The Minnesota Picture Book

with Molly Beth Griffin, Mélina Mangal, & Kao Kalia Yang

Saturday, October 2, 2021, 11:30 am Central

Among many other literary wonders, Minnesota is blessed with an amazing scene of picture book authors! Coming together to celebrate Minnesota’s take on the art of writing a book that will work with illustrations to delight and engage children will be Molly Beth Griffin (Ten Beautiful Things), Mélina Mangal (Jayden’s Impossible Garden), and Kao Kalia Yang (From the Tops of the Trees). Moderated by award-winning picture book author John Coy. This event will be ASL interpreted.

Free to attend, registration required. We hope to “see” you there!


Books by these authors can be purchased in advance using the button below!  Books are provided by Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul; purchasing here helps support them AND Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival—thank you!

Praise for Ten Beautiful Things:

Griffin’s narrative is both plainspoken and pitch-perfect. From close-ups of characters to rural landscapes with shifting light, colors, and weather, Lechuga’s handsome digital pictures illustrate the story expressively. An emotionally resonant picture book.

—Booklist, starred review

Pick Up Ten Beautiful Things

PRICE: $18

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN (price includes sales tax)

Ship Ten Beautiful Things

PRICE: $21

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN (price includes sales tax)


Praise for Jayden’s Impossible Garden:

An abundance of STEAM connections and wonderful character representation.

—Booklist, starred review

Pick Up Jayden’s Impossible Garden

PRICE: $18

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN (price includes sales tax)

Ship Jayden’s Impossible Garden

PRICE: $21

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN (price includes sales tax)


Praise for From the Tops of the Trees:

A visually striking, compelling recollection

—Kirkus Reviews, starred

Pick Up From the Tops of the Trees

PRICE: $19

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN (price includes sales tax)

Ship From the Tops of the Trees

PRICE: $22

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN (price includes sales tax)


About the Authors:

Molly Beth Griffin is the author of several picture books including Ten Beautiful Things and Rhoda’s Rock Hunt, the YA novel Silhouette of a Sparrow, two poetry chapbooks, and a series of beginning readers. She is a teaching artist at The Loft Literary Center and a graduate of Hamline University’s MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She critiques manuscripts, visits schools, and hosts a monthly Picture Book Salon in Minneapolis, where she lives with her partner and their two children.


Mélina Mangal works at the intersection of nature, literature, and culture; her writing highlights youth whose voices are rarely heard, and the people and places that inspire them to explore their world. She is the author of short stories and biographies for youth, including The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just, winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award and an NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Mélina also works as a school library teacher in Minnesota and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, whether it’s in her backyard or hiking in the woods. 


Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer, teacher and public speaker. Born in the refugee camps of Thailand to a family that escaped the genocide of the Secret War in Laos, she came to America at the age six. Yang holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Her works of nonfiction include The Latehomecomer, The Song Poet, and Somewhere in the Unknown World. Yang has also written multiple children’s books such as A Map Into the WorldThe Shared Room, and The Most Beautiful Thing. Her work has won numerous awards and recognition including multiple Minnesota Book Awards, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, an ALA Notable Children’s Book Award, and a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction.


John Coy is the acclaimed author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and fiction and nonfiction picture books. He has received numerous awards for his work including a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award for best debut picture book, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, Notable Book for a Global Society, and the Kerlan Award in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children’s literature. He lives in Minneapolis, MN.