Wisconsin Book Festival 2010

The Wisconsin Book Festival began yesterday (Sept. 29) and runs through Sunday, October 3.

This Year’s Theme: Beliefs
ON Beliefs
The 2010 Wisconsin Book Festival explores the theme of Beliefs. In the Festival’s honor, we’ve asked several authors, poets and other thinkers from across Wisconsin to reflect on the role beliefs have played in their lives. The multiplicity of perspectives you’ll see here reflects one of the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s deeply held beliefs: that when our beliefs get aired, shared and woven together, community life grows more vibrant and our individual lives are enriched.

Events are happening statewide, but here’s what’s happening locally for youth & kids:

Thursday, September 30

Maryann MacDonald: The Little Piano Girl
5:30 – 6:30 PM
Venue: Madison Children’s Museum

Sponsored by the Mary Lou Williams Centennial Celebration
Presenter(s): Maryann MacDonald
Mary Lou Williams, like Mozart, began playing the piano when she was four; at eight she became a professional musician. She wrote and arranged music for Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and was one of the most powerful women in jazz. The Little Piano Girl is the story of Mary Lou’s childhood in Pittsburgh, where she played the piano for anyone who would listen.

Friday, October 1

Kao Kalia Yang Writing Workshop for Youth
4:30 – 6:30 PM
Venue: Kennedy Heights Community Center

Presenter(s): Kao Kalia Yang
The experiences as an immigrant guide the writings of Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir. This workshop encourages midle-school-age youth to define and write their own stories. Participants must pre-register for this FREE workshop. Click HERE to register.

Kids’ Book Extravaganza: Josh Lewis, Boni Ashburn, and others
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Venue: Madison Children’s Museum

Presenter(s): Josh Lewis, Boni Ashburn
A mini-festival for young readers and families at Madison Children’s Museum’s gorgeous brand new location. Do you believe in dragons? Stop in to meet Boni Ashburn, whose lovely and musical picture book Over At The Castle begets a fanciful medieval world of sun-drenched illustrations and gentle humor. And don’t miss native Madisonian Josh Lewis, creator of Super Chicken Nugget Boy and the Furious Fry, a bona fide, deep-fried superhero who’s not afraid to take on villains great and small. For tweens, toddlers, and everyone in between, the fourth annual book bash is sure to be another smash.

Saturday, October 2

Children’s Book Sale
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Venue: Helen C. White Hall

A benefit for the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)
Great bargains on books for children and young adults. Hardcovers are $4; paperbacks are $2. Become a CCBC Friends’ member at the door and receive $1 discount per book. Helen C. White Hall Room 4207.

Sacred Spaces & Belief Places: A Day-Long Guided Tour
8:15 AM – 4:30 PM
Venue: Overture Center for the Arts

Presenter(s): Joni Shahrani
With support from the WHC, Jefferson Middle School teacher Joni Shahrani created an innovative program that literally takes her students on the road to explore people and their beliefs in and around Madison. Now is your chance to participate! Visit Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, The Islamic Center of Madison, Deer Park Buddhist Center, and Temple Beth El. Participants must pre-register for this workshop. Click HERE to download a registration form. No spaces remain for this tour. Registration is now closed.
To be added to a wait list, please call (608) 265-5594

Wisconsin History, One Story at a Time: Badger Biographies
10:00 – 11:30 AM
Venue: Madison Public Library-Main Branch

Presented by Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Presenter(s): Sheila Cohen, Bob Kann, Caroline Hoffman
Join authors Bob Kann, Caroline Hoffman and Sheila Cohen as they talk about writing for children. All three authors have written books for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press’ Badger Biographies series for 7-12 year old children. They’ve explored famous and not so famous people from Wisconsin in a kid friendly format. All of the biographies tell stories of people that worked hard, believed in themselves and achieved their dreams – such as, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gaylord Nelson, Belle & Bob La Follette and Cindy Bentley.

Barbara Slate Workshop for Teens: You Can Do a Graphic Novel!
12:30 – 2:00 PM
Venue: College Library (Helen C. White Hall)

Presenter(s): Barbara Slate
Can you imagine yourself sitting down with pencil and paper to create a colorful, captivating graphic novel? 12-18-year-olds will receive the inspiration and know-how to get the stories they want to tell out of their heads and onto paper through one of today’s most compelling mediums for sharing stories: graphic novels. Participants must pre-register for this FREE workshop. Click HERE to register.

Ann Angel: Janis Joplin biography
2:30 – 3:30 PM
Venue: A Room of One’s Own Feminist Bookstore

Presenter(s): Ann Angel
Forty years after her death, Janis Joplin remains among the most compelling and influential figures in rock-and-roll history. In Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing , Ann Angel depicts a girl who struggled against rules and limitations, yet worked diligently to improve as a singer. It’s the story of an outrageous rebel who wanted to be loved, and of a wild woman who wrote long, loving letters to her mom. And finally, it’s the story of one of the most iconic female musicians in American history who died at twenty-seven.

