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The Spotlight
January 2008 - Immedium

1. News
2. Reviews
3. Events


A. Happy New Year of the Rat
Were you born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, or 1996?
If so, you, my friend, are probably a rat. Please take that as a compliment. That is because February 7th starts Year 4705 in the Chinese lunar calendar. Let's toast the furry friends among us, who are now joined by Ralph, the hero of our brand new book The Year of the Rat!

This energetic rodent will nibble his way into your heart, courtesy of the infectious illustrations by Jeremiah Alcorn. The creators will read the story from California to Alabama and eager to greet more fans of our Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series.

"Bing's new pet, baby rat Ralph, proves to be a handful as he must learn to mind his own business and rein in his curiosity, not to mention his uncontrollable gnawing. Of course, his smarts and resourcefulness eventually save the day. The third in Chin's animal zodiac series provides a waggish romp exploring the characteristics of those born in the upcoming Year of the Rat (like my Ralph-like daughter)."
- The Bloomsbury Review, Nov/Dec 2007 issue

Our first seasonal event will be at the festive "Oshogatsu Matsuri - New Year Celebration" at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in San Francisco's Japantown (1840 Sutter Street) this Saturday, January 5th at 11 am (our retail partner Little Buddha Baby will represent us). Later this month on 1/31 is our official kick off party at Books, Inc. in San Francisco's Laurel Village district. See you there!

B. Meomi's creates mascots for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics!
Spurred by the unveiling of Canada's newest and best representatives, inquiring minds want to learn what magic lies behind the mind of Meomi. Fresh off the boffo reception given the sea bear Miga, the sasquatch Quatchi, and the animal spirit Sumi, the Ambassadors magazine interviewed the creators of The Octonauts:

Researching and drawing on First Nations cultures, Wong made these mascots "shape-shifters," or transformation figures. She discovered a story about how killer whales would transform into spirit-bears to come onto land. As well the Thunderbird is a mythical figure that is featured in transformation masks. Who else but somebody knowledgeable about BC First Nations culture and the cultural fusion aspects of Vancouver would be able to present this unique flavour for the Vancouver mascots? And did you hear? Vicki Wong is a "born in Vancouver" Canadian! "We had about three months to do research and fill up sketch books of ideas. We just drew and drew and drew," Wong said, adding she and Murphy were inspired by aboriginal art they found in B.C. She mentioned, "It all just came together in our heads. They represent our values, environmentalism, our affinity with nature, and the fact we all have different backgrounds."

Also interviewed by Design Edge Canada, Vicki Wong explained:
"I think part of the reason we were chosen for this project is because of our experience working with and adapting our characters for a broad range of mediums and merchandise. We've written books, animated characters, worked on toys, accessories and clothing, so coming up with characters that are versatile and adaptable is on par with work we've done in the past."

More readers are discovering The Octonauts for the first time, and reveling in these fantastic adventures:

"It's great to find a book that appeals to both kids and adults -- even if the appeal is for different reasons... In other words, these are the best. children's book. animals. ever. I can't get enough of them…I can read this book for hours -- and have."
- The Poop, SF Gate

C. Libraries enroll Julie Black Belt
School and libraries have gotten wind of Julie's high-flying exploits, and like what they see. School Library Journal magazine gave our spunky kung fu fighter high marks in their November 2007 issue:

"Julie idolizes action-movie star Brandy Wu and longs for a black belt like her heroine. She's already mastered all of the moves in her video games, so how hard can it be? But she discovers that the road to black belt is a long one, requiring bruised knees (and bruised pride), dedication, and perseverance. The exuberant digital illustrations show Julie's journey from enthusiastic beginner to struggling novice to poised and confident student who earns her yellow belt.…youngsters interested in the sport will be thrilled to follow Julie's adventures. Other readers may also learn something from Julie's determination to meet her goals."

Meanwhile, artist Charlene Chua's is continuing to report on the world of illustration at her satellite site Illustrophile.

Julie Black Belt
(ISBN: 1-59702-009-5, $15.95)

"the central message -- that to really learn something you have to both apply yourself and take your time -- comes through loud and clear…certainly a good story to read to kids who are thinking about taking up kung fu, aikido, judo, or other martial art... It might give them a good idea about what to expect."
- Read That Again


The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade
(ISBN: 978-1-59702-010-7, $15.95)

"I am totally charmed by the illustrations and story line of this sequel to The Octonauts and The Only Lonely Monster …The Octonauts and their adventures will be easily loved by little ones but I find the illustrations are very inspiring for an adult too."
- Bella Dia


- 1/2: Oliver Chin: Comics Workshop: Benicia Public Library, CA, 2 pm.
- 1/5: YOR: JCCCNC festival, 1840 Sutter Street, Suite 201, San Francisco, CA, 415-567-5505, 11 am.
- 1/10: OC: Comics Workshop: San Francisco Public Library - Presidio branch, CA, 6 pm.
- 1/11: OC: Comics Workshop: San Francisco Public Library - Anza branch, San Francisco, CA, 4 pm.
- 1/13: OC: YOR: Marin Chinese Cultural Association, CA, pm.
- 1/19: OC: Santa Clara County Reading Council: Asilomar Conference, Pacific Grove, CA, 10:30 am.
- 1/24: OC: YOR: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA, (415) 927-0960, 10 am.
- 1/27: OC: YOR: Families with Children from China-Northern California: New Years Celebration, 1 pm.
- 1/30: OC: De Anza College - Creative Arts Division, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA, 4 pm.
- 1/31: OC: YOR: Books, Inc. - Laurel Village, San Francisco, CA, 6:30 pm.


