Join Us For The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!

Don’t be late for this very important date!



Join us at The Grove on Saturday, September 24th, 2-5pm for The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! On the lawn outside Nordstrom and Pacific Theaters, we will celebrate heading back to school with celebrity story time, crafts, treats, and more.


Be sure to purchase your tickets here! General admission is $10 per child. A $25 VIP pass includes a complimentary children’s book and t-shirt.



by Kristen Wood

Harry Potter and the Importance of Literacy

With the recent birthdays of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling, as well as the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this summer has been HUGE for the Harry Potter franchise and is bringing a new generation of children back to the magic of Hogwarts!

In celebration of the new book (and our general obsession with all things HP), here’s a look at how Harry Potter has impacted literacy worldwide since its publication…

First published in 1997, the Harry Potter series has sold an estimated 450 million books across 200 different countries.

Children have been exposed to the magical world of Hogwarts in sixty-nine different languages.

Coca Cola donated $18 million to the US Reading is Fundamental program at Rowling’s request after they won the rights to tie their product in with the first film.

Harry Potter has inspired budding writers to create more than 500 thousand pieces of fan fiction related to the series.

Universities now use the Harry Potter novels to educate future teachers by comparing and contrasting teaching styles with that of Hogwarts professors.

The final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold 8.3 million copies on the first day of its release.

Studies have shown that children – and adults! – that have read Harry Potter are more tolerant of stigmatized social groups, such as refugees and members of the LGBTQ community.

Foreign language versions of the novels have been used to aid in learning a second language.

Young readers are exposed not just to Hogwarts, but the many genres featured through out the novels – from fantasy to mystery to romance and horror.

Fans of Harry Potter are more politically active than those who have not read the series.

The interest spawned by Harry Potter made reading “cool” again and drew back a generation of readers from other forms of media.

59% of children say that the Harry Potter series has made them better readers.

51% of readers say they will go on to read another book series after finishing Harry Potter.


Can you remember the first time you read Harry Potter? For children with limited access to books, that moment may never come.

Join us in spreading the love of reading and the lastings joys of Harry Potter and Hogwarts by hosting your own Book-Raiser or donating to get much needed books to children in need!

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home!



by Kristen Wood

Madewell Gives Back with Milk + Bookies

This week’s Book-Raiser Spotlight goes to our friends at Madewell!


The amazing team at Madewell put together a stellar Milk + Bookies book-raiser at their Costa Mesa / South Coast Plaza store on May 29th. They provided guests with champagne and delicious cookies from Milk Jar to enjoy and, for everyone who brought in books, they received 20% off a purchase of $125+ AND a free Madewell tote! The folks at Madewell were able to raise over 42 books which will be donated to Olive Crest, an organization focused on preventing and treating child abuse in Orange County.tumblr_m2ucafR1PO1qzdg78image001



We are so happy to have partnered with Madewell to give so many fantastic books to kids who need them most! Madewell is one special company who not only makes the BEST products, but also gives back to their community! Madewell also supports initiatives that protect the environment and responsible sourcing. To learn more about Madewell‘s social responsibility initiatives, click here!



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To find out how to get your company/store involved with Milk + Bookies, email us at!

Learn more about hosting your own book-raiser by visiting our website here!



by Abigail Wordin

We Love Warner Bros.!

WBTV_Logo_ColorWith summer quickly approaching, all of us here at Milk + Bookies are sad to see some of our favorite television shows wrapping up for the season. A great number of these shows are brought to us by one of our very own sponsors, Warner Bros. Television! Warner Bros. Television produces and distributes programming to major networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, TNT, FOX, and The CW, as well as HBO, Netflix, and Hulu.


An all-around favorite of just about everyone in the office is The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, a young-adult fantasy drama about a girl who has to choose between two vampire brothers and the chaos that ensues. Season 7 of The Vampire Diaries just ended and we CAN NOT wait for new episodes! If you’re not caught up, don’t worry, you can stream the latest five episodes on or binge watch up to season 6 on Netflix!


A new Warner Bros. Television hit is Netflix’s Fuller House, a reboot of the popular 90s sitcom Full House. DJ is all grown up with kids of her own and has to readjust to life after the loss of her husband with the help of her friends and family. People of all ages love the show, from young families to millennials who grew up watching the original! If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out exclusively on Netflix now!

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All of us at Milk + Bookies would like to offer a special thanks to our partners at Warner Bros. Television for their wonderful support of our 7th Annual Story Time Celebration that took place on April 17th in DTLA!


Check out a recap of our 7th Annual Story Time Celebration here!



by Shannon Dailey

Book-Raiser Spotlight: Blanchard Memorial School

This week’s Book-Raiser Spotlight goes to….

