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Hi, Friends,

    I just had a wonderful author visit at my LMC!  Mark Crilley, the
Michigan-based author of the "Akiko" books (Random House) visited with our
elementary students.  His series (4 books so far, with a 5th new Akiko
adventure due to be published) is based on a comic-book series he has been
publishing for some time.  The books bring this character to a whole new
    Akiko is a fourth-grade Japanese-American girl who has no desire to be a
leader; however, one day, a mysterious letter arrives at her apartment,
requesting that she meet the sender outside her bedroom window at 8 p.m.
Only thing is--she lives on the 17th floor!  What arrives is a convertible
space ship manned by Bip and Bop, who have an exact replica Akiko robot who
will take the girl's place while she travels to the Planet Smoo to help
rescue the kidnapped Prince!  Akiko doesn't have to pull off this feat
alone, though.  Mr. Beeba, the mysterious Poog, Spuckler Boach, and his
robot sidekick Gax are standing by to help!
    My K-6 gifted students LOVE Akiko; I have 5 copies in circulation and a
3 page waiting list following the author's presentation.  Mark talked about
himself, his books, his characters, and demonstrated how he draws the
detailed illustrations that appear in the books.  He read from the book,
voices and special effects included, and then drew an alien creature based
on the suggestions of the audience.  After a 45-minute presentation for
grades 3-6, he deftly switched to a scaled-down presentation for the K-2 set
and our 6-8 year old mentally impaired students.  With each group, his style
and language were a perfect match for the audience.  His books are even
being checked out to kids who don't usually choose fantasy or sci-fi.
    I highly recommend Mark Crilley.  He can be e-mailed at
mcrilley@twmi.rr.com.  Enjoy!

Shari Shaw
Library Media Specialist
Webster Elementary
Livonia, MI

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