Thursday, December 1, 2011

Santa and Mrs. Claus come to Chapters

Mrs. Claus and Santa visited Chapters tonight to read stories and sing Christmas songs.  There were lots of wide-eyed kids here, and we were honored to have the Clauses take time from their busy schedules to spend time with us.  It was a fun time!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Come in and squeeze the Squishables!  They are HUGE, adorable, and very squeezable, and you can't help laughing when you see them.  My favorite is the giant hedgehog.  We're thinking of keeping the owl as a store mascot (to stand in when Jane's not here).  Stephanie thinks we should name him Mr. Know it Owl, but we're open for suggestions.

 They'd make great gifts for people of all ages.  Little kids love 'em almost as much as college students.

Local Authors Event with Joy Castro

Thanks to everyone who came for our 7th annual Local Authors Event Sunday, November 6.  We especially thank Joy Castro for the very informative presentation on how to write a mystery novel.  Joy teaches in the English department at UNL, mostly creative nonfiction, but her first two mystery novels are under contract with St. Martin's Press--the same press that published the first 16 of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels.  Joy's first novel comes out in July 2012.  We hope it's a huge success for her and that she'll host a launch party at Chapters next summer.

CaSondra Poulsen, Victorine Lieske and Charlie Volnek
It was good to meet Charlie Volnek and a few others who were new to our Local Authors event.  It's always fun see the "regulars," too, and to hear what they are working on and give them the opportunity to network and discuss their projects.  

We have many of their autographed books in stock at Chapters, so stop in sometime and see what your neighbors are writing!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sara Zarr visits Seward

I had the privilege of spending the day with author Sara Zarr on Monday.  She is on a tour of the Midwest to celebrate the release of her new young adult novel, How to Save a Life.  Sara's books deal with issues real teens face--without the vampires, werewolves, and dead-girl narrators of many of the YA books these days.

Monday morning, Sara spoke to a group of 8th graders at Lincoln Lutheran Middle/High School in Lincoln.  From that presentation, we learned that Sara prefers pen to pencil and Mac to PC.  And that her four published novels are not the only books she's written; the first three were for "practice."  Sara shared the inspiration for her books, where some of the characters originated, and other bits about her novels.

Thanks, Sara, for having lunch with me and a couple of friends who are interested in writing and who love YA books.  After lunch, Sara saw a bit of Seward and enjoyed a nap at the Liberty House Bed & Breakfast, before presenting to a group of 9th graders and seniors at Seward High School.  Mr. Kolterman even got an autographed copy of How to Save a Life!

Those who attended Sara's signing at Chapters Monday evening had the pleasure of an informal chat with her.  Katelyn, who's even listed in the acknowledgements in How to Save a Life, drove out from Lincoln for our event.  One of the book's narrators is a teen girl who grows up in Omaha before moving to Denver.  Sara traveled to Omaha to check out the city as a setting for her book and met Katelyn there.  It was fun to hear about that experience!

We have a few remaining copies of Sara's books in the store.  Her latest is receiving starred reviews all over the place, and her first, The Story of a Girl, was a National Book Award Finalist and very deserving of the award.  I look forward to more from her!  If you'd like to follow Sara, check out Sara's blog,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bob Shea Visit Oct. 13, 2011

St. John kindergarteners
enjoying the books.
Bob with his books.

Bob signing books at Chapters.
We had a great visit from author and illustrator Bob Shea yesterday! Bob spent the afternoon visiting kindergarteners and first graders at St. John's and Seward Elementary School.  The kids wanted him to read all of Dinosaur's books and ROARED along with him! They loved learning how to turn jelly beans into dinosaurs, birds, and a whole party of other animals for a "Jelly Bean Animal Dance Party." Stop by Chapters or the bookfair at St. John's to see a dance party drawing.

After dinner at the Cafe on the Square, Bob entertained a great group of kids and their parents at Chapters with his Dinosaur books and another Dance Party, before signing copies of his books. We still have a few signed copies of his books if you missed out yesterday. Thanks, Bob, for a ROARING good time!

Dinosaur vs. the Potty was a favorite.
Bob drawing the dinosaur.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Read a Rama with Llama Llama Red Pajama

Chapters Books & Gifts will take part in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® on October 6, 2011—the official date of the nation-wide campaign to set a new world record for the largest shared reading experience on a single day.

Chapters will take part by hosting a “Read-a-Rama with Llama Llama” event on October 6, 2011, from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.  Adults are invited to bring a child(ren) to Chapters and read this year’s featured title, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, together.  The first 25 families to participate will receive a FREE copy of Llama Llama Red Pajama courtesy of Chapters, St. John Child Development Center, and the Seward Community Read to Me Program.  All participants will receive a certificate of participation, fun activities to accompany the reading, and a photo of themselves.

