News and Events

What's happening at Mockingbird Books in Seattle, WA

Mockingbird Books Store Closing August 27


First two of our customers to pick up their copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this morning

We have appreciated all of the comments, suggestions, and words of encouragement from our customers hoping that it would be possible to keep Mockingbird Books financially viable. We are especially thankful to the parents of McDonald International School for their book drive this month and to countless other customers who made a special effort to send their friends our way with instructions to buy a book! Ultimately, though, even with such concerted effort, our sales are down more than 15% from the prior year. As a community, our buying habits seem to be shifting online, and the gross sales for at least this retail store no longer cover the overhead to allow continued operation.

The Mockingbird staff both current and past are thankful for eight years working in the Green Lake neighborhood to facilitate children’s literacy and share our love of reading and community. Our last day of operations will be Saturday, August 27 and we have a celebration planned, so please join us. Please use any outstanding gift certificates or frequent buyer discounts by August 27. All sales from now until store closing will be final and any special orders should be prepaid.


Upcoming Events

Thursday, August 4 at 5:00PMEthan and Vita Murrow present their wordless book The Whale.

Saturday, August 13 at 11:00AM – Dalyce Elliott Young presents her book Ellie and the Golden Cricket.

Saturday, August 20 at 11:00AM – Sharonne Park and Angela Blemker present their book It’s a Fact!: Fun Animal Facts for Kids.


Reminder: Story Time is not offered this summer with the above exceptions.


Author Events

The Whale by Ethan and Vita Murrow – August 4802a3498-908e-4d87-bf85-a595c6837d77


The Murrows, a husband-and-wife team, debut with a sumptuously illustrated, semi-wordless story of discovery and collaboration as two children attempt to prove the existence of a local “Great Spotted Whale.” Bookended by images of the local newspaper, the Cape Chronicle, which provide necessary context and detail, the story follows separate efforts of a boy and girl as they build and outfit boats with cameras, audio equipment, and recording devices, then head out into the surf. Dramatic b&w pencil illustrations readily conjure the power of the sea: a violent crash brings the two children together, and their initial anger turns into a spirit of cooperation as they poor their efforts. Ages 4-8


Ellie & the Golden Cricket by Dalyce Elliott Young – August 13unnamed-1

What’s the secret to playing the violin beautifully? The golden cricket knows but before Ellie is able to ask, the cricket escapes! With the help of a shy friend and her three spunky pups, Ellie encounters nature’s colorful surprises as she searches for the easy solution to a squeaky violin.

This is a cute book with simple illustrations and a very important message: practice makes perfect! There aren’t any shortcuts to that. It would be an especially good read for young children just beginning to take music lessons.


It’s a Fact!: Fun Animal Facts for Kids by Sharonne Park and Angela Blemker; illustrated by Sharonne Park – August 2072c74b6d-fa31-4171-9127-039be34dea4b

An artful mixed media collection of fun facts about animals, illustrated by Seattle artist Sharonne Park. Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit animal rescue organizations. Did you know that some animals will only have babies in the same place where they are born? Or that some types of animals live only in the water until they are adults and then they grow legs and come on land? Come along on this journey so you can learn even more amazing fun facts. Animals are so interesting! It’s a fact! Geared towards ages 3-8 and kids of all ages (including adults!)


Harry Potter is Back!unnamed-2

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, a new play by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

The eighth story. Nineteen years later. It was always difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-aged children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

This special rehearsal edition script of the play by Jack Thorne brings the continued journey of Harry Potter and his friends and family to readers everywhere immediately following the play’s world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.



Happy Reading!


April Newsletter


Illustration from “The Denim Jungle” by Angela Taylor Hylland, illus. by Precious Beast (meet Angela here April 9)

April is an exciting month here at Mockingbird Books. We get to host a launch party (with Liz Wong and Quackers on April 2nd), Peter Brown will stop by to sign copies of his first middle grade book (The Wild Robot) for us (so come get a signed copy before they sell out!), we’ll listen to stories celebrating motherhood on April 8th, and we’ll join independent bookstores across the country to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on April 30th! There are so many other amazing events and author visits coming up too–just take a glance below.

We’ll also continue Storybook Art class (now on Tuesdays and Saturdays), and Story Drama class (starting at the end of the month).

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, news, and any last-minute calendar changes.



Finding a parking spot near Mockingbird Books can be tricky, but now you can park up to 90 minutes for free in the PCC parking garage (just a block away) with a purchase at PCC.


Upcoming Events

Story Time every day 11-11:30 a.m. (except Sundays)

Betsy Dischel’s special story time with fun tales and songs in English, Hebrew, and American Sign Language takes place every Thursday (except April 28) at 11:00 a.m. Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and PJ Library.

Storybook Art Class is a story time and art-making exploration inspired by a different book each week. We’ll offer storybook art on Tuesday afternoons as part of a six-week session and Saturday afternoons as a drop-in class (but please do sign up in advance on the Art&Soul website). The class uses art to encourage children to create their own stories and is recommended for ages 3-6.

April 2: Book launch party for Quackers by Liz Wong. 1 p.m. “Quackers is a duck. Sure, he may have paws and whiskers. And his quacks might sound more like . . . well, meows, but he lives among ducks, everyone he knows is a duck, and he’s happy. Then Quackers meets another duck who looks like him (and talks like him too!), but he calls himself a cat. This quirky, funny, book is about standing out, fitting in, and building a life with room for all.” Meet author and illustrator Liz Wong and get your book signed.

April 2: Storybook Art Class. 3-3:45 p.m. $10. This week’s class will explore Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi and make bug collages. Sign up on the Art&Soul website.

April 8: Motherhood Storytelling Evening. 7 p.m. Join us to listen to stories about motherhood and win two tickets to the Listen to Your Mother Seattle live storytelling event (which will take place at Town Hall on May 7–the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day).

April 9: Special story time with Seattle author Angela Taylor Hylland, author of The Denim Jungle. 11 a.m. “There’s a whole other world out there from toddler height. Are you ready to dream…small? Leo invites you down into his world, where adult legs become a denim canopy for a magical land of little wonders.” Read more at

April 9: Storybook Art Class. 1-1:45 p.m. This week’s class will explore The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein.

April 12-May 17: Storybook Art Class Tuesday session, 4-4:45 p.m. Sign up on the Art&Soul website.

April 16: Storybook Art Class. 1-1:45 p.m. This week’s class will explore Tree by Britta Teckentrup.

April 16: Author Gary Schwartz will share his new book The King of Average. 2 p.m. “The King of Average is the fantasy-adventure story of James, an eleven-year-old boy who decides to become the most average person who ever lived. This idea transports him into the Realm of Possibilities, a fantastic land where a state of mind is an actual place.”

April 22: Special Story Time with Kate Berube. 2 p.m. Kate will share her new book Hannah and Sugar and present a drawing activity. “Every day after school, Hannah’s school bus is greeted by her classmate’s dog, Sugar. All of the other kids love Sugar, but Hannah just can’t conquer her fear of dogs. Then, one day, Sugar goes missing, so Hannah joins the search with her classmates. Will Hannah find a way to be brave, and make a new friend in the process?”

April 23: Bus Driver Story Time. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Celebrate Ride Transit Month with a real bus driver who will read us bus-related books for story time! Our store is conveniently located right by the #16 and #48 bus routes.

April 23: Storybook Art Class. 1-1:45 p.m. This week’s class will explore Cloud Country by Bonnie Becker and Noah Klocek.

