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Book Fair Sunday, Oct. 16 at Poly in Pasadena, CA


The 30th Annual Poly (Polytechnic School) Book Fair

Reading is Magic

“Ignite Your Imagination!”

Opening Night 

Sunday, October 16th 4pm – 7pm 


Magic by Alfonso 5:15 to 6pm

Story Time from 4:15-6:30

Author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, a graduate of California Institute of Technology, will sign her books. 

Enjoy crafts, food and of course, books, books, books! Festivities start at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 16. 20% of all purchases supports the North Campus Library and Media Center. The fair is a great opportunity to buy birthday presents and holiday gifts.  If you are unable to attend today, the fair is open through Oct. 19 from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. daily.


1030 East California Blvd.,
Pasadena, CA 91106

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An Interview With Big Dreamer Kristi Yamaguchi


I recently read Kristi Yamaguchi’s wonderful new children’s book, Dream Big, Little Pig! and thought it would be fun to find out just what makes this amazingly talented and committed woman tick. Please read my interview with this figure skating superstar, Olympic gold medalist, philanthropist and mother.

By the way, fans, she’ll be in L.A. to promote her book March 21st – 23rd! L.A. Parent is giving away four family four-packs of tickets to the Pasadena Ice Skating Center on March 22nd (6:30-8:30pm) where she’ll be skating around and signing books for her fans. Click here for more info, but please note that the contest ends 9:30 a.m. on March 17.

Q. In your new picture book for kids, Dream Big, Little Pig, Poppy the Pig never seems to get overly discouraged because she has such strong support and encouragement from family and friends. As a child, did you have the same type of “You can do it” encouragement?
A. I did have similar encouragement growing up. From my family as well as my friends and skating coach.

Q. What would you say to parents who push their children to achieve what they want for their kids, rather than what the children want?
A. It’s a fine line between pushing too hard and lending support and encouragement. Sometimes kids need a push to get them on track again, but if it is constant, maybe that’s a cue that it is just not for them. An athlete needs to have a certain passion for what they do, for their sport. Success doesn’t come easy and if they don’t absolutely believe in what they are doing, it’ll be a tough road for everyone involved. Let the child take ownership of his /her activities.

kristi-yamaguchi_credit-claire-deliman-for-m-magazine1Q. What words of advice can you offer to children who suffer from low self-esteem and are fearful to try something new?
A. As a mom now, I find myself faced with all of these issues. I ask my daughter what is it that makes her afraid. And then try to reason or alleviate her fear or anxiety. Then show her how fun it can be. I also try to stress that it is OK to make mistakes. That is how we learn. ie. when we go skating I will fall on purpose on the ice and say ” see, even mommy falls down.” It’s all about trying and trying again.

Q. Your Always Dream Foundation inspires children to reach for the stars. But down to earth, how do you as a busy mom positively influence your two daughters on a day-to-day basis?
A. Easier said than done. Sometimes I feel like I’m just trying to get through the day remembering everyone’s schedule:) But I try to be positive myself around them and try to instill in them the same values that my parents gave me – having manners, treating people how they want to be treated, responsibility of their own things, trying as hard as they can in whatever they are doing.
Q. How is writing for kids different than writing your previous books?
A. With Dream Big, Little Pig!, it was fun to come up with a character with personality. I had my own big dreams of what Poppy would be like and what she would try. I wanted it to be very whimsical rather than factual like my other books. I had to also imagine the illustrations that would go along with the story.

Q. What qualities do you admire most in Poppy the pig?
A. I admire the perseverance that Poppy has. She is willing to try new things and when she finds that they aren’t for her she continues to look for her “passion.” When she discovers her passion, despite the obstacles and doubters, she pushes on and enjoys her own feeling of personal accomplishment. I love her positive attitude, too!

Q. Will Poppy be back to conquer more challenges?
A. I certainly hope so!!!

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Nothing But a Hound Dog


Do I betray my age when I say what an exciting event this will be? Okay, I’ll admit it, I listen to K Earth 101!!

