River Bend 💙 Indie LOVE

Note from a Bookseller

Hello again readers, it's bookseller Ernio back for (one of) our most wonderful times of the year! Spring means more sun, more outdoor fun, a whole ton of new books and best of all... Independent Bookstore Day!


Before that, we've got some fun events happening — including revving up the book truck for its first event of the season and an in-person award-winning author at the shop! Then May kicks off with the awesome picture book launch of Deborah Freedman's latest Tiny Dino, bound to be a blast for dinosaur lovers and young readers. Read on below for our interview with the local author-illustrator fave.

Lots of fun in the sun is in store, come drop by the shop and browse our shelves and chat up a bookseller about what they're reading.

— Ernio, Bookseller

River Bend Bookshop

Indie Bookstore Day


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It's going to be our first Independent Bookstore Day back in full indie splendor:

  • doors opens for browsing,
  • exclusive IBD 2022 merch,
  • special guest booksellers,
  • prizes and giveaways out on the lawn,
  • the Book Truck back in gear!

All that and more to delight book lovers and indie supporters alike!

This year also marks the return of the Connecticut IBD Passport — spend the weekend visiting and celebrating with 17 of CT's best indie shops participating for a chance to win a Grand Prize of $50 gift cards to each store! That's a whole lotta books — you may need a bigger shelf!

Volunteers Needed!

Spend an hour with us on Indie Bookstore Day staffing the Prize Wheel and get a free RBB t-shirt!

Volunteer Now!
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Book Events


Earth Day Poetry with CT LitFest

The River Bend Book Truck will kick off its season with Poets for a Greener World Friday, April 22 at Real Arts Ways in Hartford.

Join us and CT Lit Fest as they present a full lineup of poets! We'll have theirs and a wide variety of books and gifts about the environment, sustainability, and this beautiful planet we call home.

See the full lineup and details here.

Friday April 22

Sarah Albee In-Person Book Event

Join us at the shop as CT Book Award-winning author Sarah Albee stops by Saturday, April 23 to chat about and sign copies of Accidental Archaeologist: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries!

Science meets real-life mystery in this adventurous new book. This free event is open to the public.

Order your signed copy here.

Saturday April 23

Author Chat with Deborah Freedman


What inspired you to write about birds' connections to dinosaurs?

I had written down the title, TINY DINO, years ago just because I loved the sound of it, though I had no story yet. Then a couple of years later, I happened on an article in Scientific American, “How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds”. Of course young dinosaur fans probably know already that birds are dinosaurs, but it was news to me! And fascinating.


Which animal has been your favorite to illustrate in your books?

Impossible to choose a favorite! But I’ve had fun repeating some animals over several books, and love it when kids pick up on that—like the little yellow bird introduced in Shy. I named her for my grandmother, and then liked that little pop of yellow so much that I had her fly through my next 3 books. She isn’t named in the other books, but my most faithful readers know that she’s Florence. 😀

Who inspired your reading/writing as a kid?

My first books were written by my Aunt Mary Ann and illustrated by my Uncle Norman. Growing up with the masterful rhyme and wordplay of Mary Ann Hoberman definitely trained my writer’s ear!

Author you always love to read:

Another impossible question! Hmmm… for kids, I’ll go with Maira Kalman. I love her unique voice, which finds its way into everything she does—fiction, nonfiction, illustration.


Last book you loved:

A book for adults here — The Swimmers, by Julie Otsuka. She is another incredible writer I always love to read.

Currently reading:

My “currently reading” pile is ridiculously tall — but it includes Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes, and Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending U.S. Poverty by Colleen Shaddox and my friend Joanne Samuel Goldblum.

Books you always recommend:

•   Some recent, favorite picture books include Soul Food Sunday, by Winsome Bingham and C.G Esperanza, The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art, by Cynthia Levinson and Evan Turk (both marry wonderful writing with stunning art), and the brilliant Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins. I truly believe we are in a golden age for children’s books right now. I could go on and on!


Vote for River Bend!

Connecticut Magazine's annual survey for the Best of Connecticut is now open for voting! The honors are meant to "recognize some of the very best that Connecticut has to offer... for local businesses, people and attractions."

We'd be delighted if you wrote us in as your favorite "Independent Bookstore" under the Shopping category. You don't have to complete the survey, but nominating in at least 10 categories is suggested to ensure your vote is counted. Results will post in their July issue.

Hours: Monday-Tuesday 10-4, Wednesday-Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-4

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