We've created original adventures in our annual series Tales from the Chinese Zodiac for a decade. Now the latest yarn centers on Sydney - this lamb redefines (in very positive ways) what it means to be sheepish!
Already we have shared this energetic story with dozens of schools, libraries, and cultural associations...and have seen kids go baaa-baaa-bonkers with enthusiasm :)
Artist Alina Chau illustrated a brand new world for Sydney and our readers to explore - full of color, humor, and the beauty of nature. Well known for her expert use of watercolors, Alina imbues her illustrations with intimate and impressionistic detail. Plus Alina will present the March 1st storytime at Books, Inc. in Burlingame, CA.
Meanwhile author Oliver Chin is reading at many other locales. See our events calendar for a venue near you.
Sure, Marvel's surprise summer blockbuster featured a unique cast of good guys. But that film's stars surely can't hold a candle to the real heroes of history, found all around our world, and believed in by millions of people for thousands of years.
On every continent, in every country, families have found inspiration in legendary champions. Elemental gods such as the Norse Thor. Skilled deities such as the Greek Artemis. Mythic avengers such as the Monkey King. Supreme defenders such as the Aztec's Quetzalcoatl.
Discover them and more in Good Dream, Bad Dream, created by Juan Calle and his team at Liberum Donum studios in Bogota, Colombia, and co-written by Serena Valentino. Our first Spanish bilingual book, it was successfully funded on Kickstarter by hundreds of fans who were excited by the fantastic artwork and multicultural themes.
In this universal tale, a boy named Julio is afraid of having nightmares. His Papa comes to the rescue, by telling his son that people have always relied on superheroes to make their dreams good. Next come panaromic examples from around the globe of powerful protectors facing off against equally infamous foes.
Illustrated in a dynamic comic book style, Good Dream underscores the common experiences we share, both as individuals and as cultures and as a species. Human nature is rooted in the primal need to belong but also to stand out and for principles that are bigger than any one of us and ultimately can unite us all.
Before the famous reptiles Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops existed, there was the Permian Era. In this span from 299-250 million BC, the terrible lizards were technically not considered "dinosaurs". But that doesn't mean they weren't always hungry!
So starts Dave Derrick's fourth storybook Play with your Food. Now an animator at Disney, Dave has created yet another fun, fascinating, and fully immersive adventure that kids and adults can both enjoy.
The first is a little lizard called a coelurosauravus. Unfortunately it's timing is off, as it lands on the menu of a larger predator - the dimetrodon. Can the small fry convince the big cheese that it is better to play with your food? Remember that the law of the jungle is that it is the survival of the funnest!
Check out Dave's animated trailer and discover how
these two cutups could teach Miss Manners what proper and practical
etiquette really was...prehistorically!
As you may know, the month of May commemorates the contributions and cultures of Asian Pacific Americans.
So it is notable that recently American publishers have recognized (again) that 90% of their children's books don't include diverse faces and themes.
A March New York Times article "Where are the People of Color in Children's Books?" rekindled the debate. The ensuing media coverage prompted New York publishers to form "task forces" to address the issue, get photographed doing so, and create Twitter hashtags - that's sort of like an interagency SWAT meeting without the guns or vans or deadlines. More concretely, School Library Journal dedicated their May issue to the topic of diversity.
There is nothing new under the sun, but the problem is real.
Capitalism is the wheel that drives industry. Superheroes, wizards, vampires, and female archers sell books. Publisher may wonder if Asians, Latinos, and Blacks buy enough books that feature characters like themselves. But it seems like publishing is even lagging behind TV and movies (which can't brag about their track records either) in including minority (soon to be the majority) actors. Even when you factor out the ubiquitous presence of Samuel Jackson, the boob tube is doing a better job than book publishing.
We founded Immedium in 2005 to address this very issue.
"An adventurous young boy takes flight on a friendly cloud in this
delightful whirlwind of a daydream. The story is artfully structured,
with reality turning to fantasy as Sora (a name that means “sky” in
Japanese) climbs a tree and hops aboard a cloud for a whimsical journey
above the city. His fanciful vision gently gives way to reality again
when he drifts to sleep on the cloud and dreams of pleasures grounded in
everyday life, like splashing in puddles and digging in sand at the
beach. Sora’s airborne fantasy is charmingly depicted with a dreamlike
palette of pastel colors. The San Francisco setting in combination with
the bilingual text deftly shows the child’s Japanese American identity."
