Sunday, March 30, 2014

April Showers

The sun came out for a good 3 hours yesterday.  By 2 pm it was raining and it hasn't stopped since.  I'll gladly trade warm and rainy for cold and snowy, but I'm crossing my fingers that we get some more sun pretty soon.  Of course, I'll gladly take rain, snow, sleet, hail...anything other than the earthquakes my west coast friends are having right now.  Stay safe out there!

I promised myself I would not neglect my readers in LA and Boston this month.  Here are your April events.  An author event is a great way to spend a rainy day!  (Or shaky day out west)  April is also National Poetry Month!  Put April 24th in your calendars and find a poem to put in your pocket for Poem in Your Pocket Day

And finally, Angelenos are blessed with the annual return of the LA Times Festival of Books. This year you will find Yuyi Morales (Niño Wrestles the World), LeVar Burton, Oliver Jeffers, David Shannon, Chris Raschka, Tony AND Angela DiTerlizzi, Mac Barnett, Rainbow Rowell, James Howe, John Green, Jon Klassen, Kadir Nelson, Tomie DePaolo, Laurie Halse Anderson, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Sandra Cisneros (ok, ok, I threw her in so you wouldn't miss her), AND MORE!  Check out the schedule here.


April 2
* Author, educator, and paleontologist Barnas Monteith will present his new book The Furious Case of the Fraudulent Fossil and a workshop about digging dinosaur bones.  A great event for your young dinosaur fan!  Wellesley Books, 2:30 pm

* Author James Kochalka presents his latest children's graphic novel The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, Cambridge Public (Main) Library, 4 pm

April 6
* Mega-star middle grade authors Eoin Colfer, Ridley Pearson, Jonathan Stroud and Rick Riordan, will present in an amazing panel.  Ticketed event at Dana Hall School in Wellesley.  Click here for tickets.

* Jeff Kinney, another mega-star middle grade author, presents his tricks in writing Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  The event is already sold out but you can still go wait in line to get a book signed.  Eric Carle Museum, 1:00 pm

April 12
* Caldecott Medal Winner Mordicai Gerstein presents his book The First Drawing, Eric Carle Museum, 2 pm

April 26
* Author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka presents his new picture book Peanut Butter and Jellyfish at the Eric Carle Museum, 2 pm

Los Angeles

PointeApril 3
* "He said, She Said" Tour with authors Wendelin Van Draanan (author of Flipped) and Mark Parsons, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 7 pm

April 5
* Penguin in Love party with Salina Yoon, LA Yarn Crawl, sponsored by Bridge to Books, 11 am.

April 6
* Jenn Reese releases her final book in the Above World fantasy series, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 2 pm

April 7
* John Corey Whaley presents his YA book Noggin, Skylight Books, 7:30 pm

April 12
* LA Times Festival of Books!  A whole slew of authors.  Click here for more information.

April 13
* LA Times Festival of Books!  A whole slew of authors.  Click here for more information.

April 14
* Legendary author/illustrator Tomie DePaolo makes a rare west coast appearance with Lin Oliver, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 7 pm.  Space is limited, click here for ticket information.

April 19
* Michael Kaplan, author of picture book Betty Bunny Wants a Goal, will read from his book at Children's Book World, 10:30 am

* Join authors Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz to discuss their new book, The First Book of Ore: The Foundry's Edge, Children's Book World, 2 pm

April 26
* YA author Brandy Colbert reads from her new novel, Pointe, Skylight Books, 7:30 pm

April 30
* Jon Muth, author of The Three Questions and Zen Shorts, will present at a school event that is open to the public.  Contact Children's Book World for more details

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Walking on Sunshine

Before I go to bed every night, I open my blinds with hope that the sun will shine through and wake me up.  I love waking up to the sun.  It was my favorite thing about living in LA.  This was an every day thing there.  Here, well, it hasn't happened in a while.

This morning, however, I woke up with the sun shining in and I swear I could feel my body fill with happiness.  My soul is being re-energized.  I've just been sitting here for an hour, soaking it in, knowing that rain is in the forecast for today and soon it will be gone. If I could, I would fill a locket with sunshine and wear it around my neck all winter.  The power and feeling of being bathed in sun would keep me going until the real thing came out again.

Malibu sun

Desert sun

Boston sun

Spring sun

More Malibu sun (cuz it is the best)

Sunshine on NJP's shoulders

Joshua Tree sun

Palm Springs sun
(I know this is two posts with this picture...
but it was a very sunny happy moment for me)

In honor of today's sunshiny awakening, and the fact that we hit 30,000 views while I slept last night (!), here are a slew of sunshine songs to get you dancing this morning.  Wake up and boogie!

It is funny that Walking on Sunshine doesn't actually have sun in the video.  So you need more.

This is basically how I dance to everything.  Love this sunshine inspired scene.

