An exhibit opening next week explores the fine art of local illustrators. "Beyond the Book," to open Jan. 7 at the Bloomington Theatre & Art Center, features the work of seven Twin Cities artists -- Derek Anderson, Leslie Bowman, Nancy Carlson, Stephen Gammell, Beth Peck, Lauren Stringer and Mike Wohnoutka.

All seven weave together careers illustrating children's books with their own work as fine artists. Gammell, who lives in St. Paul, is a recipient of the Caldecott Medal as well as a Caldecott Honor award. Stringer, who lives in Minneapolis, exhibits at Groveland Gallery and received the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for sculpture. Her first children's book, "Mud," won several awards, including the Minnesota Book Award for illustration.

The exhibit opens with a reception at 6 p.m. Jan. 7 and runs through Feb. 18. The gallery is at 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road in Bloomington.

Also ...

•"YaYa & YoYo: Sliding Into the New Year," by Minneapolis writer and educator Dori Weinstein, will be published in March by Yaldah Publishing. The novel, aimed at tweens, explores the intersection of faith and society.

•"Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding," by Jessie Sholl, has been published by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. The memoir takes place in Minneapolis. The subtitle pretty much says it all.

•"Bad Dog (A Love Story)," by Martin Kihn of Minneapolis will be published in April by Pantheon. It's a memoir about life with his 95-pound Bernese mountain dog.

Jim Moore's latest collection of poetry, "Invisible Strings," will be published in March by Graywolf Press. Moore lives in St. Paul, and in Italy. His book will be launched in April at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

•"Daughters of the Witching Hill," a historical novel by Mary Sharratt, has been released in paperback. Sharratt, a Minnesota native, now lives in England.