Friday, February 10, 2012

If you Listen - Zolotow

I had to post this now as it is such a coincidence. Another Zolotow/Vitale now out of print 2002 reissue found its way to our store and will soon go to a home where it is needed. *Other Zolotow/Vitale books are: When the Wind Stops and The Sleepy Book Kim just wrote about.

If You Listen is a calm and spiritual story that
reassures little ones about loss. In Zolotow's spare lyrical prose, a little girl asks her mother, how do I know father loves me if I can't see him or feel his hugs? Through the pages, her mother assures her that if she listens inside herself, "like the rustle of birds in the leaves of the trees or like a boat whistle in the fog, she will feel someone very far away sending love to her."

Recently a friend lost her husband suddenly. They have two little girls who don't yet understand that their father is not coming home. I hope this serene illustrated story will help her show her children that their father is always there inside them sending love to them.

Sleepy Book

There are soooo many different  illustrated versions of this book! Sleepy Book was originally published in 1958 by Lothrop, Lee and Shepherd. It was written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Vladimir Bobri. My favorite versions are these vintage ones with Bobri's art.
The illustrations  are on black paper and the text in this book is  a hand-cut blockletter by Rudolf Koch, in gray ink on the black pages. It's fantastic! I wish I owned a copy.....
This one's from the library.
Sleepy Book was brought out by Harper& Row in 1988 with pictures by Ilse Plume (Plume cover pictured above)
then reissued a third time in 2001 by HarperCollins with simple, colorful illustrations by Stefano Vitale (the Vitale cover above) .
This timeless classic to sleepiness has long outlived its first publisher and outlasted two name changes on its second. I wonder if yet another future generation will see it differently?

Charlotte Zolotow's  words are soothing and lyrical making it the perfect bedtime book:
"The snowy crane sleeps standing on one long leg like a flower on its stem"..."Spiders when they sleep are like small ink spots in the middle of their lacy webs"..."But little boys and girls, when the night comes and the wind whispers gently in the trees and the stars sparkle and shine, sleep warm under their blankets in their beds."
Visit Charlottes website here to learn more about her timeless classic books.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

With The Sun In My Eyes

This morning I woke up to find an email from one of my favorite artists: Morteza Zahedi. Morteza is an artist who hails from Iran and I'm a big follower/fan of his work. His email announced that his new Book: With The Sun In My Eyes (due out in March 2012) published by Groundwood, has just been nominated for Best Books for Children and Youth 2012! The event involved "books of excellent quality, remarkable in style, content and illustration."
Written by Jorge Lujan, Con El Sol en Los Ojos is a poetry book in both Spanish and English. It's about a little boy and girl describing day to day experiences in their world.
The girl loves her little dog, Oliver, the wind blowing in her face and laughter that "explodes for no reason" and the little boy describes newborn chicks "like tiny walking suns."

Sounds lovely and lyrical and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this wonderful collection of poems for children.
If you'd like to see more of Morteza Zahedi's fabulous art,

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Needless to say I haven't posted in a very, very, very long time and I want to update you with some happenings. My friend Rachel who wrote a few book recommendations here had her sweet baby girl and moved from Half Moon Bay to Iowa. They are all well and big hugs to her and her family in 2012. Kim is making a lot of art and selling on Etsy (find her under her seller's name Jikits.) She has 3 little ones and a household to look after but I'm hoping to coax her into posing here again sometime.

The bookstore is doing well and we have now gone through two busy Christmas seasons. We're still working on our website but the bones of it are up at Our girls are growing into quite the readers and love going on book hunts with me out of town. My plan is to list some of those out of print picture book treasures on our site in the near future.

One of my latest, greatest finds is a 1965 copy of Someday by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Arnold Lobel. CZ dedicated the book to her eleven year old daughter, " for Ellen right now " and we can really relate to this little girl's imaginings. She wishes for many things like, "Someday I'm going to go to dancing class and Miss Bird will say, 'Ellen is doing it just right. Everybody watch her.' " Or, "Someday, when I have nothing to read, the doorbell will ring and a big box of books will come for me." (Remember this is before Angry Birds.) Lobel's illustrations are feel-good- funny and full of whimsy just like the text. The inside jacket reads, "Everyone, young or old, girl or boy, has his own particular "somedays." They are the days when the impossible becomes possible, the unlikely turns into the likely, and dreams are no longer dreams but realities." Someday I will write here about picture books at least once a week.
Someday I will write all the content for the Coastside Books website. Someday I will catch up on all the bookkeeping details. Someday I will cook more vegetables for dinner... But tomorrow I am going on my birthday trip down the coast to spend a SOLO morning in Santa Cruz, shopping and stopping to look at whatever, whenever I like.
I hope all your "Somedays" become realities this year too : )

Happy 2012!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A day in the life of baby with ABC, Baby Me!

