booksinckids's blog

 On Sunday, April 17th, Books Inc. Burlingame hosted the first ever Shoe-La-La shoe fashion show with illustrator LeUyen Pham! Tots were invited to decorate their shoes and walk the pink carpet in honor of the new book, Shoe-La-La. Adorable! If you somehow missed this fantastic event, don't worry-- you can still meet LeUyen at Books Inc. Chestnut Street on May 7th, along with Lisa Brown and Alexandra Boiger for the 3 Rockstar Mamas in honor of Mama's Day event!
Okay, so this panel happened about 2 weeks ago... but there's been so much exciting stuff happening at Books Inc for kids that I haven't had time to write it up until now! The panelists at this discussion included upcoming Oh My Gosh, Stories! guest Lisa Brown, American Born Chinese author Gene Yang, The Walking Dead and upcoming Super Dinosaur author Robert Kirkman, Newbery Honor medalist Jennifer Holm, and illustrator Lark Pien. The panelists led a warm discussion about the future of publishing and the growing need for children's graphic novels. Because kids are so adept at pairing graphics with text, graphic novels provide a great stepping stone for emerging readers. "The line between comic books and picture books is very thin, as thin as a speech bubble," said Lisa Brown. As Jennifer Holm put it: "It's their [kids] job to read everyday. We can help them get promoted." Though authors Lark Pien, Jennifer Holm and Robert Kikman write deliberately for children, Lisa Brown and Gene Yang agreed that they don't write for an audience-- the fact that their books are marketed for kids and young adults is just a matter of happenstance. "You have to make [comics] accessible for adults, and subversive for kids," said Lisa Brown, in response to the question of age appropriate graphic novels for kids who are attracted to the superhero content of Marvel and DC. There was an agreement that there needs to be more graphic novel content for elementary school aged kids, and that often the superhero stuff isn't the way to go. Perhaps in response to the generalization that comics are for kids, graphic novel publishers have published superhero content that is SO adult (violent, sexual and disturbing) that they're losing the child audience they historically reached. When asked to recommend in print titles for newbies to the graphic novel genre, Kirkman offered BONE, Brown suggested SKIM, Yang recommended MEANWHILE (by upcoming Books Inc. Alameda guest, Jason Shiga) and both Park and Yang agreed on HEREVILLE ("myth on paper," said Yang).

Thank you, to all our Books Inc. Chestnut Street customers!!! This Saturday you helped us raise over $800 for the fantastic non profit, Room To Read! That's enough money to send two deserving girls to school for a whole year (with all the uniforms and books they'll need) and to fund 300 local language books! We had a special storytime, where we read Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, Argus, Bear in Underwear and Room To Read's very own book (though not available through Books Inc) Zak the Yak, about a steadfast yak and his two friends who want to bring books to ANY kid in need. We even had a (momentary) special storytime listener, Giants pitcher Brian Wilson, who even did his part by purchasing a couple books at the event! Here at Books Inc. we're so thankful for all the artists, authors and customers who make such a crazy diversity of books, and give us the ability to supply them; working with Room To Read was a wonderful way to give back to the world that which we love most: books! 

 Missed the event? Don't worry, you can donate to Room to Read here.

As you know, we LOVE Renata Liwska, our featured author/illustrator this month. But we also LOVE her partner in the LOUD and Quiet Books, Deborah Underwood! Deborah is a San Francisco author, who was kind enough to participate in our FIRST EVER Books Inc. Kids author interview! We asked the tough, topical questions of the day, as you will see below.

Books Inc Kids: Overall, were you a LOUD kid, or a Quiet kid?

Deborah Underwood:  I was a quiet kid most of the time. On the first day at my very loud preschool, I walked in, heard all the screaming, and promptly hid under a table. After I spent three hours under the table crying, we all decided preschool was not the best plan. I'm still pretty introverted, but I don't hide under tables these days. Usually.

BIK: As a kid, what was something you wished grownups would understand?

DU: I remember one thing in particular that drove me nuts. I'd invented a getting-dressed machine: I would pull one string, and my dress would come sliding down a rope to my bed; I'd pull two others and my drawer would open and my socks and underwear would fly over to me. The point was to allow me to get dressed without having to leave my bed, which seemed very important at the time. My bedroom, as you can imagine, looked like a spiderweb, and each week the elderly couple who cleaned for us would take all the strings down. I remember being so annoyed-- couldn't they see these were intentional strings?  And why couldn't my parents just tell them to leave the strings alone? (Probable because they felt making an elderly couple negotiate a maze of strings wouldn't be very polite. Hmph.)

BIK: As a grownup, what is something you wish you could tell all kids?

DU: I would tell them to do what they love to do and not to worry about fitting in. The people who were different as kids make the most interesting adults.

 BIK: Tell us about a time when you were loud when you should have been quiet, or vice-versa!

DU: When I was two-- TWO!-- I was a flower girl in my uncle's wedding. My parents apparently expressed concern about this plan, but were overruled. I was promised a lollipop (we called them suckers) after the service was over. Well, naturally, I considered the service to be over as soon as I had discharged my duty. So after I deposited the basket of flowers on the correct step, I turned around and ran up the aisle yelling, "I want my sucker! I want my sucker!" The moral of this story: don't choose a two-year-old as your flower girl.

BIK: If you were an animal, you would be a...

DU: My cat Bella seems to have it pretty good, so I'll go with cat. Or maybe one of those great blue herons in Golden Gate Park.

Want to meet Deborah! Come out to Oh My Gosh, Stories! Storytime at Books Inc. Chestnut Street, Saturday, June 18th at 11am!

 

 

 

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