Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Ultra Bright Orange ALA Tote Bag

I'm posting this entry for Kim who, (suffering from jetlag and travelling with small children) ran into a tech glitch : )

We just got back from our fabulous 2 week vacation in Very Sunny So Cal. Ahhhhhhhh....and now for the jet lag and unpacking. It started out with 2 small bags and we came home with 3 overstuffed 50 lb. suitcases. My ultra-bright orange ALA tote bag filled with books and catalogs is definitely the one to blame!

After taking an accidental graffiti tour of downtown LA with my sister at the wheel, we finally made it to the big ALA convention in Anaheim. Nancy insisted on mapping out which booths to go to since we were on borrowed car/babysitting time and thanks to her, we covered lots of precious ground in just a couple of hours. The first booth, Chronicle Books was right in front. They were very nice and helpful and I walked away with the cutest Ivy and Bean (by Annie Barrows) magnetic bookmark freebie. I didn't know Paul Frank kids books existed. I am looking forward to getting a copy of Only in Dreams.
Kane Miller was our favorite booth hands down. It was big, colorful and well organized. We got to meet and chat with Sondra from She gave us each a copy of Singing to the Sun by Vivian French which I will be reviewing soon, and I had a chocolate earth ball pick me up. Sondra told us all about There's No such Thing As Ghosts and I know I'll have to get a copy when it's available in September for my son who is always saying just that!

Lee and Low Books Booth was full of children's books focusing on culture and diversity with exciting biographies. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of their 2008 fall release of HONDA The Boy Who dreamed of Cars. It's the life story of Soichiro Honda in a children's book. I especially love the old photo of him on the back cover at age 5 sporting the racing goggles he invented!
Before bedtime tonight I asked my son to pick out a book from my ultra-orange tote and he picked Brave Ben by Mathilde Stein and Mies Van Haut. This is one of the Lemniscaat picture books which is a division of Boyds Mill Press. The Boyds Mill booth had a great promo of 6 hardcover Lemniscaat books for $40 which we split and will each review 3. A real score as they are all wonderful.

Brave Ben is about a little boy who is scared of everything. He's afraid of the little girl who cuts in front of him at the bakery and especially of the spook underneath his bed. He searches for "Help for Cowards" in the yellow pages and with his orange dial up telephone he makes an appointment with the Magic Tree who guarantees success. Ben must walk through a wild dark forest where he meets a dragon,witch, spider, and skeletons. He is so determined to make his appointment that he is unaware that he has already solved his own problem. The Magic Tree tells him that he is "truly brave'. I love Mies Van Haut's artwork and the character of Ben reminds me of our childhood Max und Moritz story book characters....could it be the nose? The ending is sweet with Ben buying 2 cupcakes, one for himself and one for the spook under his bed!
Sweet Dreams.

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