Library Days: Rancho Santa Margarita Library

My latest library visit led my to Rancho Santa Margarita Library in you guessed it — Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. This visit happened shortly after the LA13SCBWI Summer Conference, so I was really in need of a decompression day.

I started my day with a manicure at the Luxe Organic Nail & Spa and had my nails painted with my latest color obsession — mint! I love that they use organic products and natural cleaning products. Not all of their polish is organic but they do have some options that are.

PolishThen I headed for a sushi lunch at Sake Sushi. Can you see the steam rising from my lightly salted edamame?

IMG_2075Finally, I made my way to the library. Naturally, I looked at the return cart first, curious to see what the children were reading. The books were arranged in such a haphazard way it made me believe that the picture book section was being thoroughly enjoyed that day. A storyteller was there as well reading aloud several picture books to a handful of cheerful and inquisitive children.

IMG_2060I also grabbed several books to study that were recommended by Deborah Halverson at the Summer Conference as excellent examples of picture book rhythm. Her suggestions were spot on and included:

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed By Margaret Chodos-Irvine

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

An excerpt from my favorite, Pete The Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, a fantastic example of picture book rhythm that I could read over and over any day.

Did Pete cry? Goodness, no. Buttons come and buttons go.

 He kept on singing his song:

My buttons, my buttons, my two groovy buttons. My buttons, my buttons, my two groovy buttons.

Overall, I had a glorious outing. I have two more weeks of summer, and hopefully a few more trips to the library left. I love my summer library days.

Library Days: Mission Viejo Library

The return of summer means the return of library days for me. I always find them to be bustling with excitement.

On my way inside I observed this beautiful mosaic butterfly. The tiles reminded me of tiny replicas of the delicious books that awaited me inside.

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Of course, I always make a beeline for the children’s section, specifically the picture book wall. I like to start by looking at the return cart. This way I can see what books fancy young readers. Today I picked five books from this cart to study.

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Ah … I just love devouring new picture books. It helps me improve my craft and reminds me why I write in the first place. I hope to play a small part in passing my love of reading down to the next generation. I still get that ‘Christmas morning’ feeling every time I crack open a new picture book. And the likely reason is that I was exposed to them at a young age. They are that powerful. And I’m so happy to be writing them now!

Library Days: Laguna Beach Library

Today, the hubby and I spent the day in Laguna Beach. A cozy breakfast at Heidelburg Cafe followed by a casual stroll and a breezy ride on the free shuttle. I took many deep breaths of salty, fresh-sea air. And then do you know where I wanted to go? The library, of course!

We both brought our laptops and found comfy chairs to lounge in. We had a lovely ocean view. The sunscreeny smell throughout constantly reminded me that the beach was only yards away. We stayed for hours.

I explored the children’s book section and found so many amazing picture books to read.

Like these ones.
All the new picture books were displayed here.

There was even a vacant orange couch for me to relax and savor each page. I love exploring libraries in different communities. 1 part research + 1 part writing + 1 part relaxation = One very happy writer.

Library Days: The charming Katie Wheeler Library

As I mentioned in my previous post, Library Picture Book Round Up: Week One, I’ve been visiting libraries at least once a week this summer.   This week I decided to visit the Katie Wheeler library in Irvine. Isn’t the building charming and quaint? As I strolled up the rose lined walk leading up to the front doors, I found myself thinking of a few literary classics of my youth.  I could picture myself being transported to Prince Edward Island and seeing Anne of Green Gables, with her fiery red standing on the balcony above. It was refreshing.  It was delightful place to spend an afternoon filled with nostalgia and researching picture books!

❖Visit Katie Wheeler Irvine Library blog to learn more about the rich history of Katie Wheeler, the Irvine Company, and the Original Irvine Ranch House.