... Cordell’s title pays delightful homage to books, writing, and illustrating while revealing a happy, pajama-clad family spending a fun-filled, though frenetic, day together." —Bookliststarred review
Carmela Full of Wishes
Matt de la Peña

With lyrical, stirring text and stunning, evocative artwork, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson have crafted a moving ode to family, to dreamers, and to finding hope in the most unexpected places. Available in English and Spanish
(NorthSouth Books) 
Torben Kuhlmann

A long time ago, one mouse learned to fly, another landed on the moon...what will happen in the next Mouse adventure? From the creator of Lindbergh—The Tale of a Flying Mouse and Armstrong, comes Edison—The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure
Juan Felipe Herrera, illus. by Lauren Castillo

Have you ever imagined what you might be when you grow up? With this illustrated poem of endless possibility, 51st U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Lauren Castillo breathe magic into the hopes & dreams of readers searching for their place.
Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color
(Henry Holt and Co.)
Julie Paschkis

Orange you my favorite fruit?
Hey - you’re a tangerine!

With information about the science of sight and perception, pigment origins in art and textiles, and colloquial expressions and word associations, Vivid is a wonderfully sensory read.

Read Alone (8 and up)
Dream Country
(Dutton Books for Young Readers)
Shannon Gibney

The heartbreaking story of five generations of young people from a single African-and-American family pursuing an elusive dream of freedom.

“Gut wrenching and incredible.” —Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Tahereh Mafi

“Tahereh Mafi, known for her fantasy and dystopian novels, proves a master of the contemporary realistic novel. Even as the fraught love story drives the short chapters to a surprising close, Mafi weaves in moments of camaraderie and joy.” —Washington Post
A Conversation with Kristen Ciccarelli and Franny Billingsley
Just before the fantastic Epic Reads Meet-Up this past September at 57th Street Books, we sat down with celebrated YA author Kristen Ciccarelli and our own (National Book Award finalist) Franny Billingsley, who mentored Kristen through the completion of her first novel, The Last Namsara. And it was their first time meeting face-to-face! From why fantasy is an empowering genre to where writers choose to work (hint: bookstores are always close at hand), you can listen in on the conversation right here.

Stop by to pick up a signed copy of Ciccarelli's newest book, The Caged Queen, and receive a free Epic Reads tote bag (while supplies last)!
Events for Young Readers at 57th Street Books 
A scary good time was had by all at our third annual Spooky Storytime on October 27, with chilling tales, haunting melodies, and, as always, sickening stew! Above, Children's Manager Franny Billingsley demonstrates dropping in the "eye of newt". Below, less frightening, still fun upcoming events for young readers! 
Robin Stevens presents The Guggenheim Mystery and Mistletoe and Murder
Tuesday, November 20 4pm at 57th Street Books
“Swift pacing and smartly integrated clues allow readers to make connections along with the characters... positive and empowering" School Library Journal

Join us for a reading and book signing with acclaimed UK-based children's author Robin Stevens, "a singular voice" (Kirkus) in middle-grade mystery whose first book, 
Murder Most Unladylike (Murder is Bad Manners in the U.S.) was the biggest middle-grade debut of 2014!
Jessica Hische presents Tomorrow I'll Be Brave
Wednesday, December 5 6:30pm at 57th Street Books
“Jessica Hische, one of the great designers and typographers, now shows herself equally adept at creating gorgeous and immersive images for young readers. This is a joyous burst of color.” —Dave Eggers

Join us for a journey through the beautifully hand-lettered messages of award-winning illustrator Jessica Hische in her debut picture book 
Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave. This uplifting and positive book encourages kids to promise that tomorrow, they will try new things, do their best, and be brave. Check out the book trailer!
Storytime: Cozbi A. Cabrera's My Hair Is A Garden with Mama Fresh Chicago
Saturday, December 15 10:30am at 57th Street Books
My Hair Is A Garden tells the story of MacKenzie, a little girl who is teased about her hair. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, MacKenzie's neighbor Miss Tillie shows her that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore but something wonderful and natural to be cared for everyday. Join us for this special storytime with Cozbi A. Cabrera and Mama Fresh Chicago!
Illus. by Lauren Castillo 

"The more we engage in society, the more firsts we have, then there will be a moment when we have no more firsts. Or maybe there will always be new firsts."  Juan Felipe Herrera 
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