Blanchard Memorial School


The families and students of Blanchard Memorial School hosted a book-raiser to benefit the South Middlesex Opportunity Council. Nearly 200 parents and children gathered together to make this book-raiser a HUGE success!

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South Middlesex Opportunity Council improves the quality of life of low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families. For children, South Middlesex Opportunity Council runs a head start preschool program, as well as school age summer and vacation programs.

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Total Books Raised:


Number of Students Participated:

200 Parents and Students

Donated to:

The South Middlesex Opportunity Council

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Thank you for inspiring so many #FUTUREPHILANTHROPISTS and making a difference! We can’t wait to see where their love for reading and giving takes them!

To find out how you can Host Your Own Book-Raiser and start making a difference to children in your community, click here.

Don’t forget to purchase your Bookies Box full of all the materials you will need to host a SUCCESSFUL book-raiser!


by Alesha Dailey

Say “Cheese” For Flipbooth!

Let’s admit it. We all LOVE photo booths, right!? Recall those fun memories of hanging out with your besties at the mall taking pictures, trying to convince your parents to come pick you up an hour later than usual on a Friday night, to no avail. Now, thanks to Flipbooth, you can relive that same sense of fun while making new memories! Flipbooth makes a jazzy addition to any wedding, party, or event that you and your guests won’t get enough of!


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Lovely little flip books via @flipbooth on Instagram

Flipbooth offers multiple formatting options, including classic photo booth strips, animated GIFs, and of course, flip books! You can directly share your creations on your favorite social media sites using the social media station and your digital negatives will also be accessible on Flipbooth’s website for you to download at your convenience. All of the booths use the highest quality DSLR cameras and professional studio lights so your photos will always be en pointe!

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Open-air booths let you be yourself! via @flipbooth on Instagram

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Quirky photo props via @flipbooth on Instagram

Using the booth is as easy as one, two, three! Simply step in front of the camera, pose for a six second video, wait for your flipbook to print, and voilà! Flipbooth’s photo booths are open-air, which means you don’t have to climb into a tiny box with a bunch of your friends. Let’s just say it allows maximum “voguing” potential! Better yet, a variety of stylish props are included for your event!

They can be set up anywhere with your choice of a complementary white, black, silver, or gold backdrop. You can also provide your own backdrop or Flipbooth can create a custom design just for your event!


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Nothing says “party” like a sparkly backdrop! via @flipbooth on Instagram

Flipbooth is a proud partner of Milk + Bookies and we are beyond excited to showcase their photo booths at our 7th Annual Story Time Celebration on April 17th in DTLA!


For more information on our 7th Annual Story Time Celebration and to purchase your tickets, click here! We hope to see you there!



by Shannon Dailey

We Are Thankful For…

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year has FLOWN by and we can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is already here! It has been an incredibly busy year for us at Milk+Bookies and we wanted to take a moment to share what we are thankful for.

We are thankful for all of the parents and families.

We understand how hard you work in order to love and support your children. Thank you for being the creators of the next generation, supporting them as they explore the world with new eyes, and inspiring them.


We are thankful for all of the teachers, principles, and school administrators.

Thank you for loving each student as your own. We know how you dedicate a countless number of hours to your students and your classroom in order to help them learn, grow, and realize their full potential.

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We are thankful for all of the children and students.

Your excitement, perspective, and love brings magic into the world. You inspire us day in, day out.


We are thankful for all of the authors and books.

You whisk us away to far away lands, take us on adventures, and transform us into mystical creatures. You challenge us and help us grow by showing us your world and the world of your characters.


Thanks to all of you, Milk + Bookies has grown beyond what we could have ever imagined. We have inspired future philanthropists across the country in over 400 cities and your book-raiser parties and events have helped to raise and donate over 259,000 books. Our newest program, Leaders+Readers has helped to donate 90,000 books to Title I schools and organizations throughout Los Angeles.

We are thankful for YOU for understanding the importance of reading and giving, and helping us to get books into the hands of kids who need them!!

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It’s safe to say that 2015 has been OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD! We are so excited for 2016 and all the year has in store for us.

While Thanksgiving encourages us to reflect on what we have and what we have accomplished, we also want to take a moment to reflect on how we can BE BETTER and DO BETTER. Having said that, these staggering statistics drive us to work even harder next year, and we hope you will join us!

Los Angeles has the highest number of illiterate residents of any U.S. city.

Most, if not all, Title I schools don’t have a budget for books or library support staff.

70% of LAUSD students are part of the free lunch program – If they cannot afford lunch, they cannot afford books.

Approximately 60% of LAUSD students are scoring below proficient in English Language Arts.

Help us continue to inspire future philanthropists and bring books to kids who don’t have any by hosting your own book-raiser party, have a Leaders+Readers book-drive at your LA school, send us your gently used books, and READ!

