Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring in 2010 & The Year of the Tiger at Kepler's book store







A day should be long enough for you to recover from imbibing warm spirits, gawking at Dick Clark, and watching the ball drop. Then you'll be ready for a good yarn on Sunday morning. Celebrate the baby new year with a story time of The Year of the Tiger with author Oliver Chin.

Oliver will read the 5th adventure in the popular Tales from the Chinese Zodiac on Sunday, January 3rd at 11:30 am at:

Kepler's
1010 El Camino Real Blvd.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650-324-4321
www.keplers.com

Naturally there will be free coloring pages (courtesy of new series artist Justin Roth) for a fun art activity following the story time.

This kicks off another season of visits to schools, libraries, museums, and associations. Kids of all ages will enjoy getting to know our new hero Teddy the Tiger and his human friend Su.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday gifts for Secret Santas


We're looking forward to meeting the Association of Chinese Cooking
Teachers
tomorrow in Cupertino, CA.
Founded in 1983, these friends share knowledge about Chinese food and cooking, while having fun dining throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

We're pleased to share our Asian American children's books with them during their annual holiday party at the Merlion Restaurant and Wine Bar. In the meantime, we'll make sure that we've worked up an appetite and that our stomachs are suitable empty so we can enjoy sampling Lychee Martinis and a buffet of Singaporean cuisine that blends Thai, Malaysian, Indian and Chinese influences. Sounds yummy!

We'll debut the fifth adventure in our popular annual series The Tales from the Chinese Zodiac - The Year of the Tiger, just in time to welcome in the new year of 2010!

Teddy the Tiger is our newest hero. No he does not ruin his teeth by eating sugary breakfast cereal. However he is on a grrreeeat quest to grow up and discover his true character. Colorfully animated by the artist Justin Roth, this curious cat meets his match in the girl Su. So take this tiger by the tail and come along for an exciting ride!

Santa's elves would certainly get a promotion if they put this in children's stockings!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reading at recess urban recreation on 11/22/09

We're pleased to participate in Holiday Fest, a special family event this weekend - Sunday, November 22nd, 9am-noon at:

recess urban recreation
470 carolina st.
san francisco, ca, 94107
415.701.7529
www.recessurbanrecreation.com

Adults are free. $5 per child/$12 per non-member child.

We've been invited to read a story time at 10 am, and will present our popular alphabet board book The Adventures of WonderBaby + our railroad adventure Timmy & Tammy's Train of Thought.

"The variety of animals doing activities that a typical child would enjoy - like blowing bubbles or swinging - makes [WonderBaby] a fun story for kids because it is easy to relate to. The little lady bug to find on every page adds to it as an enjoyable book to read over and over again with your toddler.” – Babitty

"I think Timmy and Tammy’s Train of Thought has replaced Thomas the Train in our house!" - BabyLuxe

We'll be there starting at 9 am to show all our colorful children's books. These stories would make great holiday gifts for the kids in your life. Plus there will be music, crafts (make your own holiday cards), snacks, and other local artisans.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meomi's new The Octonauts and the Great Ghost Reef book

Well, they've done it again! Meomi's newest adventure is now available, to the joy of those who love cute things everywhere.

The team of 8 bosom buddies take a well-deserved vacation, but their famously colorful destination is not at all in the condition they expected! The coral reef has turned a ghostly white. So the Octonauts decide they must solve this mystery before it's too late!

Meomi launches their fourth fantastic tale in their usual style - with a weekend of fun readings in the San Francisco Bay area! They are in town and autographing copies galore. Catch them at Book Passage today (Friday, 11/13) at 10 am, and tomorrow (Saturday, 11/14) at Books Inc in Berkeley at 11 am and Given in San Francisco at 1 pm.

Sales from Books Inc benefit the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), the only international organization working exclusively to save coral reefs! Get your own autographed book at our website and free coloring pages at www.octonauts.com.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Immedium books available at www.astorybeforebed.com

Given all the news about digital books, e-books, and electronic book readers like the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook, the book publishing industry seems like it is going e-crazy.

We're not the first to jump on any bandwagon. But whenever we do jump, we want to do it right. Therefore we are glad to announce that our children's books are now available online at www.astorybeforebed.com. The producers of this new web site, Jackson Fish Market, have made the reading experience appropriately digital (with multimedia elements such as audio and video) but very personal. Of course our illustrators' art is prominently displayed in their colorful glory.