April 28: Special Story Time with Nina Laden. 11 a.m. Come meet author and illustrator Nina Laden, who will share her brand new picture book Are We There Yet? “We’ve all been there. Or more accurately, we’ve all been with kids in the backseat clamoring (over and over!) ‘Are we there yet?’ In this genius of a picture book, bestselling author Nina Laden combines forces with dynamic illustrator Adam McCauley to turn that dilemma on its head. Fun for kids and adults, the book is filled with details that readers will want to hunt for (over and over!). Buckle up and enjoy the ride!”

April 30: Independent Bookstore Day! This nationwide event celebrates the wonderful benefits independent bookstores bring to communities. Like Record Store Day, stores across the country will offer exclusive items you can only purchase at bookstores on Independent Bookstore Day. 16+ stores in the Seattle area (including Mockingbird Books) will have special events, activities, and giveaways going on all day. We will have a book scavenger hunt for the kids, free advance reading copies with purchase, a book selfie booth, and more. Follow Seattle Bookstore Day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more information about Seattle’s celebration.

April 30: Spring Story Drama class with Acting Out Literacy. 10-11 a.m. Ages 3.5-7. $20-$160 (see website for pricing details). Come travel with us into more of our favorite books! Using our voices, bodies, and imaginations, we will visit fantastical imaginary worlds. We will read, draw, and write together each class and use what we learn to solve the fictional problems we encounter in the stories we read. Most importantly, along the way we will learn about friendship, kindness, bravery, and trust. Learn more and sign up on the Acting Out Literacy website.

April 30: Storybook Art Class. 1-1:45 p.m. This week’s class will explore Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson.

Attention Book Clubs:

Looking for a place to hold an afternoon book club? Mockingbird Books can offer a cozy nook for your group with access to coffee, tea, and snacks. Talk to us about scheduling and we will be happy to order books of any genre. Contact us at or (206) 518-5886.

Planning a Birthday Party?

Looking for a venue to host your party or event? Come celebrate at Mockingbird Books! Drop us a line for more information.

A Spotlight on Our April Guest Authors

unnamedWe are thrilled to be hosting a launch party for Liz Wong‘s first book Quackers on April 2nd!

Liz Wong was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she spent her early childhood painting and clambering about in mango trees. She began her illustrious art career at the tender age of five, when she earned the first place trophy in the school poster contest. This encouraged her to pursue art instead of a sensible career in finance like the rest of her family. Liz holds a BFA in Art and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Washington. She is an author and illustrator, with a focus on illustration for children.
Liz currently resides in the Seattle area. She creates her illustrations with a combination of watercolor, colored pencil, pencil and photoshop. See her work at

Angela HyllandGreen Lake’s own Angela Taylor Hylland will join us for story time April 9th to share her book The Denim Jungle!

Angela ventured into the world of book writing to fulfill a promise to her beloved mother-in-law, Sue, whose bright light was extinguished by breast cancer.

When Angela isn’t writing or navigating the great unknown of parenting, she’s juggling two entrepreneurial businesses, planning her next adventure, crafting up a storm, and sneaking in a little gaming time.

Professionally, she’s most well known for her editorial work on preschool toys, including the award-winning line of Cranium Bloom games, puzzles, and activity books; Kabookii (Nintendo Wii), and MythBusters Hit the Target Trivia Game. Angela also works her wordsmithing magic for clients like Hasbro, Target, and Microsoft.

Angela lives in Seattle with her husband and best friend, Ryan; her sociable daughter, Szaba; her inquisitive baby boy, Von; and her rescue pup, Pavlov. Visit The Denim Jungle website at

unnamed-2On April 16th we welcome Gary Schwartz, who will share his novel The King of Average.

Gary Schwartz is an award-winning TV and film actor, director, comedian, and master improvisational acting coach with 30 years experience as a performer and improv teacher. He began his professional career as a mime at age 13, performing up and down the Hudson River with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and other great folk entertainers of the 60’s. In the 70’s and 80’s he appeared in numerous film and television projects including the Oscar-winning feature film Quest for Fire and 65 episodes of the Emmy-winning TV series Zoobilee Zoo with Ben Vereen.

Since then, as a voice actor Gary has gone on to work with Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Tim Burton, Kenneth Brannagh, and many other well-known directors. He is currently the voice of several popular video game characters in Team Fortress 2, Left for Dead 2, Dota 2, Borderland, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Gary resides in North Bend, WA and teaches theater games locally and around the world. Learn more about Gary at

unnamed-3We are big fans of Kate Berube‘s book Hannah and Sugar and are happy to welcome the creator of this lovely book for an event on April 22nd.

Kate Berube (Bear uh bee) grew up wanting to be an artist in a cow-filled Connecticut town. She earned her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Like so many artists, Kate’s career trajectory wasn’t a straight line – she’s been a nanny, a tax preparer in Massachusetts, a scenic painter in NYC, a decorative painter in Chicago, and a bookseller in Portland.

Kate’s debut picture book as an author and illustrator is Hannah and Sugar, published by Abrams Books For Young Readers. Kate illustrated The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley–to be published July 2016 by Simon & Schuster’s Paula Wiseman Books. Kate now lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her website at

unnamed-4Nina Laden joins us April 28th for a story time with her new book Are We There Yet?

Nina was born in New York City and started drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon. By age three, she was folding paper to make books. She graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts in 1983 with a BFA in Illustration. Even though Nina majored in art, she kept writing. She has kept journals for decades and has over 2,200 pages at this point! After many years as a successful illustrator, and the sad loss of her Mom to cancer, Nina decided to pursue her first love, children’s books. Her first book, The Night I Followed the Dog, was published to great critical acclaim and bestselling status. It won four awards including the 1994 Parent’s Choice Gold Award, and it was a Reading Rainbow book.

In the many books, many awards, and many adventures since then, Nina and her husband Booth have started a small group of espresso bars in Atlanta in 1991, moved to Seattle in 1997, and found paradise on Lummi Island in 2002. Nina and Booth are into all kinds of outdoor activities: cycling, hiking, camping, skiing (Nina), snowboarding (Booth), kayaking, boating, rollerblading and other “ing” words. They both love to cook and grow organic veggies, fruits, and herbs.

Nina’s books have been translated into many languages and are available in countries including France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and of course the United States. She has also visited hundreds of schools and spoken around the world. Nina occasionally teaches writing and illustrating workshops and courses at various locations and loves to motivate children (and adults) to explore their imaginations through writing, drawing, and creating books. Read more at

unnamed-1What is Story Drama?

Story Drama is a class at Mockingbird Books taught by Acting Out Literacy: a group of Seattle educators and theatre artists dedicated to harnessing the power of theatre to teach literacy, social, and emotional skills. Acting Out Literacy teachers are trained educators who have years of experience working with preschool and elementary age students. They are also theatre artists with experience as actors, directors, and in theatre production, throughout Seattle and across North America.

Philosophy: Teaching artists co-create theatre experiences with their students, providing them opportunities to develop leadership and confidence. Together they build communities that honor individuality and difference. Children learn by acting out their world and Acting Out Literacy classes give them the stage to understand that world.

Curriculum: Acting Out Literacy’s teaching artists create theatre classes that address fundamental Common Core Language Arts benchmarks while prioritizing children’s active engagement, as well as social and emotional growth. In all classes they explore students ideas and questions, prioritizing their perspectives.

Visit the Acting Out Literacy website for more information and to register.


