Monthly Archives: June 2011

What Does It Mean To Be Safe?

By Dani Greer
I was kidnapped once.
In 4th grade. School had let out for lunch, and the entire elementary school was in high spirits on the first warm day of a fine German spring. We children galloped about like so many ponies, and what fun when several kids in front of us started hurdling over the green privet hedge surrounding the terrace of a little café on the corner. We all followed, stomping and soaring, including me right along with the rest of the herd. And following right behind me a tall, swarthy, dark-haired man. He collared me and dragged me screaming and crying into the restaurant.
It was the owner of the café.
Oops.
But neither my little friends, nor I, knew this until many hours later. Long after my mother heard from dozens of hysterical children that I had been kidnapped by a wild man, and she, desperate and eight months pregnant, ran panting toward school in search of me. By the time she found me crying and on my way home, I’d given my father’s name, rank, and serial number to the restaurateur, who had called my father’s commanding officers, whereupon the real drama began. 
But that’s another story.
Today, it wouldn’t have taken an afternoon to resolve a situation like this, thanks to the wonders of technology. Any of a number of people would have called to report the situation on their cell phones and that would have been the end of it in a few minutes.
Or in the case of a real abduction and missing child, systems like AMBER Alert would have activated in the blink of an eye. AMBER is officially an acronym for “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response” but was originally named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old child who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996. The set-up has since been adopted by foreign countries as well.
In 1998, the first fully automated Alert Notification System (ANS) was created to notify surrounding communities when a child was reported missing or abducted. Alerts were sent to radio stations and also included television stations, surrounding law enforcement agencies, newspapers and local support organizations. These alerts were sent all at once via pagers, faxes, emails, and cell phones with the information immediately posted on the Internet for the general public to view. Today, even Facebook and Twitter have an AMBER Alert presence that is actively used by viewers. The good news is that many situations are resolved in a very short time. Be sure to click on the links and become part of this powerful child recovery system. The child you save could belong to someone you know.
I’m grateful today that my experience was never the real thing, but I did learn from it. I learned that my actions impact other people. I gave my mother one of the worst nightmares a parent can have. It’s a wonder she kept me. My father could have lost rank because that’s how it works in the military where parents are directly responsible for their children and damage to foreign private property is an International matter. It probably gave my friends and their families quite a shock, too. I also learned not to follow the herd, not to give in to peer pressure.
That’s one of the topics addressed in Rana DiOrio’s new release coming this fall. The 4th book in her ongoing series, the new title, What Does It Mean To Be Safe? covers many related subjects — from personal boundaries to Internet safety. Like her other books, it is inspired by a deeply personal story. Stay tuned as we share more information in the weeks to come. For now, please explore the other books in the series:
Here’s a sneak peek at one interior page of What Does It Mean To Be Safe?, illustrated by Sandra Salsbury.

 

I hope you’re as excited to add this book to your Little Pickle Press collection as I am!

What Does It Mean To Be Safe?

By Dani Greer
I was kidnapped once.
In 4th grade. School had let out for lunch, and the entire elementary school was in high spirits on the first warm day of a fine German spring. We children galloped about like so many ponies, and what fun when several kids in front of us started hurdling over the green privet hedge surrounding the terrace of a little café on the corner. We all followed, stomping and soaring, including me right along with the rest of the herd. And following right behind me a tall, swarthy, dark-haired man. He collared me and dragged me screaming and crying into the restaurant.
It was the owner of the café.
Oops.
But neither my little friends, nor I, knew this until many hours later. Long after my mother heard from dozens of hysterical children that I had been kidnapped by a wild man, and she, desperate and eight months pregnant, ran panting toward school in search of me. By the time she found me crying and on my way home, I’d given my father’s name, rank, and serial number to the restaurateur, who had called my father’s commanding officers, whereupon the real drama began. 
But that’s another story.
Today, it wouldn’t have taken an afternoon to resolve a situation like this, thanks to the wonders of technology. Any of a number of people would have called to report the situation on their cell phones and that would have been the end of it in a few minutes.
Or in the case of a real abduction and missing child, systems like AMBER Alert would have activated in the blink of an eye. AMBER is officially an acronym for “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response” but was originally named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old child who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996. The set-up has since been adopted by foreign countries as well.
In 1998, the first fully automated Alert Notification System (ANS) was created to notify surrounding communities when a child was reported missing or abducted. Alerts were sent to radio stations and also included television stations, surrounding law enforcement agencies, newspapers and local support organizations. These alerts were sent all at once via pagers, faxes, emails, and cell phones with the information immediately posted on the Internet for the general public to view. Today, even Facebook and Twitter have an AMBER Alert presence that is actively used by viewers. The good news is that many situations are resolved in a very short time. Be sure to click on the links and become part of this powerful child recovery system. The child you save could belong to someone you know.
I’m grateful today that my experience was never the real thing, but I did learn from it. I learned that my actions impact other people. I gave my mother one of the worst nightmares a parent can have. It’s a wonder she kept me. My father could have lost rank because that’s how it works in the military where parents are directly responsible for their children and damage to foreign private property is an International matter. It probably gave my friends and their families quite a shock, too. I also learned not to follow the herd, not to give in to peer pressure.
That’s one of the topics addressed in Rana DiOrio’s new release coming this fall. The 4th book in her ongoing series, the new title, What Does It Mean To Be Safe? covers many related subjects — from personal boundaries to Internet safety. Like her other books, it is inspired by a deeply personal story. Stay tuned as we share more information in the weeks to come. For now, please explore the other books in the series:
Here’s a sneak peek at one interior page of What Does It Mean To Be Safe?, illustrated by Sandra Salsbury.

 

I hope you’re as excited to add this book to your Little Pickle Press collection as I am!

Suggested Travel Toys from Henry’s Toyshop

By Ariel Englander, Owner
Henry’s Toyshop, Mill Valley, CA

As the owner of Henry’s Toyshop, a small community toy store, I am often asked for suggestions for things that will keep children occupied on long car trips and plane rides. Although Mom and Dad will inevitably hear, “How much longer?”, and babies will be entertained for just so long, there are many fun toys and activities that are perfect for vacations.