Anyone can read a sample of a story and make our authors' narratives their very own. They can customize the experience and share it with friends or family. As long as one has a webcam, a customer can record themselves reading the book, page by page. Like a television's picture in picture feature, they can see themselves in a little window next to the story's illustrations. Then if they like their performance, they can pay an affordable fee to "own" it, and then they can email their "storytime" to another person around the globe who can enjoy playing it. For parents on the road, this is a great substitute for being home and reading a bedtime story to their kids. Similarly, grandparents can send their love to little relatives with these online postcards.

Plus as a service to our men and women in uniform, people in the United States armed forces can sign up for a special mailing list offering free recordings and discounts so they can send greetings to their children who may be far away.

Check out wwww.astorybeforebed.com and give our adventures your own personal spin. Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pirate Profile #4: Mr. Flynn

Every Captain needs a right hand man. Enter Mr. Flynn. He wields the dashing good looks of a matinee idol as well as a sharp rapier wit. Plus he can smoothly swing across the starboard on a rope in a pinch. So there is no one better to help Captain Redlocks manage the mayhem on the good ship Cutlass.

Mr. Flynn is actually the first real pirate that Baltazar lays eyes on. Shaken from his evening slumber, the boy is surprised to see this debonair scoundrel by his bedside. But soon enough our young hero helps the Corsairs - he supplies the missing piece to Mr. Flynn's treasure map and suggests where the long lost booty may actually be found.

Naturally Redlocks entrusts Mr. Flynn with the responsibility of storming the amusement park Treasure Isle and scouring it for the loot. Cue over the top chaos and laughs a minute...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pirate Profile #3

With her flowing mane of crimson curls, this is definitely some lady in red. Startling in both her beauty and her firm command, Redlocks is the Captain of the Cutlass, the fastest ship in the skies! Succeeding the AWOL Greybeard, she seized the leadership of his rowdy crew, and agreed to direct them on a wild hunt to find his hidden booty.

Unfortunately for these pirates, they enjoyed little success and saw the clock turning against them. However in their meandering travels (to be told in a tall tale in a later date), they discovered the mythic Fountain of Youth. These lucky souls now could search for Greybeard's lost treasure to their hearts' content without fearing the ravages of time.

All hands on deck respect Captain Redlocks for her fairness. A woman who has broken through the wooden ceiling, she leads by example and is both brave and bold. Soon Baltazar will have the ride of his life as he helps Redlocks in her crew's ultimate quest.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pirate Profile #2

Well, speak of the devil himself. Greybeard was a legend in his own time and still in the mind of impressionable Baltazar. It makes perfect sense, since they share a lust for adventure and a vibrant blood line. But the boy has little inkling of the latter until a bunch of pirates who have survived time and space pay a visit upon him.

Greybeard scared sailors up and down the eastern seaboard and all around the Caribbean. Much more fearsome than his distant cousin Ol' Blackbeard, Grey also took time out to infuriate his crew the Corsairs. Together they piloted the magnificent ship the Cutlass to hoard booty up the wazoo.

But for some reason, Greybeard decided to hide the king's ransom, his personal treasure chest, and not inform his erstwhile colleagues in crime. That would drive them batty! Plus, later he disappeared without any explanation. That would fuel the Corsairs desire to find those shimmering jewels and glittering gold coins, and search the ends of the earth in that pursuit.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pirate Profile #1

The book has arrived in the New World! So naturally let's introduce the hero of our tale Baltazar and the Flying Pirates.

Baltazar loves listening to the wild pirate tales that his grandpa tells. But does he really believe the far-fetched rumor that he is distantly related to the infamous scalawag Greybeard, the scourge of peaceful sailors and the plunderer of valuable fortunes?

Well, he's about to find out! Now the characters from old yarns come to life, as the legendary pirates known as the Corsairs decide to pay Baltazar a midnight visit. Led by their beautiful Captain Redlocks, this crew makes the flying galleon known as the Cutlass ship-shape. But can this boy make the grade and help these brigands find Greybeard's long lost treasure chest?

Find out!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bringing the Show to Sonoma on September 19th

We've decided to attend the Sonoma County Book Festival on September 19th, from 10 am to 4 pm at Old Courthouse Square. This will be our first foray into the wine & dine country for this annual California fair. We haven't done many events in the north country before, so we hope to meet new readers and make them into fans.