- 2/2: OC: YOR: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Family Art Encounter, 1 pm.
- 2/2: OC: YOR: Golden Gate Conservancy: Crissy Field Warming Hut, San Francisco, CA, 3 pm.
- 2/3: OC: YOR: Books, Inc., 1344 Park Street, Alameda, CA, 510-522-2226, 11 am.
- 2/3: OC: YOR: Oakland Museum: 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA, 510-238-2200, 1 pm.
- 2/4: OC: YOR: San Pablo Public Library, 2300 El Portal Dr. Suite D, CA, 510-374-3998, 7 pm.
- 2/5: OC: YOR: San Mateo Public Library, 205 W. Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo, CA, 3:30 pm.
- 2/5: Elaine Chu: YOR: Kensington Public Library, 61 Arlington Ave, CA, (510) 524-3043, 7 pm.
- 2/6: OC: YOR: Antioch Library, 501 W. 18th St., CA, (925) 757-9224, 3 pm.
- 2/7: OC: Comics Workshop: Bay Point Public Library, 205 Pacifica Avenue, CA, (925) 458-9597, 4 pm.
- 2/8: OC: YOR: South San Francisco Public Library, 840 West Orange Ave, 4 pm.
- 2/9: OC: YOR: Books, Inc., 301 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA, (650)428-1234, 11 am.
- 2/9: OC: YOR: Pinole Library: 2935 Pinole Valley Road, CA, (510) 758-2741, 3 pm.
- 2/10: OC: YOR: Codys, 1730 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA, (510) 559-9500, 2 pm.
- 2/11: OC: YOR: Alice Fong Yu Elementary School, 1541 12th Avenue, San Francisco, CA, pm.
- 2/12: OC: YOR: Starr King Elementary School, San Francisco, CA.
- 2/13: OC: YOR: Spring Valley Elementary School, 1451 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA.
- 2/14: OC: YOR: Copperfields - McNear Elementary School, Petaluma, CA, 10 am.
- 2/16: OC: YOR: Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny Street, 3rd Fl, San Francisco, CA, 11:30 am.
- 2/16: OC: YOR: Borders, Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco, CA, 3 pm.
- 2/17: OC: Reading the World X: University of San Francisco's School of Education, CA, am.
- 2/18: OC: YOR: Bay Area Discovery Museum: 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, CA, 415-339-3900
- 2/19: OC: YOR: Pasadena Library: Hill Avenue Branch, 55 South Hill Avenue, (626) 744-7264, 11 am.
- 2/19: OC: YOR: Pasadena Library: San Rafael Branch, 1240 Nithsdale Road, 626-744-7270, 1:30 pm.
- 2/19: OC: YOR: Bell Gardens Library: 7110 South Garfield Avenue, CA,(562) 927-1309, 4 pm.
- 2/20: OC: YOR: Vroman's Bookstore: 695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA, 626-449-5320, 10:30 am.
- 2/20: OC: YOR: Kiwanis Club of Monterey Park, 1001 E. Garvey Ave, CA, (626)571-0888, 12:30 pm.
- 2/21: OC: YOR: Kiwanis Club of Pasadena: 170 S. Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA, noon.
- 2/22: OC: YOR: Gardena Mayme Dear Library: 1731 W. Gardena Blvd, CA, 310-323-6363, 10:30 am.
- 2/22: OC: YOR: Lawndale Library : 14615 Burin Avenue, Lawndale, CA, 310-676-0177, 1 pm.
- 2/22: OC: YOR: Hermosa Beach Library : 550 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA, 310-379-8475, 3 pm.
- 2/23: OC: YOR: The Huntington Library: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA, 626-405-2100, 11 am.
- 2/23: OC: YOR: Chinese American Museum, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 2 pm.
- 2/23: OC: YOR: FCC - Southern California, New Year's Party, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA, 6:30 pm.
- 2/24: OC: YOR: Kidspace Children's Museum: 480 N. Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA, 1 pm.
- 2/25: OC: YOR: Pasadena Library: Hastings Branch, 3325 East Orange Grove Boulevard, CA, 7 pm.


Get those resolutions in order and bona fortuna in 2008.

P.O. Box 31846
San Francisco, CA 94131

Immedium, Inc. inspires a world of imagination, and creates entertaining books that have multi-dimensional appeal. Based in San Francisco, CA, Immedium sits on the Pacific Rim, a vibrant intersection for crossover cultural trends from Asia and America. Embracing an increasingly diverse and "multimedia" world, Immedium publishes titles ranging from eye-catching children's books and contemporary non-fiction to commentaries on art and popular culture. Visit us at www.immedium.com.

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The Year of the Rat
The Octonauts
Julie Black Belt
Timmy & Tammy's Train
The Year of the Pig
The Octonauts
Desert to Dream
The Year of the Dog
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