March Newsletter

by mockingbirdbook


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