Babies & Toddlers

For very little ones, a new rattle that is colorful, makes a pleasing noise or can be manipulated in some way, will often do the trick. The Schylling tin hour glass is a classic that has a soothing sound and colorful beads that babies find transfixing. Halilit makes lovely baby maracas, and Yellow Label makes organic cotton rattles in all sorts of food shapes that are light weight, squishable, and safe for chewing. Soft cloth books are easy to pack and also safe to chew. Nowadays they come with crinkly sounds, pockets and mirrors. A little hand puppet can also entertain little ones.

Toddlers are usually the most difficult to keep occupied because they are so desperate to get out of their seats. Board books, a new small lovey, or soft toy car are all good ideas. Rubbabu makes an all rubber line of plush-like vehicles that are safe for babies and toddlers. Soft dolls are also great – Corolle has a collection of eight inch little babies for girls and boys that are the perfect size for little hands, and easily fit in the diaper bag. Board books with flaps, textures or sounds are a good bet.

Ages 3 & 4

Once your child is over three and not as likely to put things in their mouth, the possibilities are greater. Sticker books are a good idea for young kids and can be played with in a car seat. Little wind-up toys are fun. WHAT’ZIT, a colorful wooden fidget toy made of blocks strung together with elastic, is great for kids three and up. They also make a similar toy that is wooden magnetized blocks. The classic matchbox-sized cars are a time-tested toy for traveling. Simple lacing cards begin at three or four, and of course a couple of small new books are always a good idea. The most important advice for the first long trip is to bring the new items out one at a time, and gradually so you don’t go through your whole bag of tricks too early in the trip.

Ages 5 to 7

Five to seven year-olds have all kinds of toys to keep them busy. The new Rookie Perplexus is challenging, compelling, and perfect for long trips and building problem solving and hand-eye skills. Mudpuppy makes magnetic design sets that come in a tin with four illustrated scenes and sheets of interchangeable magnets for boys and girls that enjoy making up their own stories. Dot to dot books, mazes and other activity books are all great. Dover makes some lovely “stained glass” coloring books that can be used with crayons or markers. There are all kinds of small travel games that are perfect for trips – including small matching and memory games and classic age-appropriate card games. Picture books and simple reads are great for this age.

Ages 8 & Up

For older kids, the world of mazes and puzzles has really taken off. In addition to the classic Rubik’s Cube, is the new Eni Puzzle which has no one solution. Perplexus has recently come out with the new Epic Sphere maze that will challenge older children. Recent Toys has a line of brain teasers, three dimensional puzzles that are easy to travel with and will challenge kids at this age. Gamewright has a large selection of fun card games: Rat-a-Tat Cat, Slamwich, Chomp, and Sleeping Queens are favorites. Find It makes a series of clear cylinders filled with recycled pellets with tiny themed object floating inside that makes a great car trip item. Classic games, like Checkers, come in tiny, easy-to-travel-with sizes. Klutz books also contain projects that are great for travel. Travel journals for jotting down thoughts or writing stories are one of my favorite suggestions. Madlibs are a perennial favorite. And of course lots of books, appropriate to their reading level and interest, as kids will often be more open to reading challenges during the summer when it doesn’t seem like schoolwork.

Suggested Travel Toys from Henry’s Toyshop

By Ariel Englander, Owner
Henry’s Toyshop, Mill Valley, CA

As the owner of Henry’s Toyshop, a small community toy store, I am often asked for suggestions for things that will keep children occupied on long car trips and plane rides. Although Mom and Dad will inevitably hear, “How much longer?”, and babies will be entertained for just so long, there are many fun toys and activities that are perfect for vacations.

Babies & Toddlers

For very little ones, a new rattle that is colorful, makes a pleasing noise or can be manipulated in some way, will often do the trick. The Schylling tin hour glass is a classic that has a soothing sound and colorful beads that babies find transfixing. Halilit makes lovely baby maracas, and Yellow Label makes organic cotton rattles in all sorts of food shapes that are light weight, squishable, and safe for chewing. Soft cloth books are easy to pack and also safe to chew. Nowadays they come with crinkly sounds, pockets and mirrors. A little hand puppet can also entertain little ones.

Toddlers are usually the most difficult to keep occupied because they are so desperate to get out of their seats. Board books, a new small lovey, or soft toy car are all good ideas. Rubbabu makes an all rubber line of plush-like vehicles that are safe for babies and toddlers. Soft dolls are also great – Corolle has a collection of eight inch little babies for girls and boys that are the perfect size for little hands, and easily fit in the diaper bag. Board books with flaps, textures or sounds are a good bet.

Ages 3 & 4

Once your child is over three and not as likely to put things in their mouth, the possibilities are greater. Sticker books are a good idea for young kids and can be played with in a car seat. Little wind-up toys are fun. WHAT’ZIT, a colorful wooden fidget toy made of blocks strung together with elastic, is great for kids three and up. They also make a similar toy that is wooden magnetized blocks. The classic matchbox-sized cars are a time-tested toy for traveling. Simple lacing cards begin at three or four, and of course a couple of small new books are always a good idea. The most important advice for the first long trip is to bring the new items out one at a time, and gradually so you don’t go through your whole bag of tricks too early in the trip.

Ages 5 to 7

Five to seven year-olds have all kinds of toys to keep them busy. The new Rookie Perplexus is challenging, compelling, and perfect for long trips and building problem solving and hand-eye skills. Mudpuppy makes magnetic design sets that come in a tin with four illustrated scenes and sheets of interchangeable magnets for boys and girls that enjoy making up their own stories. Dot to dot books, mazes and other activity books are all great. Dover makes some lovely “stained glass” coloring books that can be used with crayons or markers. There are all kinds of small travel games that are perfect for trips – including small matching and memory games and classic age-appropriate card games. Picture books and simple reads are great for this age.

