Caldecott Medal-winning children's author and illustrator Brian Selznick is coming to town, and in honor of his visit, the folks at kids' bookstore Reading Reptile (326 West 63rd Street) are letting their infectious imaginations run wild. Owners Pete Cowdin and Debbie Pettid have turned Selznick's The Boy of a Thousand Faces into a mixed-media presentation involving live actors, film, song and perhaps even a cameo by the author.The book features a young boy called Alonzo, who loves making himself up as a monster like his horror-film hero, Lon Chaney, and who aspires to take a thousand Polaroids of his different faces. Reading Reptile camps it up with a re-creation of the late-night TV Alonzo loves to watch, with twins playing the lead role. (Watch out for the quick changes.) The Reptile team has been putting on shows for seven years and loves the thrill of connecting people, books and ideas. If the kids leave thinking, Wow, that's weird or I never thought about the book like that, the Reptile counts it as a success.
Selznick used to work in a children's bookstore himself and has visited the Reptile before. "He's great," Pettid says. "He has tons of energy, is really creative and appreciates chaos, so he fits in really well here." The show starts at 7 p.m.; tickets cost $2.-- Liz Smith
A Twisted Education
Learn tornado evasion beyond school hallway drills.
Last week's twisters must have really freaked out the young'uns, so this Emergency Preparedness Class for Severe Weather comes just in time. After all, nothing reassures a young child like a good old-fashioned family tornado drill. In addition to learning how to be prepared for emergencies ranging from storms to fires, attendees can enter a free drawing for a severe-weather-alert radio. It's like playing a Kansas City-specific version of that Worst Case Scenario board game, only instead of knowing what to do if you see a bear, you have to know how to react to flying debris. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. at the F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library, 4051 West Drive in Kansas City, Kansas. To register, call 913-299-2384.-- Gina Kaufmann