Author Event - Tao Nyeu and Salina Yoon

Sometimes when I see a book I can't stop thinking about how I would like to do an event around it.  In those moments, I let my book event partner in crime, Alethea, in on my thoughts and we see what we can do.  When I read Squid & Octopus Friends For Always by Tao Nyeu, I knew I wanted to host an author event with Tao and her book.  Alethea picked up on the possible knitting connection and checked to see if Unwind Yarn Store in Burbank would be willing to allow us to use their space for the event.  Thank you to Nicole White, Marisa Russell and Penguin Books, for arranging for Tao Nyeu to be apart of this event.

Next, I saw the book Penguin & Pinecone by Salina Yoon.  Another great picture book about friendship with a knitting tie-in.  

Penguin & Pinecone Official Book Trailer:

Alethea and I brainstormed further.  What if Tao and Salina were to do the event together?  A few more emails and working out the logistics and now Bridge to Books had knitting related book event with not one but two fabulous authors.

There was yummy food and drinks - thanks Alethea!

And really yummy and special cake pops made by maskipops by adri

Tao created a knitting pattern for the hat that Squid wears in the book.

Salina brought special crafts.

There were even knitting lessons and attendees were able to make scarves for their own pinecones.

Nicole White (Penguin Sales Rep) gets a lesson in knitting from Alethea.
And of course there was storytime...

Tao reads Squid & Octopus.
Salina reads Penguin & Pinecone.
Attendees listen to stories.
There was also a photo op available with Penguin.

Jen Pino with Penguin
And Once Upon a Time in Montrose provided books for sale.  Tao and Salina were kept busy signing books for those who came.

Tao and Salina sign books.
Thank you all the Bridge to Books volunteers, Unwind Yarn Store, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, and all the fabulous folks who came out on a rainy Saturday to hang with Tao Nyeu and Salina Yoon.  And of course a special thank you for Tao and Salina who came and interacted with everyone and made this a very special event.

Salina Yoon and Tao Nyeu
For more information on upcoming Bridge to Books events, join our mailing list located on 

Book Review: Squid and Octopus Friends for Always

Author/Illustrator: Tao Nyeu
Publisher: Penguin (June 28, 2012)
Audience: Preschool to Age 7
Source: Personal Copy
Friendship * Early Reader * Humor * Picture Book

Description from GoodReads:
A friend for always is someone who... knows how to cheer you up when you're feeling droopy, usually sees things your way, and never lets a quarrel get out of hand. As you'll see in these endearing, silly stories, a friend for always is the very best thing in the deep blue sea.

My thoughts on the book:
LOVE.  I am in love with this book.  When I first read this as a F & G back in February, I knew I had to have it.  Imagine your favorite early reader friendship pairs - Mouse & Mole, Frog & Toad, Elephant & Piggie - now add in Squid and Octopus. This not exactly a regular picture book and not truly an early reader will appeal to the audience who loves all those other great friendships. I love this quirky, hilarious pair and I already want more.

As with any early reader, the story of Squid & Octopus is told in four shorter stories.  And they are all great.

I am a little partial to The Quarrel where Squid and Octopus argue over socks and mittens.  

I loved the simplicity of the color theme that flows throughout the book but there is incredible detail in Nyeu's artwork.  I also really enjoyed all of the little side comments sprinkled throughout the book. From above: Fish 1 - Do you think that is carrot cake? I love carrot cake. Fish 2 - I prefer pumpkin pie.

In The Dream, guess who is lurking behind the flip page - Bear and the bunnies from Bunny Days

The Hat was another one of my favorite short stories in the book.  The conversations among the diners at Yum Yum's is hilarious.  

And here are my little fish friends again as they try to figure out what is on the heads of Squid and Octopus.   

I am hoping that you can see from both the text and illustrations why Squid and Octopus Friends for Always is one of my top picks for this year.  I want more Squid and Octopus and hope that Nyeu isn't finished writing about these two friends. 

If you haven't seen Squid and Octopus, you need to head over to your favorite Indie Bookstore to pick up a copy or local library, or order it from

For more information about Tao Nyeu: websitepublisher's page

Check out the book trailer for Bunny Days: