Local author to participate in OC Children’s Book Festival
Author Vicki Tashman, who recently moved to Solana Beach, will participate virtually in the Orange County Children’s Book Festival from Sept. 14 to 26.
Tashman, who writes historical fiction for children ages 4 to 8, said she hasn’t been able to attend the festival in years past because it always coincided with the Jewish High Holidays. But this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is being held virtually and speakers are prerecording their presentations.
“Since it’s virtual, anybody can really be involved in it, so you don’t have to go to Orange County,” said Tashman, who studied journalism at the University of Colorado and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, along with several other organizations.
This year’s festival includes story times, panel discussions and red carpet time, which will feature celebrities and notable authors. Some of them include actress Kristen Bell, who co-authored “The World Needs More Purple People”; Joy Cho, founder and creative director of the Oh Joy! lifestyle brand; and author, illustrator and animator Frans Vischer.
Tashman’s stories teach children about historical figures through the perspectives of their pets. She prerecorded readings of both her books for the festival, but probably only one will be used.
Her first book, “Buzzy and Thomas Move into the President’s House,” details Thomas Jefferson’s move into the President’s House (before the president lived in the White House) through the eyes of Buzzy, his dog.
“The storyline is helping children deal with their fears of change and moving,” Tashman said. “And on top of that, you’re learning about Thomas Jefferson and you’re seeing the kind of clothes that they wore, kind of what they did at the time and you’re learning about Thomas Jefferson at the same time.”
In her second book, “Dash and Victoria Find True Love,” Queen Victoria’s dog, Dash, learns how to open his heart after the queen meets and falls in love with Prince Albert.
“Through the story he learns, and he basically opens up his heart to be able to love more than one person,” Tashman said. “So it teaches a little about Queen Victoria, but also addresses if a child has a new baby coming into the house or a stepparent coming into the house or something changing in the household.”
Tashman said she developed her brand of historical fiction after learning about Cleopatra and how cats were revered during that era. She added that many prominent figures throughout history had pets or farm animals, and it made her wonder what type of stories those animals could tell.
“I just started thinking about those kinds of stories that were out there,” Tashman said.
Tashman added that she’s developing her next story around Alexander Graham Bell and his dog, Trouve. Bell once experimented in getting dogs to talk; her story is about Trouve finding his voice when a group of other dogs are ganging up on him.
For more information about Tashman and her work, visit historicaltails.com. For information about the Orange County Children’s Book Festival, visit kidsbookfestival.com.
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