Staff Picks

Mary’s Poetry Picks

unnamedYea! April is National Poetry Month and I love poetry. Otto the Owl loves poetry too and his friends always laugh at him. They call him Blotto the Bard. Vern Kousky has written a delightful picture book Otto the Owl Who Loved Poetry. Otto would much rather read, even T.S. Eliot, than hunt and do the things owls are supposed to do. He does not understand why the other owls tease him. Sad, he runs away. He makes friends with the moon and writes a poem. When he recites it out loud he hears tiny voices shouting “More! More!” The forest mice are shouting. He decides he should not be afraid and indeed continues to recite his poems. Now the owls start to listen and the woods become filled with the sounds of poetry.

Mockingbird has lots of poetry books, well-known ones and new. Local author Eric Ode’s Sea Star Wishes: Poems from the Coast is a favorite. A just-arrived book, When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano is a celebration. The author chooses days throughout the year and makes free verse observations. “Rain makes frogs hop in a hurry” is the line for April 12. Charming, simple illustrations by Julie Morstad gently illuminate the text. Old, old favorites such as A.A. Milne’s Now We are Six and Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses are great fun to read out loud even if sometimes you need to explain a word here and there. Last but not least, dip into the inimitable Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. His words and illustrations are giggle-making.

Mary’s Picture Book Pickunnamed-3

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen & Heidi E. Y. Stemple. Illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin

Did you know Not All Princesses Dress in Pink? Authors Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple prove that is so. Their princesses play soccer, wrestle in the mud, fix things with power tools, drive dump trucks, but always while wearing their sparkly crowns. The delightful, brightly colored illustrations by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin made me giggle. Any three- or four-year-old girl will love this book and perhaps find it empowering.

Kathryn’s Picksunnamed-1

Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus – middle grade

On April 9, 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Norway. Espen is fourteen years old when he begins delivering illegal newspapers and soon he is a part of the resistance. From that moment on, he worries who he can trust, even from among his friends, as the townspeople take sides. Those who agree to work with the Germans and those who resist. Espen and his family live in constant fear. Even if you hadn’t done anything wrong, you might be doing something the Nazis wouldn’t like.

Inspired by the real-life experiences of wartime spy Erling Storrusten, the book includes photos, maps, the recipe for invisible ink, and code breaking. A fascinating moment in history as well as a captivating fast-paced story.unnamed-2

Author Margi Preus won a Newberry Honor for her first book Heart of a Samurai, another historical novel based on a true story and definitely worth checking out.

From the publisher:

“It’s 1841, and fourteen-year-old Manjiro and his four friends find themselves stranded on a deserted island after a storm at sea. Beyond the island is the unknown, filled with monsters and demons and barbarians, or so they’ve been told. They know they cannot return to their home in Japan-the country’s borders are closed to foreigners and also to citizens who have strayed.”
Spanning ten years, Manjiro’s wish is to become a samurai. Historical notes, illustrations, and a glossary add to this tale.

Picture book:unnamed-4
A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Cute little pencil and gouache illustrations.

A mysterious dwindling of adorable animals. A pleasant surprise. A twist. Another surprise and yet another twist. And a turtle.

Curious? You will just have to read it for yourself.

Haley’s Picks

Hello Nature: Draw, Color, Make, and Grow by Nina Chakrabartiunnamed-5

Did you know:
– Spider silk is the strongest natural fiber known and cannot be dissolved in water?
– Leaf shapes can be simple, lobed, or compound?
– Butterflies usually rest with their wings upright, while moths rest with their wings spread flat?
– In summer, a toad can eat as many as 1,000 insects a day?

Hello Nature is a beautiful thick activity book recommended for ages 8 and up. Each spread of its 224 pages has a creative prompt illustrated with gorgeous white, green, and black nature images and hand-lettering. The book is arranged by season and covers subjects like insects, leaves, snowflakes, birds, flowers, stones, and more.
Some of the pages:
– “Early one spring morning open your bedroom window and just…listen. Can you hear any birds? What do you think these birds are singing about?”
– Make your own herbarium
– Draw your dream tree house on this page
– Draw the moon’s craters, valleys, and seas

Though Hello Nature has a lovely dreamy tone I was impressed with how much factual information it contains. This book creatively encourages readers to stop and take a closer look at the amazing natural world all around us.

Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berubeunnamed-6

Every day when Hannah gets off the school bus she sees her classmate Violet P.’s dog Sugar waiting to walk Violet P. home. Everyone else loves to pet Sugar, but Hannah is scared and keeps her distance. One day, Sugar isn’t at the bus stop–she’s lost! Everyone helps look for Sugar, but she remains missing. Hannah puts herself in the dog’s place and imagines Sugar must be sad and hungry. Can she overcome her fear and make a new friend? Hannah and Sugar is a sweet story for kids who are hesitant or scared around animals.

Are You the Pirate Captain? by Gareth P. Jones, illus. Garry Parsonsunnamed-7

The pirate ship needs a new captain after its previous one was eaten by a giant squid. First Mate Hugh searches high and low for the right pirate for the job but each discovery turns out to be a misunderstanding (that’s not a hook hand, it’s a coat hook. That’s not a treasure map, it’s a shopping list). Finally the crew realizes the perfect captain might be closer than they thought. Colorful illustrations play up the visual comedy of the story and give readers plenty of details beyond the text to examine.

How to Put Your Parents to Bed by Mylisa Larsen, illus. Babette Coleunnamed-8

Your parents are looking pretty haggard, but they just won’t go to sleep! What’s a child to do? This hilarious picture book gives readers a step-by-step guide to helping their parents brush their teeth, get into their pajamas, and get into bed (don’t forget to take their cell phones away!). They will probably make excuses like “my favorite pillow is missing” but remain calm and focused! They need their rest–and after all that, so will you! How to Put Your Parents to Bed is a fresh take on the ever-popular bedtime book.

Happy Reading!

Alyson, Mary, Kathryn, and Haley

March Newsletter


Illustration from Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley (meet Jessixa here March 26th!)

Happy March, everyone!

This month is bursting with amazing events here at Mockingbird Books and we can’t wait to share them with you. We’re continuing storybook art lessons and drama classes on Saturdays and will have three wonderful authors visiting and sharing their stories. This month we’ll also host the very first performance of children’s music band The Nom Noms here at the store!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, news, and any last-minute calendar changes.


Finding a parking spot near Mockingbird Books can be tricky, but now you can park up to 90 minutes for free in the PCC parking garage (just a block away) with a purchase at PCC.


Upcoming Events

Story Time every day at 11:00 a.m. (except Sunday)

Betsy Dischel’s special story time with fun tales and songs in English, Hebrew, and American Sign Language takes place every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and PJ Library.

March 2: We’ll celebrate Dr. Seuss’s 102nd birthday this day with a special Dr. Seuss story time and activities at 11:00 a.m.

March 5: 11:15 a.m. Mr. Ryan will join us for some music and play inspired by his book, Mr. Mop and the Mountain of Muck! Mr. Ryan is a local musician, author, illustrator, and music teacher who frequently works with local preschools and elementary schools.

March 5: Storybook Art Class. 3:00-3:45 p.m. $10. Listen to stories and get inspired with art! Storybook art is a drop-in class with a theatrical story time followed by an art-making exploration inspired by the book. The class will delve into collage, printmaking, drawing, and painting—using art to create our own stories. For ages 3-6. This week’s class will explore Home by Carson Ellis and we’ll make our own little homes. Sign up for this and other storybook art classes on the Art&Soul Studios website.

March 12: Storybook Art Class. 3:00-3:45 p.m. $10. This week’s class will explore I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont and we will make self-portraits.