Teachers’ Training for Graphic Novel Workshops: Barbara Slate Shares Her Methods
3:00 – 4:30 PM
Venue: College Library (Helen C. White Hall)

Presenter(s): Barbara Slate
Teens who do graphic novels develop skills in logic, teamwork, problem solving, and completing tasks. Veteran graphic novelist and instructor Barbara Slate guides teachers through her proven step-by-step plan to helping students reach fulfillment as graphic novelists. Priority space is for teachers, but other interested adults are welcome to attend as space allows. Free teacher’s guides will be provided to participants.

Sunday, October 3

Amy Lou Jenkins: Open-Air Parenting
3:00 – 4:30 PM
Venue: Sun Prairie Public Library

Presenter(s): Amy Lou Jenkins
Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting is Amy Lou Jenkins’s story of exploring the natural history, landscape, flora and fauna of the state of Wisconsin with her son, drawing parallels along the way between the world of people and nature.

Madison Children’s Museum upcoming events

This was going to be a quick post about tomorrow night’s Gallery Night at the Madison Children’s Museum, but then I saw that they’ve announced the date for the “Baby’s First Halloween” event and got super excited, because I had such a fun time bringing Milena to it last year! (and I’m a little saddened that my baby’s not a baby anymore).

So here’s some info on upcoming special events at the MCM:

Friday, October 1: Gallery Night & Wisconsin Book Festival

The museum is open with free admission from 6-8 pm in celebration of Gallery Night and the Wisconsin Book Festival.

The museum’s art gallery is one of several galleries featuring work by local photographers in collaboration with Photo Midwest 2010. They’ll also be celebrating the museum’s Kids Caps project, a mosaic installation with bottlecap artwork created by over 14,000 local children

Wisconsin Book Festival: Kids’ Book Extravaganza:

Josh Lewis, Boni Ashburn, and others will present interactive readings of their books. This free program for ages toddler to tween will take place in the museum’s Community Concourse. Lewis will read from “Super Chicken Nugget Boy and the Furious Fry”, and Ashburn will read from “Over at the Castle.”

Baby’s First Halloween

Presented by Madison Children’s Museum & Happy Bambino
Thursday, October 28
10 am – noon

Celebrate your baby’s first Halloween at Madison Children’s Museum! You and your baby will enjoy live music, special treats, and an outdoor costume parade. Be creative with that costume! We’ll award prizes for the Best Baby Costume, Best Pair/Family Costume, and Best Older Sibling Costume.

Children under age 1 always get in free at MCM. Regular admission prices apply for older siblings and adults. Happy Bambino members will receive buy-one, get-one-free admission. Reservations are not needed. For questions, please contact Adam at 608.354.0536.

Friday, October 29, 6 – 8:30 pm

Visit Madison Children’s Museum for its second annual Beakers & Broomsticks fundraising event. For just one night, the museum comes bubbling to life with spooky science and zany Halloween antics. Costumed little creatures and parents will also enjoy arts and crafts, and light refreshments. Kids will rock the night away with Ken Lonnquist, who will release his new Halloween CD, “Pumpkenland.”

Tickets go on sale October 1 at MadisonChildrensMuseum.org. Prices are $12 per person or $40 for a family four-pack. Children under 1 get in for free. All proceeds from Beakers & Broomsticks benefit Madison Children’s Museum. For more information, contact Adam at 608.354.0536.


Saturday, December 4, 10:30 am – 2 pm
The Madison Club
5 E. Wilson Street

Sponsored by Downtown Madison Optimist Club, Oak Park Dental, and Little Gym of Middleton and Fitchburg

It’s high tea time for Madison Children’s Museum! We’re presenting our 13th annual holiday fundraiser, Tea & Trains. Attendees say this event is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. Guests enjoy:

* A special reading by Anne Grady of Robert L. May’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
* A holiday high tea including hot chocolate and other delicious treats
* Conductor Joe Schappel’s private American Flyer electric train collection
* Formal holiday portraits
* Old-fashioned silhouettes
* Unique holiday crafts
* Our silent auction, with many items for the gift-savvy shopper

Look for your invitation in the mail to order tickets. They will also be available for online purchase beginning October 20. For more information, please contact Adam at 608.354.0536.

The Madison Children’s Museum is located at 100 N. Hamilton Street, Madison (256-6445).

Kids in the Rotunda – October 2

Overture Center’s Kids in the Rotunda is a series of free artistic programs designed for children and families which runs from the last weekend in September through April. This popular performing arts series on the Rotunda Stage offers a relaxed, kid-friendly environment in which to enjoy a diverse lineup of local and regional musicians, storytellers, jugglers, theater troupes, magicians and dancers. The programs run every Saturday at 9:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm (each performance lasts around 45 minutes). The 1 pm performances are sign language interpreted.

This week’s performers are The Cash Box Kings.

“The Cash Box Kings are dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the 1940’s and 50’s post-war blues sound. With performances throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, this rockin’ blues band has gained international acclaim. The band showcases the music of blues legends such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Big Walter Horton, and have tailored their Rotunda performances to teaching children about this time-honored genre. The group rounds off their musical offerings with a dose of original music that captures the essence of the Memphis and Chicago blues sounds of the 40’s and 50’s. The Cash Box Kings give families an opportunity to dance, sing and even get up on stage to play harmonica. This be-bopping blues party will have the entire family on their feet!”