We haven't gotten our booth number yet (or location) but we're confident that people (estimated 6-7K) will find us well enough. We'll bring our new table, chairs, and displays, the combination of which is an evolving booth presence.

Given the state of the economy, we know it is important to reach out and tell the public who we are and what we do. There is no substitute for our showing our own books when stores don't do so. Wherever we display, our book covers grab people's eyes and attention. We know the stories and art inside are even better, so we owe it to our adventures to share them as often as we can.

So if you're in Sonoma in September, feel free to stop by. We'll be in the town square, showcasing Baltazar and the Flying Pirates for the first time! Get an autographed copy for your little swashbucklers.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Displaying at Bay to Barkers

This Sunday, August 2nd, we rejoin the 12th annual celebration Bay to Barkers, sponsored by the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. This year, dog owners from around the Bay will convene at the parking lot of the Golden Gate Fields horse racing track in Albany, CA. There they will walk with their pooches a mile (or more) to raise money on behalf of the good work of the BEBHS.

We first learned of this event back in 2006 when Immedium published The Year of the Dog, the first book in our Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series. We thought dog owners would appreciate our hero Daniel the dog - and we were right! Now that we have another dozen children's books under our belt, we're glad to share them with these animal lovers. Naturally proceeds from our book sales at the event benefit the BEBHS!

We'll be at table #52/53 (on the bay side of the rectangular event area), near the concession booth. Registration starts at 8:30 am and the event is from 10 am to 1 pm. Come out and enjoy (hopefully) a warm and sunny day by the bay and some friendly barking as well.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Sunny Day in Carmel

Today, we stretched the outer limits of our day tripping, and headed south to scenic Carmel, CA, to teach another "how to make your own comics class" to interested youth.

Before arriving, we did some sightseeing and visited the Point Lobos State Reserve a little south of the town. Armed with a basic AAA map, it is easy to follow a few hiking paths through the forest to the undulating shore. There lie rocks streaked with webs of tidepools interspersed with pebbly beaches tucked into tiny coves. In the light mid-morning fog, there were a surprising number of travelers who scurried up and down the craggy coastline like the little crabs they were searching for. An impromptu picnic was in order, as seals barked from mysterious hideouts nearby.

Soon the haze would burn off, and yield a picture perfect postcard day, ideal for the bustling tourist trade in shopper friendly Carmel. The librarians were appreciative and prepared hosts who kindly saved a primo parking spot and called the police to watch our car on our behalf - most essential as street parking is now "electronically" monitored with a new $70,000 GPS enabled system where meter maids can take photos of your license plate and time you as your 2 hour limit expires. This branch is a cute nook dedicated to youth and a little oasis of the imagination amidst the galleries and restaurants. The kids (younger and older) were game as well, ready to draw and write and create their own fantastic tales before their various weekend and vacation plans. Next time, we hope to enjoy a long weekend in this little slice of heaven.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Menlo Park Library reserves a seat on Baltazar and the Flying Pirates

Today we received a most appealing invitation from the warm staff at the Menlo Park Library (California) to come read our upcoming book Baltazar and the Flying Pirates. Marke ye calendars for October 5th at 6:30 pm for a hearty family story time, arr!

They kindly informed us that the young readers down there really like their pirates, so they certainly have a deserving treat coming to them (as do the folk at the library in Pinole, CA on September 19th).

Meanwhile on the East Coast, illustrator Justin Roth is making his own dates to read this tall tale and show kids how to draw their own animated buccaneers. So far he's scheduled to present at the Children's Museum of Manhattan on September 27th and the Long Island Children's Museum on November 11th, with more venues to come.

The book is currently at the printer and due back in its finished glory later in August. This summer, countless families will enjoy their vacations at Disneyland, Great America, and Six Flag's - when they go back to school, they will relive their exciting memories with Baltazar!

In the meantime, we'll be sharing previews of the colorful cast and crew...so keep your eyes peeled on the fun just over the horizon.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Meomi and SKAFFS get Cute and Dangerous


Aficionados of the art of kawaii flocked to the debut of the group show Cute and Dangerous at the Seven Degrees Gallery in Laguna Beach, California this past weekend.