Ages 8 & Up

For older kids, the world of mazes and puzzles has really taken off. In addition to the classic Rubik’s Cube, is the new Eni Puzzle which has no one solution. Perplexus has recently come out with the new Epic Sphere maze that will challenge older children. Recent Toys has a line of brain teasers, three dimensional puzzles that are easy to travel with and will challenge kids at this age. Gamewright has a large selection of fun card games: Rat-a-Tat Cat, Slamwich, Chomp, and Sleeping Queens are favorites. Find It makes a series of clear cylinders filled with recycled pellets with tiny themed object floating inside that makes a great car trip item. Classic games, like Checkers, come in tiny, easy-to-travel-with sizes. Klutz books also contain projects that are great for travel. Travel journals for jotting down thoughts or writing stories are one of my favorite suggestions. Madlibs are a perennial favorite. And of course lots of books, appropriate to their reading level and interest, as kids will often be more open to reading challenges during the summer when it doesn’t seem like schoolwork.

Little Pickle Press will be Attending NEA EXPO 2011!


By Cameron Crane

The National Education Association is a group of educational professionals from across the United States, whose mission is to “advocate for education professionals and to unite [their] members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.”

The NEA EXPO, a convention that is held each year, is attended by over 16,000 members nationwide. This year, NEA EXPO 2011 is being held in Chicago, Illinois from June 30 to July 2, and Little Pickle Press is happy to be attending.


Here are some of the goals identified by Leslie Iorillo, Director, Art & Marketing, who will be representing LPP at the event:
To Deepen Our Knowledge of Early Childhood Education

The NEA is committed to advancing public education. This is something that Little Pickle Press also feels very strongly about. We believe that NEA presents a great opportunity to advance our knowledge of what is important in the world of early childhood education, and to build upon it. We are excited to learn all we can!
To Build Meaningful Relationship with Today’s Educators

Little Pickle Press has always desired to build strong relationships with today’s educators. It is one of our main goals is to educate children about issues that are important to their generation. We are always looking for new ways to package our information to educators, like our upcoming lesson plans that will accompany all of our titles.

To Build Meaningful Relationships with Like-Minded Exhibitors

As always, Little Pickle Press is interested in connecting with exhibitors at NEA who have similar values to our own. The relationships we build with like-minded partners are very important to us, and we look forward to connecting with new companies.

To Share What We are Learning

We cannot wait to share our discoveries with you! Throughout the event, we will be posting information about our progress on Facebook and Twitter (we will be using the NEA tag #neara11). Follow us for the latest updates!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Attending NEA Expo 11 and interested in finding our books? Our award-winning titles will be on display at the Combined Book Exhibit. Stay tuned for the CBE Booth number!

Little Pickle Press will be Attending NEA EXPO 2011!


By Cameron Crane

The National Education Association is a group of educational professionals from across the United States, whose mission is to “advocate for education professionals and to unite [their] members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.”

The NEA EXPO, a convention that is held each year, is attended by over 16,000 members nationwide. This year, NEA EXPO 2011 is being held in Chicago, Illinois from June 30 to July 2, and Little Pickle Press is happy to be attending.

Here are some of the goals identified by Leslie Iorillo, Director, Art & Marketing, who will be representing LPP at the event:
To Deepen Our Knowledge of Early Childhood Education

The NEA is committed to advancing public education. This is something that Little Pickle Press also feels very strongly about. We believe that NEA presents a great opportunity to advance our knowledge of what is important in the world of early childhood education, and to build upon it. We are excited to learn all we can!
To Build Meaningful Relationship with Today’s Educators

Little Pickle Press has always desired to build strong relationships with today’s educators. It is one of our main goals is to educate children about issues that are important to their generation. We are always looking for new ways to package our information to educators, like our upcoming lesson plans that will accompany all of our titles.

To Build Meaningful Relationships with Like-Minded Exhibitors

As always, Little Pickle Press is interested in connecting with exhibitors at NEA who have similar values to our own. The relationships we build with like-minded partners are very important to us, and we look forward to connecting with new companies.

To Share What We are Learning

We cannot wait to share our discoveries with you! Throughout the event, we will be posting information about our progress on Facebook and Twitter (we will be using the NEA tag #neara11). Follow us for the latest updates!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Attending NEA Expo 11 and interested in finding our books? Our award-winning titles will be on display at the Combined Book Exhibit. Stay tuned for the CBE Booth number!

June Giveaway: Travel Tips from our Readers!


This month, in keeping with our “Traveling with Children” theme, Little Pickle Press decided to offer you, our readers, a chance to win an adorable DabbaWalla children’s travel backpack in exchange for your tips on how to keep children busy on planes, trains, and automobiles. We received some wonderful advice!

The winner for this month is Christina Michaels, for this wonderfully unique travel tip:

“I just heard this tip for flying with little ones: go to a fabric store and buy a variety of buckles, snaps, Velcro, etc. Attach them to straps and then hot glue them to an empty water bottle. It’ll keep the baby entertained for hours!”

Here are some of the other tips you had to offer:

“We always play ‘I packed my grandmother’s trunk’. The key is to make the entries as long and silly as possible. Like: ‘I packed my grandmother’s trunk and in it I put an Absurd antelope aching for an apple’ or a ‘Brainy buffalo burping on his brother’s butt’, etc. We never really get past M or N because everyone is laughing too hard.” – Robin Helman

“For an on the road game with kids and the whole family, spotting the most out of state or personalized license plates, and also finding the alphabet/numbers in the plates too.” – Desiree Dexter Brown

“It’s always fun to play the alphabet game on long car trips- kids can work together to find all the letters of the alphabet in either license plates, signs of a combination of the two” – Elizabeth Campi

“Guess we’re a victim of the electronic age… I’ve loaded lots of educational games and books onto my iPad. LeapFrog letter and number pad is great too.” – Cathy Coloff

“My trip for keeping children engaged while traveling is to capture their imaginations. Finger puppets!” – Leslie Iorillo

Our Next Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s giveaway, and congratulations Christina! Stay tuned for details about our July giveaway, which will be listed in our July newsletter. Sign up here to join our mailing list and receive our monthly newsletter.

