Category: Book Store/Book Signing

FREE Kids Yoga & Book Signing

Zoo Zen

Zoo Zen, a Yoga Story for Kids is a sweet little kids yoga book that was just released! Join the illustrator Suzi Schwartz and myself, Annette Cruz (aka Project Refined Life) for a book signing event and a FREE Kid’s Yoga Demonstration at my favorite kid’s bookstore, Once Upon a Storybook, in Tustin.

Join us for this fun afternoon as I guide the kid’s through a FREE yoga demonstration and we practice Lyle’s Yoga Flow!
  • When: Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 11:00am

  • Where: Once Upon a Storybook, 17300 East 17th Street #C, Tustin CA 92780 

  • Cost: FREE

 Please email or call, 714-669-4377  – no reservations are required but it would be great to know how many kids to expect.

See you and your little yogis on Saturday!


Book Fair!

Troop #3152 & Ethan

Did you know there are NO Hospitals in California with libraries for Children? Children can play video games, get toys to play with, visits from therapy dogs but there are no books! This is where you can help make a difference!

As part of my Junior Girl Scouts Bronze project they have teamed up with my favorite Children’s Book store, Once Upon A Storybook to host a Book Fair to benefit Ethan & Choco’s Book Club.

Book Fair at Once Upon a Storybook

Please help us as we give back to the children in our community. Buy a book for yourself or donate a book. OR – even better, Buy One, Gift One!!!

Once Upon a Storybook has generously offered to donate a portion of each purchase to help fulfill Ethan’s vision of building a lending library and gifting library. Just be sure to mention“TROOP #3152” at checkout!!!

Any donated books must be new.  Please come by to support my troop, ECBC, and this wonderful local bookstore!!

  • When: Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 12:30 – 5:00 pm
  • Where: Once Upon A Storybook, located at 17300 17th St. #C, Tustin, CA 92780
  • Be sure to mention “TROOP #3152” at checkout!!!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST #makeadifference #gstroop3152 #BronzeAward


The Last Bookstore

We’ve been pretty busy this summer with weekend getaways, camping trips, hiking, exploring National Parks and our beautiful California Coastline. This weekend we choose to take an urban adventure to explore some food, some fun and some culture!

GrandCentral Market

Our weekend included visits to The Natural History Museum, Grand Central Market, Clifton’s Cafeteria, a Farmers Market and Universal Studios but for me, the highlight was our visit to The Last Bookstore.

Downtown LAIt’s been awhile since I’ve visited Downtown L,A., I was pleasantly surprised to see so many changes. The area is being transformed with lofts, restaurants, art studios, Grand Park, a Sunday Morning Farmers Market, the U.S. Bank Glass Slide and The Last Bookstore. It has a fun and cool vibe with much to discover.

 The Last Bookstore sits in the heart of Downtown and is the world’s largest independent bookstore! It was stated in 2005 by Josh Spencer. Josh originally opened the bookstore down the street from it’s current location in a space just over 900 sq. feet.

The Last bookstore now resides in 22,000 sq. foot space within the Spring Arts Tower located at the corner of 5th & Spring St., within walking distance to Grand Central Market.

The last bookstore has managed to thrive in age of  e-books and online book sales.It is regularly featured in travel guides, magazines and television.


First, the Spring Arts Tower is gorgeous! The building holds beautiful columns, detailed high ceilings and beautiful bank vaults. The architecture of this building is something that just can’t be found in the buildings of today. Stepping inside, you know immediately this is not your typical bookstore!


You would expect to find new books, gently used books, rare and hard to find books at a place this size but you’ll find more than that here.

Art is tucked into corners, on side tables on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Even the lighting is art. The bookstore also hosts a vintage comics book, vintage records, the Spring Arts Collective Gallery, a Yarn Shop and the famous Labyrinth upstairs!


In addition to their amazing assortment of books, they have a great children’s section. special book rooms made in the bank vaults. a stage, comfy sofa’s and chairs, a full schedule of events and workshops.


My girls had a great time discovering vintage books, reading time on the coach and walking through the store.


 There was a kids writing workshop taking place while we were visiting. I love seeing the community involved and taking part in their independent bookstore events.


What was even more amazing was finding out a little bit about the owner, Josh Spencer. Josh has an outstanding view on life. In 1986 Josh suffered through a moped accident that changed his life forever. He has an amazing story of strength and the power to over come what life throws at you.