Therefore we celebrate the symbolism of May with you. We hope to continue sharing your journey of cultural exploration and appreciation.
9 years already? Boy, time flies when you're having fun.
That we've certainly had in abundance during the past decade. Yet when we started, we knew we'd have a lot of ground to cover too. Think about it...when was the last time you've willingly embarked on a 12 year project where you had to make a product every year?
You parents out there know what we're talking about, when I say that having a child becomes much more than a 12 year project. But then would you want to have another baby the next year, and so on, and so on?
Well, without getting too philosophical about it (or straying into the familially fraught territory of TLC's reality TV show 19 Kids and Counting), let's just say we embarked willingly and with brio.
One of our goals was to publish fresh, meaningful stories about Asian American themes and characters. So this hitting upon concept was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. I mean no one had ever published a series of stories on each of the Chinese zodiac animals before in English (only later did we learn that a Chinese publisher had done so in Asia, but the tales were much different).
But let's get back to FUN.
2014's heroine is Hannah the Horse. She exemplifies the positive can-do attitude of kids who want to make their mark in the world and enjoy their journey at the same time.
Artist Jennifer Wood notches her 3rd straight hit (following Dragon and Snake) and displays her personal predilection for horses with vibrant scenes of Hannah and her pal Tom energetically romping through colorful vistas. These friends are simply joyful, just like any kids at play.
Meanwhile author Oliver Chin visits Southern California this week as well. He participates in the Bowers Museum's festival in Santa Ana tomorrow on 2/2 (quite a Super Sunday). Then he'll travel to many schools and libraries across Los Angeles - check out our event calendar.
In a way, the creators are emulating Hannah's trek to share the fruits of artistic creativity, one of which is the common experience of fun.www.immedium.com/products/yearofhorse.htmlwww.immedium.com/products/yearofhorse.htmlwww.immedium.com/products/yearofhorse.html
Sampan review the original story The Kung Fu Chronicles: "As society progresses away from gender stereotypes, it is nice to see children’s literature doing the same. Growing up in the ’90s, I spent my childhood wondering why all the heroes were male and females characters who needed saving. Julie Black Belt is a shining example of how things have changed for the better."
In the intervening years since the publication of the first Julie Black Belt story, Kung Fu Panda and mixed martial arts (MMA) have pushed the popularity of martial arts in two directions: comedy on one hand and violence in the other.
However, we still wanted to chart our compass to the true north. We wanted to create a new chapter for families that was substantive. Julie should continue to plumb the depths of emotions that kids actually grapple with, and discover practical lessons that youngsters could also learn from their own experiences.
CM magazine praised the sequel: "The character of Julie continues to give young girls a strong female protagonist with which to identify. This is further enhanced this time around with the introduction of Master Zhou. When Julie first learns that the Kung fu master is coming for a visit, she automatically assumes it will be a male teacher. It's a nice surprise to learn that the master who taught Sifu everything he knows is actually a woman. The character of Master Zhou serves to both further explore aspects of Kung fu and to provide young girls with yet another role model."
Artist Charlene Chua returns to bring Julie and a diverse cast of characters to life with vibrant colors and eye-catching motion.
Author Oliver Chin read it for the first time to kids at Miraloma Elementary School in San Francisco this week, and will autograph copies tomorrow (Friday, 1 pm) at the NCIBA annual book show at the South San Francisco convention center.
David Derrick (www.davederrick.com) is a veritable creative font. A story artist at DreamWorks Feature Animation by day, he has contributed to the movies Rise of the Guardians, How to Train Your Dragon, and Megamind. But at the same time, he has been imagining new stories chock full of animals that have the same bubbly enthusiasm and curiosity that kids have.
In 2010, we produced Dave's 2nd tale Animals Don't, So I Won't!, which is now sold at venues such at the Los Angeles Zoo and Hogle's Zoo in Utah.
This year, we complete the hat trick with Dave's newest romp I'm the Scariest Thing in the Jungle!In the wilds of India, the Bengal tiger is the king of the land but the saltwater crocodile is the master of the water. What will happen when the kids of these two fearsome beasts meet? Well, this will make the UFC look like kindergarten playtime...let's get ready to ruuuuuuumble!
Earlier in September, we displayed our sample copy at the annual convention of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in Kansas City, MO. As expected, it was a big hit among these professional animal lovers and we took a bunch of pre-orders! Now you too can get your own copy - this time autographed by Dave himself with a unique animal sketch and free postcard!
Enjoy the trailer which features Dave's expressive character designs and beautiful watercolors: