Jasmine Toguchi at the L.A. Zoo!

Oh what a fabulous event at the Los Angeles Zoo! Many thanks to Robin Savoian, Associate Director Development, Safari Society for coordinating a truly spectacular morning. Thanks also to the staff, keepers (particularly senior keeper, Rose Legato), volunteers, and all the people who came out for the event!

The morning started off with a delicious breakfast as those who RSVP’d for this special donor and business partner event started trickling in. Docents arrived with education animals. Robin greeted and thanked everyone for being there, and then I read from Jasmine Toguchi Flamingo Keeper, and answered questions. Guests had the opportunity to do a craft, adopt animals at the zoo, and feed the flamingos, while I signed copies of Jasmine Toguchi Flamingo Keeper. I loved meeting readers, fans, new friends, and appreciated all my friends and family who showed up! The highlight was getting to feed the flamingos (all named after Harry Potter characters) IN the exhibit and I was able to bring my mom and daughter in with me! I think my face says it all

Book Festival Fun!

I recently had the pleasure of being a part of two fabulous book festivals! A true joy to be around swarms of people who love books and reading!

DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL

Recently, I was at the Decatur Book Festival in Georgia. The “largest independent book festival in the country,” there were booths, food, displays, and the surrounding stores were open and “book decorated.” I loved visiting The Little Shop of Stories with their friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic staff.

They threw a kidlit author party the Friday before the festival that was fabulously decorated in a Harry Potter theme (celebrating 20 years).

On Friday, August 31, I visited two amazing schools and chatted with the 2nd and 3rd graders of Westchester Elementary and Clairemont Elementary in Decatur.

On Saturday, September 1st, I enjoyed strolling around the festival and was on a panel about chapter books with Laurel Snyder (Charlie & Mouse) and Annie Barrows (Ivy & Bean), moderated by Elizabeth Lenhard. After our panel, we signed our books and I enjoyed meeting young readers!

 

BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL

On September 15, I had the pleasure of participating in the Brooklyn Book Festival on a fun panel about middle grade and chapter books with Mac Barnett (Mac B. series) and Shelley Johannes (Beatrice Zinker series), moderated by Laurel Snyder. I always love opportunities to meet other authors, and chat with fans and readers!

And yes, we had as much fun as it looked like we were having!

My next event is Nerd Camp NNE in Freeport, Maine, on September 28 – 29th. I hope to see you there!

 

 

 

The Silver Unicorn in Acton, MA

Thank you to Paul Swydan and family, and the wonderful staff at The Silver Unicorn Bookstore for welcoming me and Kara LaReau to their store. We had a blast chatting with the audience about our chapter book series, answering questions, and signing our books!

Me with awesome store owner, Paul Swydan

 

Talking about daruma (Japanese wishing dolls)

 

Signing Jasmine Toguchi for a reader

 

I love meeting fans!

Jasmine Toguchi Flamingo Keeper Launch at Bank Square Books

Sending out love and gratitude to my indie, Bank Square Books, for hosting all three of my Jasmine Toguchi book launches! July 28 was my launch for book 4 of the chapter book series, Flamingo Keeper!

*Amazing daruma and flamingo cookies by Carried Away Cakery!

** If you’d like personalized/signed copies of any of the Jasmine Toguchi books, please call Bank Square books at (860) 536-3795 or go to their website and make your request for personalization/signing via the comment box when ordering.

Thank you everyone for all your incredible support! Next event is coming up at Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, MA and the Los Angeles Zoo in CA. See my events page for up-to-date information on my appearances!

Eight Cousins Books in Cape Cod

I had a wonderful time at Eight Cousins Books in Falmouth, MA on July 17.

I loved the store and the staff, and their very cool alphabet chair.

From L to R: Jasmine Toguchi, Sara, Rosie, Tasha, Mary Fran, Lizzy, Audrie, and me!

The best part, as always, was meeting readers and their families.

BONUS: Eight Cousins Books raffled off a 4-ft plush flamingo as part of the festivities. One lucky reader was VERY happy!  Congratulations!

 

WIN Jasmine Toguchi Books This Summer!

Now available, all four books in my chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi, about a spunky 8-year-old Japanese American girl growing up in Los Angeles, both in paperback and in hardcover! You can buy them at your favorite indie bookstore or online.

Or if you’re lucky, there are two ways you can win a set this summer (2018)!

1. Post or send a photo of one of the Jasmine Toguchi books at a bookstore or library (and identify the bookstore/library) by August 3 and be entered in a drawing to win a paperback set of all four Jasmine Toguchi books for your home or classroom.

EDITED TO ADD: Congratulations to @Stylishmodernmotherhood on IG for winning the paperback set of the Jasmine Toguchi series with this pic from a Barnes & Noble!

There’s still time to win the hardcover set!

