Category Archives: Storytime

May 14: Hair Love, with Matthew A. Cherry & Vashti Harrison

Matthew A. Cherry presents his new children’s picture book, Hair Love, an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. At this book launch at Word Up Community Bookshop, Matthew will read, with a drawing demonstration by New York Times–bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison. Recommended for ages 4–8.

In Hair Love, Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy.
Preorder your book here:
About the author:
Chicago native Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens. Now, he directs music videos, web series, feature films, and shorts, including “Hair Love,” the animated short film on which this book is based. Matthew was named to Paste Magazine‘s list of Directors to Watch in 2016, and he works at Jordan Peele’s production company, Monkeypaw (UsGet OutTwilight Zone) as a film and television executive.
About the illustrator:
Originally from Onley, Virginia, Vashti Harrison is the author and illustrator of New York Times–bestselling Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (which is also an NAACP Image Award winner), Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World, and Dream Big, Little One. In addition to illustrating Matthew A. Cherry’s Hair Love, Vashti is the illustrator for Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal’s Festival of Colors, Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes’s Cece Loves Science! and Lupita Nyong’o’s forthcoming Sulwe.
Hair Love
a reading by Matthew A. Cherry & drawing demonstration by Vashti Harrison
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

October 31- Pumpkin Tales

Get ready for Halloween with Pumpkin Tales, with storyteller Rachael Harrington. These not-so-scary stories will have kids listening, moving, and playing through tales full of pumpkins, scarecrows, cats, and more! This program is great for ages 2-4 accompanied by caregivers.

Pumpkin Tales                                                                                                  Wednesday, October 31, 2018                                                                                   11:30am–12:10pm                                                                                                       Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria                             2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.                                                                  New York NY 10032

June 16: Special Story Time for Kids: Julián Is a Mermaid

Join us for a story time with debut author-illustrator (and Broadway actress) Jessica Love as she reads her new book Julián Is a Mermaid! This beautiful picture book set in New York City celebrates love and acceptance and defies gender stereotypes. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality. The reading will be followed by a short craft activity and books will be available for sale.

Jessica Love is an illustrator and Broadway actress. She has a BA in studio art from the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as a graduate degree from Juilliard. She lives in New York.

Special Story Time for Kids: Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love                                                                                                         Saturday, June 16, 2018
11 am to 12:00 pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave (at 165th Street)
New York, NY


December 2- Drag Queen Story Hour w/ Harmonica Sunbeam

Drag Queen Story Hour is making a stop at Word Up Community Bookshop! On Saturday, December 2nd, at 11 AM, the wonderful and very fabulous Harmonica Sunbeam will read books and lead kids in a craft project. Dress up if you would like, and get ready to have a good time!
Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
Created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco, DQSH now happens regularly in LA, New York, and San Francisco, and events are popping up all over the world!
Eventbrite page to get RSVPs:
Viene la Hora de Cuentos con Drag Queens (Drag Queen Story Hour) a Word Up Librería comunitaria! Sábado, el 2 de diciembre, a las 11am, la increíble y fabulosa Harmonica Sunbeam leerá libros para niños y dirigirá una actividad de manualidades infantiles. ¡Vengan con disfraz, si quieren, y con ganas de divertirse!
La Hora de Cuentos con Drag Queens es exactamente lo que uno se imagina—unas drag queens leen cuentos a niños en bibliotecas, escuelas, y librerías. DQSH (por sus siglas en inglés) rescata la imaginación y el juego de la fluidez de género infantil y provee modelos glamorosos, positivos, y descaradamente queer para niños. En espacios como éste, los niños pueden conocer personas que desafían las restricciones rígidas de género e imaginar un mundo en el cual se pueden presentar como quieran, donde el disfraz se vuelve real.
Creado por Michelle Tea y RADAR Productions en San Francisco, DQSH ahora sucede regularmente en LA, Nueva York, y San Francisco, y se sigue difundiendo por todo el mundo.
Página para RSVP:
Drag Queen Story Hour / Hora de Cuentos con Drag Queens
Saturday, December 2 / Sábado, 2 de diciembre, 2017
Word Up Community Bookshop / Librería Comunitaria



November 18 – Story Time for Kids with G. A. Sealy

We’ve got a special guest at story time on November 18: G.A. Sealy, author of Don’t You Know You are Beautiful Just the Way You Are (which was awarded the 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Award in the Mind-Body-Spirit and Self-Esteem category), The Fight Between the Sun and the Moon, How Do Plants Grow, and more!

G. A. Sealy is originally from Queens, New York, but has lived in Atlanta for the past 10 years. G.A. Sealy is a certified science, health, and wellness educator and consultant, and life coach.

Story Time with G. A. Sealy
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ 165th St.