A headline attraction was the artist SKAFFS who was painting "live" on the wall and sharing his new illustrated book Chaff n' Skaffs: Mai and the lost Moskivvy.

Also featured was the art of Meomi, the authors of the increasingly popular series The Octonauts. From the plethora of colorful fan photos, it is clear that a swell time was had by all. The exhibition runs till August 31st, so take a gander if you're nearby in Southern California and you'll get some smiles to last awhile.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Catch our Welcome to Monster Isle story time at MOCHA


If you're in Oakland, California tomorrow (Saturday, June 6th), visit the Museum of Children's Art downtown (www.mocha.org) at 1 pm and enjoy a fun story time. Author Oliver Chin will read Welcome to Monster Isle and kids will make their own monster in an arts & crafts activity afterward.

The picture on the left captures the book's artist Jeff Miracola next to his furry buddy the Yowie, who is one of the creatures featured in this wild adventure.

While you're at the MOCHA, enjoy the current gallery exhibition "Once Upon a Time: Children's Book Illustrators Then and Now." This popular annual exhibit features the current work of children’s book illustrators alongside works created by the artists when they were children! Naturally Jeff is one of the participating artists and has contributed the drawing on the right: he was 10 years-old when he created this Unicorn and Rainbow piece.

This show inspires kids to keep drawing and being creative, just like pros such as Jeff.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Immedium at the Maker Faire this weekend

We attended the Maker Faire last year, and it was literally a blast. So we're happy to report that we're represented on the grounds in two ways.

First, the Maker Shed (the bookstore onsite) will be selling autographed copies of our coffee table book Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning Man Photography by Barbara Traub. The Faire has a very influential Burner contingent, especially as multiple contraptions light up the evening sky with flaming pyrotechnics. For those intrepid souls getting ready for their Labor Day excursion, this colorful photo essay is a must-see guide to inspire them on their upcoming journey.

Secondly, the creators of the Woollyhoodwinks will sign their book The Woollyhoodwinks vs. the Dark Patch at their table #38 at the Bazaar Bizarre at the Faire. Come meet the five cute dolls Ludic, Fluke, Reddy, Ozard, and Junco. This crafty adventure was named a Top 10 Book of 2008 by ArtMoCo, and a favorite of CoolMomPicks.com.

So come one, come all to the soon to be stuffed to the gills San Mateo County Expo Center this weekend. Get ready for lots of walking, eye-popping visual doo-dads, and of course these two dynamic and wonderful books that embody "making" and great gift-giving.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greg Pak's "Incredible Hulk" in August

As comics fans know, Greg Pak is now an indispensable scribe for Marvel Comics.

Currently he is writing a slew of monthly spin-off series including the Iron Man related "War Machine", "Skaar: Son of Hulk", and "Incredible Hercules". The hardcover compilations of the X-men's "Magneto Testament" and "World War Hulk" are fresh off the presses.

Now word is out that Greg is returning to his happy home, penning new adventures for the jolly green giant: in August, Greg returns to "Incredible Hulk" with issue #601.

At Immedium, we're proud to follow Greg's continuing success. In 2005 we published the definitive collection of independent film scripts Robot Stories and More Screenplays which presages his rising star in American pop culture. Back then, movie critics were falling over themselves to recognize Pak's budding talent. The New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell wrote, "Greg Pak's fantasy anthology piece, which details the ways robots have complicated the lives of humans, has a dexterous sense of wonder…He's a talent with a future."

So Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada decided to let Pak try his hand at comics. But according to Joe, he had read Pak's screenplays and realized it wasn't that much of a gamble. Quesada called his new hire, "An award winning filmmaker and now hot as hell newcomer...[Pak] is a writer on the cusp, right at the unique precipice between upstart and industry great."

Soon Pak reinvigorated such iconic characters such as the Hulk. Now he is writing the rest of the history. (Quite a feat since Ang Lee's cinematic treatment was more lethal to our green hero's reputation than gamma radiation.) Catch Greg's latest news and reviews at www.pakbuzz.com.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Writing for Kids

Often writing is the most fun when its goal is to simply entertain kids. A case in point is when a preschooler finally gets a chance to take a stuffed animal home and then has to "write" about his weekend adventures with her.