2. Post or share a photo of you or your child reader AND/OR any of the Jasmine Toguchi books on vacation/staycation with you by August 31 and be entered in a drawing to win a hardcover set of all four Jasmine Toguchi books for your home or classroom.

EDITED TO ADD: Congratulations @ReadingThemes on IG for winning the hardcover set of Jasmine Toguchi with this pic from the Cincinnati Zoo!

RULES:

Winners must have a U.S. or Canada mailing address. When you share on social media, be sure to tag me on Twitter @DebbiMichiko or Instagram @jasminetoguchi. Or you can email me the photo for me to share online.  Winners will be contacted by DM or email and announced here and online.

Good luck!

Flamingo Keeper Pre-Order Giveaway FUN!

It’s almost time! Jasmine Toguchi Flamingo Keeper releases on July 3, 2018!

Jasmine’s best friend, Linnie, has just gotten a puppy. And now Jasmine wants a pet of her own―a flamingo! So when her grandmother sends Jasmine a daruma doll as a surprise gift, Jasmine colors in one doll eye and wishes for a flamingo to keep.

Next, Jasmine tries to convince her parents that she’s responsible enough for a pet. She cleans her room, brushes her teeth, takes out the trash, and, most importantly, researches everything she can about flamingos. But soon it becomes clear that her wish may never come true! Will Jasmine’s daruma doll ever get its second eye? Luckily her big sister, Sophie, has a surprise planned that fulfills Jasmine’s wish beyond her wildest dreams.

A sweet, special story of sisterhood and new responsibilities!

If you have already pre-ordered or pre-order before July 3, you will be eligible for goodies! [US mailing addresses only.] Just email me at jasminetoguchibooks@gmail.com a copy of your proof of purchase, and you will be entered in a weekly drawing. ALL entrants will be eligible for a grand prize. See schedule below.

FLAMINGO FRENZY!

Every Friday, starting June 8 through June 29, I will draw a name from the previous week’s entries. The winner will receive a group of 2 – 4 prizes from the above photo, plus Jasmine Toguchi bookmarks and stickers. Each week’s winner will be announced here (below) and contacted by email.

Winner of June 1 – 7 giveaway: Neha!

Winner of June 8 – 14 giveaway: Emi!

Winner of June 15 – 21 giveaway: Sarah M!

Winner of June 22 – 28 giveaway: Audrey!

On July 3, launch day, I will draw a name from ALL entrants (including previous winners), emails dated from June 1 – July 2 for the grand prize: A signed hardcover set of the Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series, Mochi Queen, Super Sleuth, Drummer Girl, and Flamingo Keeper; Jasmine Toguchi swag; a daruma doll; a 5×7 print of the illustration from the Flamingo Keeper cover by illustrator Elizabet Vukovic; and a bag personally designed and silkscreened by illustrator Elizabet Vukovic!

Grand Prize Winner (announced on July 3): Cathy!

A big thank you to all of you for supporting Jasmine Toguchi! Good luck and happy reading!

Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl Launch Party

I celebrated the launch of Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl (book 3) at Savoy Bookstore & Cafe in Westerly RI on April 8. It was such a thrill to have the party at one of my favorite indie bookstores and to be surrounded by friends, family, and fans. Big thanks to the bookstore and Elissa Sweet for coordinating the event! (Black and white photo credit: Betsy Devany Macleod).

To help me celebrate, Odaiko New England, performed on taiko drums for the audience. And then as a special treat, audience members were invited to try their hands at taiko! I signed books after. I’m very grateful to all who came out for the party!

Happy Book Birthday, Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl!

Today, April 3, is launch day for book 3 in my chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi!

A Junior Library Guild 2018 Selection

“An enjoyable offering about trying new activities and finding just the right talent that makes us feel “free and strong and happy.”” ―Kirkus

I’m so excited to share this book about third grader Jasmine Toguchi preparing for a school-wide talent show. Her mom introduces her to the Japanese taiko, and Jasmine worries that she might not be good enough in time. A story about having fun and making new friends. For more about the book and to purchase – Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl.

Also check out these posts:

An interview with me on First Book.

On KidLitExchange: I talk about my inspiration for writing the Jasmine Toguchi series

An interview with me on Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook.

Q&A Westerly Sun (Rhode Island)

On Book Riot: Karina Yan Glaser shares her top 20 favorite book releases for April 3, including Drummer Girl!

On NPStation – A video book review by a kid reader (adorable!)

Thank you, as always, for your support!

 

School Visit!

Thank you Cutchogue East Elementary School for the warm and wonderful welcome!

I spoke with the 2nd and 3rd graders about being a writer, Jasmine Toguchi, mochi, and dreaming big! I loved the origami pals the students made from the activity in Super Sleuth. The students were enthusiastic and attentive, and I enjoyed having lunch with the librarian, Mary Charters, who set up the visit. Sending thanks to the principal, staff, and the students! What a fabulous library and school!