May 1-7: Changing Hands hosts Children’s Book Week events

Adam Rubin will visit Changing Hands in Phoenix from 4:30-6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, as part of a national tour promoting his new book “Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel.”

Changing Hands Bookstore is hosting a week’s worth of special activities to honor the 98th annual Children’s Book Week, which conveniently falls between the sugar buzz of Easter and Mother’s Day festivities.

Monday, May 1, through Sunday, May 7, Changing Hands stores in both Phoenix and Tempe host celebrations — several, actually, with a mix of events for all ages. This year’s theme is “One World, Many Stories” and Changing Hands will be hosting an admirable mix of storytellers and their stories.

Specifically, there will be an exciting summer books preview event, story and activity times for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, a new session of kindergarten bootcamp, Club Read pizza parties for tweens, appearances by Young Adult authors Sarah J. Maas and Rachel Cohn, and YouTuber Hunter March, and an actual square dance party for families — which I think is an absolutely brilliant idea.

The two events that will especially appeal to RAK readers, however, are the appearances of New York Times bestselling picture book author Adam Rubin, and Molly Idle, the creator of the 2014 Caldecott Honor Book “Flora and the Flamingo” and other gorgeous picture books.

Adam Rubin will be visiting the Phoenix Changing Hands from 4:30-6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, as part of a national tour promoting his new book “Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel,” the wild and wacky time-traveling companion to the hilarious “Dragons Love Tacos.”

Rubin and his buddy, illustrator Daniel Salmieri, have collaborated on eight goofy picture books for the 4- to 8-year-old set featuring saucy robots, STEM-savvy squirrels, a pizza-thieving raccoon, bubble-phobic monsters, and an enormous crew of delightfully diverse, taco-obsessed dragons with delicate digestions.

In an email chat, I asked him — since he obviously has a talent for coming up with crazy story lines — what’s more challenging: developing ad campaigns for adults (his job prior to authoring) or scripting picture books for pre-tweeners?

“Well, the two things are so completely different,” he said. “In the ad world, you don’t often get to make things the way you’d really like. Most of the time, you are trying to make something to please the client who is trying to make something to please their customers. When I make books, I get to choose what to write about and how to write it. That’s immensely more satisfying. I guess you could say it’s scarier though, because, unlike advertising, if a book doesn’t turn out well, I don’t have anyone to blame but myself.”

Rubin also said he’s looking forward to his stop in Phoenix — a place he’s never visited. His appearance will be taco heaven for his fans. He will read “Dragons Love Tacos 2,” and preside over a taco-making demonstration, complete with snacks from Chipotle. A taco trifecta! And nobody will have to share their tacos with those pesky dragons.

Speaking of dragons, Rubin mentioned there is a good chance that a “Dragons Love Tacos 3-D” may be in the works. Awesome sauce, er, salsa!

Molly Idle, an ASU grad and former DreamWorks artist from Tempe, will be the featured Storyteller at the Tempe Changing Hands at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, for an extra-special Costume Storytime Party.

Molly is the author-illustrator of the charming and beautiful wordless picture-book series about friendship starring Flora, a small girl who meets and befriends a bevy of feathered companions; and the “Tea Rex,” “Sea Rex,” and “Camp Rex” picture books about the adventures of a wonderfully inept and gentle dinosaur, his prehistoric posse, and his two young human friends.

She will be joined by two unusual costumed helpers, Ian Falconer’s Olivia and Syd Hoff’s Dinosaur (of “Danny and the Dinosaur” fame), who will be available for photos, so attendees should definitely wear their own favorite costumes to this party.

Molly will be reading “Olivia” and “Danny and the Dinosaur” stories, as well as some of her own books, including her latest, “Flora and the Chicks: A Counting Book by Molly Idle.” Additionally, she will be showing how she creates some of her wonderful pictures and hosting a Flora-inspired craft session.

“I’m really looking forward to Children’s Book Week, and Saturday’s Storytime, in particular,” Idle said. “After all, one of the best things to do with books is share them!”

She is so right!

Molly Idle, an ASU grad and former DreamWorks artist from Tempe, will be the featured Storyteller at the Tempe Changing Hands bookstore at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6.

Children’s Book Week

Changing Hands is celebrating children’s books and literacy May 1-7 by hosting events at its Phoenix and Tempe stores. Hear about some of the best new spring and summer children’s book titles from a publishing sales rep (and pre-order them at a discount) at 7 p.m. Monday, May 1 at Changing Hands Phoenix.

Other events include Club Read for tweens, Kindergarten Bootcamp, Storytime sessions and costumed character appearances, including a 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6 Costume Storytime Party with local Caldecott Honor author-illustrator, Molly Idle (“Flora and the Chicks”) and Ian Falconer’s Olivia character for storytime, photos and and a Flora-inspired craft at Changing Hands Tempe.

Find Children’s Book Week details at