San Francisco Adventure Blossomed at the Botanical Gardens
Another Book Launch Featuring my Salty Bff's and the Support of a Super Cool Local Bookstore
We had a great weekend at Golden Gate Park for a book launch event in the Botanical Gardens! Since Golden Gate Park is one of the top places to visit in San Francisco with kids it couldn’t be more fitting! Especially when we were able to partner up with a local and treasured bookstore, Green Apple Books as well as the Botanical Gardens to make the event such a joyous one. Thankfully the weather couldn’t be better! Fall in San Francisco is basically our summer. BUT you never know when Karl the fog decides to roll in. What a relief it was so beautiful! We even got to see a little bit of Blue Angels Action from San Francisco's Annual Fleet Week Festivities. Not to mention this is also the 150th Anniversary of Golden Gate Park’s opening, making this commemorative event additionally special as I feel like I’m a part of the many fun and free things to do in the park throughout the year!
Shrimp ‘n Lobster Books are out into the World
It was only a month ago that Shrimp ‘n Lobster first got released into the world. August 24th was their book birthday! We had been delayed due to Covid but now we’re finally getting out into the world. My little guys are still new, (only a month old) and have yet to build a social platform so when Green Apple Books and The Botanical Gardens offered to host a launch event we couldn’t be more thrilled. Yessss! Somebody wants to help celebrate my salty bff’s and get their name out there. And most importantly get kids exploring! When you’re a brand new author like me, with a very low following this feels like the big time!
The Fragrance Garden Hit the Spot
What made the event so unique was that it was at the Fragrance Garden located within the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. The Botanical Gardens alone consist of 55 acres with over 8,000 different varieties of plants! The Fragrance Garden is a sweet (no pun intended) nook that can easily be explored in a quick ten minutes, (after all if you’re checking out the botanical garden you have a lot of acres to go through!) or if you’re like us, take a few hours and really enjoy this magical spot. After all, the Fragrance Garden has great spots for kids to explore!
Hosting an Event at The Garden
Whenever I have the opportunity to take part in an event, I prepare the night before so that I feel more in control of the outcome of the event...Although, there’s always something that doesn’t make my craft and tool bag. Because no matter how much you plan something is always bound to go wrong. In this case it was scissors! How could I leave the house without my scissors, I swear I packed them! This of course I discovered later, while sifting through my bags of stuff.
Upon my arrival we had a table and all the books ready to be signed. I added a little bit of flair, by bringing my burlap curtains which I used at a wholesale fare at Moscone center downtown San Francisco in 2014. This was also the event where I met Robert who owns the SF Mercantile store and hosted my very first Book launch! Crazy how it all comes full circle. Anyhoo, these burlap curtains were quickly transformed into tablecloths. It gave a very earthy feel. We also placed more burlap on the ground to be used as makeshift picnic areas for kids to sit and draw. We filled mason jars with coloring pencils, and placed boxes of crayons for those that preferred the alternative.
I also brought some handmade paper flowers that I created the night before. They are a super easy and fun way to add a little flair to any table decoration. Making them is similar to pancakes, the first one looks like a dud, but then as you get the hang of it, they get better and better looking. And when you’re super confident you start getting creative with the design.
The final touch was a vase of REAL flowers I purchased from Trader Joes...but alas, those dang scissors! We quickly improvised, bent the stems and stuffed the flowers into a vase... you know what? Nobody noticed, and everything was okay. Although the flowers were not too happy.
It was more than A Book Signing it was an Experience
Why is the Botanical Garden so cool, especially the fragrance Garden? The whole point is that you completely immerse yourself into this garden. Here you get to Touch, Smell and see to gain greater knowledge of these plants. Since the event was in the Fall we were able to see the Fall blooming flowers in the botanical gardens!
So, just like the Fragrance garden being a hands-on experience, I wanted the book signing event to be hands on too. That’s why I designed a little paper booklet that included a map of the Fragrance Garden as well as three plants within the grounds that the kids would have to seek out. Once they find the plant they would have to find their inner Darwin to observe, touch, smell, and write down three Fascinating and True facts about the subject. The fourth square was left blank so that the kids could choose their own plant, draw it and write down their fun facts! Finally to finish off the booklet there’s an area where they can write down three Fun Things to See and Do in the park. Basically, I designed a booklet where the kids create their own Shrimp ‘n Lobster expedition book. It's educational, and color-in-able! I was pretty stoked about this design!
My publisher, The Collective Book Studio, also printed out super cute bookmarks that illustrated how to draw Lobster. It’s bright, it’s colorful and fun. Plus, it’s a great guide on how to draw one of my salty bff’s.
It Takes a Team to Launch Anything
Thank goodness for my Shrimp ‘n Lobster Ambassadors, aka my interns, Ahsa and Abby along with their moms, as well as the staff at Green Apple Books plus my PR representative from the Collective Book studio, sweet Ella, who wrote this amazing article about Shrimp ‘n Lobster. Without their support this event would have been nothing. I would have had no backbone, I would’ve been a complete worm that would happily dig in and hide. A good team makes one strong!
This was also the first time that I spoke about my book publicly. It was the first time I had an audience that was solely focused on me and what I had to say about Shrimp ‘n Lobster. To say the least, I was completely unnerved because normally I like to stay out of the spotlight. Even if my audience is between the ages of 3 and 12! Kids are smart and I didn’t want to let them down.
I also did a reading! I felt like I was chosen in class to speak. I was soooo nervous. But I tried to keep my cool. I also kept thinking I need to get some glasses. So naturally this was a reminder as I was reading word for word on the spot. Whew, I didn’t screw up! And I think the kids we’re into it! At least I saw some seriously interested parents!
Ella and Abby took photos and handed out the booklets and bookmarks during the event. They were a dream team that improvised to make the event a success. And since this was all new to me, I didn’t know what to expect, and neither did they! The experience for all of us was such a positive one and it became a great learning experience. Plus I got to feel a
little bit more comfortable being with an audience and communicating my favorite thing...Shrimp ‘n Lobster!
Here are some Highlights of the Event
I got to partner with one of the city's most treasured bookstores, Green Apple Books AND the Botanical Gardens. Somebody pinch me!
We were outside in one of the most magical spots in San Francisco!
The Classic Fall weather was outstanding. Dare I say I might have gotten a little sunburned.
I was surrounded by keenly interested kids that wanted to get to know Shrimp ‘n Lobster!
There was coloring and tons of it!
I got to sign some books for those that wanted to continue the adventure with Shrimp ‘n Lobster.
I was surrounded by people who have been supporting me all these years to see Shrimp ‘n Lobster through.
I could keep going and going but that’s the sum of it. I also wanted to emphasize the importance of supporting local bookstores like Green Apple Books. They went above and beyond to do this event with me at the Botanical Gardens. This was not something that they normally did! So the fact that they took a gamble with me was an absolute honor. Green Apple Books brings the community together, and what better way than with books! That’s why it’s important to support small bookstores in your town.
Overall I had an amazing experience in San Francisco’s city park hanging out with people that wanted to get to know Shrimp ‘n Lobster a little more. I learned a lot, and received congratulations for my years-long creation that finally came to fruition. I couldn’t be more grateful for the outcome.
Hey! If you guys decide to take the booklet to the Botanical Gardens please tag us! And don’t forget to tag the Botanical Gardens and Golden Gate Park too! You may just be featured on Golden Gate Parks Instagram Page!
Here’s your tag cheat sheet!
#ShrimpNLobsterExplore #GGP150 #GoldenGatePark #SFRecPark #SFParksAlliance
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