Category Archives: Bedtime Stories

LA Times Festival of Books and Jon Klassen

LA Times Festival of Books

When Collin told me that he noticed Jon Klassen, an author and illustrator I really like, was going to be at the LA Times Festival of Books, I immediately told gem and made plans to attend. Among other works, Klassen authored and illustrated I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat.

LA Times Festival of Books, Jon Klassen

This weekend we headed up to USC to meet him. Klassen was really friendly, and we both enjoyed chatting with him. We showed him some Snapchat art gem made involving his characters and told him about the “I Want My Yoga Shirt Back” flyer gem put up at her yoga studio when she lost her shirt. He complimented her Snapchat art!

LA Times Festival of Books, I Want My Hat Back

Check out my sweet first edition copy now! Awesome. 🙂

LA Times Festival of Books, This Is Not My Hat

We even discussed how he hears his characters’ voices. Klassen said hears them all deadpan and imagines that if there were actors portraying his characters, they’d be the worst actors he could find. I love it! While they do all have different voices when I read the book, they’re all pretty deadpan too actually. I told him how I do voices and even made a puppet show. He asked me to send him a link to the performance!

It was a lot of fun. Besides meeting Jon Klassen, we also got to eat some Filipino food from a food truck and some Thai sweet sticky rice with mango. We played on some outdoor workout equipment and took plenty of photos and various little photo ops. There was even an archaeologist there answering kids’ questions. He had a dinosaur puppet with him that was half controlled by someone in a suit and half controlled by someone outside. The kids wanted to pet it – adorable! On our way out, we even ran into our friend, Katy!

Here’s my performance of I Want My Hat Back. It’s so embarrassing! I love this book so much, and it was a great pleasure getting to meet Jon Klassen!

The last day of gem’s twenties

gem's birthday

Last month we celebrated the gem’s birthday by celebrating the last day of her twenties! She wanted to do something that reminded her of her twenties (although we modified for out appropriate ages).

gem's birthday

We started with Jell-O shots! But as it was a work night, we started early… and used champagne. gem gave me the calorie count too, because that’s what’s important now, haha.


Dave & Buster’s was the perfect location for the celebration. We started with dinner (after snacking at her place). When gem couldn’t decide on a dessert, Edward and I insisted on ordering two.

gem's birthday

Squeezing into a photo booth, we did our best to all get in the frame. The birthday girl’s best wasn’t good enough. You’ll notice she’s the only one not visible in any of the photos.

gem's birthday

Round two was better. Now we can see gem! We’re a really gorgeous bunch.

gem's birthday

gem played some Kung Fu Pando Dojo Mojo by following along with Po and punching the sensors. She was a lot better than I was! We also played a few rounds of air hockey, some trivia, and my favorite – Pac-Man Battle Royale.

I think Anela’s ready to play professional football after this. She seemed to get into it! I played a game with Anela that involved hitting lit up sensors faster than your opponent that was pretty fun. gem and I also played a DDR knock-off. I didn’t catch the names of any of those games. Edit: Thanks, YouTube! It’s called Gridiron Blitz!

gem's birthday

After D&B’s, we headed back to gem’s to eat some macarons. We split them five ways, hence them looking all cup up and ugly here.

gem's birthday

It’s not a birthday without “Happy Birthday” hats! Most of us even sat up for the photo…

gem's birthday

Even some of gem’s stuffed friends joined in the celebration by wearing hats.

gem's birthday

Speaking of hats, my gift to gem involved hats in a way. These are characters from Jon Klassen’s “I Want My Hat Back.”

Okay, this is embarrassing. “I Want My Hat Back” is a children’s book that gem and I both like. I already had voices for every character, so performing it as a stick puppet was the next logical step. You should support Klassen by purchasing it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

It seems to me that gem ended her twenties with a pretty terrific night.

Welcome to Goon Holler!

Welcome to Goon Holler

Welcome to Goon Holler, a new book from Parker and Christian Jacobs, came out a few days ago, and today there was a signing at Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach. These two guys are amazing: Christian Jacobs is the frontman of The Aquabats, and Parker, his brother, is the frontman of GOGO13. They’re also responsible for The Aquabats Super Show! and Yo Gabba Gabba! (What a rad family, because their brother Tyler is one of the creators of CinemAttack!)

I forgot to add when I first posted this that I came across a really great interview with Parker Jacobs. Check it out.

An Interview with Parker Jacobs!, Anthony Sansone, 11/12/14.