“Leiber & Stoller were those bad white boys who wrote the blackest songs this side of the Misssissippi.” – Ray Charles

hound-dog-frontJerry Leiber and Mike Stoller have been writing songs together for nearly sixty years, Their contribution to popular music is unequaled. To name a few of their songs: “Stand By Me,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Searchin’,” “Yakety Yak,” “There Goes My Baby”, “Charlie Brown,”” “Poison Ivy,”“Ruby Baby, “Is That All There Is?”, “Kansas CIty,” “Love Potion #9”, “On Broadway.” And that doesn’t even include their collaborations with Elvis –including “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

On Sunday, January 30 at 6 p.m., songwriting greats Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller will be signing their new autobiography, HOUND DOG, at the Every Picture Tells A Story gallery in Santa Monica.

s0rs_leiberstollerelvis1Following the book signing, the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre (directly across the street from Every Picture Tells A Story) will screen two of Elvis’ best films, JAILHOUSE ROCK and KING CREOLE, beginning at 7:30 PM and introduced by the songwriters. Both films feature many of Leiber and Stoller’s songs.

Every Picture Tells A Story is located at:
1333 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403.
Phone is (310) 451-2700.

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Jamie Lee Curtis at Children’s Book World



Mark your calendars for this great opportunity on Saturday!! 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MY MOMMY HUNG THE MOON is the ninth dazzling picture book by the bestselling team of actor and author Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrator Laura Cornell. Written straight from the heart and illustrated with tender hilarity, the book is a keepsake with a wonderful message to moms and fc9780060290160kids about how much that special love means.

Join Jamie Lee Curtis for a reading and book signing at Children’s Book World.

Children’s Book World
10580 ½ Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles 90064,
310 559-2665,

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Celebrate Summer Reading with Booksicals

Bring the KIDS, Grandkids, Nieces, Nephews and FRIENDS To The GROVE L.A.

to Gap Kids/Baby Gap at THE GROVE Shopping Mall in LA.

To Celebrate Summer READING with a Live Booksicals Performance

Meet the scraggly dog from Too Many Visitors for One Little House ( HE NOW HAS A NAME)
Meet Mr. Snoozle, Ms. Daisycup and Mrs. Featherplume

Free books w/purchase at GAP KIDS.
Request Coupon for Free Book at Grove Concierge or at Gap Kids cashier counter.

Directly following KIDS CLUB event at the GROVE PARK from 10-12 noon

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Local Author Gerry Renert Reading at Bookstar

nathan1You’ve read the review, now meet the author of Nathan Saves Summer at Bookstar this coming Saturday. I will be there, too, so please stop by to say hello!

Who: Local author Gerry Renert

What: Author reading and book signing of Nathan Saves Summer

When: Saturday, July 17th reading at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Bookstar B&N/Studio City Theatre

12136 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604


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Join L.A. Parent live at L.A. Times Festival of Books

filler-banner_tdes2_finalCelebrity Authors Come Together

on Target Children’s Stage to Inspire Love of Learning

L.A. Parent Editor Carolyn Graham and I will be blogging and tweeting live behind the scenes this Saturday, April 24th, as we meet all your favorite authors.

What: Children of all ages and their families will gather at the Target Children’s Stage on the UCLA campus for the 15th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The event, which is free to the public, will feature two full days of celebrity book readings and signings, live entertainment and musical performances – all in the name of helping to foster children’s love of reading as a fun and recreational activity.

In addition, Target is partnering with Times in Education to support local Los Angeles schools. All attendees of the Festival of Books are welcome to bring new and gently used books to the Target Donation Station. All books collected will be donated to nine Los Angeles area K-6 schools.

songs-for-little280a6eter-yarrowWho: Celebrity authors including John Carter Cash, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Holly Robinson Peete, Carl Reiner, Bernadette Peters, Henry Winkler, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Shawn and Marlon Wayans will appear on the Target Children’s Stage to bring their books to life for children of all ages and the young at heart, while seated on the larger-than-life Target filler-banner_tdes3_final“Big Red Chair” – a symbol of the company’s commitment to supporting education and fostering children’s love of learning. Families are also invited to enjoy live musical performances by some of today’s most popular children’s groups including Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band, Hip Hop Harry and Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players.