June Giveaway: Travel Tips from our Readers!


This month, in keeping with our “Traveling with Children” theme, Little Pickle Press decided to offer you, our readers, a chance to win an adorable DabbaWalla children’s travel backpack in exchange for your tips on how to keep children busy on planes, trains, and automobiles. We received some wonderful advice!

The winner for this month is Christina Michaels, for this wonderfully unique travel tip:

“I just heard this tip for flying with little ones: go to a fabric store and buy a variety of buckles, snaps, Velcro, etc. Attach them to straps and then hot glue them to an empty water bottle. It’ll keep the baby entertained for hours!”

Here are some of the other tips you had to offer:
“We always play ‘I packed my grandmother’s trunk’. The key is to make the entries as long and silly as possible. Like: ‘I packed my grandmother’s trunk and in it I put an Absurd antelope aching for an apple’ or a ‘Brainy buffalo burping on his brother’s butt’, etc. We never really get past M or N because everyone is laughing too hard.” – Robin Helman
“For an on the road game with kids and the whole family, spotting the most out of state or personalized license plates, and also finding the alphabet/numbers in the plates too.” – Desiree Dexter Brown
“It’s always fun to play the alphabet game on long car trips- kids can work together to find all the letters of the alphabet in either license plates, signs of a combination of the two” – Elizabeth Campi
“Guess we’re a victim of the electronic age… I’ve loaded lots of educational games and books onto my iPad. LeapFrog letter and number pad is great too.” – Cathy Coloff
“My trip for keeping children engaged while traveling is to capture their imaginations. Finger puppets!” – Leslie Iorillo

Our Next Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s giveaway, and congratulations Christina! Stay tuned for details about our July giveaway, which will be listed in our July newsletter. Sign up here to join our mailing list and receive our monthly newsletter.

Traveling With Kids: Urps Aeterna

By Dani Greer
Our theme all month has been “traveling with children”, and I’ve been amazed at all the online resources from planning every step of your family-friendly vacation online to apps and gadgets to keep kids amused throughout the journey. But there’s one aspect of traveling with little ones we haven’t discussed, and it’s one I’m very familiar with, because you see, I’m one of those people who suffers from motion sickness. Travel always makes me feel a little green around the edges.
Getting carsick as a kid is one of my most dreadful memories of childhood. We traveled a lot, by car and by airplane, and it was inevitable that I would get sick. I was a teenager before I figured out three techniques for saving myself from a fate worse than anything I could imagine at that point in life. Oh, the embarrassment! Here are my tips:
  • Focus on one stationary spot on the horizon
  • Breathe slowly and regularly and focus on your breath
  • Take small sips of water throughout the journey
That’s a lot to expect of a six-year-old though. It’s probably best to not make a major drama out of an accident, and maybe even prepare for the worst. When I searched the Internet for ideas, I was delighted to find the Barf Boutique. Okay, maybe “delighted” isn’t exactly the right word. But it’s an interesting business and story as explained at the website:
When Kelli Lee was 8-years old, an accidental blow to her head resulted in a lifelong battle with chronic nausea and motion sickness. The Barf Boutique® began as a “gallows humor” joke that popped out of an emotionally charged, late night conversation between Kelli, her mother Rose, and God.  Kelli’s artistic talents, long-term disability, unemployment , and questions like “Why me?” and “What can I do?” were all topics discussed that night. Suddenly out of nowhere, Rose flippantly suggested selling barf bags. To her shock and dismay, Kelli took the idea seriously and ran in every unexpected direction with it.
Today, the company has a wide selection of bags for every occasion with original artwork and humor, including these for little travelers. Cute aren’t they? A little extra special preparation and humor might be just the ticket to defuse another layer of anxiety in your little ones, and this collection is on sale right now for only $7.50.
Dare I ask here, parents? Do you have any special suggestions to deal with upset tummies in cars?  Are there children in your family prone to motion sickness? Tell me I wasn’t the only over-sensitive kid on the plane!

Traveling With Kids: Urps Aeterna

By Dani Greer
Our theme all month has been “traveling with children”, and I’ve been amazed at all the online resources from planning every step of your family-friendly vacation online to apps and gadgets to keep kids amused throughout the journey. But there’s one aspect of traveling with little ones we haven’t discussed, and it’s one I’m very familiar with, because you see, I’m one of those people who suffers from motion sickness. Travel always makes me feel a little green around the edges.
Getting carsick as a kid is one of my most dreadful memories of childhood. We traveled a lot, by car and by airplane, and it was inevitable that I would get sick. I was a teenager before I figured out three techniques for saving myself from a fate worse than anything I could imagine at that point in life. Oh, the embarrassment! Here are my tips:
  • Focus on one stationary spot on the horizon
  • Breathe slowly and regularly and focus on your breath
  • Take small sips of water throughout the journey
That’s a lot to expect of a six-year-old though. It’s probably best to not make a major drama out of an accident, and maybe even prepare for the worst. When I searched the Internet for ideas, I was delighted to find the Barf Boutique. Okay, maybe “delighted” isn’t exactly the right word. But it’s an interesting business and story as explained at the website:
When Kelli Lee was 8-years old, an accidental blow to her head resulted in a lifelong battle with chronic nausea and motion sickness. The Barf Boutique® began as a “gallows humor” joke that popped out of an emotionally charged, late night conversation between Kelli, her mother Rose, and God.  Kelli’s artistic talents, long-term disability, unemployment , and questions like “Why me?” and “What can I do?” were all topics discussed that night. Suddenly out of nowhere, Rose flippantly suggested selling barf bags. To her shock and dismay, Kelli took the idea seriously and ran in every unexpected direction with it.
Today, the company has a wide selection of bags for every occasion with original artwork and humor, including these for little travelers. Cute aren’t they? A little extra special preparation and humor might be just the ticket to defuse another layer of anxiety in your little ones, and this collection is on sale right now for only $7.50.
Dare I ask here, parents? Do you have any special suggestions to deal with upset tummies in cars?  Are there children in your family prone to motion sickness? Tell me I wasn’t the only over-sensitive kid on the plane!

