Author Melanie Ellsworth Submitted photo

An online “Book Birthday Event” at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, celebrating the release of “Hip, Hip . . . Beret!” by local children’s book author Melanie Ellsworth and illustrator Morena Forza hosted by the Camden Public Library. The event will include a special reading by the author and a question and answer session afterwards with the author and illustrator. Email children’s librarian Amy Hand at [email protected] to request a Zoom link to attend.

“Hip, Hip . . . Beret!” celebrates the joyful, whimsical adventure of a beret in the wind. In the story, a young girl named Bella is gifted a beret by her grand-père. But just as she places it on her head, a gust of wind whisks it away. When the beret lands in a chef’s pan . . . hip, hip, soufflé! When it lands on the head of a dancer . . . hip, hip, ballet! The wind continues to sweep the hat farther and farther away. Will Bella ever get back her beloved beret?

Melanie Ellsworth is also the author of “Clarinet & Trumpet.” She has worked as a literacy specialist and an ESOL teacher, meeting fascinating students from all over the world. Now, she writes picture books and middle grade novels in mid-coast Maine where she lives with her husband, daughter, and her co-worker dog.

Morena Forza (who will be joining the Zoom event from Italy) works as an illustrator specializing in the children’s market, with her work appearing in trade, picture books and educational books, magazines, greeting cards, and digital media. Morena started out as a pixel artist, where she learned to love the tiniest details in her drawings. She then pursued illustrating full time. She lives with her two cats and a hound in Milan, Italy, but secretly dreams about moving to the countryside.

The “Book Birthday Event” will be a live-only program and will not be recorded for later viewing. Audience size will be limited to 100 participants. Ellsworth will be personalizing signed copies of her book for pre-orders placed through the Owl & Turtle bookshop in Camden. For more information on this and other upcoming library programs, visit the events calendar at

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