When: Saturday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 25, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: UCLA Campus , Los Angeles, CA

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Every Picture Tells A Story Event

heartApril 13 – Not To Be Missed Event

The subtle humor and appealing visuals of Irish author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers will be on display in abundance when he signs and reads from his latest picture book, The Heart and the Bottle and the bestselling Lost and Found at the Every Picture Tells A Story gallery in Santa Monica on Tuesday, April 13 from 3-5 PM.

Jeffers’ work has been featured in the  New Yorker and his new book,  The Heart and the Bottle was called “heartbreaking, witty and filled with hope” by   Kirkus Reviews. This is a rare opportunity to meet and listen to one of the most important new illustrators in children’s books today.

Every Picture Tells A Story is located at 1311-C Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403. Phone is (310) 451-2700. On line at

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More Than Just A Pretty Cover

janfeb-2010-1234Last Sunday Catherine Linka of Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in La Canada and I had the pleasure and privilege of co-hosting  an awesome author event for tweens, billed as a Speed Dating With Authors Mother/Daughter Book Party. All I can say is we sure know how to grown ’em here in SoCa! Lucky for us, these six seriously talented authors (pictured at left) happen to live locally and love to encourage reading. The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and the atmosphere was electric due to the good vibes given off by these wonderful women writers.

Victoria Forester
Victoria Forester
Sally Nemeth
Sally Nemeth

Avid reader and La Canada mom, Juli Barry, said her her daughter, 9-year-old Julia Claire, found it thrilling to be able to meet authors and have them sign her books. “I learned from Lisa Yee that it was okay to read books about boys,” remarked Julia Claire.

S. Jones Rogan and guests
S. Jones Rogan and guests

Taking a turn at every author’s table, I also learned that you cannot tell a book by its cover (although there were lots of gorgeous covers). It was great having the opportunity to get up close and personal, learning about the motivation behind the books and what makes each writer tick.  I especially enjoyed getting the lowdown on  tempting plots a plenty plus colorful, charismatic characters. I strongly recommend you visit these authors’ Web sites or their publishers’ sites to get acquainted with this super selection of books for your voracious or reluctant reader.

Lisa Yee
Lisa Yee
Heather Tomlinson
Heather Tomlinson

Sally NemethThe Heights, the Depths and Everything in Between;

Heather TomlinsonToads and Diamonds, The Swan Maiden, Aurelie: A Faerie Tale;

Victoria ForesterThe Girl Who Could Fly;

Diane Leszezynski
Diane Leszezynski

Diane LeszezynskiFern Verdant & The Silver Rose;

S. Jones RoganThe Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, The Curse of The Romany Wolves

Lisa YeeBobby vs. Girls (Accidentally), Absolutely Maybe, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, So Totally Emily Ebers, Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time

clockwise l to r: L.A. Parent's Christina Elston, me, Catherine Linka and Jill Sayre
clockwise l to r: L.A. Parent's Christina Elston, me, Catherine Linka and Jill Sayre

These fab photos come courtesy of Gemma, my teen reader and Deb Littel, a local mom who truly captured the excitement of  L.A. Parent’s new “By The Book” series. Watch this space for reviews of these books and dates of more “By The Book” events coming soon.


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Mother/Daughter Book Party This Sunday!

Join L.A. Parent at the launch of our new BY THE BOOK series.

11You’ve seen the promos, now learn more about this exciting Mother/Daughter event L.A. Parent is sponsoring along with the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse.

Bring the tween readers in your family to the Community Center of La Canada Flintridge from 2-4p.m. this Sunday, March 21.
9780312602383 There will be 7 authors on hand to meet in a fun speed-dating style roundtable format where the authors will pitch their books in the hopes that your daughters will want to read them!

bobby_cover1Recommended for Girls in 3rd- 6th Grade and their Moms

Location: The Community Center of La Canada Flintridge 4469 Chevy Chase Dr., La Canada Flintridge

Date: Sunday, March 21 Time: 2- 4 PM

depressionmPrice: A $5.00 ticket covers both mother and daughter. Use your ticket to save $2.00 off a book purchased at the event.

Share your love of reading with your daughter and introduce her to 7 authors. Find terrific book selections for your Mother/Daughter Book Club. You will meet and talk with these authors: Carol Hughes, Victoria Forester, Amy Goldman Koss, Diane Leszezynski, Sally Nemeth, Heather Tomlinson, and Lisa Yee We recommend that you reserve a place for you and your daughter. Purchase a ticket in advance at the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse.