Welcome to Goon Holler

Here Christian is reading the story, standing in front of the table, while Parker sits and provides voices.

Welcome to Goon Holler

Look at that turn out!

Welcome to Goon Holler

When we lined up for autographs, a kid behind us wanted to try gem’s ukulele. I think she was a little worried, and he was a little rough, but it was fine! Speaking of ukulele’s, I knew that Parker uses one in GOGO13, but I wasn’t expecting him to bring one and play it at the signing. Now that would have been cool all by itself, but in addition, there was a ukulele song with chords in the book! Super rad!

Welcome to Goon Holler

There was a family in front of us with four kids. We had a good time chatting with them. The woman was actually the singer in Los Pantalones, a band that contained a lot of people that later went on to form Save Ferris!

This is her daughter, Scarlett, who was very sweet. She looks like such a natural with gem’s ukulele. (Also, check out that awesome cats-in-space dress.

Later while we were in line, we ran into our friends Remy and Tawney who run Pizza Beat Entertainment (of It’s a Ska World). I love running into people I know from the ska scene.Welcome to Goon Holler Signing

Here I am with Tooba the hungry bigfoot (from the book) and two of the three Parker brothers! Parker told me that he and Christian are like peanut butter and chocolate. I asked how Tyler fit, and after thinking about it, he said that Tyler is the wrapper that holds them together.

The little giraffe

There once was a giraffe. He was quite little. He was brown. He had a short neck. And he had a big, bushy tail.

The little giraffe lived in a tree and a good life. The only thing that upset him was that he fought with his mom a lot. She tried to force him to be someone he wasn’t.

One afternoon the little giraffe set out to eat some leaves as giraffes do. He stood on his hind legs on a branch to reach the nearest leaves and began to munch them. His mom called out “honey, stop eating those leaves. Come eat some nuts!”

“Leave me alone, mom!” he replied. “I am a giraffe, and I eat leaves!”

“You’re a squirrel! Eat your nuts!”

“No!” He ran away to look for some tasty leaves somewhere farther from home. Coming upon a tasty bush, he decided he’d try to eat some of the leaves. Just as he began to chew his first leaf, he heard some movement behind him. He turned around to face four other squirrels – known bullies.

“Hey giraffe,” one squirrel exclaimed mockingly. “You really should eat some nuts!” The little giraffe felt something hit him in the back of the head. Turning around, he saw that three more squirrels had come up behind him. They all began pelting him with nuts.

“You’re a squirrel! Learn to eat nuts!” another yelled.

Just then he heard someone loudly yell, “leave my son alone! He is a giraffe because he says he’s a giraffe, and he wants to eat leaves, let him!” She jumped at the squirrel bullies, and they all ran away.

“Thanks, mom,” said the little giraffe.

“I love you, my little giraffe,” said the mom squirrel. “I just want you to be safe and happy.” They walked home together, and the little giraffe and his mom shared a dinner of leaves and nuts.

The end.

The Polka-Dotted Bunny

Once upon a time, there was a bunny who was covered in beautiful polka dots! She was white with a rainbow of colored polka dots! The Polka-Dotted Bunny thought she was very pretty and was happy to be who she was. Unfortunately, the other bunnies weren’t so kind. They started making fun of her for being different. It got to be too much for her, so the Polka-Dotted Bunny decided to change herself!

Because she was mostly white anyways, she covered the polka dots with white paint! For a short while, she felt good about herself. The Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) finally fit in with the other bunnies. But inside, she knew she wasn’t a white bunny. She was polka-dotted. Deep down she knew she shouldn’t live a lie, but fitting in felt very nice to her.

One day, the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) met a new friend. Her bunny friend told her that she used to love her polka dots and thought she was quite pretty. She was sad that the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) got rid of her polka dots. Then the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) got sad too and said she wished she could have them back. Her friend suddenly realized that she could use paint thinner!

The Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) poured paint thinner over herself to remove the paint and reveal her true self. What she didn’t expect was that at some point long ago, she must have got white paint on herself, because in reality she wasn’t white with polka dots at all. She was completely covered in beautiful, multi-colored fur! She was ecstatic, and her friend thought she looked even prettier now than before! The Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was actually rainbow colored) no longer cared what the other bunnies thought, although she was quite glad to have a friend who liked her. She realized that what mattered was that she was happy with herself. Even though some bunnies were still mean to her, most came to accept her anyways, and the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was actually rainbow colored) lived happily ever after.

The end.