In partnership with Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation, Chapters supports early education and literacy development and encourages the entire community to participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on October 6, 2011.  Again this year, the day-long campaign will be kicked off on NBC’s TODAY show and will be followed by large and small reading events organized by individuals, schools, libraries, government organizations and local businesses nationwide.

Anyone, anywhere can participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record by pledging to read at Llama Llama Red Pajama can be read online at Learn more at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New merchandise has arrived!

We've been getting ready for the holiday season by adding lots of toys, games, and gift items to our inventory.  Here are a few highlights of new items:

I love these toys for preschoolers from the Green Toy Company.  They're all made entirely from recycled milk jugs!  Even better, they're dishwasher safe, so you can have a tea party and not have to do dishes by hand.  The Pizza Parlor set even comes with a take out box and order pad for fun pretend play.

Another fun new addition for an entirely different audience is handmade jewelry from Vibelo Designs of Omaha.  The collection includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and key chains made from a variety of seeds and nuts, even orange peels and gourd skins.  Cheryl's favorite is the lima bean necklace.  I like the red necklace made from corn.  Perfect for Husker game day!

Some of my other favorite items continue to be the glassware from Henrietta Glass.  In addition to the pieces we've had for about a year, we recently added "Circle of Friends" vases and ring holders.  I've given the wine stopper as a gift, Cheryl's given the little vases, and I bought myself a ring holder because I like them so much.

 We're still receiving toys, puzzles, games, and other fun items every few days, so check with us soon and often.  It's not too early to start your Christmas shopping!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival

The annual Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival is coming to Concordia September 23-25.  Authors who will be visiting with Seward kids in the schools on September 23 include Eileen Christelow and Grace Lin at the elementary school and Barbara Robinson and Roland Smith at the middle school.  Chapters has books by all of the authors participating in the festival.  If you purchase them by September 22, we'll take them to Concordia for you to be personally autographed while the authors are in town.  Autographed books make great Christmas gifts!

Visit the Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival website for more information about the festival and authors who are attending.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Upcoming Events at Chapters

I just updated our calendar, with all the upcoming events for this fall.  It's going to be a busy season at Chapters!  Make sure to check back often so you don't miss these and other events this fall.

In September, the annual Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival brings several well-known authors to Seward's Concordia University.  If you purchase these authors' books at Chapters, we'll have them autographed for you when the authors are in town.  This year's featured guests include Newbery Medal winner Grace Lin, Golden Sower winner Roland Smith, and favorite author/illustrator of the "Five Little Monkeys" books, Eileen Christelow, as well as Barbara Robinson, best known for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  The Endowment dinner features illustrator Jerry Pinkney, a recent Caldecott Medal winner.  Visit the Festival's website for more details and to see a complete list of authors and illustrators attending.

October will be a busy month for us, with two author visits (so far!) and two bookfairs, as well as the annual "Read for the Record Day."

One of last year's happy readers.
This year's "Read for the Record" is October 6.  Help us join families around the country to set a world record for the largest single-day read aloud of the same book by reading Llama Llama Red Pajama at Chapters with your favorite kids.  The first 25 families to participate will receive a free copy of the book, too!  For more details on this campaign and other efforts by Jumpstart to bring books to all children, visit Jumpstart's website.

Our authors who are visiting Chapters in October include a dynamic, fun picture book author-illustrator whose books will appeal to preschoolers with an attitude.  Robert Shea kicks off our week of bookfairs with a storytime and signing Thursday, October 13.  This is sure to be a "roaring" good time with Dinosaur and his creator!

Sara Zarr, author of young adult novels dealing with the difficult issues faced by teens, will be in Seward visiting Seward High School and Chapters on Monday, October 24.  She also is a great speaker, though for a different audience, and you won't want to miss her reading or her books.  I'll let you know what I think of her latest, How to Save a Life, which comes out in October and is set in part in Omaha, after I read the review copy she's sending me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Curious George at the County Fair

We just had a wonderfully fun afternoon at the Seward County Fair with Curious George, his friend Hailey in the yellow hat, "Teacher Karen" Hoger, and about 40 kids who love George.  Thanks so much to everyone who came, and especially to Karen and Hailey for helping George.  
Since it was such a gorgeous day--unusually cool for August in Nebraska--George took a drive around town before heading to the fairgrounds. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Japanese Erasers

I try to keep up on the current toy store fads; since we opened seven years ago, those have included things like Webkinz and Silly Bandz.  Now, the next big thing seems to be Japanese puzzle erasers--and we have the original ones!

They're only $1.17 each, and they come in cute food and animal shapes.  Kids seem to like the animals, adults to prefer the food, and I wonder what that says about us. . . .  The kids like to buy more than one of the same animal, in different colors, and then mix and match the puzzle pieces.  I think they'll be fun back to school items that might not be banned as quickly as Silly Bandz were!  Stop in to check them out.  They really are cute!