In this case Elly the Elephant was quite a trooper and willing to try most anything, just like Nemo the clown fish was in years prior. (No pachyderms were harmed in the filming.) And she still held her stitching after nearly a year of being carted around by dozens of tykes.

Ghostwriting for a three year old is pretty low pressure. On one hand, it affords the great opportunity to let one's imagination run wild. As a writer, you can take the reins of the publisher, and finally do whatever you want without any reservations or objections. But it is still a real assignment. It has a deadline. It still has to make sense. It has to be punchy and personal. After reviewing the dozens of previous reports from other classmates, you want to be original... and even a little bit better.

Yet the true smell test is when you read Elly's adventure to the kids, and see their faces light up as they recall their recent experiences, colored through someone else's rose-tinted narrative. When they smile and ask for you to read it again, then you're on to something. You've captured, however fleetingly, the magic of writing for kids. What is it? It is an alchemic mixture of humor, ridiculousness, and identification which yields a meaning that bears a joy in repeating. A valuable lesson for an adult as well as a child.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chinese Historical & Cultural Project - Sunday, May 17th


May is the annual month to recognize and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage. In commemoration, we'll participate in the Chinese Historical and Culture Project's Spring Family Day on Sunday, May 17, 2009 in History Park at San Jose, CA (Kelly Park at 1650 Senter Road) from noon to 5 pm.

The entertainment program will revolve around the Chinese American Museum building, Ng Shing Gung, which was renovated by the CHCP (www.chcp.org) and donated to the city.

At 1:35 pm in the Conference Room, author Oliver Chin will present a family story time: he'll project his children's books The Year of the Ox and Julie Black Belt onto a big screen and read them for all to enjoy. Then singing, dancing, and martial arts demonstrations will follow to fill the afternoon.

So take a moment to reflect upon the diverse contribution of Asian Americans to our communities and culture. If you have more time, visit San Jose this weekend and share a good time with family and friends.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Octonautics at the Aquarium

Sushi has always been one of dinner's wilder pleasures. But as oceanologists know, there are a lot of fish species in need of more TLC from humanity.

As a spin-off from their popular "Seafood Watch" instructions (i.e. you should avoid ordering Orange Roughy and Chilean Seabass because they're being overfished), the Monterey Bay Aquarium asked our friends Meomi to design some aquatic pals for their recent "Sushi Watch" pocket guide.

Now who in their scientific mind would want to eat cute Ika-chan?

Get some cool wallpapers and buddy icons of this squid and the wise fish Sakana-san at
www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_sushi_easteregg.aspx.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Awards at SF's Asian Art Museum


Yesterday, Immedium was proud to participate in the Asian Pacific Fund's award ceremony for their annual "Growing up Asian in America" contest, held at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, CA.

Author Oliver Chin was on hand to help present prizes to dozens of students (from grades kindergarten to high school) from around the San Francisco Bay area. They were among more than 1,200 who submitted artwork and essays on the theme of "Change": what would they most like to change about the world and how that relates to their identity as Asian Americans. Certainly that topic is near and dear to our heart, here at Immedium!

Awarding more than $27.000 in savings bonds and merchandise, the Asian Pacific Fund (
www.asianpacificfund.org) showcases the winning art and essays on their site and in an exhibition that will circulate among 50 public libraries in 9 local counties. Congratulations to the winners and hopefully they will inspire more people to reflect on the topic for themselves, and submit their own perspectives in next year's contest. Come to think of it, we know of many youngsters who would be great candidates if they put their minds and pens to it...


Friday, May 1, 2009

Chaff n' SKAFFS launches!


Our newest book has just arrived in the USA!

Created by the artist SKAFFS and his friend Amanda Chin, this is the tale of the lovely gal Mai and her boon companion Chaff (the furry chap with the chapeau). One dark and stormy night Mai hears a mosquito in her room. Later she learns that Moskivvy is lost and so Chaff convinces the homebody Mai to step out on her own and help the little critter return to his family.

Readers can tag along on this trio's adventure and explore verdant environs that bloom in a rainbow of colors. Fans of SKAFFS will appreciate how he continues to stretch himself artistically. His artwork will please his growing legion of admirers. At the same time, SKAFFS showcases a style perfectly suited for a child's imagination and their desire to explore unknown vistas.

Plus this tale especially acknowleges the creator's home of Australia, so we salute the lads and lasses in the land down under.