March 18: Special story time with Nancy Armo and her new picture book, A Friend for Mole. 11:00 a.m. “An accidental encounter throws Mole and Wolf together. One is afraid of the light, the other is afraid of the dark. Together they learn that friends are all they need to conquer their fears.” Come meet Nancy and get your book signed!

March 19: Storybook Art Class. 3:00-3:45 p.m. $10. This week’s class will explore Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett followed by a yarn hat activity.

March 19: We are excited to announce that we will host the worldwide premiere of new children’s music band The Nom Noms! 5:00-6:00 p.m. Come dance the evening away to retro-inspired tunes for all ages.

March 26: Special story time with Seattle author Jessixa Bagley, who will share her new book Before I Leave. 11:00 a.m. “How do you say goodbye to your best friend? When a little hedgehog’s family tells her they’re moving far away, she and her anteater best friend decide to play one last time, like nothing is changing. And though it’s hard, they discover that while some things have to change, the most important things find a way of working out.” Come meet Jessixa and get your book signed!

March 26: Storybook Art Class. 3:00-3:45 p.m. $10. This week’s class will explore The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein with a night sky art activity.

April 2: Book launch party for Quackers by Liz Wong. 1:00 p.m. “Quackers is a duck. Sure, he may have paws and whiskers. And his quacks might sound more like . . . well, meows, but he lives among ducks, everyone he knows is a duck, and he’s happy. Then Quackers meets another duck who looks like him (and talks like him too!), but he calls himself a cat. This quirky, funny, book is about standing out, fitting in, and building a life with room for all.” Meet author and illustrator Liz Wong and get your book signed.

April 2: Storybook Art Class. 3:00-3:45 p.m. $10. This week’s class will explore Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi and make bug collages.

April 8: We’ll hold an after-hours sneak preview for Listen to Your Mother, a live storytelling event! 7:00 p.m. Come hear stories about motherhood from a few of last year’s storytellers. Listen to Your Mother has also generously offered us a pair of tickets to this year’s show to give away! The big show will take place at Town Hall on May 7–the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

April 9: Special story time with Seattle author Angela Taylor Hylland, author of The Denim Jungle. 11:00 a.m. Read more at


A Spotlight on Our March Guest Authors

unnamed copyOur new friend Mr. Ryan (a.k.a. Ryan Barber) will come and share his music and book Mr. Mop and the Mountain of Muck with us on March 5th! Ryan is a local musician who has been teaching music lessons to various ages in Seattle for the past four years and prior to that a few years in San Francisco. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in music.
While living in Seattle, Ryan created a strong preschool music program at Blossoming Buds and the Exploration Academy. In 2010 he also began teaching an after-school program at Montlake and Stevens Elementary Schools.

Ryan is one of the lead songwriters for the local folk rock group The Horde and the Harem. When he’s not driving band members or musical instruments around he can be found biking throughout the city. Find him online at

unnamed copy 2We are delighted to have former Washingtonian Nancy Armo back in Seattle to share her first book, A Friend for Mole, on March 18th!

Nancy has been drawing since she started coloring on walls with her crayons. Later she took that talent to study graphic design at the University of Washington, which led to a career as a graphic designer and art director for several corporations.

Nancy has always loved children’s books and the idea of creating stories where anything is possible. Her childhood, children, and travel all inspire her stories. Nancy’s illustrative work is a mixture of colored pencil, watercolor, and other bits and pieces found in her studio. She writes, draws, and plays in New Suffolk, New York. Read more about Nancy and see her work at

unnamed (1)Jessixa Bagley will be here to share her new book, Before I Leave, with us on March 26th. She grew up in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon where she developed a love of hamburgers, drawing, and anthropomorphic food. Upon becoming an adult, she decided to follow her childhood dreams of being a cartoonist and picture book maker. She attended the University of Washington and then Cornish College of the Arts where she graduated in 2004 with a BFA in painting and printmaking.

Jessixa’s artistic career has been a mix of comics, fine art, and illustration. She has worked with publications such as: The Chicago Reader, The Seattle Weekly, The Stranger, Nickelodeon Magazine, and Highlights. In 2007, she was a selected artist for New American Paintings No. 73. And in 2009 she received a GAP Grant from the Washington State arts organization Artist Trust for her fine art drawing. But Jessixa’s love of picture books has been the constant goal of her entire life and has always been a working focus. Her debut picture book, Boats for Papa, is a favorite here at Mockingbird Books.

Jessixa lives in Seattle, Washington in a castle in the sky with her husband (artist Aaron Bagley), son, and a slew of houseplants that all have names. She still loves hamburgers, drawing, and anthropomorphic food. Visit her online at

Attention Book Clubs:

Looking for a place to hold an afternoon book club? Mockingbird Books can offer a cozy nook for your group with access to coffee, tea, and snacks. Talk to us about scheduling and we will be happy to order books of any genre. Contact us at or (206) 518-5886.

Planning a Birthday Party?

Looking for a venue to host your party or event? Come celebrate at Mockingbird Books! Drop us a line for more information.


Women’s History Month Roundup

malalaI Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The amazing story of the teenager who risked her life to stand up to the Taliban and fight for the right of education for girls.


elizabethElizabeth Started All the Trouble by Doreen Rappaport, illus. by Matt Faulkner

A history of many of the names and events involved in the women’s suffrage movement in the United States.


radamericanRad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz, illus. by Miriam Klein Stahl

This hardcover picture book is more than just an alphabet of cool females from all walks of life (Carol Burnett, Temple Grandin, Zora Neale Hurston). Readers of all ages will encounter unfamiliar names and enjoy a one-page biography of each. The book also includes resources for further reading and ways you can be rad!

mejaneMe . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell

This Caldecott Honor Book is a beautiful depiction of the dreams of young Jane Goodall, who loves climbing trees and has a stuffed monkey friend.


drumdreamDrum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, illus. by Rafael López

Based on the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s taboo against female drummers, this picture book recently won the Pura Belpré Award. A rhyming tale of the magic of music, Drum Dream Girl is illustrated with colorful, stylized, illustrations.


girlsthinkGirls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Did you know a fourteen-year-old Chinese empress discovered silk? This book tells the stories behind twelve amazing inventions and even includes information on young inventor programs and instructions for how readers can apply for patents.


Staff Picks

Mary’s Picksunnamed

The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems,
illus. by Tony DiTerlizzi

Mo Willems–the wonderful author of the Elephant and Piggie series, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny, and many more–has written a delightful story set in Paris. Diva, “a small, yet brave dog” and Flea “a curious streetwise cat” form an unexpected friendship. Diva is a pampered dog belonging to the “gardienne” of a elegant house. Flea is a “flaneur,” someone who wanders the streets of the city always curious to find anything new. Flea persuades a very hesitant Diva to join him on his adventures. Diva in turn introduces Flea to the comforts and delicacies of living in a home. Humorous and tender, with a definite bow to Paris, this book is certain to please any animal-loving reader, grades 2-4. Tony DiTerlizzi’s watercolors are perfect.

Bloom by Doreen Cronin and David Smallunnamed (1)

“A Mud Fairy, an Extraordinary Girl, and a Castle in Peril”

“There is no such thing as an ordinary girl,” yells Bloom. A fairy with magical powers and one who repairs the castle constantly, Bloom tends to leave a trail of mud wherever she goes. Banished because of the mud, she happily lives on her own out in the countryside. Years later the castle is falling apart. Both the king and the queen try to persuade her to return to no avail. Finally, they send Genevieve, a small, quiet, girl whose only job is to care for the queen’s crystal spoon. Genevieve succeeds. Bloom is a delightful fairy tale, and as with all fairy tales it contains many lessons to be learned! Author Doreen Cronin is known for Click, Clack, Moo among other books. David Small won the Caldecott Medal for So You Want to be President. Ages 4-8.

