The first stop of our west coast art school tour was California Institute of the Arts, or Cal Arts Valencia. It’s about a hour away from the LAX airport, give or take traffic. The good news is that you are generally going in the opposite direction of traffic, but take that lightly, because even “no traffic” does not mean that there are no slow spots.
We left from Torrance and it took an hour and half each way, and I would, having grown up in Southern California, consider the traffic to be light.
Once you arrive at Cal Arts, you go through a guard stop into the parking lot. It’s set in suburban sprawl that feels recent and very much like Orange County tract houses and commercial developments. The school itself though, is an oasis of creativity.
My daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, has mixed feelings about Cal Arts since she is looking for a very specific art school experience. She wants a foundation year; Cal Arts does not offer one. She wants to study Industrial Design. Cal Arts does not have this major. She’s interested in film; perhaps animation but not character animation necessarily. Cal Arts has the most competitive Character Animation program that is a feeder into Pixlar and other coveted animation studios.
So why Cal Arts for her? It was the school tour that sold her. She loved the vibe of the school. She loved the Creative Animation program that is animation meets fine art. She also likes a school where kids are committed to their school experience and willing to collaborate. Cal Arts has that in spades!
It’s interesting how few Filipino children’s books are available in the United States, despite being 1.1% of the population, numbering 4 million. Filipinos are the second largest self-reported Asian ancestry group after Chinese Americans according to 2010 American Community Survey.
I have a list of Filipino picture books created by illustrator Mika Song to complement this list of Filipino Folk Tales. Am I missing any? Thanks for your help!
Thank you to Tuttle Publishing for their generous giveaway of these six Filipino books! We are giving away two packages of wonderful Filipino books for kids! Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Rockabye Crocodile: A Folktale from the Philippines by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey
This is a very sweet story of the importance of kindness and the rewards that it brings. Two boars are neighbors. Anabel is kind and cheerful. Nettie is mean and selfish. When Anabel encounters a crocodile, her kindness is rewarded by an abundance of fish that the crocodile supplies in return for taking care of its crying baby. Nettie wants the same reward, but because she goes about it in a selfish way, her payment is quite different. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Betty’s Burgled Bakery: An Alliteration Adventureby Travis Nichols
My counters and cupboards were completely cleared of carrot cake, cornbread, and crackers.
This is a considerably crummy crime.
This is a fun adventure that introduces kids to alliteration. The story is told sequentially through alliteration in each alphabet letter. Gumshoe Zoo is the detective of this animal caper. The format of a graphic novel makes this especially engaging to read. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Disney-Hyperion sent me a copy to check out, and is partnering with me for a giveaway!
I’m giving away a prize pack in celebration of Shelley Johannes’ debut chapter book, Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker, in collaboration with Disney Hyperion. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom. It’s in stores now!
Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
Beatrice does her best thinking upside down.
Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned!
Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up? [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
Circle Round is that rare unicorn in kids’ entertainment in that it’s actually entertaining for parents too! Episodes are narrated by theatre, film, and TV actors that parents will no doubt identify with. I’m proud to partner with WBUR.
For my friends in Boston, WBUR is hosting a free, interactive launch party for Circle Round at the Boston Children’s Museum on Sunday, September 24 at 2 p.m.
Circle Round is a new storytelling podcast for kids ages 4-10, and comes from the WBUR producing team behind the popular podcastModern Love.
image: WBUR’s Circle Round
And guess what? FOLK TALES!
Circle Round provides global perspectives with voices representing cultures from around the world. Episodes include prompts for discussion, giving children and their caregivers plenty of food for thought long after the story ends. Stories delve into diverse and accessible topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. Read more…
Please welcome my guest blogger today, author and illustrator Aram Kim! Her newest book, No Kimchi for Me! is something that I can relate to as this is exactly how my oldest daughter, now 17, learned to love kimchi!
No Kimchi for Me! by Aram Kim
Yoomi hates stinky, spicy kimchi―the pickled cabbage condiment served at Korean meals. So her brothers call her a baby and refuse to play with her. Yoomi is determined to eat kimchi. She tries to disguise it by eating it on a cookie, on pizza, and in ice cream. But that doesn’t work. Then Grandma shows Yoomi how to make kimchi pancakes.
This story about family, food, and a six-year-old “coming of age” has universal themes, and at the same time celebrates Korean culture. A kimchi pancake recipe and other back matter are included. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
As for me, I’m half Japanese and half Chinese American but I married an Korean American. I was introduced to Korean food in college, including kimchi which I really enjoy, to the great amusement of my Korean mother-in-law!
Aram has created a picture book list for anyone who wants to celebrate or learn about Korean culture. I was thrilled that there are actually ten picture books on this topic!
Aram and I are giving away 3 SIGNED copies of No Kimchi for Me! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
p.s. I have a few Korean American book lists here:
10 Wonderful Picture Books Celebrating Korean Culture
1. My Name is Yoonby Helen Recorvits, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
The story shows how a little Korean girl who moved to America slowly and gradually opens up and embraces her new home. Narrated by the little girl Yoon, readers can see how she sees and feels the world around her. Gorgeous, and somewhat surreal illustrations are icing on the cake. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
2. Juna’s Jarby Jane Bahk, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino
Very sweet and charming story of a girl who deals with her best friend’s sudden departure by going on various imaginary adventures. Soft and beautiful illustrations accompany the text seamlessly. Very heartwarming and satisfying ending. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
I’m thrilled to giveaway Tamara Ireland Stone’s latest book, Click’d. I loved her last book, Every Last Word, about a high school girl who suffered from OCD. I have a book list about OCD coming out soon inspired by this book.
I’m actually giving away a prize package, courtesy of Disney Hyperion. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.
Click’dby Tamara Ireland Stone
Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp.
Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt—all before she steps on stage to present Click’d to the judges? [chapter book, ages 9 and up]