E-book Lending Part 2

By Robbie Vann-Adibé, Chairman, Little Pickle Press

Yesterday, I raised several issues about raising the bar for all through knowledge provided by access to books, whether through brick & mortar or e-book lending. In discussing this with my eight-year-old son, he was able to suggest a mechanism for solving these problems.
First, to lend a book, simply add an option called ‘Lend To’ in the drop-down, above which appears a screen with the e-mail of the person you are going to lend the book to and a time-frame for how long you wish to lend the book to that individual.
For ‘Give To’ the same mechanism, but the book is now no longer your property – you have essentially passed ownership on to the individual.
Clearly with Apple being a significant player in this market, we’ll need an iBooks based solution as well as transfer mechanisms for other e-book providers.
On my last point – while I was writing this – Amazon announced that they would be providing a library lending capability through the OverDrive App – but the details I have read do leave something to be desired. The key one that jumped out was that a book could only be borrowed 28 times before it ‘expired’ – that seems like too low a number – shouldn’t the equivalent be however many times a good hard cover book gets loaned out before needing replacing? But with the Overdrive App out there providing a large part of the ‘Library’ function I was looking for, we go some way towards closing the gap I was afraid was appearing.
As technologists and business people, it is our responsibility to consider the complete picture of our creations and initiatives, otherwise we risk contributing to the further stratification of our society/world between a have-all and have-none culture as Joseph Stiglitz describes in his article in this May 2011 edition of Vanity Fair, in which he points out:
While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.
That outcome is not a good one for society in general. Knowledge is a key to prosperity and easy access to knowledge a requirement for a healthy society. As we enter the world of e-books, making sure that everyone has an ability to read what they need in order to grow and develop, is something that we must think through — as well as the full ramifications thereof.

E-book Lending Part 2

By Robbie Vann-Adibé, Chairman, Little Pickle Press

Yesterday, I raised several issues about raising the bar for all through knowledge provided by access to books, whether through brick & mortar or e-book lending. In discussing this with my eight-year-old son, he was able to suggest a mechanism for solving these problems.
First, to lend a book, simply add an option called ‘Lend To’ in the drop-down, above which appears a screen with the e-mail of the person you are going to lend the book to and a time-frame for how long you wish to lend the book to that individual.
For ‘Give To’ the same mechanism, but the book is now no longer your property – you have essentially passed ownership on to the individual.
Clearly with Apple being a significant player in this market, we’ll need an iBooks based solution as well as transfer mechanisms for other e-book providers.
On my last point – while I was writing this – Amazon announced that they would be providing a library lending capability through the OverDrive App – but the details I have read do leave something to be desired. The key one that jumped out was that a book could only be borrowed 28 times before it ‘expired’ – that seems like too low a number – shouldn’t the equivalent be however many times a good hard cover book gets loaned out before needing replacing? But with the Overdrive App out there providing a large part of the ‘Library’ function I was looking for, we go some way towards closing the gap I was afraid was appearing.
As technologists and business people, it is our responsibility to consider the complete picture of our creations and initiatives, otherwise we risk contributing to the further stratification of our society/world between a have-all and have-none culture as Joseph Stiglitz describes in his article in this May 2011 edition of Vanity Fair, in which he points out:
While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.
That outcome is not a good one for society in general. Knowledge is a key to prosperity and easy access to knowledge a requirement for a healthy society. As we enter the world of e-books, making sure that everyone has an ability to read what they need in order to grow and develop, is something that we must think through — as well as the full ramifications thereof.

E-book Lending Part 1

By Robbie Vann-Adibé, Chairman, Little Pickle Press

The last few months have been an interesting time with regard to me and my relationship with books. As a technologist for most of my career, I have hoped that the projects I have been involved with have generally been about making things work better – and have always been very excited about the notion that the Internet and its ability to provide access to information in easier and more fluid ways can create freedom and prosperity for all.  My mother came from East Germany and I visited that country in the 60’s and 70’s on various occasions and have always subscribed to the notion that it was the fax machine and TV that brought the Iron Curtain down – you can’t keep telling people things are better here when they watch TV and see that it isn’t true.

Growing up, one of the most important things that I ascribe to my good fortune as an adult was access to knowledge as a child– and specifically books. I got books from two sources – people who gave me important books and the library.
On a trip to see a movie in downtown San Francisco a few weeks back, my wife and I found ourselves wandering through the Borders in the Westfield Center, which was going through its closing-down sale. My wife, in particular, was sad – she loves to browse in book stores and discover new books. It was clear as we stood in the store, that we were at the beginning of the end of an era – at least for the large format downtown bookstore – and that our children would never really know the pleasure of wandering through a large bookstore, picking up a book and flipping open to wherever the book opened to and reading a passage that captivated and led into a new realm of inquiry that serendipity may have created for them.
Last Christmas my children were going through the normal ‘Daddy what do you want for a present?’ exercise and I was going through the normal – ‘I don’t need anything, I have everything I want’ response – the result of which was that the kids bought me a Kindle. Skeptical at first, and with a large pile of real books to wade through from Amazon sitting on my desk, it took me awhile to get into the product, but I have come to really like its simplicity and utility.
So recently, I just finished a good book that I had purchased and read on the Kindle, so good in fact that I wanted my daughter to read it, and that’s when the biggest problem with e-books as we currently have them hit me; there is no easy way to either lend books or pass books on.
The issue became further compounded a few days later by a visit to an institution I realized I had not been in for at least 15+ years, namely the public library. My daughter’s rate of consumption of books is so high (3+ a week?) that there is just no way to keep up with it. Using the library rather than buying them made a lot of sense – plus it appears a more eco-friendly proposition on the surface.
We paid a visit to the Presidio Library in San Francisco, a recently renovated and reopened institution in Pacific Heights. What a wonderful place it was – with great systems for finding and checking out books, it really was an incredible example of how this public service could be run for the community – at the same time it brought home the fact that in our rush to create the e-book world, we have not thought through the issue of community access. How will people who cannot afford a Kindle nor to buy a book each time they want to read it, have access in this brave new world?
Putting aside the issue of device – here I assume that tablet prices will fall to a price were everyone will be able to afford one, in the same way that even those on low incomes have a mobile phone or a TV – the questions are:
a)     How do I lend an e-book to a friend?

b)     How do I pass an e-book on?
c)     How do I borrow an e-book from a public institution?

