The bookstore tour visits The Frugal Frigate.
The Southern California Booksellers Association (SCBA) conducted a "sizzling" fourth bookstore tour on Saturday, July 22, when temperatures in the Los Angeles area reached 114 degrees. SCBA's "'I Feel the Need to Read' Children's Independent Bookstore Tour" visited four stores: Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Bookshop in La Verne; Once Upon a Time in Montrose; Storyopolis in Studio City; and The Frugal Frigate, A Children's Bookstore in Redlands -- as well as the Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena.
"The [host] booksellers did a wonderful job," said SCBA Executive Director Jennifer Bigelow. "We had a lot of cancellations due to the weather, but had our most relaxed tour yet. There was an assortment of librarians, booksellers, teachers... and we had three girls and a couple of high school girls..." The tour went from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The tour began at the Kidspace museum with pastries and coffee, catered by Wolfgang Puck. By 10:00 a.m., the temperature was already up to 100 degrees, and, unfortunately, the air conditioning was out at the first stop, Frugal Frigate. "We walked in there and it was hot as blazes," said Bigelow. A neighboring pizza place saved the day and invited the whole entourage, along with author Diane Adams (Zoom!, Peachtree) into their much cooler quarters. "We had a signing and were selling books there," Bigelow reported.
Author Lisa Yee spoke at Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Bookshop.
After the Frugal Frigate the group traveled to Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Bookshop, where Lisa Yee, author of Millicent Min, Girl Genius and Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (both Scholastic), spoke about the writing and publishing process.
Following lunch at Kidspace, the tour traveled to Storyopolis, where participants were invited to explore the gallery of artwork by children's books illustrators, which includes an original illustration from Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline.
"Everybody enjoyed their visit and found things to take home," said Storyopolis' Vanessa Mazur. "There was a lot of interest."
The last stop of the day was Once Upon a Time, featuring a reading by Michele Dominguez Greene (Chasing the Jaguar, HarperCollins). Owner Maureen Palacios reported that those on the tour "just seemed to really enjoy looking around.... They really liked the shop. I was thrilled. I'd love to do it again."
Among the titles sold to "tourists" at Once Upon a Time were Chasing the Jaguar, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (HarperCollins), and Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beckie Prange (Houghton Mifflin), a Caldecott Honor Book.
Next Up for SCBA is the "Beat the Heat Book Tour" on August 19. This general bookstore tour will stop at independents in beach cities, from Malibu to Long Beach: Under the Bridge and William's Bookstore in San Pedro); Diesel, A Bookstore in Malibu; Village Books in Pacific Palisades; and Hennessey & Ingalls in Santa Monica. --Karen Schechner