Welcome to The Last Bookstore from Chad Howitt on Vimeo.

Visiting the Last Bookstore needs to be your “Must See” list of things in LA. While your there remember to support independent book stores.

The Last Bookstore is located at 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013



It’s The BFG Contest Time!

It’s contest time at Once Upon a Storybook!  If your child loves Roald Dahl’s book The BFG – they can Win 2 tickets (one adult, one child) to The BFG!


Children ages 15 and under just need to write up a one-page summary of the BOOK The BFG (no more than 200 words), and turn it in to Once Upon a Storybook by Friday, July 8 by 7:00 PM.

Any kid under age 15 who has read or had the book read to him/her qualifies! Remember to use as much Gobblefunk as possible in your summary.

The winning entry will be posted with The BFG by Roald Dahl at the store, and the winning writer will receive the two tickets on Saturday, July 9 to be used any time after that. Age/developmental level and creativity will be considered in the awarding of the prize. 

If you have any questions please call Once Upon a Storybook at 714-669-4377. Please share this with your friends!!!


May the 4th be With You!

Once Upon a Storybook has a special event planned for the 4th of May. “May the Fourth Be with You! Come and celebrate May the 4th, the unofficial Star Wars holiday with an exciting Star Wars storytime and create Yoda origami!

This event is perfect for children in 1st – 4th grades.

  •  – 
  • Where: Once Upon a Storybook, 17300 E. 17th St. #C, Tustin, CA 92780
  • Cost: $5.00 per child

Chapter Two

Just a couple months ago my favorite Children’s book store, Once Upon a Storybook, was in fear of closing. Thanks to an investor, Once Upon a Storybook‘s story continues! Chapter Two is a Grand re-opening and celebration of what is come. Ms. Susie and Ms Tina have a fun-filled day planned.

Today’s festivities include

  • Raffles through out the day
  • An Ice Queen Sing-along
  • Endless popcorn
  • Balloon artist
  • A concert from Emily Arrow – singer/songwriter of children’s literature songs
  • Authors – Salina Yoon, Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein of Lil’ Libros, and Marcia Berneger to name a few
  • A cocktail reception for the adults at the end of the day.
Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Come and celebrate this bookshop and all it has to offer our community and our children.

  • Where: Once Upon a Storybook, 17300 E 17th St, # C, Tustin, CA
  • When: Today – Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Cost: FREE

Polar Express Party

Once Upon A Storybook is hosting a “Polar Express Party”, this party was such a hit last year, they decided to double the fun this year! On Monday, December 21, 2015, they will host two Polar Express Parties, one at 5:30 pm and another at 7:00 pm.

The activities will include singing Christmas carols, a reading of The Polar Express, some hot, hot, hot, hot chocolate (sorry the song was ringing in my head) and speaking of ringing – how about some ringing magic bells (to hear them you must believe), AND a visit from good ole’ St. Nick!

Please RSVP quick as they expect both parties to fill up.

  • When: Monday, December 21, 2015 5:30 and 7:00 pm  

  • Where: Once Upon a Storybook is located at 17300 E 17th St #C, Tustin, CA 92780

  • Cost: $10 per child. To reserve your child’s spot for this special event email or call (714) 669-4377 or even better – visit the bookstore to complete your Christmas shopping and make your reservation in person. 



Images from Storymakery Facebook page
Images from Storymakery Facebook page

My daughter is extremely interested in writing and illustrating her own books. When I told about this place she was jumping up and down. If you have a child who loves to write or draw, don’t miss the grand opening of Storymakery®.

Storymakery®, is described as “the first self-publishing experience designed especially for children”. The experience at Storymakery encourages children to use their creativity, cognitive and artistic expression to help them create a story while being preserved within a tangible keepsake.

Your child can customize their own experience based on their own interest, reading and writing skill levels, and time availability. The time they spend there can range 20-minute to a one-hour visit. Children use the kid-friendly Storymakery technology to complete one or more of the following activities:

·        Design a storybook character

·        Work one-on-one with a staff “Muse” to create a story at the Writing Studio

·        If short on time, design their very own poster

·        Publish the story as a book to take home

·        Save their content and continue writing more stories at home

The Grand Opening event takes place this Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The celebration comes complete with complimentary cupcakes, coffee (that is motivation enough for me), face-painting and balloons. Door prizes will also be on hand for the first 10 customers. The first 25 customers will receive a complimentary goody bag and 25 percent off their purchases.

