BOOKS ABOUT WRITING | with Allison Carvalho, Barbara’s Bookstore

Events Manager Allison tells us about a couple of her favorite books about writing. As an aspiring writer, herself, she loves books that talk about the craft of writing as much as the mechanics. She hopes you find inspiration in these reads!

Get Allison’s book picks here:
On Writing | Stephen King
WonderBook| Jeff VanderMeer


DESERT ISLAND | with Allison Carvalho, Barbara’s Bookstore

Allison, our Events Manager, answers the questions: “What three books would you want to have on a desert island?” She chose these three because of their wide range of topics, and their re-readability.

Get Allison’s book picks here:

In Your Eyes | Caitlin Doughty


LORI ORLINSKY | Children’s Author

Lori is Orlinsky is a multi-award-winning children’s book author with Mascot Books, freelance writer, and marketing director who lives in Chicago. At 5′ 1″, she wishes her debut children’s book Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) was around while she was growing up. Watch for Lori’s upcoming book signing appearances at Barbara’s.


CHICAGO HISTORY | with Allison Carvalho, Barbara’s Bookstore

Allison, our Events Manager, talks about her fave books about Chicago’s history. She loves stories about the underrepresented communities of the city, and hopes you will find these stories as fascinating as she does!

Get Allison’s book picks here:
Sin in the Second City | Karen Abbott


THE HULA-HOOPIN QUEEN | Storyteller: Oprah Winfrey

The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is written by Thelma Lynne Godin and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka’s disappointed to be stuck at home and can only think about the hoopin’ competition. Distracted, Kameeka accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake, and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. View the activity guide HERE.

Oprah Gail Winfrey (January 29, 1954) is an American media executiveactresstalk show hosttelevision producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years from 1986 to 2011 Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire. [Wikipedia]


I NEED MY MONSTER | Storyteller: Rita Moreno

Written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam, I Need My Monster is a thrilling tale for the little ones. When Ethan checks under the bed for his monster, he finds a note instead: “Gone fishing. Back in a week. —Gabe.” What will Ethan do? He needs a monster under his bed.

Rita Moreno (born December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer. Her career has spanned over 70 years; among her notable acting work are supporting roles in the musical films The King and I and West Side Story, as well as a 1971–1977 stint on the children’s television series The Electric Company, and a supporting role on the 1997–2003 TV drama Oz. Moreno is one of the few artists to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards: an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony. She has won numerous other awards, including various lifetime achievement awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. [Wikipedia]


SNAPPSY THE ALLIGATOR | Storyteller: David Harbour

Snappsy the alligator is having a normal day when a pesky narrator steps in to spice up the story. Is Snappsy reading a book … or is he making CRAFTY plans? Is Snappsy on his way to the grocery store … or is he PROWLING the forest for defenseless birds and fuzzy bunnies? Is Snappsy innocently shopping for a party …or is he OBSESSED with snack foods that start with the letter P? What’s the truth? Snappsy the Alligator is a wonderful tale.

David Kenneth Harbour (born April 10, 1975) is an American actor. He plays Jim Hopper in Stranger Things, which earned him a Critics’ Choice Television Award in 2018. He has also received Primetime Emmy Award nominations and Golden Globe Award nominations for the role. [Wikipedia]


ARNIE THE DONUT | Storyteller: Christopher O’Dowd

Arnie the Doughnut is written and illustrated by Laurie Keller and read by Chris O’Dowd. At first glance, Arnie looks like an average doughnut – round, cakey, iced and sprinkled, with a hole in the middle. He was made by one of the best bakeries in town, and admittedly his sprinkles are candy-colored. Still, a doughnut is just a doughnut, right? WRONG! Not if Arnie has anything to say about it. And, for a doughnut, he sure seems to have an awful lot to say. Can Arnie change the fate of all doughnuts – or at least have a hand in his own future? View the activity guide HERE.

Christopher O’Dowd (born 9 October 1979) is an Irish actor and comedian. He has appeared in a range of television shows, films, and plays, mostly in the United Kingdom and the United States. [Wikipedia]



Meet author Josephine Cameron as she describes her book, Maybe a Mermaid, written for young adult readers.