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!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wild Animals and Five Faves

I had a nice visit with my sister, Nancy last week-end. We left the kids at home with their Dads (jumping on the bed) to enjoy a day of shopping and couldn't decide whether

to buy this
or this. All fitting!

This week, I have five favorite blogs to share with you:
One of my favorite artists, lili scratchy has three children (like me:) who share an art blog called (1)lilifefe they are amazing artists (like their mom!)
another favorite is (2) cowboy bunny because she is funny and creative (she's having a sweet little handmade giveaway right now so be sure to visit her and comment!)
(3)maxiluchini 's colorful childrens illustrations for inspiration
(4)mypapercrane the art and craft of Heidi Kenny (be sure to view her little stump cake with the mushrooms on the sidebar!)
(5)kickanandconkers is another mom blogger with three kids. she features lots of vintage and modern ideas, childrens books both old and new, and letterpress printmaking which I really and truly love.
Here's a funny clip I found via cowboy bunny's blog:

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to school with blogger Rachel Formaro and It's a Book!

We're Back to School! The girls are loving their classes and teachers and Kim and I are excited to invite friend, writer and soon to be mom, Rachel Formaro to post at Bees Knees Reads!
I met Rachel and her husband Tom at the bookstore last year when they were releasing, their children's book, Alfonso the Christmas Pumpkin. And now they are expecting their own sweet, little girl "pumpkin" right around the end of October. So I'm sure we will have many wonderful picture book reviews and joyful insights from Rachel.

We have to catch you up with what we've been doing... Kim is making art for Etsy and getting back into the studio and printmaking. Her baby turned 1 last month! Little C is 3 and D is now 6. My baby turned 5 last month and started Kindergarten and my 6 year old has found a new love, HORSES, and her 1st-grade friends of course. I have a Horse book review post planned for all who share that passion. And I've been enjoying running Coastside Books. The shop is ever evolving and it's a challenge to keep up with the new releases!

One of the reasons we love to blog is that there is no obligation to do so and we can connect with so many literature- loving creative people on the blogosphere. We are grateful to Margo at The Fourth Muskateer for passing along the Versatile Blogger Award. And we're gathering our lists so we'll be passing on the award to 15 Versatile Bloggers in the next few posts.

My picture book pick of the month is Lane Smith's It's a Book, that clever, clever man. I get that people love their e-readers yet the art of the book and the tactile experience of books can not be replicated electronically. And I do like electronic media, I'm a blogger after all, but reading, for me, especially children's books is a pleasure best reserved for paper pages. I've included the trailer for fun but the book has a punchline that will make any adult smile wryly. Smith's publisher, Macmillan says, "... IT’S A BOOK is a delightful manifesto on behalf of print in the digital age...." You'll just have to find it and read it to get to that smart-ass last line : )

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that today is Tasha's Tudor's Birthday and here is a lovely post by Clarice over at Storybook Woods celebrating Tasha Tudor Day 2010. Reading Tasha Tudor's books with my mom and sister is a favorite childhood memory. I dreamed of the pastoral life and intimate country traditions Tudor illustrated and I especially loved her Christmastime and holiday illustrations.

Well, I've packed a lot of news into this post and I'm looking forward to Kim and Rachel's favorite picture books and versatile blogger award lists. The rules say we can pass it along to 15 bloggers so I'll link 5, Kim will link 5 and Rachel will link 5. Happy back to school!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Congratulations to my 6-year-old nephew whose band The Legos just won a professional studio session with their original song at an LA battle of the bands competition!!!!

In honor of your new hipster status D, I'm sending you a copy of Alternative ABC'S (Chunky Edition) to read to your little bro.
This is the ABCs book for future skaters and rock guitarists but also for earth lovers and environmentalists!

Look for it in the mail soon Kim xoxoxox