His videos give me the same feeling I get when I wake up from the sun. Love.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Cleaning!

Spring is here and warm weather is right around the corner (so is a snow storm apparently!) and today my roommates and I took some time to get ready!  Full disclosure here, I caught up on a lot of sleep and they got ready for warm weather, but I played a key role, as you will soon find out.

The roomies took a trip to Home Depot and picked up some blinds for our soon-to-be-fabulous urban back deck.  They also picked up a shelf for a brand new bookshelf!  When I woke up from a 3 hour nap, I discovered that the entrance to my bedroom is now framed by beautiful books.  What a way to enter the room!

My contribution to the beautiful weather?  I hopped online and ordered a hammock for our back deck.  I plan on spending many hours reading there this summer and can't wait.  It will look just like the picture below...without the trees...and a slightly different hammock. Happy spring!

Friday, March 21, 2014

I Won't Dance

Don't Dance...just chill tonight
Don't ask me....too tired.  But love me some good ol' Frank.  Maybe tonight we don't dance?  Let's say we love the warmth of a good down comforter and the dream of being in bed before 9 pm, yes?

Happy Don't Dance Friday. *wink

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm Alive! There are Books!

Not only did I not post events for March but I also didn't post any dance videos last weekend.  The craziness of my schedule these days is a little much.  I'm trying to do everything and as a result my body seems to just shut down every two weeks.  Two weeks ago I had strep.  This past weekend I lost my voice.  Today I went home with a killer migraine.  Maybe I should try to slow down a bit? will probably be a while before that happens!

In the meantime, I have acquired almost all of the award winners this year and they are fantastic.  I should be in bed right so I will just tell you my favorites so far:

SLJ Award 2 3 14 Nino SLJ Reviews of Youth Media Award winning and Honor Books

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
Award: Belpré Illustrator Award

Niño rocks his underwear and a lucha libre mask as he fights all 5 year olds' mortal enemies: Guanajuato Mummy (La Momia de Guanajuato), Olmec Head (Cabeza Olmeca), the Weeping Woman (La Llorona), an Alien (El Extraterrestre) and the devil (El Chamuco).  They are no match for Niño's final battle though!  Read and find out.

(A special dedication...this book reminds me of my friend Jill, whose little boys call themselves the Undie Brothers.  Lots of love heading their way!)

SLJ Award 2 3 14 Locomotive SLJ Reviews of Youth Media Award winning and Honor BooksLocomotive by Brian Floca
Award: Caldecott Medal, Sibert Honor Book

This beautiful story tells of one of the first train rides across the country.  The train starts in Omaha and makes its way to Sacramento.  On the way, the passenger sees different towns, mountains, plains, and a bit of trouble as well.  I know this book won for the illustrations and they are no joke, however, it was the words that did it for me.  They read like a poem, mimicking the rhythm of a train as it chugs along the track.  This book deserves to be read aloud.  It reminding me so much of my own cross-country train trip, something you should all add to your bucket list right at this very moment.

More later, hope you all are reading something fantastic!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Oh We Fancy!

So, yesterday at about 10 pm it dawned on me that I never posted book events for March.  OOPs!  So sorry kids, I'll jump on that tomorrow.

 Do I wear the suit and tie or dress tonight?  Decisions, decisions..
(Thanks for the photo, Stacey!)

I know I am neglecting my book duties and basically only posting dance stuff but that's how life is going these days.

Tonight my besties and I are dressing up in our finest attire and doing a formal pub crawl.  Brilliant, right?

My Fair Lady is by far one of my favorite movies and I bet Eliza Doolittle would have been down with just this kind of Friday night.  Hopefully this will be a glimpse into my day tomorrow.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

WAKE UP!!!! Get Your Boogie On!

What a week! I spent Sunday through Wednesday in bed with serious strep throat and a whole lotta pain.  The doctors thought I also had the flu.  It was that bad.  There was no Dance Friday because I had an easy night with the roomies but it is SATURDAY!  And I am ready to go!!!

Add caption

This song by Mos Def has basically been on repeat for me for the last two weeks.  I can't stop dancing when I hear it and it is coming your way now.  I've been trying to find a good video for this one but alas, no such video exists...yet!  However, I just couldn't keep it from you any longer.

Quiet Dog starts with a recording of Fela Kuti, inspiring us to keep up the fight, and then Mos Def brings it in with "the simple the plainness."

Just the place for a song like this to get down to...
tiny spot, everybody there for the music
photo by Anthony Valadez

"Bang to the boogy
Say upchuck the boogy

To the rhythm of the boogity beat"

I'm gonna dance all over this city today.  Well, actually, I'm going to find a coffee shop, do lots and lots of work, and then probably go to sleep.  This song will be keeping my booty shaking in my seat while I work.  

Here, stare at this beautiful face for 3 minutes while you dance.