Calendar

Feb
29
Sat
Deborah Marcero: In A Jar, and Deb Pilutti: Old Rock (is not boring) @ Nicola's Books
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Calling all gatherers, collectors and storytellers! Nicola’s Books is lucky to have two picture book author-illustrators stopping by to share their beautiful picture books. Deb Pilutti, with Old Rock (is not boring) and Deborah Marcero, with In a Jar.

About Old Rock (is not boring)

Quirky charm infuses this tale of Old Rock’s life story, which is much more exciting than you’d expect.

Old Rock has been sitting in the same spot in the pine forest for as long as anyone can remember. Spotted Beetle, Tall Pine, and Hummingbird think just sitting there must be boring, but they are in for a wonderful surprise.

Fabulous tales of adventurous travel, exotic scenery, entertaining neighbors, and more from Old Rock’s life prove it has been anything but boring.

Great storytellers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, and Old Rock’s stories are sure to inspire questions that lead to wonderful conversations about the past and the natural world.

About In a Jar

Here’s a marvelous picture book, charmingly written and beautifully illustrated, about the power of memory and the magic of friendship.

Llewellyn, a little rabbit, is a collector. He gathers things in jars–ordinary things like buttercups, feathers, and heart-shaped stones. Then he meets another rabbit, Evelyn, and together they begin to collect extraordinary things–like rainbows, the sound of the ocean, and the wind just before snow falls. And, best of all, when they hold the jars and peer inside, they remember all the wonderful things they’ve seen and done. But one day, Evelyn has sad news: Her family is moving away. How can the two friends continue their magical collection–and their special friendship–from afar?

About the Authors

Deb Pilutti is children’s book author and illustrator. Previous books include Idea Jar (illustrator), Bear and Squirrel are Friends…Yes, Really! and Ten Rules of Being a Superhero.

Deborah Marcero received her BFA in drawing and photography from the University of Michigan, and her MFA in poetry from the School of Art Institute in Chicago. She was a Lead Literacy teacher in Chicago Public Schools, and in her spare time, she loves climbing trees, hiking, swimming, and capturing changes in light with her camera.

Mar
9
Mon
Elizabeth Goodenough: Growing Up Near the Great Lakes @ Hatcher Graduate Library, Special Collections, 6th floor
Mar 9 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Dr. Elizabeth Goodenough explores the landscapes of the Great Lakes as they shape the lives of children, writers, and illustrators. She offers images and tales of lighthouses and shipwrecks from the inland seas, a biosphere with the power to influence artists forever. Stories of displaced children, indigenous youth, and runaways portray stormy passages. What geography constitutes “home” in picture books, Y/A and graphic novels, legends, and film?  How do we retain and preserve the settings we first encountered? Goodenough investigates how a sense of belonging and becoming abides within, sustaining or haunting a lifetime. In this session we recall regional memories, ideas about nature, and narratives of outdoor exploration. Registration is encouraged but not required.

Goodenough has taught literature at Harvard, Claremont McKenna, and Sarah Lawrence colleges, and the University of Michigan. She has published several volumes in Childhood Studies, and her award-winning PBS documentary, Where Do the Children Play?, helped initiate a national dialogue on outdoor play.

Immediately following the presentation, we invite you to this month’s Special Collections After Hours Event, The Great Lakes in Children’s Literature.

Mar
11
Wed
Lacy M. Johnson @ Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom 1100
Mar 11 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Free and open to the public. Reception and book signing to follow. 

Join us for a reading by Lacy M. Johnson, author of The Reckonings and professor of creative nonfiction at Rice University. David Morse, Lecturer at the Ford School’s Writing Center, will moderate the conversation and Q&A.

From the speaker’s bio: 

Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and is author of The Reckonings, which was named a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Criticism and one of the best books of 2018 by Boston Globe, Electric Literature, Autostraddle, Book Riot, and Refinery 29. She is also author of The Other Side. For its frank and fearless confrontation of the epidemic of violence against women, The Other Side was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime, the CLMP Firecracker Award in Nonfiction; it was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer Selection for 2014, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by KirkusLibrary Journal, and the Houston Chronicle. She is also author of Trespasses: A Memoir, which has been anthologized in The Racial Imaginary and Literature: The Human Experience.

She worked as a cashier at WalMart, sold steaks door-to-door, and puppeteered with a traveling children’s museum before earning a PhD from University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she was both an Erhardt Fellow and Inprint Fondren Fellow. As a writer and artist, she has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Houston Endowment, Rice University’s Humanities Research Center, Houston Arts Alliance, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Kansas Arts Commission (may it rest in peace), the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Inprint, and Millay Colony for the Arts. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Tin House, Guernica, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, Sentence, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and is the Founding Director of the Houston Flood Museum.

Mar
31
Tue
Faith A. Pennick: D’Angelo’s Voodoo @ Literati
Mar 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome filmmaker, writer and University of Michigan alumna Faith Pennick in support of her 33 1/3rd series entry, D’Angelo’s Voodoo. The event is free and open to the public, a book signing will follow. 

About the book: Voodoo, D’Angelo’s much-anticipated 2000 release, set the standard for the musical cycle ordained as “neo-soul,” a label the singer and songwriter would reject more than a decade later. The album is a product of heightened emotions and fused sensibilities; an amalgam of soul, rock, jazz, gospel, hip-hop, and Afrobeats. D’Angelo put to music his own pleasures and insecurities as a man-child in the promised land. It was both a tribute to his musical heroes: Prince, Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye, J Dilla…and a deconstruction of rhythm and blues itself.

Despite nearly universal acclaim, the sonic expansiveness of Voodoo proved too nebulous for airplay on many radio stations, seeping outside the accepted lines of commercial R&B music. Voodoo was Black, it was definitely magic, and it was nearly overshadowed by a four-minute music video featuring D’Angelo’s sweat-glistened six-pack abs. “The Video” created an accentuated moment when the shaman lost control of the spell he cast.

Faith Pennick is a Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based filmmaker and writer. Her most recent film is Weightless, a documentary short about plus-sized female scuba divers. Her other films include the documentary Silent Choices and narrative short film Running on Eggshells. Pennick is also a contributing writer to pop culture website The Learned Fangirl.