StoryMakery is located at Irvine Spectrum Center, 825 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA

Visit their Facebook page for their offer to save 25% off a $75.00 purchase. 

More information about Storymakery is available at or by calling (949) 396-1840. Storymakery can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Star Wars Reads Day

 Are you ready for the 4th annual Star Wars Reads Day? On October 10, 2015, bookstores, libraries, and retailers will participate in the fourth annual installment of the global event, featuring signings, parties, and more.

Here’s a list of events in and around Orange County. You can find more national and international events on the Star Wars Reads Day website.

Once Upon a Storybook

Join Once Upon a Storybook as they celebrate this national day of Star Wars celebration! Star Wars Storytime will take place at 4:00 and they will have specials on all of their Star Wars inventory! Be prepared as there will be a visit from a REAL, LIVE Star Wars character!!!! Parents, prepare your cameras! Cost is $10 per child. This event is likely to sell out, so reserve your spot. Email or call 714-669-4377 asap to secure your spot!

  • When: Saturday, October 10, 2015
  • Where: Once Upon A Storybook, 17300 E. 17th St. #C Tustin, CA 92780
  • Cost: $10.00 per child

Barnes & Noble

Star Wars Reads Day (may include a Make and Take LEGO Activity). Calling all Jedi and padawans, Star Wars Reads Day is back, celebrating a galaxy far, far away and the joy of reading for the fourth year in a row. Prepare for the Kessel Run in our special LEGO Make & Take activity, take a Stormtrooper selfie, and let the force guide you to your next favorite book.

Barnes & Noble events taking place locally will be in Orange, Irvine, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Aliso Viejo, South Corona, Long Beach, Chino Hills, Riverside, Montclair, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Torrance, Glendale, Los Angeles, Temecula, Marina Del Rey, Redlands, Santa Monica & Oceanside  

Space for the LEGO Make & Take activity is limited and advanced sign up is required. Please check with your local store for details.

  • When: Saturday, October 10, 2015, times vary depending on store
  • Where: Barnes & Noble – check here for a event details at a store near you
  • Cost: FREE

Garden Grove Regional Library

Master Yoda scavenger hunt (started September 19, ends 10/10.15), a Light-Up Lightsaber craft, a Jedi/Sith Costume craft, Star Wars Storytime, a Mind Trick Trivia Contest, and a visit by some special guests. Family event, all ages welcome. Call or visit the library to register.

Friendly suggestion: if you think Jedi are cool, we suggest wearing light-coloured shirt and pants. If you think Sith are scary awesome (no judgment here), we suggest wearing dark-coloured clothing. Otherwise, come as you are!

  • When: Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Where: Garden Grove Regional Library, 11200 Stanford Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92840
  • Cost: FREE

Mesa Verde Library, Costa Mesa

Join the Mesa Verde Library to celebrate Star Wars Reads Day, an international event that promotes reading and all things Star Wars!

There will be Jedi trivia games (with prizes), a special Padawan storytime, crafts, and an exciting choreographed lightsaber action sequence (totally non-lethal) performed by the Saber Guild dressed in full Jedi gear. Free family event, all ages welcome.

  • When: Saturday, 10, 2015 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Mesa Verde Library, 2969 Mesa Verde Drive, Costa Mesa, CA. 92626 
  • Cost: FREE

If you hear of any other events, please post them in the comments section.


OC Children’s Book Festival

OCbookfestivalI love rainy days. There’s nothing better than snuggling up with a good book. Wait…don’t snuggle – grab your umbrella and get over to the The Orange County Children’s Book Festival!

This fabulous and FREE festival is happening today! It is in its 12th year, in 2014, there were over 130 authors, more than 25 illustrators, dozens of storytellers and great family-oriented entertainers.

The Festival featured over 135 booksellers, educational exhibitors and related vendors. More than 30,000 people attended the Festival last year.

There is something for children of all ages to experience at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival.  From a trackless train ride around the OCC campus to children’s craft corner where kids make their own book markers. There’s also an abundance of and family fun activities such as face painting, crazy hair styling, and animal petting area, musicians, dancers, balloons, readings, drawings and so much more.

The festival is taking place TODAY, Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm at Orange Coast College.