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Have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Read! Give! Grow!

by Marianna Yamamoto

Vote for Leaders + Readers in LA2050!


We owe so much of our success to our amazing supporters like YOU!

Starting TODAY until November 3rd, our Leaders + Readers program is eligible to win a $100,000 grant from LA2050 and the Goldhirsh Foundation

Cast your vote for our program here!

With this money, we will be able to bring over 100,000 books to children in Title 1 schools and low income areas in desperate need throughout Los Angeles!

With your help, Los Angeles does NOT have to be the #1 metropolitan city with the highest rate of illiteracy.

Every vote counts! Spread the word and rally your friends and family to support the Leaders + Readers mission to make LA the best place to LEARN.

For more information about the LA2050 Initiative, visit:

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by Alesha Dailey

Author Champion of the Week: Michelle Staubach Grimes

Our Author Champion of the Week is Michelle Staubach Grimes! This author of newly penned children’s book Where is Pidge? is a true lifelong learner! After receiving her B.A. in History and then her J.D. in 1994, Michelle found herself lured back to learning once her children grew older. She enrolled in an SMU Creating Writing program and drafted a women’s fiction novel; on the side, she began “Where is Pidge?”.  She currently lives in Dallas, where she grew up, with her husband and 3 children: Jeffrey, Gracie, and Emma.  We recently had the delightful opportunity to interview Michelle, who offered us insight into creative writing, military families, and affirmatory parenting.



What drew you to study creative writing?

I was drawn into the world of creative writing because I love to journal. Years ago I drafted a non-fiction short book and wanted to move forward with it so I enrolled in the SMU Creative Writing Continuing Education Program.  I fell in love with creative writing and continued taking classes while drafting a fiction novel. On the side, I began writing the story of Pidge, which I started at my kitchen table one evening and couldn’t stop.

Many people have asked since the publication of my book– “Weren’t you writing a novel? How did you end up writing a children’s book?” I tell them, that if I hadn’t studied creative writing for two years, I wouldn’t have been able to write the children’s book. While the story of Pidge is 736 words vs. my 90,000 word novel, both are stories with a beginning, middle, and end. A person must go through something and change for a story to be complete. As Mark Twain said, “A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.


How long did it take for you to see “Where is Pidge?” through to completion?

From the day I put pen to paper, to the day I held the book in my hand, was approximately eighteen months. However, I prefer to say about three years as I began learning the elements of story writing in the SMU Program in August of 2011. I launched my book in March of 2014.

Michelle with her illustrator Bill DeOre

What’s been your favorite part of writing this children’s book?

My favorite parts were finding my voice and core story, and sharing the story of Pidge with children and adults. While it’s a work of fiction, there are many truths in the story. In the beginning of the book, Pidge thinks her family doesn’t care about her. As the story develops, she experiences numerous emotions from mad to angry to scared to happy.

When I talk to children about Pidge’s journey, I tell them that I, too, as an adult have these same feelings. I’m sad and lonely at times. And my all time favorite is when a child’s face lights up and they make the connection between their feelings and Pidge’s feelings. One girl raised her hand one day and said “while I’m not a middle child, I feel like Pidge because my mom is getting remarried and I’m going to have new siblings and I feel left out.” I hope Pidge begins a conversation among kids and adults about emotions, and how we can learn to cope and work through the tough times and enjoy the good times.


How did you get the idea to start #pidgepromise? How has the reception been?

As I prepared for the launch of my book, it was very important that I promote literacy.  I knew I would read my book and talk about the process of writing. However, I wanted my appearances to be more than just about Pidge; we must ensure that children are exposed to books from the minute they are born, and educate adults on the importance of reading aloud to children. When I visit schools, I try to make reading and storytelling fun and encourage children to read more books than they’re assigned in class by making a “Pidge Promise” (#pidgepromise).

I ask the children and even adults to pledge to read more: read more themselves, read to a young child, or someone who can’t read. The reception has been fabulous. Sometimes schools will have their students make a #pidgepromise before I visit the school. When I returned to my grade school Prairie Creek Elementary, where I learned to read, they had the walls covered in #pidgepromise’s.

We heard you have also been popular amongst military families on bases – what commonalities do you think can be drawn between Pidge’s experience and those of children in military families?

First, I must say I’m very proud to have been born on the military base in Pensacola, Florida during my father’s service. However, my father’s military service ended when I was a little over one-year old. While I didn’t grow up as a military child, I can only imagine how tough at times it can be for military children as they move often, which requires them to adjust to new schools and cities more than many of us. In addition, they are physically separated from their mom or dad for extended periods of time. I know they must feel unloved, unimportant at times, or just “lost” like Pidge feels in her own home.

