Do512 Family is happy to announce a new series we have cooked up with the lovely people from Bright Horizons, a leading provider of early education and preschool, employer-sponsored childcare, back-up care, educational advisory services and other work/life solutions. They have five locations in the Austin metro area, including a brand new center in Round Rock. Bright Horizons encourages families to get out and learn together, so we came up with the Learning in Austin Series, which will feature places and events in Austin where you and your kids can learn and grow!

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Saturday, Jan. 11, get to BookPeople at 5 pm for a book premier like none other. Brian Beattie and Valerie Fowler will be celebrating the official release of their new “ear movie-musical”, Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase, which features music from Daniel Johnston, Austin legend responsible for the “Hi, How Are You?” mural and a huge collection of interesting songs; Bill Callahan, who has had two albums make it to the Top Indie Albums list and has been making music for more than 20 years; Grace London, who was the former singer of local band, Residual Kid, who has gone solo and totally wails at the tender age of 14; and many more.

Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase is a low tech extravaganza, a story told with tunes, dialogue, sound effects and incidental music that goes along with a magnificently illustrated 62-page book. It’s an art experience for kids of all ages that is sure to inspire and entertain.

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The story is based in Austin in 1938. It begins with Ivy Wire, a 10-year-old girl, playing her guitar and singing next to her favorite creek. She follows a mockingbird into a nearby cave, which begins her descent into the Underworld.

The BookPeople premier will feature a live performance with Brian Beattie, Grace London and Kathy McCarty, who will each perform songs from the musical. Expect to see a “cranky” spool of illustrations created specifically for the premier, and, there will be Epic Poetry! The usual Q & A and book signing will follow. As with all BookPeople signing events, you must purchase a copy of the book from the store, or you can buy one online here.

Author, Brian Beattie, along with Kathy McCarty, whose music and voice is part of the musical, founded the indie alternative Austin band, Glass Eye. Beattie has produced records by artists like the Dead Milkmen, Daniel Johnston, Shearwater and Okkervil River. Valerie Fowler is the amazing artist behind the book’s illustrations, and she is also Beattie’s wife. They live in Austin with their two teenage daughters, who also helped in the making of this fun book.

Check out for more info and to hear sample songs.

This is a great opportunity to inspire your kids creatively and introduce them to out-of-the-box ideas. This interesting concept was created by a family, for other families to enjoy. This has a little something for everyone – there’s art, music and writing. While you’re at BookPeople, you can stock up on all kinds of other reading material to get that little brain thinking.

We’ll see ya there!