Happy Valentine's Day, New England!

One 140-character tweet in December, and 171 children's and teen book authors and illustrators visit 44 independent bookstores on February 14, 2009. Can you believe it? And no snow in the forecast to boot!

Contact: Deborah Sloan, 978.684.5005

For Immediate Release

February 14 is Kids ♥ Authors Day in New England

Over 40 independent bookstores and 170 authors and illustrators share Valentine’s Day events with kids and families throughout the region

Andover, MA, January 18, 2009: Shower your pint-sized (or teen-sized) valentines with literary love. On Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2009, from 10 a.m. to noon, independent booksellers throughout New England will host illustrators and authors of books for kids and teens, kicking off a new tradition of signed literary valentines for families.

Over 170 authors and illustrators and more than 40 independent booksellers in Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New York are participating in Kids ♥ Authors Day. Bookstores will provide bunches of books, and authors and illustrators will personalize them, talk about why they do what they do, and answer any and all questions about writing and drawing. Whether it’s an illustrator demonstrating his technique to a group of fascinated onlookers or a teen author chatting with excited fans about her characters, Kids ♥ Authors Day promises something for book lovers of all ages.

How did Kids ♥ Authors Day get started?

It began with a 140-character Twitter message on December 7, 2008 from Newton, MA resident and author Mitali Perkins, whose new novel for teens, Secret Keeper, is just out from Delacorte/Random House. “IDEA,” she tweeted. “Indies partner with authors for a ‘give a signed book’ day, all Kid/YA authors in area show up at stores to sign one afternoon.” Strong response from Perkins’ Twitter followers gave way to discussions with the New England Children’s Booksellers Association (NECBA) and New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA), and Kids ♥ Authors Day was born.

It’s for the Community and the Kids

“There's nothing like enjoying a warm fire, family, friends, and great stories on a February day in New England,” says Perkins. “On Kids ♥ Authors Day, it's like each bookstore is inviting their community to gather around a hearth with a loved one or two to meet some of our region's storytellers."

"One nice thing about hard economic times is that it makes people reflect upon the importance of community, and this event is an appropriate and meaningful vehicle for strengthening our community of New England authors and independent booksellers,” says Kenny Brechner, NECBA co-chair, of Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Maine.

Show your support for local business and head to an independent bookstore on Saturday, February 14th. To find out who’s going where and read 100-plus reasons why we need independent bookstores, visit www.kidsheartauthors.com.

Extend the literary love with free bookmarks created by participating bookseller Jennifer Hopkins at the Woodknot Bookshop in Newport, VT. T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and pins designed by author Laya Steinberg are available from the Kids ♥ Authors Day Cafe Press Store, with proceeds going to Reach Out And Read, a Boston-based national non-profit that gives books to children in pediatric exam rooms across the nation.

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