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Special Events


In collaboration with scienceSeeds

Pickle car anyone? The world of Richard Scarry is full of fantastical vehicles, and you’re invited to build one of your own! In addition to piles of art materials, our friends at scienceSeeds will bring motors, simple circuits, and lots of hands-on activities to demonstrate basic physics concepts like momentum, velocity, friction, and acceleration!

Saturday, March 7
10:00am – 1:00pm
No registration required
Free of charge / Ages 3 & up

350 for 50

Pens at the ready…it’s time for Cotsen’s annual writing competition! We challenge you to write a short, 350-word story that includes the sentence, "There was a rattling noise.” (just 345 words left to go!). Winning stories will be illustrated and published in the Summer 2015 issue of the Picture Book Press, on our Pop Goes the Page creative blog, AND the authors will enjoy a $50 shopping spree at Labyrinth Books!

Contest submissions are due by 3:00pm on Friday, April 17, 2015.
Ages 9-14

350 for 50 Contest Submission Requirements

  • Stories must be no longer than 350 words (but can be less than 350 words), and MUST include the sentence, "There was a rattling noise.”
  • Please submit entries as a Word file or embedded in the text field of an e-mail. Please do not share through Google Docs.
  • One submission per author, please. E-mail to:
  • No poems, illustrations, or comics, please.
  • One winner will be selected from each of our three age categories (ages 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14).
  • The following MUST be included with your submission: Your name, age (as of April 17, 2015), and mailing address. Please make sure this information is on the SAME PAGE as your story!
  • Your name and story title are not included in the word count.
  • Winners will be notified via e-mail on April 24, 2015.


This May, my guest will be Lissa Evans, author of Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms and its sequel, Horton’s Incredible Illusions.

Stuart Horton has problems. First, he’s short. Very short. Second, he’s just moved to a new town and is bored. Very bored. Third, the triplet girls who live next door appear to have some sort of journalistic vendetta against him. They’re relentless. But everything changes when Stuart discovers a cache of old coins and a hidden message from his Great-Uncle, Tony. Great-Uncle Tony was a renowned stage magician, illusionist, and creator of fabulous contraptions. He mysteriously disappeared in 1940, leaving behind a secret workshop. If Stuart can follow the clues and solve the puzzles, he’ll find the workshop.

In the sequel, Stuart, accompanied by his friend April, once again finds himself on a mysterious adventure. This time, the clues are embedded in a series of Great-Uncle Tony’s custom-built stage illusions. But the magic is real, and in some cases, dangerous. And Stuart and April aren’t the only ones interested in getting their hands on what Great-Uncle Tony has hidden.

These books are so much fun to read, and to read-aloud, to kids. They are creative, humorous, intriguing, and perfectly paced. Stuart and April are wonderful characters who squabble and reconcile so realistically, you feel like you’re joining a pair of old friends. The clever clues, puzzles, and the mysteries they unveil will keep you intrigued until the very end. Horton’s Miraculous Mechanisms was short-listed for the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Book Awards.

Saturday, May 16
This program is a webcast, and premieres at:
All ages