Fancy Nancy Saturday Night Sleepover by Jane O’Conner,unnamed (2)
illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser

Fancy Nancy is always Fancy Nancy! She is always right. This time Nancy and her sister JoJo are going on a sleepover at Mrs. Devine’s fancy house. JoJo is nervous. She has never gone on a sleepover before so Nancy prepares her. Sleepovers are fun! Nancy makes a survival kit: a nightlight, earmuffs, sandwich, and photo of mom and dad. This sleepover is indeed fun: a fancy dinner, fancy hairstyles, fancy fashion show, and movie. JoJo falls right asleep. Guess who becomes a bit scared and stays awake all night? That is, until she snuggles into bed with JoJo. Sparkly pastel illustrations.

Aimless Love by Billy Collins (poetry book for grown-ups)unnamed (3)

To quote J.J. Abrams in The New York Times Book Review, “Billy Collins is able, with precious few words, to make me cry. Or laugh out loud. He is a remarkable artist. To have such power in such an abbreviated form is deeply inspiring.”
“But Collins’ droll wit is often a diversionary tactic, so that when he strikes you with the hard edge of his darker visions, you reel!” –Booklist

This collection, his first in twelve years, combines 50 new poems with selections from his most recent books. Every parent should read “The Lanyard.” Do any of you remember what a lanyard is? Did you make one at camp, braiding thin plastic strips over and over? Collins speaks of all the things a mother does in raising a child–feeding, nursing, teaching, cooking–and ends,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Even if you think poetry is not for you, dip into this collection. You might change your mind.

Kathryn’s Middle Grade Picks

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sandsunnamed (4)
Ages 10-14

This book opens with a warning:

The recipes and remedies in this book were used by real apothecaries. There’s a reason we don’t see them anymore.

Some are devious, some are dangerous, and a few are just plain deadly.
So, as they say: Don’t try this at home.


What’s not to love about a mysterious adventure filled with fantasy, puzzles, codes, and potions? This is the first in a compelling series.

The Tiara on the Terrace by Kristen Kittscherunnamed (5)

This middle grade mystery follows the author’s first book, The Wig in the Window.

Sophie and Grace are best friends and amateur sleuths. As the town prepares for the Winter Festival and parade, the festival president turns up dead. Sophie and Grace go undercover as helpers for the snotty Royal Court as they try to put the clues together and catch a murderer before it is too late.

With plenty of twists and turns before the real culprit is caught, this inside look at the pageantry of a small town festival offers many funny moments as well as a test of friendship.

Haley’s Picks

The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothersunnamed (6)

Something mysterious is happening on Grimloch Lane. One morning young William awakes to find the tree outside his orphanage window trimmed into the shape of an owl. The next day another tree has taken the form of a cat. William and his neighbors are entranced by this seemingly magical turn of events and as more tree shapes appear their world turns into one of color and wonder. No one has any guesses as to who the Night Gardener could be, but William spots a mysterious figure walking down the street one night and decides to follow him. Grimloch Lane and William himself will never be the same again. Brothers Terry and Eric Fan collaborated on this beautiful picture book that brings to mind classics from Chris Van Allsburg. See how they work together to create theirunnamed (7) illustrations in this video from The Globe and Mail.

The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson

This hilarious new comic book from the author of Roller Girl follows three classroom pets, George Washington (or GW) the hamster, Barry the bunny, and Biter the guinea pig, who now goes by Sunflower (captivity may have turned her soft). GW hatches a plot to escape that involves a Rube Goldberg machine, a cafeteria food fight, and a mouse army. Kids and parents will giggle over the antics in this slim paperback.

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimée Carter

This new book hooked me right unnamed (8)away, and is a great pick for Percy Jackson and Harry Potter fans. Simon is a lonely twelve-year-old who lives in New York City with his uncle. His classmates think he’s a weirdo because he talks to animals. Indeed, Simon finds he can understand the language of the pigeons that come to his window and any other animal that crosses his path. The story begins when a golden eagle lands at his window and warns him, “You’re in grave danger, Simon Thorn.” When his mother–the one he believed was a traveling zoologist–shows up and gets kidnapped by rats, Simon is determined to save her. His search leads him beneath the Central Park Zoo to the Animalgam Academy (a school for those who can change into animals). He learns about the five kingdoms: Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects, and Underwater–as well as his family’s place in this world at war.


Happy Reading!

Alyson, Mary, Kathryn and Haley

February Newsletter


Illustration from “Hug Machine” by Scott Campbell

Welcome to February!

4e403b40-74e7-4044-af39-b0e030afa98bThis month we are excited to welcome art teacher Gillian Wright-Cassone, who will teach a series of Saturday afternoon art classes inspired by picture books. Read more about Art&Soul below.

February 14th is International Book Giving Day. What better way to say “I love you” than with a book? We’d be happy to help you select the perfect book to give to your loved one (and we offer free gift wrapping!).

For Valentine’s Day we have some blind date books that are looking for a home. Stop by and read the book’s description and similar titles to see if it might be a fit for you. What will you get? The fun is in the surprise! Keep us posted if you found your new book soulmate.

unnamedHave you seen our new books table? Every week we’ll add brand new releases, so be sure to come look over the selection for some reading inspiration. Let us know if there’s an upcoming book you’re excited to read!

Starting this month we’ll be collecting books for the International Community Health Services clinic’s Reach Out and Read program. Reach Out and Read gives free books to children to encourage and facilitate the development of early reading. They say, “We feel it is important to incorporate reading into pediatric practice while giving parents the information and means to help their children be prepared for school. We are looking for used book donations ranging anywhere from early toddler level to beginner chapter books.” Please drop off your used children’s books or come select books from the store to donate.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, news, and any last-minute calendar changes.


Finding a parking spot near Mockingbird Books can be tricky, but now you can park up to 90 minutes for free in the PCC parking garage (just a block away) with a purchase at PCC.


Upcoming Events

Story Time every day at 11:00 a.m. (except Sunday)

Betsy Dischel’s special story time with fun tales and songs in English, Hebrew, and American Sign Language takes place every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and PJ Library.

February 24: World Read Aloud Day. 11:00 a.m. This day we’re inviting our customers of all ages to read a book during our daily story time. Please e-mail to sign up.

February 27: Storybook Art Class begins. 3:00-3:45 p.m. Ages 3-6. This week’s class will explore Little Green Peas by Keith Baker. More information below.

March 2: We’ll celebrate Dr. Seuss’s 102nd birthday today with a special Dr. Seuss story time and activities at 11:00 a.m.

March 6: Storybook Art Class. 3:00-3:45 p.m. $10. This week’s class will explore Home by Carson Ellis.

Introducing Storybook Art Classes from Art&Soul Studios!
Let’s listen to stories and get inspired! Storybook art is a drop-in class with a theatrical story time followed by an art-making exploration inspired by the book. We’ll explore collage, printmaking, drawing and painting—using art to create our own stories.