Tomorrow I’ll address these questions with some speculative solutions. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.

E-book Lending Part 1


By Robbie Vann-Adibé, Chairman, Little Pickle Press

The last few months have been an interesting time with regard to me and my relationship with books. As a technologist for most of my career, I have hoped that the projects I have been involved with have generally been about making things work better – and have always been very excited about the notion that the Internet and its ability to provide access to information in easier and more fluid ways can create freedom and prosperity for all.  My mother came from East Germany and I visited that country in the 60’s and 70’s on various occasions and have always subscribed to the notion that it was the fax machine and TV that brought the Iron Curtain down – you can’t keep telling people things are better here when they watch TV and see that it isn’t true.

Growing up, one of the most important things that I ascribe to my good fortune as an adult was access to knowledge as a child– and specifically books. I got books from two sources – people who gave me important books and the library.
On a trip to see a movie in downtown San Francisco a few weeks back, my wife and I found ourselves wandering through the Borders in the Westfield Center, which was going through its closing-down sale. My wife, in particular, was sad – she loves to browse in book stores and discover new books. It was clear as we stood in the store, that we were at the beginning of the end of an era – at least for the large format downtown bookstore – and that our children would never really know the pleasure of wandering through a large bookstore, picking up a book and flipping open to wherever the book opened to and reading a passage that captivated and led into a new realm of inquiry that serendipity may have created for them.
Last Christmas my children were going through the normal ‘Daddy what do you want for a present?’ exercise and I was going through the normal – ‘I don’t need anything, I have everything I want’ response – the result of which was that the kids bought me a Kindle. Skeptical at first, and with a large pile of real books to wade through from Amazon sitting on my desk, it took me awhile to get into the product, but I have come to really like its simplicity and utility.
So recently, I just finished a good book that I had purchased and read on the Kindle, so good in fact that I wanted my daughter to read it, and that’s when the biggest problem with e-books as we currently have them hit me; there is no easy way to either lend books or pass books on.
The issue became further compounded a few days later by a visit to an institution I realized I had not been in for at least 15+ years, namely the public library. My daughter’s rate of consumption of books is so high (3+ a week?) that there is just no way to keep up with it. Using the library rather than buying them made a lot of sense – plus it appears a more eco-friendly proposition on the surface.
We paid a visit to the Presidio Library in San Francisco, a recently renovated and reopened institution in Pacific Heights. What a wonderful place it was – with great systems for finding and checking out books, it really was an incredible example of how this public service could be run for the community – at the same time it brought home the fact that in our rush to create the e-book world, we have not thought through the issue of community access. How will people who cannot afford a Kindle nor to buy a book each time they want to read it, have access in this brave new world?
Putting aside the issue of device – here I assume that tablet prices will fall to a price were everyone will be able to afford one, in the same way that even those on low incomes have a mobile phone or a TV – the questions are:
a)     How do I lend an e-book to a friend?

b)     How do I pass an e-book on?
c)     How do I borrow an e-book from a public institution?

Tomorrow I’ll address these questions with some speculative solutions. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.

Little Pickle Press at the ALA Conference 2011

By Cameron Crane
Little Pickle Press is very happy to be attending the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference 2011, which is being held in New Orleans from June 23 to June 28. The ALA Conference— which brings together more than 25,000 librarians, educators, authors, publishers, illustrators and market leaders— is the largest event for the library community and offers many unique opportunities for LPP. This year, we will be represented at the conference by Leslie Iorillo, our Director of Art and Marketing. Here are the three main goals she identified for Little Pickle Press at this year’s conference:

To Establish Relationships with our Libraries
The American Library Association is dedicated to seven wonderful key action areas, which serve as guiding principals for their organization and the conferences they host. These action areas include:

Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
Diversity
Education and Lifelong Learning
Equitable Access to Information and Library Services
Intellectual Freedom
Literacy
Organizational Excellence
Transforming Libraries

While at the ALA Conference, Little Pickle Press hopes to gain a better understanding of library priorities, in order to learn what topics they view as important for today’s young readers. We also hope to establish relationships with libraries and librarians. It has been a long-standing goal of ours to have a larger presence in school and community libraries.

To Meet Like-Minded Strategic Partners

The ALA Annual Conference will be hosting a wide variety of exhibitors from all over the country. It is our goal to meet and connect with companies who have similar company values and missions as Little Pickle Press.

At ALA, we plan on dedicating a good amount of time to exploring the Green Pavilion and the International Pavilion. The Green Pavilion will host exhibitors who are showcasing products and services to help libraries “go green”. The International Pavilion offers the opportunity to connect with multilingual and multicultural exhibitors.

To Share Our Findings!
Little Pickle Press is excited to explore all that the ALA Conference has to offer, and is anxious to share our findings with you! Throughout the event, we will be posting information about our progress on Facebook and Twitter (we will be using the tag #ala11). Follow us for the latest updates!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Little Pickle Press will have our books displayed at the Combined Book Exhibit, Booth #2524. Please stop by to explore some of our award-winning titles!

Little Pickle Press at the ALA Conference 2011

By Cameron Crane
Little Pickle Press is very happy to be attending the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference 2011, which is being held in New Orleans from June 23 to June 28. The ALA Conference— which brings together more than 25,000 librarians, educators, authors, publishers, illustrators and market leaders— is the largest event for the library community and offers many unique opportunities for LPP. This year, we will be represented at the conference by Leslie Iorillo, our Director of Art and Marketing. Here are the three main goals she identified for Little Pickle Press at this year’s conference:

To Establish Relationships with our Libraries
The American Library Association is dedicated to seven wonderful key action areas, which serve as guiding principals for their organization and the conferences they host. These action areas include:

Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
Diversity
Education and Lifelong Learning
Equitable Access to Information and Library Services
Intellectual Freedom
Literacy
Organizational Excellence
Transforming Libraries

While at the ALA Conference, Little Pickle Press hopes to gain a better understanding of library priorities, in order to learn what topics they view as important for today’s young readers. We also hope to establish relationships with libraries and librarians. It has been a long-standing goal of ours to have a larger presence in school and community libraries.

