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Reading Aloud in Rhode Island (REAL)

Dream Big Read! bannerRhode Island Authors and Illustrators
Kick-off the 2012 Statewide Summer Reading Program!

Friday, June 1
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Providence Children's Museum

Ready for some REAL family fun? Reading Aloud in Rhode Island (REAL) will kick off the 2012 Statewide Summer Reading Program at the Providence Children’s Museum on Friday, June 1 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. An all-star roster of ten local picture book authors and illustrators (Linda Crotta Brennan, Anika and Christopher Denise, Terry Golson, Kara LaReau, Peter Mandel, Jamie Michalak, Kelly Murphy, Ammi-Joan Paquette, and Alison Paul) will read from their work, answer questions, and sign and sell their books as local children's librarians offer engaging book-related activities. It’s time to get REAL in Rhode Island!

This event is recommended for families with children ages 4-10.
Free admission to the Providence Children's Museum
from 5:00 - 8:00 pm on June 1.

Marshmallow KissesLinda Crotta Brennan
Linda Crotta Brennan is the award-winning author of a number of books for children, including: Flannel Kisses, Marshmallow Kisses, and The Black Regiment of the American Revolution. Her book, When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story will be out next year. She lives with her husband and goofy golden retriever in Rhode Island. She has three grown daughters.

Anika Denise Anika Denise has worked as a video producer, copywriter, book store clerk, story hourBella and Atella Come Home host, events planner, newspaper columnist and ice-cream scooper, but her favorite job, by far, is children's books author! (Though free ice-cream was a nice perk.) She has collaborated with her husband, illustrator Christopher Denise, on two picture books. Their first book, Pigs Love Potatoes, was a Parents' Choice award-winner, and the second, Bella and Stella Come Home, was chosen to represent Rhode Island at the 2011 National Book Fair in Washington, D.C. The couple is currently at work on a third picture book, The Best Part of Middle, which was inspired by the collaborations they are most proud of: Their daughters, Sofia, Isabel and Esmé.

Christopher DenisePiga Love Potatoes Christopher Denise is an award-winning children's book illustrator and visual development artist. His career began in 1993 with his first book, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, which was pronounced, "a stunning debut," in Publishers Weekly. Chris has gone on to illustrate more than 20 books for young readers, including the New York Times' bestselling Redwall picture book series. His work has been recognized by Communication Arts, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and Parents' Choice Foundation. Chris graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, where he later served as an adjunct professor of illustration and was nominated for the Frazier Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition to book illustration, Chris works in film animation as a matte painter and visual development artist for clients including Blue Sky Studios, Reel FX, and Disney/Hyperion.

Tillie Lays an EggTerry GolsonTerry Golson keeps chickens in a small town near Boston. Through her website, HenCam.com (live-streaming cams in her barns) she shares her flock with a worldwide audience. She is the author of four cookbooks, and a picture book, Tillie Lays an Egg (PW starred review). Terry has appeared on MARTHA, It’s Me or the Dog (Animal Planet), NECN and in numerous print articles. Her blog is a Country Living Magazine Blue Ribbon Blogger Award winner. Terry visits schools and libraries with a hen in tow, or further afield via Skype. Terry also teaches chicken keeping workshops to adults. Along with the chickens in her life, she has two goats, dogs and a rabbit, a husband and sons. Terry will bring Agatha, the hen, with her to the Providence Children's Museum!

Kara LaReauKara LaReau was born and raised in Connecticut. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and later worked as an editor at Candlewick Press and at Scholastic Press. She is the author of Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, illustrated by Jim Ishikawa; The Rocko and Spanky stories, illustrated by her sister, Jenna LaReau; and Ugly Fish, Rabbit and Squirrel, OTTO: The Boy Who Loved Cars, and Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story, illustrated by Scott Magoon. Kara lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and their two cats.

Peter MandelPeter Mandel is an adventure travel journalist and the author of eleven books for kids including the new Jackhammer Sam (Macmillan/Roaring Brook), Zoo Ah-Choooo (Holiday House), and Bun, Onion, Burger (Simon & Schuster). Other titles include Planes at the Airport (Scholastic), Boats on the River (Scholastic)Zoo Ah-Chooo and Say Hey! A Song of Willie Mays (Hyperion). A regular contributor to the travel sections of The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Huffington Post, he often writes about the misadventures he's gotten stuck in--including experiencing a coup in Ecuador, trying to hike a suburban strip mall, suiting up as a theme park character, seeing America by metered cab, and kayaking to the Statue of Liberty. Originally from Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, Mandel lives in Providence these days with his wife, Kathy, and cats, Betty, Emily and Cecil. He's written essays and op-eds for Reader's Digest, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal, and his books have been translated into Japanese, German, Chinese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish and Danish.
Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels

Jamie Michalak
Jamie Michalak is the author of Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels, Joe and Sparky, Superstars!, Fairy Goodnight Kisses, Fairy Tea Party, Larry and Rita, and So You Want to Catch Bigfoot?, as well as numerous TV show and movie adaptations. She lives in Barrington, Rhode Island with her husband and two young sons.



Kelly Murphy Creepy Monsters Sleepy Monsters Kelly Murphy is an award-winning illustrator working predominantly with traditional and mixed media. Born and raised in southeastern Massachusetts, USA, she studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, her student work receiving distinction from The Society of Illustrators. Since earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1999, Kelly has been globally freelancing across the various fields of editorial, educational and book illustration as well as character design and concept art for the film, theater and toy industries. An accomplished children's book author and illustrator, Kelly's books have been published by worldwide leading publishing houses and translated in 13 languages, earning starred reviews and countless awards. Her thirteenth and fourteenth picture books will be published in 2012.

Ammi-Joan PaquetteTiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids Ammi-Joan Paquette (A. J. Paquette) is the author of the middle-grade novel Nowhere Girl (Walker, 2011), and the picture books The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids (Tanglewood, 2012), and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies (Tanglewood, 2009), the latter of which was on the ABC's Best of 2009 list and was featured in Scholastic: Parent and Child magazine. She was 2005 PEN-NE Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award honoree, and is also a literary agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing the authors of picture books through YA novels. She lives outside of Boston with her family and her very tall to-read pile.

Sunday LoveAlison Paul Alison Paul was born on a Halloween morning. (Her parents still wonder whether she was a trick or a treat.) She grew up in sunny California and lived a comfortable snow-free existence until moving to New England. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design where she wrote her first book, The Crow (A Not-So-Scary Story), [Houghton Mifflin]. When Alison finished illustrating that, she thought, "Hey, maybe I should try to write another book..." And so she did. Her second book, Sunday Love [Houghton Mifflin], is a good old fashioned slapstick cop and robbers romp.