Posts Tagged ‘penguin gummies’

Noodles & Albie Debut Reading and Penguin Party

August 29, 2014

To say our Noodles & Albie launch party / event / reading / slideshow at the White Square Bookshop was a success last week is like saying penguins are cute.  It was and they are, but it was so much more.  This being our first book and our first book public event made it unforgettable.  On the way to the White Square to set up that Sunday morning my daughter Sophie tried to keep me even keeled by saying, “Ya know dad, don’t get all bent out of shape if only five people show up”.  She had noticed that I had packed our little car with 30 of everything.  30 penguin goodie bags, enough penguin cheese crackers and peachy penguin gummies for a school outing,  a nice size box penguin prizes for the various contests we were to run, 30 plush penguins to give out with the books, and a case of 30 Noodles & Albie books.  


I pondered what to wear and at first I wore a dress shirt with a penguin tie, jeans and sneakers trying to channel that unique hipster-doofus children’s author persona, but both my kids immediately vetoed it, and unanimously encouraged me to don a new Chilly Willy t-shirt and baseball hat.  I wisely followed their sage advice.  So with my little VW Beetle packed to the gills with boxes of penguins and two kids we set off and of course we arrived absurdly early.  I put Sophie and Rose to work making 30 snack cups of penguin crackers and gummies.  We then set out baskets of the penguin goodie bags, the fun multiple choice penguin quiz  sheets I made up,  Eileen, the owner of White Square, made a cooler of blue colored Penguin Polar Punch with marshmallows floating on the top to simulate mini icebergs (very clever Eileen).  Sophie wrote up some signage, “Penguin Goodie Bags, One Per Kid”, and  “Take Our Penguin Quiz: Win Prizes”.  We were done in 20 minutes, and so to keep my kids from destroying the bookstore with an hour to go before the reading we waddled down the road to Mt. Tom’s Ice Cream Parlor.  Every once in while I’d walk over to White Square to see if anyone had shown up, and soon a couple of friends, then a fan showed up, then Liz and her family entourage.  This was the first time I got to meet her extended clan so that was a treat.  While we were all chatting I turned around to find that the room was filling up and there was a line at the counter. Eileen was even selling books!  People who we did not know were asking Liz and I to sign the books they had just purchased!  By the time the reading was set to begin the place was packed.  I made an announcement that kids should sit upfront on the floor and adults in the back.  I climbed onto a stool with copy of Noodles & Albie in hand with Liz sitting to my left in charge of the slideshow manning the projector.  As Eileen introduced us I looked up and I could not believe how many people were there, kids and adults, friends, family and fans who had come from near and far.  I made a little speech about how the book came to be, introduced Liz, and began to read.  “After six long months of daylight, the sun was finally beginning to set on the Antarctic summer, and Noodles had not gone on his first swim…”


When the reading was over, there was applause and congratulations. Kind of embarrassed I immediately launched into my penguin quiz, while Liz held a “how to draw a penguin class with the kids” that was a hit.  Sophie the quiz master checked answers and gave out penguin prizes according to how many correct answers each kid got.  Then more schmoozing and signing of books.  Finally, we held our kids best waddle competition, in which Liz’s mom Nancy must get honorable mention although it was more like a prancing pup than a penguin waddle.  All told there were probably 50  people in attendance.  Liz and I sold and signed 26 books.  The event was suppose to be from 2 pm to 3 pm.  I got home a 4:30 bringing a lot less penguins up the stairs than I took down the stairs earlier that day.


On the way home Sophie said, “Dad, I knew it was going to be o.k., but I said not to get your hopes up just in case, ya know? Because I didn’t want you to get your expectations too high and have your feelings hurt.”  “And now?”  I asked.  “You and Liz kicked butt!” she said.

Willy Waddles the Giant Chocolate Penguin: RIP

March 21, 2010

About 8 months ago Willy Waddles waddled on to the Penguin Place scene in a big way. A very big way. When the good folks at the candy wholesaler where I get our Penguin Gummies from sent me an image of their new chocolate candy bar named Willy Waddles I jumped all over it.  I love chocolate, I love penguins, the jpeg image of Willy looked great and he was 14 ounces!   Not a bad little chocolate penguin snack.  Then he arrives and he’s in the order of nearly a foot and a half tall!   Seems Willy is hollow, like an Easter Chocolate Bunny and I neglected to ask how big he was (I assumed candy bar size).  So now I’m stuck with a whole bunch of giant chocolate penguins that don’t fit in any USPS Priority Mail boxes, so they have to ship via pricey UPS and since they’re hallow they will most likely break during shipping (as about 20% did).  Plus, they’re taking up valuable storage space. But, after selling some and giving some away to various local charities the last Willy Waddled out of Penguin Place to of all places Idaho this past Tuesday, and just in time before the warm weather would begin to melt to poor penguin.   That is I sold the last one except a Willy who’s wing was broken.   So, what do a couple of chocolate loving penguin people do when presented with a 16″ inch tall chocolate penguin.  Yum, yum, eat em up.  Except Willy proved to be a formidable chocolate mountain indeed.   We started from the top down and perhaps it was the curse of Willy, but after eating his face as I was doing my best Silence Of The Lambs impersonation I headed straight for the bathroom not to return for quite some time.  Michelle wisely was pacing herself and working on the torso and fortunately didn’t feel any ill effects.  The next day I was rejuvenated and we began to nosh on the wings and torso, slowly working our way down.  This time I had some milk to help with the process, and by night-time with the family asleep I sat down in front of the tv with my rented DVD of Black Dynamite with the lower half of Willy and some cold milk.  But, a half hour later the thrill was gone and I realized that Willy had gotten the better of me and my stomach.  I declared No Mas, and discarded the carcass of Willy Waddles in the trash in the same way Claude Raines tossed that bottle of Vichy Water into the can at the end of Casablanca.  It took a lot of will power to just dump what was left of Willy in the garbage, but had I continued on with my foolish chocolate penguin campaign I surely would have regretted it. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but some day soon and for the rest of my life.  Ah Willy.  We’ll always have Paris.

Eric, Michelle and Willy Waddles

Penguin Place Shopping Update

December 3, 2009

The back of our new Penguin Gummies box has this great Penguin Gummies of the World map.

As we waddle into the month of December the daily penguin inventory comings and goings are hard to keep up with, but we’re trying. Here’s some of the real cool stuff that arrived just today. Match Of The Penguin Card Game, Let It Slide Shirts in tank and t-shirt styles, E-Frutti Penguins Of The World Boxed Gummies, Knitwits Little Kids Cotton Knit Hats, Quilted Penguin Tree Skirt, Boys Penguin Silk Tie, Personalized Penguin Ornaments and Elegant Mom & Chick Lamps. Here’s what we sold out of : Spanky Plush, Diving Snowglobe, Chilly Snowglobe, Chilly Willy Patch and Baseball Hat, Penguin Jack in the Box, Waddling Big Head Magnet, Chilly Plumpkin, Pip the Nutcracker Plush and we’re sad to say the Retro Penguin Bathrobe is sold out in small/medium. Also, we thought we had sold out of the Santa Penguin Riding a Motorcycle Ornament and took it off the site, then we found a case and back up it went. So, it goes at Penguin Place in December.

Our latest cute Kids Cotton Knit Penguin Hat for ages 3-8