Saturday, September 29, 2012

I'm drawing on the Illustrator's stage at The Orange County Book Festival Sun. Sept. 30th at 1:50pm! And selling books in the Author's corner for the whole event-- Here's more details:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review for "I Have a Restaurant"

Author: Ryan Afromsky

Illustrator: Ron Noble

ISBN: 978-0-9836045-2-5

Publisher: Kendahl House Press

In his first picture book, I Have a Restaurant, author Ryan Afromsky utilizes his experience as a restaurateur to take kids on a playful inside tour of a restaurant from the arrival of the staff, set up, deliveries, food preparation to clean up at the end of the day. Kids have such a natural curiosity about how everyday things around them work, and Afromsky uses simple, kid-friendly language to provide a behind-the-scenes peek of the day-to-day operations of a restaurant.

Complemented by Ron Noble’s charming and expressive illustrations, the author does a really good job distilling the complexities of running a restaurant into a light-hearted romp through the restaurant owner’s day. From the name of the book’s restaurant “Ryan’s Place” to the caricature-like illustrations of Ryan to the author bio. in which we find out that the author started his own restaurant, Melt Down Etc., at 26, we can assume that the main character, Ryan, is the author himself. This very personal approach gives the book a chummy, arms-around-the-shoulder feel that is appealing.

Afromsky’s conversational tone and uncluttered prose keeps this story engaging, and children turning the page. As with most picture books, I tested this one on my kindergartner who was captivated by the story and drawn to the colorful illustrations.

As with most Kendahl House Press books, a set of questions at the end of the book helps enhance kids’ critical thinking skills and makes this book an interactive experience for the child and the adult reader.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two New Letter Beasties Reviews!

Two great new book reviews:

5 Stars! These letters are charming beasties, March 15, 2012
Andrew W. Johns "ResQgeek" (Alexandria, VA USA) -

"I never considered the possibility that the alphabet might be a collection of beasties, but having read this charming book, I may never look at my letters the same way again. Like most alphabet books, each letter is accompanied by an illustration and a brief line about the letter. However, instead of showing something that starts with the letter, the letters themselves are the stars of this show. Each one is charmingly illustrated as a beasty, and the text tells us a little something about each of these beasties. This is clearly meant to be read to a child, rather than read by a beginning reader, since there are words ("ectoplasmic" comes to mind) that are going to be beyond the reach of the novice reader. However, the illustrations are delightful, and the descriptions are likely to charm the kids, which should make this a great tool for helping to teach the alphabet."
4 Stars! A "monstrous" alphabet book, March 22, 2012
By Natasha Yim "" (Ukiah, CA United States)

"Letter Beasties is a "monstrous" alphabet book by author/illustrator Ron Noble. Each letter of the alphabet is a beast or creature from familiar folklore. There's Alien Beastie, Kraken Beastie, Werewolf Beastie, Zombie Beastie. For parents who may be concerned about whether you should be telling tales of werewolves and zombies to your kids at bedtime, don't worry. The vibrant and whimsical illustrations of beasties in the shapes of the letters they represent are charming and humorous. They brought a few chuckles to my six year old kindergartener. Now, there's high praise indeed.
The verses are simple and very readable with two lines per page in a large, font-size (excellent for those of us who left our reading glasses in some netherparts of the house and are too lazy to go get them--we are, after all, tucked snugly in bed for storytime!). The rhyming is fun in a roll-off-the tongue way ("U.F.O. Beastie zips across the sky, Vampire Beastie becomes a bat who can fly."), when the writing does rhyme. However, it doesn't always and this can be a little disconcerting to the adult reader ("Igor Beastie works in a mad scientist's lab, Jackyl Beastie plays fetch on the desert sand"). When the rhyming structure abruptly changes, it trips you up.
Kids though will be so delighted by the colorful and fanciful beasties, they will barely notice the rhyming. My son proved this by eagerly turning the page to see the next beastie while I was pondering the rhyming structure.
Another clue that a kid likes a book? They'll ask to read it again...and again...and again...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Awesome Review from Brooke Van Gory Designs!

Great endoresement! "I really love sharing new kids items that are different and unique with you all, and this one is out new FAVORITE! Letter Beasties was given to Gory as a gift, and since it got here yesterday, he has not been able to pout it down! The chara...cters are amazing, the illustrations are fun, and it gives a different spin to the whole "A is for aardvark, B is for bear, C is for cat" idea. What a fun gift for a special toddler in your life!" ~Brooke Van Gory (Designer and Mom of Gory)

And her follow up - "OK, so I am not gonna lie. I am admitting right here in public.... hubby and I like this book almost as much as Gory does...... The pictures are AWESOME. We all were looking at it last night after G had gone to bed. ;)"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Letter Beasties Reading at McDonald's in Tucson, AZ March 3-4

As part of the Tucson Festival of Books, I got invited to present Letter Beasties at two McDonald's stores in Tucson.
First 15 people through the door get a free copy of Letter Beasties!
I'll also be reading "I Have a Restaurant" with author Ryan Afromsky.

Here's the schedule:

March 3, 2012 (1-3pm)
McDonald's - corner of Ina & Thornydale in Tucson, AZ

March 4th (1-3pm)
McDonald's - corner of 12th & Valencia in Tucson, AZ

Hope to see you there! is live! And Ron's first Reading/Signing (La Mesa) is officially up and running!
Gimme an A!
Gimme a B!
Gimme get the picture.
You can get AUTHOR SIGNED copies of the hot new Letter Beasties book now!

Ron's first Letter Beasties reading/signing!!
Sat. Feb 25, 2012 (12pm-3pm)
La Mesa Library - 8074 Allison Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942
Near San Diego.

Meet Ron Noble and Ryan Afromsky (author of I Have a Restaurant)
Join in the beastly fun!