Among the new clothing, accessories, toys, social habits and sleeping schedules that come with the arrival of your own little bundle of joy, it's only natural that some aspects of basic child care take a backseat to more immediate concerns. For instance, why not just pop the top on a Gerber jar and shovel the mush-fuel into baby Billy's mouth right quick? The cooing cutie's just going to reload the diaper in five minutes anyway, eh? Not so fast, nipper novices. Babies need a sensible diet just like the rest of us. Bundle up and head to Sur La Table's Mommies, Munchkins and Munchies presentation on Tuesday at 10 a.m. as Jennifer Anglin, the former owner of kid-friendly bookstore The Enchanted Forest, will combine robust advice with fun-mess activities for the family. Plus, most of us have to concoct an excuse to make a trip to Sur La Table's cook's paradise anyway, so using the baby's nutritional well-being as the alibi is both cunning and caring. Sur La Table is at 4527 Travis St., and admission is $20. Call 214-219-4404. --Matt Hursh
Blast Off with Books
The only kids who dream of sugarplums and fairies are the prim-and-proper kind found in old-fashioned children's books. Real kids dream of real stuff--well, real to them anyway--such as intergalactic starships and slimy green monsters. Local science-fiction writer H.J. Ralles introduces her fourth children's book, Keeper of the Empire, with free food, prizes, readings and autographs. Sugarplums not included. Daredevil Matt and his friends venture to a new level of the video game they have been trapped in, encountering frightening things that go bump in the night. The event is 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble at Creekwalk Village, 801 W. 15th St., Plano. Call 972-422-3372. --Danna Berger
Cute as a Button
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As die-hard children's book fanatics, we take offense to the Corduroy the Bear Pajamarama. You might wonder why we're upset. After all, it's an innocent party where kids read books and eat snacks. And, as far as children's books go, Corduroy is as sweet as they come. A refresher for those who are old of heart: Don Freeman's story chronicles the woes of a stuffed bear whose missing button makes him the Ugly Duckling of toys. At night, the bear has a Toy Story moment and embarks on a button hunt, yadda yadda, happy ending. You get the drill. So what's our beef? Well, Freeman was writing a book called Gayelord the Goat when he died in 1997. He didn't finish it, but enough was written to throw a Gayelord Pajamarama instead, right? What? What's wrong with that? Fine, settle for the Corduroy theme at Plano's Barnes & Noble, 2201 Preston Road, at 7 p.m. Friday. Call 972-612-0999. --Sam Machkovech