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Events Calendar

Reading Children’s Picture Books: an Event for Adults

So many children’s picture books contain strong affirmative messages and beautiful art — all at a level that can be very meaningful to adult readers.  Join us for a gathering of adults reading children’s books! You’ll hear from our expert speakers some of what goes into creating a children’s book and what makes it great (or not!).

DATE:   Thursday, March 3rd
TIME:    7pm to 8:30pm
PLACE: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027

What’s on the agenda for this evening:

Julia Rix

Julia Rix

Heather Devlin Knopf, artist and children’s book author and illustrator, will talk about her illustration process, from thumbnails and clay sculptures to photo reference and final artwork. She’ll also address a frequently asked question, “Which comes first…images or words?”

Julia Rix, a watercolor artist, will talk about the beginning stages of developing a children’s book illustration project as well as review some books that inspire her.

Heather Knopf Head Shot 1

Heather Devlin Knopf

Lynn Rosen of Open Book Bookstore will talk about the characteristics of a good children’s book, what has changed lately in children’s book publishing, and what makes a classic a classic, all based on interviews with current children’s book editors.

During the event, we will look at and read a selection of children’s picture books, including classics and new publications, and discuss what we like about them.

This evening is also great opportunity to select some new books for your children and grandchildren, or for gifts.

Feel free to bring along a favorite children’s book or two of your own to share! Also, we will be providing you with a list of the books we discuss, and they will be available for purchase as well. Heather Devlin Knopf will sign copies of her illustrated book, The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, written by Diana Prichard.

Refreshments are included!


Heather Devlin Knopf is an artist/designer, educator, and children’s book writer and Cow in Patrick O'Shanahan's Kitchenillustrator. In 2013, Heather illustrated The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, written by Diana Prichard and published by Little Pickle Press. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Graphic Communications Management, Heather later completed an MFA in Illustration at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. She is represented by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and also teaches at Moore College of Art and Design and Philadelphia University. Originally from Boston, Heather now calls Philadelphia her home. Her two, highly imaginative boys continue to be a source of inspiration.

Julia Rix art

Julia Rix earned an M.Ed. in Art Education from Tyler School of Art and taught Art, English, and ESL for Abington School District for 11 years.  She is a member of the local artists’ cooperative MamaCITA and her watercolor paintings have won awards at both the Abington Art Center and the Cheltenham Center for the Arts. She studied with renowned children’s book author and illustrator David Wiesner and is currently working on her own publication projects.

A Night of Readings About Social Justice

HH_Vertical_Black_NEWDATE: Thursday, December 17th
TIME:  7pm to 8:30pm
PLACE: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027

What do Genetically Modified foods, Freedom Summer of 1964 and building community through urban agriculture all have in common? They are themes that can be found in the novels and short stories of The Head & The Hand Press. Of course these themes are also all social justice issues. But as The Head & The Hand Press upholds its mission to tell stories that have the power to “change and entertain,” this Philadelphia publisher has added a literary depth to these issues that are at the forefront of progressivism in the United States.

If your love of literature intersects with your passion for social justice, then please join The Head & The Hand Press and The Open Book Bookstore as we welcome Jon McGoran reading from his food advocacy essay “Long Range Meal Planning,” Simone Zelitch reading from her civil rights novel Waveland and Nic Esposito reading from his urban farming essay collection Kensington Homestead.

McGoran_147-cropped_4Jon McGoran is the author of six novels, including the biotech thrillers Drift and Deadout, as well as their forthcoming sequel, Dust Up (April 2016), all from Tor/Forge Books, as well as the novella After Effects, from Amazon StoryFront. Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is also author of the forensic thrillers Body Trace, Blood Poison and Freezer Burn, from Penguin Books. His short fiction and nonfiction can be found in a variety of anthologies, and his short story “Bad Debt” received an honorable mention in Best American Mystery Stories, 2014. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, a group of published authors dedicated to writers helping writers.

Waveland_Final_Cover copySimone Zelitch’s previous books include Louisa, which gained a starred review from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus as well as praise from the New York Times. She also the author of Moses in Sinai and The Confession of Jack Straw. Once a Peace Corps Volunteer in Hungary, Simone is now a professor at the Community College of Philadelphia where she coordinates the English Degree and established the Creative Writing Certificate Program.

After developing urban farm projects in West Philadelphia with the organization Philly Rooted, Nic Esposito now ckenz home.inddo-manages Emerald Street Community Farm with his wife Elisa as well as their own homestead populated by their son, Luca, a dog, a cat, and a whole bunch of chickens. He writes about social change, urban farming and sustainability for blogs and magazine and spoke on urban farming at the 2010 TED X conference in Philadelphia. He is the author of the novel Seeds of Discent and the essay collection Kensington Homestead. Nic is the founder of The Head & The Hand Press and The Head & The Hand Workshop.