To Meet Like-Minded Strategic Partners

The ALA Annual Conference will be hosting a wide variety of exhibitors from all over the country. It is our goal to meet and connect with companies who have similar company values and missions as Little Pickle Press.

At ALA, we plan on dedicating a good amount of time to exploring the Green Pavilion and the International Pavilion. The Green Pavilion will host exhibitors who are showcasing products and services to help libraries “go green”. The International Pavilion offers the opportunity to connect with multilingual and multicultural exhibitors.

To Share Our Findings!
Little Pickle Press is excited to explore all that the ALA Conference has to offer, and is anxious to share our findings with you! Throughout the event, we will be posting information about our progress on Facebook and Twitter (we will be using the tag #ala11). Follow us for the latest updates!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Little Pickle Press will have our books displayed at the Combined Book Exhibit, Booth #2524. Please stop by to explore some of our award-winning titles!

Family Travel Safety Tips

By Cameron Crane

This week is National Safety Week, an annual community education campaign put on by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. The goal of National Safety Week is to empower families to proactively take steps to create safer environments for their children, both inside and outside of their homes. In honor of National Safety Week, here are some easy tips for keeping your children safe while traveling:

Before You Leave
Check weather conditions. This can help you choose the safest route if you are driving, and plan extra time for traveling if needed. It will also ensure that you pack the proper clothing and gear for your trip.

Pack a well stocked first-aid kit. It is always wise to carry a first-aid kit, but it becomes even more important when traveling. Extra adventure can also mean extra cuts, scratches and other minor injuries that can be easily protected with antiseptic or antibiotic wipes and bandages.

On The Way to Your Destination
Make sure all necessary items are going to be accessible throughout your journey. If you are flying, it is important to make sure you pack all essential medications, diapers, etc. in your carry-on, as you will not have access to your luggage throughout the duration of your flight.

Keep your child belted. Whether you are traveling by car or flying, it is very important to make sure your children are wearing the proper safety restraints. If you are flying with children under two, the FAA recommends using child restraint systems.

Once You Have Arrived
Child-proof your hotel room. Making sure your living environment is safe for children is something we consciously do at home, but it can be easy to overlook in a hotel room. When you first enter your hotel room, make sure to move dangerous items out of reach, cover exposed electrical outlets and check that all windows and balcony doors have secure locks.

Stay protected outdoors. On vacation we tend to spend more time outside, so make sure both you and your children are wearing weather appropriate clothing and sun protection. If you are going to be in area with insects, apply bug repellent to protect your children from potential infection.

Dress your child in bright clothing and choose an emergency meeting place. When visiting unfamiliar areas, one of the biggest fears for parents and children alike is that you will get separated. Even when you are keeping an eye on your children, it is not always possible to prevent temporary separation. Dressing your children in bright clothing will make them easier to keep track of in a crowd, and easier to spot if they wander away. Choosing an easy-to-find meeting place (like a particular restaurant or booth) will help your family quickly reunite if there is an emergency or if someone gets lost in the crowd.

One of the best ways to keep your family safe while traveling and within your own community is to make sure that everybody is educated about potential dangers and how to avoid them. The newest book in our award-winning What Does it Mean series, written by Chief Executive Pickle Rana DiOrio, emphasizes the importance of staying safe in a way that is easy for children to understand. Little Pickle Press will be releasing What Does it Mean To Be Safe? later this year.

What are your family travel safety tips?

Family Travel Safety Tips

By Cameron Crane

This week is National Safety Week, an annual community education campaign put on by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. The goal of National Safety Week is to empower families to proactively take steps to create safer environments for their children, both inside and outside of their homes. In honor of National Safety Week, here are some easy tips for keeping your children safe while traveling:

Before You Leave
Check weather conditions. This can help you choose the safest route if you are driving, and plan extra time for traveling if needed. It will also ensure that you pack the proper clothing and gear for your trip.

Pack a well stocked first-aid kit. It is always wise to carry a first-aid kit, but it becomes even more important when traveling. Extra adventure can also mean extra cuts, scratches and other minor injuries that can be easily protected with antiseptic or antibiotic wipes and bandages.

On The Way to Your Destination
Make sure all necessary items are going to be accessible throughout your journey. If you are flying, it is important to make sure you pack all essential medications, diapers, etc. in your carry-on, as you will not have access to your luggage throughout the duration of your flight.

Keep your child belted. Whether you are traveling by car or flying, it is very important to make sure your children are wearing the proper safety restraints. If you are flying with children under two, the FAA recommends using child restraint systems.

Once You Have Arrived
Child-proof your hotel room. Making sure your living environment is safe for children is something we consciously do at home, but it can be easy to overlook in a hotel room. When you first enter your hotel room, make sure to move dangerous items out of reach, cover exposed electrical outlets and check that all windows and balcony doors have secure locks.

Stay protected outdoors. On vacation we tend to spend more time outside, so make sure both you and your children are wearing weather appropriate clothing and sun protection. If you are going to be in area with insects, apply bug repellent to protect your children from potential infection.

Dress your child in bright clothing and choose an emergency meeting place. When visiting unfamiliar areas, one of the biggest fears for parents and children alike is that you will get separated. Even when you are keeping an eye on your children, it is not always possible to prevent temporary separation. Dressing your children in bright clothing will make them easier to keep track of in a crowd, and easier to spot if they wander away. Choosing an easy-to-find meeting place (like a particular restaurant or booth) will help your family quickly reunite if there is an emergency or if someone gets lost in the crowd.