Storybook Art is usually $10 a child but we’re holding our first class on February 27th for free! There is a 10 child limit and we’re expecting classes to fill up fast so make sure to register ahead of time. Please sign up at:!mockingbird-books-/i4abg

About Instructor Gillian Wright-Cassone
Gillian is the founder of Green Lake-based Art&Soul Studios and a professional early childhood and art educator. With a passion for incorporating art education during a child’s formative years and bringing the arts to the community at large, she uses inspiration from Piaget, Montessori, and Reggio philosophies.

Attention Book Clubs:

Looking for a place to hold an afternoon book club? Mockingbird Books can offer a cozy nook for your group with access to coffee, tea, and snacks. Talk to us about scheduling and we will be happy to order books of any genre. Contact us at or (206) 518-5886.

Planning a Birthday Party?

Looking for a venue to host your party or event? Come celebrate at Mockingbird Books! Drop us a line for more information.

Black History Month Selections


Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Dean Robbins, Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth and Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill, The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis, Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson, Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell, Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson, Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter, and The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles.

Valentine’s Day Children’s Book Roundup


Snuggle Puppy: A Little Love Song by Sandra Boynton, Love Is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark, Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney, Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff, Love From the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Hug Machine by Scott Campbell, How to Mend a Heart by Sara Gillingham, Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl by Tedd Arnold, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, and Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joose


Staff Picks

Mary’s New Picture Book Picks

Peddles by Elizabeth Rose Stantonpeddles

Local author Elizabeth Stanton’s delightful, new book stars Peddles, a pig. “Peddles was a pig who saw things his own way.” He had ideas! He wanted to fly. He wanted to hop like a frog. He even wanted to go into outer space. One night he saw folks dancing in the barn and he had an idea. He tromped and plodded, tried to dance but couldn’t. He found some fun red cowboy boots in a basket behind the barn. He tried again. He fell flat. Poor Peddles. His wonderful friends rescued him and together they trotted behind the barn, dug in the basket and all of them found super, colorful shoes to wear! What fun! The pigs are all as cute as can be.shhhbooksleeping

Shhh! This Book is Sleeping by Cedric Ramadier and Vincent Bourgeau

A little pink mouse leads the readers through this gentle board book. The book, bright blue, has eyes, nose and mouth gently drawn by a black pen. Mouse asks it “Did you brush your teeth?” “Yes.” “Did you go pee pee?” They read a book. Mouse tucks him in and gives him a hug. The book’s eyes close more and more. By the end, “Close the book very gently . . . Good Night!” The book is asleep. Very different, the children at story time loved it.

Bear is Not Tired by Ciara Gavinbearnottired

Pretty soon I’ll be asleep, so many books about bed time. This bear, however, does not want to go to sleep even though it is winter and he is supposed to hibernate. The ducks he lives with are having too much fun. Sometimes Bear forgets he isn’t a duck. He wants to stay awake. He tries to stay awake but he keeps falling asleep even though the ducks keep trying to help him stay awake. Finally Mama Duck tells him bears are bears and they are supposed to sleep in winter. Bear finally falls into a deep sleep. Suddenly it is Spring. Bear wakes up. The darling ducks have kept a photo album of all the activities they included him in while he was asleep. Gentle and sweet, a certain favorite for the 2’s and 3’s.

Mary’s Adult Picktemplesdelight

Temples of Delight by Barbara Trapido

What imagination! What humor! What insight! Barbara Trapido is a brilliant story teller.

Partway through the school year and in the middle of Silent Reading Hour Jem McGrail “drops like an acorn” into quiet, shy Alice Pilling’s life, turning Alice’s life upside down. Wicked and humorous adventures follow based on a love of indelicate literature and Mozart’s Magic Flute. Then, as suddenly as she appeared, Jem vanishes. Alice is distraught. Eventually Alice returns to what seems to be an ordinary life but she is destined to go on one more wild and extravagant journey when one Giovanni (Joe) B. Angeletti arrives on the scene. Is he the devil? “He was wearing a black felt hat and a voluminous black gabardine coat which fell unbuttoned from his shoulders. Under it he wore evening dress.”

Kathryn’s Picks

Heart of the Shepherd by Rosanne Parryheartofshepherd

[Middle grade]

From the publisher:
When Brother’s father is shipped off to Iraq, it’s up to Brother to help his grandparents keep the ranch going.
The hardships Brother faces will not only change the ranch but also reveal his true calling.

Rosanne Parry’s debut novel is a touching story about a young boy who quickly becomes the man of the house as he struggles daily with the land and animals, as well as the ravages of nature, in rural Oregon.

Oregon is also the setting for Rosanne Parry’s latest novel, The Turn of the Tide.turnoftide

From the publisher:
After a devastating tsunami in Japan, cousins Jet and Kai spend the summer together in Astoria, Oregon, training for the Young’s Bay Treasure Island Race and become close friends in the process.

Once again, Rosanne writes realistic fiction for middle readers that not only captures their imagination, but teaches them something about the world around them. A geocaching element is a part of this new story and a geocache will be hidden near bookstores this summer, including Mockingbird Books.

Haley’s Picks

onlystanleyIt’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee

The Wimbledon family is trying to sleep but keep being woken up by strange noises. Each time the father comes back announcing that it’s the family’s dog, Stanley. The proclamations begin normally: “It’s only Stanley; he’s howling at the moon” but quickly veer into hilariously silly territory: “It’s only Stanley; he fixed our old TV!” We find out that Stanley’s nighttime tinkerings are part of a bigger plan–to turn the family’s house into a spaceship!
The text and illustrations are perfect in this absurd tale that will have you cracking up and turning the page to see what that Stanley is up to next!missmoon

My next pick is another dog book called Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill. This book’s minimal text is paired with lush oil painting illustrations about a chic French dog governess and her 27 dogs. Each page lists one of her lessons like “Never stop learning” (opposite an illustration of Miss Moon and her bespectacled dogs in the classroom) and “The impossible can become possible with a little creativity” (Miss Moon has made a six-seated bicycle to accommodate some of her dogs). Originally published in French, Miss Moon is a unique book that would make a great gift for any age.ellapenguin

Ella and Penguin Stick Together by Megan Maynor, illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet

Ella and Penguin Stick Together is a sweet new book about friendship and overcoming fears. Ella and Penguin get some cool new glow-in-the-dark stickers but they’re both scared of the dark! They try to think of ways to see the stickers glow without having to go into the dark, scary closet, but nothing works. Eventually they support and encourage each other and find out that being brave has its rewards.
Happy Reading!

Alison, Jesse, Emily, Kathryn and Alyson

December Newsletter

Illustration from When Santa Was A Baby by Linda Bailey aand Geneviève Godbout

Happy Holidays!

There is truly no better time to settle down with a good book when the days are darker and our fireplaces are warm and bright. Come see the selection we’ve curated for this very season and share in the tidings of great literature!

We say goodbye this month to Alison Post who is pursuing an opportunity to become an education advocate working with at-risk youth. We know her compassion and creative problem-solving skills will be put to good use helping students who are homeless, in foster care, or refugees who don’t have the support and resources they need to get to college.

We welcome Haley Stocking as the new bookstore manager here at Mockingbird! Haley comes to us from Sasquatch Books with background in public library, editing, and publishing and a deep love for books and bookselling. Haley frequently set up events with Mockingbird Books during her time at Sasquatch, and we are lucky indeed to have her join our staff. Haley says, “I appreciate how booksellers are able to see the direct impact books have on readers and interact with them on a more personal level.” Welcome into the trenches, Haley!

Mockingbird books is


in December from 12-5pm (December 6, 13 and 20.)
See our list of dates at the bottom of the newsletter for adjusted openings and closings this month.