Recently I had the opportunity to connect with author Susan B. Katz about her latest board book, ABC, Baby Me! (Random House/Robin Corey Books). Susan is a national board certified teacher, specializing in bilingual teaching and educational consulting in literacy, classroom management and strategies for English language learners. She launched her new book earlier this month.

Given Susan’s educational background, it’s no wonder that this book has a unique teaching element, as it follows the English alphabet through a day in the life of a baby. And not just one baby – many babies from different cultural backgrounds, with their parents, siblings, grandparents, and even family pets (which as a dog and cat “mommy”, I absolutely love).

From “A” – “Adore me” – through “Z” – “Zzzzz, I’m fast asleep” – each page is beautifully illustrated in soft, gentle watercolors by artist Alicia Padron. And the rhythm and rhyme adds a sing-song quality as you read aloud. The book is like a good hug, really. Perfect for naptime or bedtime reading.

I also appreciate the form of this board book – it’s sturdy, and at 7.4 x 6.4 inches, great to take on the go with baby or toddler.

Once she makes her arrival (hint, hint, Baby), I’ll be reading ABC, Baby Me! to my little girl, over and over. Thank you Susan and Alicia, for creating such a lovely board book.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

From peaceful piggies to peaceful nurseries

In my last post I promised to share a great parent-to-be resource book. After this, I'll be back to picture books (already building a stack of 'em).

From the day of discovering I was pregnant, I've turned to the world of books to help me on the journey. Between my own purchases and hand-me-downs of well-loved books from other mamas, I've amassed quite a library of mom-to-be titles.

Many are the typical monthly play-by-play of what's happening with mother and baby. Others are pure comic relief. The one book that I've highlighted and sticky-tabbed the most however, may be a bit of surprise.

The Peaceful Nursery (Bantam Dell, 2006) was written by home and lifestyle experts (and sisters) Laura Forbes Carlin and Alison Forbes. And its title doesn't do it justice for just how much it covers in the way of preparing for a baby.

The Peaceful Nursery starts with a "Life Design" exercise which turned out to be a great way to get me thinking and journal writing about what kind of life experience I want for me and my new family.

The book then flows into preparing your home using Feng Shui and space-clearing principles - like 12 steps to clearing clutter. It then shifts into preparing the child's room, paying close attention to comfort and safety, color, lighting and materials (the same tips can be applied to any room in the house). Important for all new parents, the book also covers how to create positive sleep environments - in both the nursery and the adult bedroom.

The last chapter in particular is one of my favorites. Here Carlin and Forbes offer suggestions on self-care, what to expect the first 40 days after delivery, and building a relationship with your new baby. As with every chapter, it closes with a section of helpful "Quick Tips."

Nice extras like what to pack for the hospital, positive affirmations to physically, mentally and spiritually prepare for parenthood, an introduction to the principles of Feng Shui, and a robust "Resources" section, have all kept this book near and dear to my heart.

And of course, I have to mention the photography featured in the book. All of the images are soothing and inspiring, and provide good visual reference for creating indeed a peaceful home and nursery.

I'm off to re-read the last chapter again with a nice cup of tea.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This little piggy went to meditation

Preparing for motherhood over the last nine months has allowed me to indulge in two new genres of books - books for moms, and books for babies. Instead of instantly veering over to the new fiction section of the bookstore, I find myself looking up and back towards the typical location of children's books.

Recently my husband (and co-author) Tom were at East West Bookstore in Mountain View, CA. East West is perhaps best known as a new age bookstore, but they also have a wonderful children's books and toys section at the back of the store.

One of the picture books I couldn't leave behind is Peaceful Piggy Meditation, a colorful soft-cover about "peaceful piggies" that know how to use their breath, in and out, to be calm. Even when they have to eat something they don't like, someone takes their toy or they're having a hard time with their homework.

I love that the book also includes fun instructions on a meditation that kids and parents can do together (the book was written and illustrated by Kerry Lee MacLean, a Certified Children's Meditation Instructor).

Even though the book was published a few years ago, it seems especially timely given the amount of media coverage about how kids and meditation make a very positive and healthy combination.

In my next post, I'll share one of the parenting books that has made the biggest difference in helping me prepare for motherhood.

Until then, this peaceful piggy says "Om."