As we've seen throughout this holiday season, Bakersfield consumers are happy to shop local. Whether it's small businesses or artisans, the market supports creatives in the community. Two events this weekend will give shoppers an opportunity to pick up children's books with very local ties.
‘INDY, OH INDY PRESENTS: BAKERSFIELD A TO Z’
The industrious team of Teresa Adamo and Jennifer Williams-Cordova are back at it again with "Indy, Oh Indy presents: Bakersfield A to Z," the third book in the popular series chronicling the fictional adventures of Adamo's rescue dog, Indy.
The latest book, an alphabetical list of local places and activities featuring the pup, came about when the pair learned the previous books were being purchased as baby shower gifts.
"When someone put the first Indy book on their Amazon baby gift registry list, that’s when the lightbulb really went off and Jen came up with the amazing idea to localize the A-Z concept," Adamo wrote in an email. "We wanted to make a special gift book for the littlest Indy Pack members, but like our other books, we think it works for all ages — grown-ups love ’em!"
Williams-Cordova said each letter connects to something special about Bakersfield: A is for agriculture, D is for Dewar's, K is for Kern, Z is for Zingo's Cafe, etc.
"It does have an overarching theme of community pride and optimism," she wrote in an email. "It also inspires hope for the future. Teresa always credits me for coming up with the idea for the A to Z book, but she was able to take a simple alphabet concept, and with the right words, turned it into something that is much more meaningful than I ever imagined.
"I think people will find some of the letters obvious and some unexpected surprises. That’s what’s fun about it!"
One of those surprises is finding the paw prints that Williams-Cordova hid throughout the pages.
"We think kids, parents and grandparents will love searching for the hidden paw prints found on each letter page — like an Easter egg hunt for little ones, some are super obvious, others will take a little more effort," Adamo wrote. "But the real reward, we hope, is the special memories those little, 'Indy, Oh Indy' interactive moments will create."
Adamo will be signing copies of the book Saturday at Beladagio, which has hosted signings for the previous two books, "Indy, Oh Indy: Wanderin' the Streets of Bakersfield" and "Indy, Oh Indy: Pismo or Bust!"
In addition to Beladagio, the book ($15) is also sold at Cafe Smitten, Dot x Ott, Sweet Surrender and online at IndyOhIndy.com. Adamo said supplies are limited but she is committed to getting the book delivered before Christmas to anyone who buys it locally.
‘HOLLY’S DAYDREAM ADVENTURES’
Those in the market for more children's books can head over to Wire+Pearl downtown on Saturday for a signing of "Holly's Daydream Adventures."
Written and illustrated by Bakersfield natives, respectively, Brandon Trigueiro and Tatiana Caceres, the book was inspired by Trigueiro's now-3-year-old niece.
Trigueiro, who now lives in Chicago, said he's been working on a few children's stories for the past couple of years.
"I knew I wanted one story to capture the feeling of a child playing with their toys, or exploring ordinary places while using their imagination," he wrote in an email. "The finished product is exactly that. A simple story about a child guiding you through their home. They are showing you all of their favorite things to do, games to play, and all of it’s a blend of reality and imagination."
When it came to illustrating his story, he reached out to Caceres, who he's known since high school (he was at Bakersfield Christian; she was at Garces Memorial).
He wrote, "I knew the moment I was going to turn the story into a children’s book, I wanted Tatiana to illustrate it for me. Her talent and style made this all possible. I asked her the moment I had a simple outline sketched out."
Caceres, who teaches preschool for the Edison School District, said she was excited to come on board and create something her students could enjoy.
"The kids know I love to draw and always ask me to draw them their favorite characters," she wrote. "They’re definitely some of my biggest fans. It's been so exciting to have a book I can read to them that I illustrated myself."
The experience has been a dream come true for Caceres, who said she hopes to continue illustrating in the future.
Trigueiro is balancing substitute teaching for Chicago Public Schools with developing more passion projects, including the next: a collaboration with a friend on the story of her life.
He wrote, "After that, I’ll have to decide on which direction I want to go next!"
Trigueiro and Caceres will be signing at the 17th Street shop on Saturday. Children in attendance can also enjoy free hot cocoa and candy canes.
The book costs $14.99, and 20 percent of the proceeds from the book’s sales will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County.
In addition to Wire+Pearl, the book is available on Amazon.