Sunday, April 13, 2014

Books, Books, And More Books!

Today, I went to the LA Times Festival of Books!

I had some folks I wanted to see, 
but in a cool surprise I saw a face from a loooong time ago:
Simon Silva, a high school classmate who went on to become
an author, artist, and speaker.

(On the car ride home, I realized I probably last saw him in person 
more than THIRTY YEARS ago!  Yikes!!)

For the other ... uh... people? I wanted to see,
I may have been the only adult to cop a photo op:

It's the Boxtrolls!!

I adored Laika's last movie, ParaNorman,
so am in an absolute tizzy about the Boxtrolls,
which will come out in September.

And for my thrill of the day?

Tomie dePaola!!!

He is a freakin' rock star of children's lit,
and has written and/or illustrated approximately a meeellion books,
among them Strega Nona, 26 Fairmont Avenue, and The Art Lesson.

I brought my own copy of 26 Fairmont Avenue to be signed,
and bought his new book which he illustrated for writer Lin Oliver,

When it was time to get my books signed,
I told him how we still quote him in my household;
there's a bit in 26 Fairmont Avenue where Tomie is seeing the cartoon
of Snow White, but in his frustration at the changes
from the original Grimm Brother's story
he gets up in the theater and yells,
"Mr. Walt Disney didn't read the story right!"
We say that when there's big changes from a book to a movie.

Mr. dePaola chuckled and said, 
"That's why Walt Disney will never do MY story!"

(Which I'm pretty sure meant Mr. dePaola has had a bit of a wild life.)

Btw?  That last image?
That's the face of a girl who just got to meet one of her idols.

And let me tell you,
if I didn't know better, I would have pegged Mr. dePaola
as easily a decade younger than his seventy-nine years.
He was as spritely and jolly as you could wish
a children's author/illustrator to be.

Anyhoo, this post wouldn't be possible without The Sweet Man,
who acted as my personal photographer for the day.

Yes, he braved LA traffic for me, 
and all he got for his troubles was some tasty gelato.

Sigh... what a lucky woman I am.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I Like You, Too, Library Patron!

I've written before about my Little Free Library:

It's been chugging along nicely,
with books going out and back in with a satisfying regularity.

One thing that has not been happening, however,
is written feedback in the books.

In the front of each book I put a book pocket and card...

... with a bossy demand friendly request to leave feedback.

So far? 

But then!

This book came back!

And inside it?
The most awesome feedback that ever feedbacked!

Bless her heart.
(Literally.  She drew a little heart in the top right corner.)

So I guess I'll keep gluing pockets in the front of the books,
and hope for more notes from my Little Free Library patrons.

Because hearing back from folks who have read a book?
It's a special kind of book magic.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Won't Let It Gooooooo!

Family came from out of town, so where did we go?
California Disney Adventure!!

The Boy got to go with us...

...but, waaaah!! 
The Girl had to do Important Grown-Up Stuff, and couldn't.

(That's supposed to be me, not her.)

So I was determined to find a nice little souvenir.

I thought, maybe? from that little indie film?
What's it called?

Aaaaah, yes...

The Girl and I both adore Frozen,
and I thought Disneyland would be BURIED in Frozen merch.

Instead, it was more like this:

Fortunately, my resourceful sister-in-law was also on the case,
and she found what must have been the ONLY bit if Frozen bling
in the entire Magic Kingdom:


I would have loved to find something Olaf-y, 
but evidently so did the HOARDS of Frozen-lovin' Disney guests,
so I made do with an Olaf-topped Rice Krispy treat.

As for myself?

I found this pin!

Since I looooove Pixar, I was one happy little snowman.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Library To The Rescuuuuuuue!

So.  Like I said.

But it's spring break! 


However, I'm not spending it boozing or showing off my bosoms.

Instead, I'm catching up on my blog!


Anyhoo, today I'm talking about teaching.
Specifically, teaching supplies.

A lovely new teacher came to one of my teaching classes last week,
and explained that when she got to her brand-new classroom 
at the beginning of the year?

It was empty.

And when I say "empty," I mean

She wasn't just in charge of getting cutesy stuff for her bulletin boards...

...she also had to somehow wrangle her own dictionaries.

She told us how she's been getting items through Donor's Choose,
but that's crazy, right?
Having to depend on the kindness of strangers
for basic teaching supplies?

Let me tell you,
when folks say that education's problems can't be solve by
 "throwing money at it,"
I roll my eyes Liz Lemon-style so hard it's a wonder they don't
fall out of my head.

So, yeah.  I've started amassing supplies now for my future classroom.

I hit the sales and dollar bin at Target,
but the best source of classroom books?

The used bookstore in my local library!

Just look at what I've found!

I found some sweet Golden Books for my Little Free Library...

... some nonfiction, poetry, and a cool dragon "handbook"...

... Calvin and Hobbes! Yay!!!

Both old friends...

... and new.

Crazy bargains, like these books on tape for FIFTY CENTS EACH...

... and these pristine, hardback copies of the My Father's Dragon trilogy.

The one on the right?
One dollar.
The one on the left?


Look what they originally cost!

And yep, I even found some class dictionaries in excellent condition,
ranging in price from fifty cents to a measly three dollars.


Bottom line:  I don't have the patience to spend my weekends
 combing yard sales for bargains for my house.

But when it comes to my future classroom?
I'm happy to visit the library used bookstore weekly.
Because, as any teacher knows:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Power of (Used) Books

As I said in my last entry,
I've headed back to school.

Which means, I might not have as much time to post on this blog.
Because, aaarrgh, look at my homework for last week!

Holy cats, but I had a BUTTLOAD of reading to do.
And it was just the second week!

Anyhoo, I'll post shorty entries when I can.
For example, I've been collecting book inscriptions for awhile!

I have posted of my love of used books before. 
I love their history.  I love their smudges. I love that they were loved.

Something else I love is if a used book has an inscription in it.


This was in the front of Horton Hears A Who.

What a nice present for someone with a rambunctious boy:
a copy of Calvin and Hobbes.

I think of these like messages in a bottle,
and was surprised when I realized I knew both the bottle-sender
and the bottle-receiver.

This one is my favorite.  Alyssa has nicely summed up 
The Wish, a book that turned my own Girl into an enthusiastic reader.

I love new books,
but there's something really special about finding one of these
messages in a bottle in an old book.