Under Cover: Children’s Author Kobi Yamada Comes to Barnes & Noble July 29

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Idea book coverI love it when you can combine fun with something bigger.

Our family has had the privilege many times over to discover how fun volunteering can be: beach cleanup with buddies, performing in a get-to-know-you assembly for younger students, or working at the Special Olympics, only to discover that perhaps we are the ones with the disability.

Likewise, I find that many of our favorite reads are those that can both touch and inspire us, either through the story of an amazing individual, or with a reminder of our own potential.

Combining the joy of reading with a more “big picture” storyline makes the experience all the sweeter.

This next week, Barnes and Noble will provide parents with one of those times when their kids can become inspired, and have a little fun at the same time.

In a special story-time event on Tuesday, July 29, Barnes and Noble in Fashion Island will present “What Do You Do With an Idea?” by Kobi Yamada.

The event will begin at 11 a.m., and will include a story-time reading, along with companion activities and refreshments.

“What Do You Do With an Idea?” tells the story of a little boy with a big idea. As his confidence grows, so does his dream, until one day, he discovers what, exactly it is that you do with an idea: change the world.

In just a few beautifully illustrated pagers, the book encourages the type of out of the box thinking and dreaming that society and our own insecurities tend to cause us to repress. Reinforcing the idea that you should never give up on what you believe in, it reminds readers both young and old to nurture their creativity, and see their ideas through to fruition.

One reviewer says, “I can’t say enough about how this book delivers a pivotal work, community and life lesson: Nurture your ideas and you can change the world.”

I always like to learn a little about the authors whose books I profile, and in so doing, I discovered that Yamada seems to be a man who practices what his writing preaches.

Yamada is President and CEO of Compendium Incorporated, a company that makes inspirational books and gifts. Compendium’s stated mission is “Live inspired: to inspire, educate, motivate, and celebrate the world we love and live in. We strive to set an example of hope, passion, and creativity in everything we do – from the products and programs we create, to the ways we make a difference for our clients, customers, and community.”

The company adheres to a set of ten values: Integrity, Creativity, Excellence, Balance, Fun, Success, Passion, (make a) Difference, (customer) Amazement, and Relationships.

While these values could provide a road map to success in any endeavor, perhaps my favorites are “Integrity – we strive to do the right thing because it’s right,” “Creativity – we believe in the power of great ideas,” and “Fun – we value laughter, play, celebration, and having a great time.”

What a great reminder to us all that there is success to be found through balance: joy, celebration, hard work, and perseverance, applied in equal measure.

As a company, their strategy is clearly working, as I just ordered not one, but two of Yamada’s books.

In these days in which our schools are relying on an ever-increasing amount of technology, and an endless stream of testing to churn out “21st Century students,” I can’t think of a better concept to reinforce to our children: Creativity matters, passion is invaluable, and it’s ok to do things differently than everybody else.

Kudos to both Yamada and Barnes and Noble for the reminder.

Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys. She can be reached at [email protected].



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