We’ll be giving away a portable BOOK LIGHT IN A BOOKCOVER (with a retractable LED light) courtesy of PERISCOPE and a trendy tote bag courtesy of Ecobags ( made from 100% Recycled natural cotton fibers to raffle winners! Must be present to win.

Tickets will be available at the door, but space is limited.

Contact: Catherine Linka for more information.

Sign Up At The Front Desk.

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Children’s Book World

cbw-right-colorsHere’s a quick rundown of what’s happening at Children’s Book World in February:

ellenscbwimg_0725February 13 – Storytelling With Ellen Switkes, 10:30 a.m., ages 3-7 Join professional storyteller Ellen Switkes for interactive storytelling fun with classic children’s books and tales.

Feb 20 – Mandarin Fun Chinese New Year Storytime With Michele Wong McSween, 10:30 a.m., ages 3-6 Join author Michele Wong McSween for Chinese New Year fun. In Michele’s new books, Gordon & Li Li: Learn Animals In Mandarin and Gordon & Li Li: Count in Mandarin, cousins Gordon, from New York, and Li Li from China, teach each other their favorite animals and how to count in Mandarin. gl-count-in-mandaringl-animals-in-mandarin


*Feb 22 – Shannon and Dean Hale Author Talk & Book Signing, 4:15-5:30 p.m. Westwood Branch Library Join award-winning author Shannon Hale and Dean Hale for an author talk, hosted by Children’s Book World and the Westwood Branch Library, about their popular graphic novels, the new Calamity Jack and Rapunzel’s Revenge, and Shannon’s other books. A sequel to the highly acclaimed Rapunzel’s Revenge, the Hales have delivered an all-new, hilarious tall tale about Jack, his beanstalk .. and his best-friend-with-wicked-braids, Rapunzel. ilenecohen227grandopening-010

Feb. 27 – Storytelling With Ilene Cohen, 10:30 a.m., ages 3-7 Join Ilene Cohen and her puppet friend Woody for stories and songs.

10580 1/2 Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, 90064
(310) 559-BOOK

*Westwood Branch Library
1246 Glendon Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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Celebrate With Storyopolis

mitzisworld80044jlOn Saturday November 14th, from 1 – 3p.m., Storyopolis is celebrating its 23rd birthday. There will be lots of fun activities, including free food, drinks, games, a Moonbounce, and Harry the Clown, as well as the author and artist of the acclaimed children’s book Mitzi’s World.

There is no need to register, and this fun event for the entire family is free and open to the general public. Don’t miss author actor Deborah Raffin and artist Jane Wooster Scott who will be present to sign copies of their book.

Storyopolis is located at 14945 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

For additional information, call Courtney at Storyopolis – (818) 990-7600

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Every Picture Tells A Fancy Nancy Story

9780061235900The Fancy Nancy children’s book series is one of the more popular today. On Saturday, Every Picture Tells A Story will host a fantastique (that’s French for fantastic) event for Fancy Nancy fans. The book’s author Jane O’Connor and illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser will appear at the store to celebrate their latest effort, Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas. A portion of the day’s proceeds will go to The Hobart Shakespeareans, a Los Angeles inner city education program. While admission to the event is free, book reservations are strongly recommended.

When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., Nov. 14
Where: Every Picture Tells A Story, 1311 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.
Contact: 310-451-2700,

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A Mother’s Day With Moore, Julianne That Is!

Freckles, Fun and Julianne Moore

frecklespotbLooking for something different to do with Mom or Grandma this weekend? Why not join actress and mother, Julianne Moore this Mother’s Day, May 10th from 11 am- 1 pm at the Ralph Lauren store 141 N. Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood. Moore will be reading and signing her Freckleface Strawberry books, plus there will be some neat Freckleface activities there for the kids, too! This event, a partnership between Bloomsbury, Cookie magazine and Ralph Lauren, promises to be fun for the entire family.

For my frank Freckleface confessions and book reviews, please check back next Tuesday. Right now, though, get out your PDA and make a date to meet Julianne Moore for Mother’s Day. And remember to bring your freckles!

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