One of the best ways to keep your family safe while traveling and within your own community is to make sure that everybody is educated about potential dangers and how to avoid them. The newest book in our award-winning What Does it Mean series, written by Chief Executive Pickle Rana DiOrio, emphasizes the importance of staying safe in a way that is easy for children to understand. Little Pickle Press will be releasing What Does it Mean To Be Safe? later this year.

What are your family travel safety tips?

My Dad

By Cameron Crane

When I was first learning to talk my parents decided to make a bet. If I said “Mom” first, my dad would take my mother out for dinner. If “Dad” came first, she would take my father out. Each spent the following weeks excessively using their titles, and anxiously waiting for me to catch on. So you can imagine their surprise when one morning, they heard a loud “HEY YOU!” coming from my crib.

For about a month, to my parents bewilderment and, I’m sure, embarrassment, this is how I continued to greet everybody. Finally, they discovered that the culprit was, in fact, my father. He would frequently play guitar in his studio, which was located on the other side of the wall of my room, right next to my crib. One of his favorite songs to sing was “Get Off of My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones. The dominant lyrics? “Hey! You! Get off of my cloud.” From that moment on, my father would come into my room to play his guitar, and we would sing the song together. By the time I finally said “Mom” (which, by the way, came first) my mother was so relieved she had forgotten about the bet completely, and my Dad didn’t mind because he had already secretly claimed the victory.

To this day, when I think of the time I spent with my dad as a child, I mostly think of lying on the floor with a coloring book, happily singing along to the Rolling Stones while he played guitar. In my eyes my dad was a true rock star. But he was also much more than that. When he wasn’t entertaining my siblings and me with music, he was drawing and writing stories for us, taking us to the park and playing ‘monster’, or talking to us like adults and asking us for business advice. He was always thinking of creative ways to make us laugh. He was my hero, and we truly were inseparable.

As I have grown older, our time spent together has gotten less frequent, but I value the time we do spend together even more than I did as a child. Every time I see my dad, I gain more appreciation for his creativity, passion and positive energy. He has been such a strong influence on who I have become, and I am thankful that each day I recognize a little bit more of him in me.

What is your favorite memory with your father? How are you celebrating Father’s Day tomorrow? Little Pickle Press would love to know!

My Dad

By Cameron Crane

When I was first learning to talk my parents decided to make a bet. If I said “Mom” first, my dad would take my mother out for dinner. If “Dad” came first, she would take my father out. Each spent the following weeks excessively using their titles, and anxiously waiting for me to catch on. So you can imagine their surprise when one morning, they heard a loud “HEY YOU!” coming from my crib.

For about a month, to my parents bewilderment and, I’m sure, embarrassment, this is how I continued to greet everybody. Finally, they discovered that the culprit was, in fact, my father. He would frequently play guitar in his studio, which was located on the other side of the wall of my room, right next to my crib. One of his favorite songs to sing was “Get Off of My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones. The dominant lyrics? “Hey! You! Get off of my cloud.” From that moment on, my father would come into my room to play his guitar, and we would sing the song together. By the time I finally said “Mom” (which, by the way, came first) my mother was so relieved she had forgotten about the bet completely, and my Dad didn’t mind because he had already secretly claimed the victory.

To this day, when I think of the time I spent with my dad as a child, I mostly think of lying on the floor with a coloring book, happily singing along to the Rolling Stones while he played guitar. In my eyes my dad was a true rock star. But he was also much more than that. When he wasn’t entertaining my siblings and me with music, he was drawing and writing stories for us, taking us to the park and playing ‘monster’, or talking to us like adults and asking us for business advice. He was always thinking of creative ways to make us laugh. He was my hero, and we truly were inseparable.

As I have grown older, our time spent together has gotten less frequent, but I value the time we do spend together even more than I did as a child. Every time I see my dad, I gain more appreciation for his creativity, passion and positive energy. He has been such a strong influence on who I have become, and I am thankful that each day I recognize a little bit more of him in me.

What is your favorite memory with your father? How are you celebrating Father’s Day tomorrow? Little Pickle Press would love to know!

Kepler’s Books and Magazines


This month, Little Pickle Press is featuring Kepler’s Books, a very special customer of ours. Kepler’s Books has been in operation as an independent bookstore for 56 years, and is recognized for its wide selection of books, unique history, amazing author events and positive role in the community. Today we welcome Antonia Squire, the children’s book buyer at Kepler’s.

Why did you decide to open the store?
Antonia: Well, I didn’t! Kepler’s was opened in 1955 by Roy Kepler, a conscientious objector during World War II. After the birth of his daughter, Dawn, he tried to figure out how to support a family while staying true to his ideals and leaving him enough time to continue on with his peace activism. The result was Kepler’s Books and Magazines. You could actually support a family with a book store in those days— lol.

What makes the store special?
Antonia: We have a tremendous amount of history, really as the focal point of the 1960’s peace movement on the peninsula. Joan Baez was a fixture in the store, The Grateful Dead used to jam in the store. We were bombed a couple of times. But at the center of it all were the books and the staff and that is what remains today. Kepler’s remains a huge part of the intellectual community on the Peninsula, but beyond that we remain a vital part of literacy for both children and adults.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Antonia: Convincing the people who love the store, value the store, value the staff, value the recommendations, value the ability to browse, to touch the books, to talk about the books— convincing them to actually buy the books from us. It’s an insidious disconnect that is a huge challenge to overcome. Everything else is just instinct and knowledge, and that’s fun.

What is your favorite part of the job/the store?
Antonia: Connecting with that one kid – especially the one who simply cannot conceive that a 30 something woman could possibly know what they are into! Finding that one book that turns a kid into a reader. Finding the stack of books for the kid who’s read “everything”.

What do you do to keep up with the industry?
Antonia: As the buyer I am generally working 3 to 6 months ahead of the books coming out, I see it all. But aside from reading the books I read trade publications and talk to colleagues across the country. I also spend time speaking with my staff who read blogs and other industry news.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


We are happy to announce that Kepler’s Books will be hosting “Storytime with Land Wilson”, for the reading of Sofia’s Dream, on Sunday, July 10 at 11:30 a.m.