Turn the Page!, Fairyland’s annual festival honoring local children’s book authors and illustrators, has been postponed until 2022. To keep celebrating these incredible creators while we wait, we’ll be featuring several of them on Fairyland’s Magic Tree.
Jennifer Riggs Vetter dons a striped railroad cap and red bandana to share her sing-along book, Down by the Station, with all of us.
This Turn the Page! children’s book festival author and an elementary school librarian in Oakland was inspired to write Down by the Station during a traffic jam. She and her husband distracted their cranky children by adding verses to the classic rhyme about trucks and trains and boats and planes. Their children are now grown up but the book still brings joy to new generations of littles.
Oakland author and Turn the Page! participant, Angela Dalton, spends a lot of time looking at the sky. The North Star (aka Polaris) is her favorite and she likes cumulus clouds the best because they remind her of cotton candy. Here on the Magic Tree, watch her read "If You Look Up to the Sky,” the book she wrote about “the power of everlasting love and the ways the sky connects us through good times and bad.”
Her upcoming book, "Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner," can be pre-ordered through her website (May 8, 2021 release date). She calls it a "love letter to all the cooks in my family and the food that brought us together." In a blog post, she writes, “pre-orders are extremely important to authors, especially during the pandemic. It tells the publisher, 'We want picture books that are diverse and show representation – like this one!’”
Bay Area author C.V. Monterrubio is a bilingual writer of short stories and books for children. Born in Tenochtitlán, now known as Mexico City, she lives in Northern California with her husband and dog. She recognices herself as a cis-gender woman, mestiza, Mexican and “chilanga” (from Mexico City) by birth and conviction. She’s always loved to read and is forever thankful that her mother, father and maternal grandpa always provided her with books. She loves big libraries and bookstores, and prefers physical books to digital ones. She created her first stories and characters at the age of six, and wrote her first poem at thirteen. She believes in respect as a universal rule, and loving and doing for others what you would do for you (“the golden rule”). She is an evolving human. She writes, thinks and yells in Spanish and English from a young age. She’s very unpopular.
While visiting a beach one day she began to wonder if swimming in the ocean meant she would be swimming in whale poop! In pursuit of the answer, she learned many interesting things about the role a whale’s poop plays in the ocean’s ecosystem. The result is this English/Spanish book, Do Whales Poop?/¿Las Ballenas Hacen Popó? which she reads for this Turn the Page! Storytime.
Author Jesse Byrd left Google to pursue his true love of creating stories for readers young and old. Today, for Turn the Page Storytime, he reads a children's book he wrote called "Sunny Day." It's described as "a picture book of laughter and hope" and we think you're going to love it. Also, check out Hallow-Mas, a half-Halloween, half-Christmas book he's crowdsourcing. It's written by kids for kids.
Fun fact about Jesse: At six feet, eight inches tall, he paid for his college education playing basketball at UC Santa Barbara!
Oakland native Kamaria Lofton is proud to make The Town her family’s home, sharing all the local places she enjoyed when she was little with her young children, including Children’s Fairyland! Her city pride also shows in the books she’s authored, “My City is Oakland,” “Oakland Bird,” and “Oakland Baby.” For today’s Community Storytime, she reads from another in her “Kids Love Oakland” series, “Gnomes of Oakland.”
Kamaria earned her B.A. in Sacred Music from Patten University and her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Mills College, and has been part of Fairyland’s Turn the Page! book festival since the beginning.
Oakland-born Robert Liu-Trujillo wears many hats: husband, dad, author, and illustrator! The child of Bay Area activists, Robert was brought to many demonstrations when he was young. He writes, “ Down with the system and soggy french fries!” Always drawing, he grew up to be an artist who loves graffiti, fine art, illustration, murals, and telling stories through children’s books.
For the Magic Tree, he’s reading his “Furqan’s First Flat Top,” a story about the love between a father and son. It follows Furqan, a 10-year-old boy who is nervous about going to the barbershop to cut his curly hair for the first time.
Most recently, Robert illustrated “Alejandria Fights Back/¡La Lucha de Alejandria!,” a bilingual picture book authored by Leticia Hernández-Linares and the Rise-Home Stories Project. It is available to pre-order now.
Repeat Turn the Page! book creator Maya Christina Gonzalez has illustrated over 20 award-winning children’s books, several of which she also wrote. Her book My Colors, My World won the prestigious Pura Belpré Award Honor from the American Library Association. Maya works extensively with educators and children on holistic approaches to learning. She lives and plays in San Francisco with her loving family.
Turn the Page! Book festival author Laurin Mayeno (she/her) joins us to share from her book, “One of a Kind Like Me/Único Como Yo.” Her experience growing up as a mixed race Japanese/Jewish/Anglo woman inspired her work for a more just society. Her child Danny, who loved dressing up as a princess, helped her see the importance of supporting young people who aren’t limited by gender boxes. Danny, who is now a queer nonbinary adult, also inspired Laurin to use her voice as a mother to organize and support other mixed-race families and families of color with LGBTQ+ children. “One of a Kind Like Me/Único Como Yo” is based on Danny’s true story of wanting to dress like a princess.
Local writer Victoria M. Sanchez looks forward to joining us in person at Fairyland’s Turn the Page! book festival as soon as it’s safe to gather. In the meantime, she’s reading her book “Pilar’s Worries” here on the Magic Tree.
Victoria’s intention as a writer is to create characters that reflect children as they really are—unique, individual beings with an infinite variety of personalities, motivations, and… superpowers!
Victoria spends almost half her week listening to her characters, writing, and reading kidlit. The rest of her days are spent selling books, and trying to figure out New Math so she doesn’t lose credibility with her kids.
She has always LOVED children's books. When she was in college, she would save her hard-to-come-by cash to purchase first editions of crackling old illustrated kid's classics. They've now become her children's favorites, too.