Upcoming Events

August 22, Saturday at 11:00amBetsy Dischel of Musikal Magik – Betsy Dischel of Musikal Magik; Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and will be with us to sing, dance and share stories in Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language. Come for very special Hanukkah songs this month, along with many others!

Staff Picks

unnamedEmily’s Illustrator Spotlight

Brigette Barrager (illustrator of Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain?)

Lovers of classical illustration rejoice! The likes of Mary Blair and Virginia Lee Burton have a modern day equivalent. Barrager’s illustrations will appeal to those who yearn for the artistic craft of the early 20th century. Bright colors and spongey texturing fill the spreads of her work.

Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain? answers just this very question! The main character (and our reader) will learn all about not only kitty, but other animals and just what they are up to in the rain.

Jesse’s Picksunnamed-8

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

This lovely picture book tells the story of a young girl named Kiko who must bring a pie to her Grandmother’s house on the other side of the woods. Along the way she accidentally stumbles upon a holiday feast, where all of the forest creatures are celebrating in a cozy cabin. The creatures help her out with her pie dilema, and she makes some new friends. These illustrations are mezmerizing, and the story is so sweet. Tea Party would make a great gift for your preschooler!

Kathryn’s PicksUnder the Egg

Under the Egg by Laura Max Fitzgerald

A mystery with a fascinating connection to history. You will never look at a painting in a museum the same way again!
Theo’s late grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and if the painting is as valuable as she thinks it is, then her grandfather wasn’t who she thought he was.

The Slug by Elise Gravel

unnamed-5They are slippery and slimy and fond of Northwest showers. Everything you ever wanted to know about slugs and more! An early reader series of disgusting critters. Eewwwwww!

Special talent: Transforming nature’s waste
Food preference: Plants and mushrooms
Distinctive trait: Retractable tetacles
Disgusting? Yes, but fun too!

Mary’s Picks

Is Mommy? by Victoria Chang unnamed-1and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Is Mommy ugly or pretty? Tall or short? Nice or mean? The children choose. In the end, in response to “Do you love your short, ugly, mean, boring, old, messy mommy?” the answer is a resounding YES! Marla Frazee’s colorful cartoon images fill the page. Certain to appeal to 2 and 3 year olds especially those with a sense of humor.

Little Tree by Loren Longunnamed-2

Loren Long, author of the wonderful Otis series, has written a sweet story about a tree who does not want to lose his leaves no matter how brown and withered they are. Through season after season the tree will not let his leaves fall. Other trees lose theirs and as a result grow strong and tall. Forest animals tell the tree he needs to let go but he just hugs his leaves closer. Finally, he finds the courage to allow his leaves to fall. Soon he too grows taller. Gorgeously and simply illustrated, Little Tree is certain to be another favorite.unnamed-3

Please, Open This Book! By Adam Leurhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

OH MY! The children at story time love this book! “You opened the book. We’re saved! We’re saved!” the crazy animals shout. Someone had slammed the book shut and trapped them all. Please keep the book open. Don’t shut it. Don’t be a book closer. No……. Delightful animals populate this book. You or your children may never shut a picture book again.

Alison’s Picks

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidtunnamed-6

Jupiter is a 3 month old baby and Joseph is her 13-year-old dad. When Jack and his parents agree to take Joseph in to their home, they know he has had a rough go, but it is young Jack who discovers the truth behind Joseph’s hard shell and the tragic circumstances that have brought him to their doorstep. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking story about love and loss, no matter what the age, told in Gary Schmidt’s tender style. He always gets to the heart of what it is to be human. Another “must read” by one of my favorite authors.

Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graffunnamed-7

This book is such a gem. Lisa Graff captures the interior life of a middle school-aged boy as he tries to cope with his part in a tragic accident. As Trent struggles with anger and isolation, the gulf between how he is perceived on the outside and how he feels on the inside widens. Then he befriends Fallon Little, a girl with her own mysterious story. Through this friendship and the realization that there are allies all around him, Trent finds not only solace, but his way back to the world. A powerful story about friendship and resilience.

Mockingbird Calendar changes:
December 24 and 31: Open 9am-4pm (early closing)
December 25, 27, and January 1 & 2: CLOSED all day


Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Alison, Jesse, Emily, Kathryn and Alyson

August Newsletter

Ice Cream Summer

Illustration from “Ice Cream Summer” by Peter Sis

“What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.”
– Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden

Upcoming Events

August 8, Saturday at 11:00pm – Local Author Saturday! Wendy Wahman Author Event – Wendy Dont LickWahman will read from her books, “Don’t Lick the Dog” and “A Cat Like That” as well as sign copies!

Also August 8, Saturday from 1:00pm-3:00pmMake an Insight Book with Wendy Wahman – What’s an Insight Book? It’s art and writing, collage and doodling. It’s an improvisation with yourself: You start out with nothing in mind, then a line or a color triggers an, ‘ah ha!’ and you put that down. One line (written or drawn) leads to another. Anyone can make one. Non-artists surprise themselves by making art. When you’re done, you hold a book in your hands. Your book. Your insights. Ages 7 & up – $5.00 at the door – RSVP at
Zoras Zucchini
August 28, Friday at 11:00amKatherine Pryor Author Event – Katherine Pryor presents her newest book, Zora’s Zucchini! Zora is elated that her zucchini is growing… but what happens when it doesn’t stop?? A great book for foodies and a good start to learning more about what we eat! This is Katherine’s newest title following Sylvia’s Spinach and we are happy to be hosting her again.
Enemy Pie
August 22, Saturday at 11:00amTara Calahan King Illustrator Event – Ever wanted to draw books like Enemy Pie? Well you’re in luck! Tara Calahan King, the illustrator of Enemy Pie as well as many other titles, will be at Mockingbird Books for 11:00am Story Time! Draw characters, hear stories, and much more!

September EventsBlue

September 10, Thursday from 7:00pm-9:00pmKayce Stevens Hughlett Author Event – Come celebrate the book launch for Hughlett’s new book, Blue! “A subtle psychological mind-bender where each heroine is her own worst enemy. Eccentric. Loveable. Unforgettable.” Join us upstairs in the Great Hall at Green Lake for this event!

September 12, Saturday at 11:30am – Local Author Saturday with Matthew PorterRise and FallJoin us in welcoming back Matthew Porter and his soon-to-be released title The Rise and Fall of Oscar the Magician! When Milton the Magnificent’s hunger for fame pushes him to resort to devious methods, it looks like Oscar the Magician is going to fall victim to some dirty tricks. Hilarity ensues in the form of bees, levitation, giant gelatin, monkeys on bicycles, and more! This fast-paced adventure is fun and silly with a twinkle of magic that kids will love.
McToad Mows
September 30, Wednesday at 4:00pmTom Angleberger Workshop – The author of the Origami Yoda series, Tom Angleberger, will come to present his newest book McToad Mows Tiny Island as well as host an origami workshop!

Reminder: Story Time Every Day at 11:00am (except Sunday)

Staff Picks

Emily’s Illustrator SpotlightNimona

Noelle Stevenson (illustrator of Nimona)

Full of fanasy and whimsy, this sequential artist’s work is perfect fare for fans of Adventure Time, Rick & Morty, and other shows of the same ilk. Her characters are foremost strong and quirky, not to mention often kick-butt females with asymmetrical haircuts. Easy devourable spreads chock full of humor make her work appeal to a wide audience- not just fanatsy fans!