Kids in the Rotunda – Sept 25

Overture Center’s Kids in the Rotunda starts this Saturday, Sept 25. This series of free artistic programs designed for children and families runs from the last weekend in September through April. This popular performing arts series on the Rotunda Stage offers a relaxed, kid-friendly environment in which to enjoy a diverse lineup of local and regional musicians, storytellers, jugglers, theater troupes, magicians and dancers. The programs run every Saturday at 9:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm (each performance lasts around 45 minutes). The 1 pm performances are sign language interpreted.

This week’s performers are The Figureheads.

“Recipients of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, these three hip-hop artists use syncopated beats and funky rhythms to capture children’s imaginations and promote positive messages about making good decisions, discovering one’s voice and celebrating the power of family and friendship.”

UW Arboretum

If you haven’t visited the UW Arboretum recently, fall is the perfect time to visit! We love visiting throughout the year to see how the different trees and plants change with the seasons. It’s a great place for kids to learn while they explore – and with the Arboretum spanning 1200 acres, there’s a lot to explore!

The Arboretum trails are free and open to the public year-round from 7 am to 10 pm. Maps and brochures may be picked up outside near the entry to the Visitor Center and at various pedestrian accesses to the Arboretum. Guided tours are also available – perfect for classes and groups! “Arboretum tours are designed to introduce school children to the Arboretum as an outdoor teaching and research laboratory. Children learn about native Wisconsin ecosystems and ways to restore them.” There are a lot of different tours available, so be sure to check the website for more detailed information.

The Arboretum offers classes which “offer more in-depth coverage of topics than tours provide and explore ways humans interact with the environment, natural history, restoration and the arts. In addition, they provide opportunities for families to learn together.” View all upcoming classes at the Arboretum.

The Arboretum also has numerous free programs for families. “Bringing families together to learn about nature is an important part of our educational mission. On the second Saturday of every month, we offer a two-hour, kid-friendly program that uses nature hikes, stories, crafts and activities to explore animals, plants and natural phenomena. Each program is free, thanks to support from the Friends of the Arboretum. On the second Sunday of every month, we offer a one-hour Family Walk with topics that are especially appealing to the younger set.” View all upcoming Earth Partnership for Families events.

There are also a lot of public events happening at the Arboretum every week. Tomorrow there’s a night walk: Equinox: Wednesday, September 22, 6:30 pm – 8 pm. Watch the sun set on the autumnal equinox on this naturalist-led tour and learn more about this annual occurrence. And this weekend there’s a fun event for families happening after the Henry Vilas Zoo Run Run: Nature Play: Sunday, September 26, 12:30 pm – 4 pm. September family day at the Arboretum is all about playing in the woods. Children and adults will work together in our free-play nature area to build, discover and explore. Let your imagination be the guide.

The Visitor Center parking lot is open year-round from 7 am to 10 pm. Other Arboretum parking lots are open from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is open weekdays from 9:30 am – 4 pm and weekends from 12:30 to 4 pm (excluding holidays).

The UW Arboretum is located at 1207 Seminole Highway, Madison (263-7888). Directions.

Fitchburg Public Library Story Time

The Fitchburg Public Library is in construction mode right now, but that doesn’t stop them from holding story time for kids! Our family attended these free drop-in story times almost every week last fall and really enjoyed the variety of themes and theme-related activities they provided, as well as the open gym time (provided when the large gym room is available).

Storytime will be held on Thursdays at 10:00 am in Fitchburg Room of the Fitchburg Community Center, 5520 Lacy Road, which is adjacent to the City Hall.  Storytime is for children 3-5, accompanied by a parent/adult, but younger siblings are always welcome.  Children will hear stories, sing songs and do crafts. Please contact Megan McGuire at library@city.fitchburg.wi.us for more information.*NOTE: There will be no storytime on Sept. 30 or Nov 25.

Fall/Winter Half-Pint Resale

The Half-Pint Resale’s Fall/Winter Sale is this Friday and Saturday at the Goodman Community Center (149 Waubesa Street, Madison). So you have two days to go through all your children’s clothes and figure out what they’ll need for the coming months! (Don’t forget Half-Pint Resale’s handy cheat sheets: boy and girl)

Sale info:

Friday, Sept 17: 2 pm – 8 pm (no strollers from 2 – 5 pm)

Saturday, Sept 18: 8 am – Noon; 1 pm – 5 pm Half-Price Sale!

If you’ve never shopped a Half-Pint Resale, take a look at the useful shopping tips on the website, including:

*Hold tables are stationed on the edges of the room. You may place items on the table by finding the “gear” volunteer for a hold tag. Please only put items on the table you are certain you will be purchasing.

*Please do not allow your children to USE any items that are for sale.

*We accept cash and local checks only. (Trying our best to keep consignment returns high and money in our community!)

And don’t forget to bring items for the baby food drive – you’ll be entered to win Ice Cream for a year from Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream!