RANCHO SANTA FE — When children are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed toy to an event, it is sure to be a raving success. Rancho Santa Fe kids and their parents have a special opportunity to be part of a rare affair June 21 hosted by the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild.
Not only will they be meeting children’s author and illustrator Salina Yoon, but they will get a sneak preview of her newest picture book, “FOUND,” take part in a scavenger hunt, and Yoon will personally draw a portrait of a child’s stuffed animal.
“We are honored to have her because she is an accomplished children’s author and illustrator and are excited to introduce the children to her new book ‘FOUND,’” said Emily Bruce, Youth Services manager for the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild.
While the Guild has held numerous author events, Bruce said, this is the first time they are offering a children’s event and are hoping to have more. And this event is already causing a stir of excitement.
According to Yoon, “FOUND,” is a story about a bear that finds a stuffed toy bunny in the forest. The bear posts fliers all over, attempting to find the owner of the toy.
“While caring for this toy, he grows an attachment to this bunny and he wishes he could keep it,” Yoon said. When the rightful owner reveals themselves, the real question is if Bear will do the right thing and relinquish the toy bunny.
“Children, like adults, are faced with difficult decisions and feel complex emotions,” Yoon said. She added, ‘FOUND’ explores these themes in a very child friendly way.”
Yoon has both authored and illustrated more than 150 books for young children. This number also includes the regarded Penguin picture book series. Her books are geared for 2 to 6 years of age.
What Yoon enjoys most about her work, she said, is the process of growing an idea from something small into something beyond her imagination. It’s all about the literary and artistic journey.
“Sometimes the story presents itself as I write the words in bits and pieces, and other times through the little doodles that bring the story to life — it’s the discovery process that I enjoy the most,” she said.
Yoon, who has two young boys, said her children have been her inspiration. Yoon pointed out that many of her books were authored when they were babies and toddlers. Her eldest son was Yoon’s muse for the popular Penguin character.
The concept of drawing a portrait of a child’s favorite stuffed toy at the June 21 event is something Yoon enjoys doing. While the children are mesmerized by watching her draw, the portrait is a reflection of the child’s attachment and love for their toy.
“And the scavenger hunt plays off the theme of finding something that is lost, from ‘FOUND,’” she said.
Yoon wants parents to know that her younger aged books are mostly interactive, while offering great fun for the parents to watch their children’s expression.
“The picture book is a classic format that brings children and parents together,” said Yoon, adding how it’s a great experience to share together. “I love children to embrace the joy in reading, feeling, and experiencing the many adventures that are in books.”
“FOUND” will be available for purchase and Yoon on hand for a personal signing. To learn more about the event June 21 at 2 p.m., visit rsflibraryguild.org or call (858) 756-2512. This event is made possible by Warwicks of La Jolla.