I visited Barksdale Air force Base recently and I’m looking forward to spending September 12th at Fort Hood. I’ll be travelling to military bases in San Antonio and California this fall to share the story of Pidge with military families. These families make the ultimate sacrifice for our country and I want to give back to them. If I can put a smile on the children’s faces, especially a child who is missing his or her parent, I can’t think of a better way to spend my day.

We love that your book emphasizes the importance of affirming children in our lives-what do you think are ways that both parents or siblings can demonstrate gratitude towards children who may not feel valued?

Affirming children and validating their emotions is crucial to developing a child’s confidence and sense of being. As parents, we may not agree or understand their emotions, but to our child, it’s their “truth.” One of my kids may say – “So and so is so mean. She hates me. I don’t want to go to school.” As a parent, it’s easier for me to respond, “It’ll get better. Of course she doesn’t hate you and school is fun.” But I try to listen to their concerns, affirm their feelings, and help them work through the problem. Sometimes it is best not to say anything at all, but to assure them that I understand they are hurting. Kids must be able to express their emotions, and we as parents must listen; and just because we validate their emotions doesn’t mean we’re in total agreement with their position. I tell them their voice matters, they are loved, and that they are an important member of the family.

I grew up with four siblings so I know firsthand that siblings fight and don’t always treat each other with respect. But I also know it’s important to talk to children about how they treat their siblings. It’s hard to know when to intervene or let your children work it out themselves; when I hear screaming and slamming doors, I want to walk upstairs right away and punish all of them. Sometimes I let them work it out, but when they’ve crossed the line, I pull them aside individually and let them know how I believe they’ve really hurt their sibling’s feelings. I hope my children see the love I have for my siblings today, and how important they are to me.

My oldest is a boy (age 16) and then I have two girls (ages 14 and 12). I’ve told my son as the oldest and as a boy, his sisters will be heavily influenced by how he treats them and how my husband treats me. While I know his sisters drive him crazy at times, he must give them the respect he’d give any other girl or woman. And, that I believe he learned from how my husband treats me. A few years ago, my youngest daughter travelled alone with my husband. They had a great time, but she said to me after the trip – “mom, you know Gracie (her older sister) drives me crazy at times, but it’s just not fun without her.” 

 Can you share a favorite memory with Maverick?

Maverick gives unconditional love. He’s a big dog so he can’t crawl up in your lap. My favorite memory of Maverick is more than one memory. It’s the memories of every time I lie on the floor next to him. He takes his leg and paw, places them over my body and gives me a big bear hug. When I take him to school visits, the kids can’t get enough of him.


Thank you Michelle for not only sharing your story with us, but also teaching us how children and parents both can benefit from emotional awareness in “Where is Pidge?”

Get your copy of “Where is Pidge?” here and make a #pidgepromise today!


by Betty Fang

Book-Raiser Spotlight: Ms. Heidy Paredes’ Class

Today’s Milk+Bookies Book-Raiser Spotlight goes to the incredible Ms. Paredes and her cohort of university students at Centro de Estudios de Idiomas Mazatlán Uas in Mexico. Students in this ELT–English Language Teaching–program will all go on to become future English teachers!  As a part of their final project in the Literature class, Ms. Paredes’ students were tasked with making a short storybook and audiobook to promote reading in English.

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Upon completion, the students helped raise additional books to donate to the public elementary schools Francisco Marquez Torrontegui and Ramon Lopez Valarde. Students dressed up as characters from their own book and discussed the importance of reading and learning a second language. Check out the amazing atmosphere and generous spirits that Ms. Paredes’ students were able to create at the local elementary schools!

Total Books Raised: 26

Total Kids Involved in Event: 52

Donated To: Public School Francisco Marquez Torrontegui and Ramon Lopez Valarde

A few quotes from Ms. Paredes’ students:

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“Being a part of this project has made me realized that if we all help with something small like bringing books to schools, we are going to be able to change people’s habits such as reading more or getting children more interested in books.” –Ana V.

“It was nice to know that children are really motivated when they have something that is creative in front of them.” –Jonathan G.

“Donating all the books is a good start to encourage students to read more and learn something new, as well as, practicing the language. It was an awesome experience and I would be happy to do it again.” –Cristina M.

“English learning is going to be really important and it is satisfactory to know that our books can help them to acquire the language and who knows, maybe they can even be encouraged to become English teachers in a future.” –Joel C.

“I felt blessed when I donated my book to them; I then noticed that all my hard work was worth it.” –Gabriela P.


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Thank you for making a huge difference with Milk+Bookies!!

To find out how you can Host Your Own Book-Raiser and start making a difference to children in your community, click here.

And don’t forget to purchase your Bookies Box full of all the materials you will need to make your Book-Raiser a success!!


by Betty Fang