Nimona tells the tale of our main character, a shape-shifter who becomes the sidekick of a super villain in an imaginary land. Great pool-side read for ages 10 and up!

Jesse’s PicksUnder the Egg


Under the Egg by Laura Mark Fitzgerald

I read Under the Egg in the middle of reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and was startled by all of the similarities. Both stories feature the tragic loss of a loved one from the start, both take place in Manhattan, both involve the secret possesion of a priceless painting, and to top off the weird coincidences, both main characters are named Theo! I think it’s safe to say Fitzgerald’s novel is like a middle-grade version of The Goldfinch. At the very least they’re both impossible to put down and they’re both great stories! 5 stars!

[hardcover picture book]

Boats for Papa by Janet S. Wong & David RobertsBoats for Papa

I made the mistake of reading Boats for Papa while there were still customers in the store. What a tear jerker! A beaver boy and his Mom live by the sea, where the boy build ships out of driftwood and sends them out to sea for his Papa. There’s a twist at the end of the book that will really tug at your heartsrings, and I’m not even a Mama. The illustrations are beautifully done, too! An excellent picture book, especially for someone who’s lost a loved one.

Kathryn’s PickBlue Whale

[hardcover picture book]

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

Beautiful illustrations created with a mix of collage and paint set the stage for fun and engaging facts about the blue whale, the largest living creature on the planet.

Alison’s Picks


Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom (Released Dec. 1, 2015)Not If I

This is a story about Parker, a blind, teenaged girl, who has suffered more than her share of tragedy. Dealing not only with her loss of sight as a young girl, but also the death of both parents, Parker has set up a list of rules that must be followed in order to earn and keep her trust. On the outside she is strong, sarcastic and independent, but as she starts to navigate the uncertain world of a teen, she must face the fact that the rules she has set up to protect herself may not apply anymore. I love Parker’s snarky character and independent spirit. I also love the tenacity and loyalty of the friends that stick by her, even when she tries to push them away. Eric Lindstrom leaves room for complexity and brings the reader past the surface of things, reminding us that we are all more than we seem and that vulnerability is part of the human experience.

Saint Anything by Sarah DessenSaint Anything

Sydney is reeling after the arrest and imprisonment of her charismatic older brother, Peyton, for a drunk driving incident in which a young boy is paralyzed. Disturbed by the way her mother diminishes the seriousness of his actions, her father’s absence and her own struggle with invisibility, she finds solace in a close-knit family she meets after transferring to a new school. Sarah Dessen deftly explores the nuances of family relationships and the often difficult path to synchronizing one’s inner and outer selves.


Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Alison, Jesse, Emily, Kathryn and Alyson

July Newsletter

Firefly July

Illustration from “Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems” by Melissa Sweet

Summer vacation is here and Seattle is feeling the sun! Stop in and grab a book to read on the beach, at the park, or on the road. We have plenty of great summer reads to choose from!

Upcoming Events

July 11, Saturday at 11:00AMStory Time with Jacqueline Houston, author of The Tales of Mindy Mousekins audio stories for kids.


July 18, Saturday at 11:00AMKaty Webber of Musikal Magik will bring her delightful blend of music, drumming, dancing and stories to share.

August Events51cby3aoioL

August 8, Saturday at 11:00AM – Local Author Saturday! Wendy Wahman Author Event – Wendy Wahman will read from her books, “Don’t Lick the Dog” and “A Cat Like That” as well as sign copies!

Reminder: Story Time Every Day at 11:00am (except Sunday)

Staff Picks

Emily’s Illustrator Spotlightunnamed-1

Yasmeen Ismail (illustrator of One Word from Sophia)

British illustrator Yasmeen Ismail has a refreshing style I have yet to see a contemporary to on our shelves! Mixed splashes of bright watercolor and exaggerated expressions bring the characters on her pages to life. Her images bounce across the page in prismatic bursts and have a controlled scribbly-ness to them which makes for compelling visual storytelling.
One Word from Sophia follows the story of young Sophia and her venture to acquire a pet giraffe. Her written plea starts off as being too wordy and as she slowly edits it, she finds one word is really all that is needed; “Please.”

Jesse’s PicksYak and Gnu

Yak and Gnu by Juliette MacIver and Cat Chapman

Yak and Gnu is the rhyming story of two animal friends on a boat. As they set sail they sing “No one else but you and me can float a boat or sail the sea,” but by the end of their trip they are joined by a smattering of goofy animal sailor-friends. Juliet MacIver’s rhymes are very clever, the story is hilarious, and Cat Chapman’s illustrations are amazing. This book is perfect for reading aloud.

The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong and David RobertsDumpster Diver

The Dumpster Diver is a beautiful picture book about Steve, a dumpster diver extraordinaire who inspires his younger neighbors to see the value in what people throw out. The kids help out as he literally dives into dumpsters, decked out in a snorkel and flippers. They make sculptures, lamps, and fish tanks out of found items and even end up making something to help a friend in need. This book somehow manages to be funny, adventuresome, gross, and touching. A great read!

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski (Illustrated World Atlas)Maps

From the team that brought us the brilliant Where’s Waldo style Mamoko books comes an amazing world atlas. Each page features a huge hand drawn map of a country or continent complete with little illustrations of that country’s highlights. For example, a cute drawing of Pablo Neruda jumps out of the Chile page. Maps is a beautiful collection of some of the most stunning maps I’ve ever seen. I love everything this team does, and this is no exception. A great gift for a world traveler!

Kathryn’s Pick

Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van LeerOff the Page

The companion to Between the Lines, the romantic fairytale continues as the handsome prince leaps from the page into real world high school and meets the girl who wished for him to be real. But not all fairytales have happy endings.

A breezy summer read for book-lovers and dreamers with an unexpected ending. Ages 12 and up.

Teen Reviews

Dumplin’ by Julie MurphyDumplin'

Dumplin’ is an empowering book about a chubby girl who isn’t afraid to call herself fat. Throughout the novel Willowdean has to work through the death of her role model, Aunt Lucy. She also has to face all the difficulties of young love and self worth. Will has never been a person to care about what anyone else thinks. For the first time in her life she does. She does so much that it makes her push away the people she needs and loves the most. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and most of all it will make you feel like you are in love for the first time.

– Iris

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonI'll Give You

I’ll Give You the Sun is a touching coming of age story about teenage twins Noah and Jude. Noah is an outsider who lives to draw and is falling for the quirky, charming guy next door. Jude is a danger-seeking cool kid who makes her own dresses and creates beautiful secret sand sculptures. They have been two parts of one whole until a tragic turn of events dramatically affects both of their worlds, sending them spinning on different journeys. Is it destiny? Are people from the past helping or hurting? Noah and Jude have different parts to the same story. WIll they ever know the truth? Will they ever be whole again?

The narrator switches back and fourth between Noah and Jude. The offsetting perspectives of the twins at different ages weaves a complex story of love, lies, heartbreak, truth, sadness, friendship and family as they discover themselves. The chapters told by Noah start with the twins at age thirteen and continue until fourteen. Jude’s chapters skip forward to age sixteen. It gives both an outside and inside view on two teenagers who experience tragedy and joy. It gives a touching insight into the lives of other people my age. Throughout the story Jandy Nelson creates amazingly vibrant and deep characters, who display such raw emotion that it is impossible not to fall in love with them. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read because of its astonishing truth. It felt like I was riding the roller-coaster right along with them. This book is unlike any other book I’ve ever read and is a must read for people of every age.

-Sonja Lerner


Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Mary, Wendy, Alison, Jesse, Emily and Alyson