Children’s Book

The Vanderbeekers on the Road by Karina Yan Glaser

Happy Wednesday! I’m SUPER, SUPER, SUPER thrilled to celebrate books with Karina Yan Glaser today. She stopped by to discuss The Vanderbeekers on the Road‘s cover, cats, A Duet for Home, Anderson’s Bookshop, Broadway, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and Karina wrote the words in black. Thank you, Karina!

Katya Longhi’s cover illustration and David Hastings’s cover design for The Vanderbeekers on the Road is so fun! This is the first time the Vanderbeekers are leaving New York City in this book series, and I think the cover captures the sense of expectation and chaos surrounding a big road trip. This is Katya’s fourth Vanderbeekers cover, and I adore her work and am so grateful that she continues to illustrate the covers for this series. I hope one day I’ll get to visit her in Italy!

The Vanderbeekers on the Road tell the story of the Vanderbeekers fulfilling their hopes for a big fortieth birthday celebration for their dad. In the previous book in the series (The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish), the Vanderbeekers are disappointed when their plans for a big surprise birthday party for their dad is canceled when he has to leave town at the last minute. In The Vanderbeekers on the Road, the kids (plus their mom, Mr. Beiderman, and Orlando) set off in a van to pick up Papa in Indiana and make their way to California, recreating a road trip that Papa’s father had planned but Papa and his dad never got to go on. Nine people in a van all the way to California and back – what could go wrong?

Cats and a dog are in this book too! Just because the Vanderbeekers are leaving their Harlem brownstone doesn’t mean there is no animal mischief in the story. They bring along Franz, Hyacinth’s Bassett Hound, plus Laney’s cat Tuxedo plus two rescued cats they are taking to Aunt Penny in Monterey. And there might be another animal visitor along the way. Again… what could go wrong?

A Duet for Home is a middle grade standalone book that I wrote that came out this past April. It was inspired by my work in shelters for families experiencing homelessness in New York City, and the story is told in two voices. June is just entering the shelter for the first time, and Tyrell has been there for over three years. While their first meeting is a little messy, they ultimately learn to trust each other not only with their lives but with their dreams. This book has been in the works for twenty years!

The best night at @AndersonsBkshp!!! So much love to @barberchicago and to everyone who came out on this wintry day. I’ll remember this always. ❤️❤️❤️— Karina Yan Glaser (@KarinaYanGlaser) April 9, 2022

Anderson’s Bookshop is the loveliest place with a fantastic staff who LOVES books! When I was there in April, I was greeted with the most wonderful surprise: a signed and personalized copy of This is a School by John Schu and illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamieson. I just love that book! Another thing I love about Anderson’s is the fantastic community of educators and librarians who attend events there. When I do an event at Anderson’s, I feel like I am surrounded by so much support and love! And I adore Anderson’s Educational Director Lorie Barber. She is the best!

Thank you!!

John Schu, you should have asked me about what shows I’ve seen this year! I’ve seen Company, Paradise Square, Wicked, The Lion King, Six, Hadestown, Birthday Candlesand Fat Ham! Going to the theater is one of the greatest joys in life. I always look around the theater to see if you’re there too, because I know you love it too!

Oh, I hope to see you at a show one day soon!

Karina Glaser is a former teacher and now a contributor to Book Riot. Karina lives in Harlem, New York City, with her husband, two daughters, and an assortment of rescued animals. One of her proudest achievements is raising two kids who can’t go anywhere without a book.

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