Local Authors are Guest Booksellers on Small Business Saturday November 28th

small biz satThe Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, November 28th, is Small Business Saturday. On this day, many indie bookstores invite authors to be guest booksellers. It’s fun for customers to come in and find the authors working in the store!

Come meet some of the authors who live in our community as they take a shift guest bookselling at Open Book Bookstore on 11/28.

Here’s the schedule:

11am to Noon: Daniel Sean Kaye, author of Never Underestimate a Hermit Crab

Noon to 1pm:  Jon McGoran, author he author of six novels, including the biotech thrillers Drift and Deadout

1pm to 2pm:    Andy Schloss, author of cookbooks too numerous to mention here!

2pm to 3pm:    Stephanie Feldman, author of the novel The Angel of Losses

3pm to 4pm:    Karen Toz, author of many middle grade books, including Nate Rocks, and a novel for adults

4pm to 5pm:    Christine Weiser, author of Broad Street and co-founder of Philadelphia Stories magazine

Shop indie, shop local! Oh, and did we mention treats?

Cheltenham High School Vocal Arts Coffee House

Enjoy a variety of musical performances by members of Cheltenham High School’s fabulous music program!

DATE:        Friday, December 4th

TIME:         7pm to 9pm

PLACE:     Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027

Come hear some talented Cheltenham High School Vocal Arts students perform and, while you do, support them as they fundraise for a school trip to travel to Puerto Rico, where they will meet and perform with local musicians.

Chat with the Chefs about their favorite cookbooks!

Join three local chefs and find out which cookbooks they use and rely on, and which ones they recommend for home chefs. In this season of both gift-giving and heavy-duty cooking, find out which cookbooks, new and old, are worth investing in.

DATE: Tuesday, December 1st
TIME:  6pm

Owen Lee, Chef and Co-owner of Park Plates
Aliza Green, author and chefmanager of Baba Olga’s Café  & Supper Club
Andy Schloss, author and chef


9781631590740_Cover_WebSmallAliza Green is a chef and food industry consultant. She has written 13 cookbooks, including a James Beard Award Aliza_021_Bwinner and four for Quarry Books: MakingArtisan PastaSoupmaker’s KitchenFishmonger’s Apprentice, and Butcher’s Apprentice.Making Artisan Pasta was named by Cooking Light as one of their Top 100 Cookbooks ofthe Last 25 years. She is also the chefmanager of Baba Olga’s Cafe & Supper Club inPhiladelphia, which marries global flavor with locally sourced, sustainably harvestedingredients.

Schloss Head shot closeAndrew Schloss is a prolific teacher and author known by his readers and students for his inventive recipes and an ability to explain technical aspects of cooking in entertaining, understandable terms. He is the author of 23 cookbooks including: Mastering the Grill (winner of a World Gourmand Award and a New York Times best-seller) and The Science of Good Food (winner of an IACP Cookbook Award, a James Beard finalist, nominated by Le Cordon Bleu Food Media Awards as Best Food Book in the World), both co-authored with David Joachim; Fifty Ways to Cook Most Everything (a main selection for Book of the Month Home Style Club); Homemade Sodas; One-Pot Cakes; Fire It Up, The Art of the Slow Cooker, Cooking Slow and Homemade Liqueurs & Infused Spirits.

Owen LeeOwen Lee is co-owner of Park Plates Restaurant in Elkins Park, PA. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, with 30 years’ experience in the food business.  A native of Philadelphia, Owen found his passion for cooking at a young age.
Through his Cuban ancestry and fluency in Spanish, as well as his travels through the United States, Thailand, Mexico and the Caribbean, Owen developed a keen interest in ethnic cuisines.  After graduating from cooking school, he returned to Philadelphia and worked as a chef for various restaurants and catering operations.  In addition, he worked as a traveling chef for The Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, and Olympic gold medalists Brian Boitano and Katarina Witt.
In 1992, Owen opened a catering business called “Uncommon Catering” in Philadelphia, arranging both corporate and social events.  In 2000 Owen opened Cibucán, a Latin American style tapas restaurant in Philadelphia.
Starting in 2004, Owen teamed up with filmmaker Mitchell Smith to produce a TV program about Latin American food, music and culture called, “One For The Road.”  The program aired in 2010 as a 6 part series on WHYY, the PBS TV affiliate in Philadelphia.
He has been interviewed on “A Chef’s Table,” a nationally syndicated radio program on NPR, and has made numerous appearances on TV. Owen has taught cooking classes through Temple University’s continuing education program and has worked as a food stylist and a menu consultant.  He is also a singer/ songwriter, guitarist, and drummer, performing regularly around the Philadelphia area.