Crunch, crunch, crunch! We celebrate authors with a tasteful party

Yesterday, a packed house of Mar Vistans (and adjacent community members) congregated at 826LA for a joyous reading of new work in the Dogtown Books series. To great fanfare, 826LA unveiled a book written, designed, and printed entirely in-house: Not By My Cookie! Crunch, Crunch, Crunch! The anthology, which contains pieces from across the spectrum of ages we serve, includes several “modern fables” that saw our students drawing inspiration from classics.

Isay, a teen writer who joined our program this year, brought us an instant hit with “The Sofanator”:

The Sofanator

Isay Lopez

One day, my co-worker Mickey and I came up with a form of transportation called “The Sofanator.” This marvelous invention would allow a person to fly anywhere around the world, while remaining on the sofa. It would even allow a person to fly to the moon. To control this vehicle, a person can use his voice or use autopilot. Don’t worry, The Sofanator can also park in the house because it can pull all the wings and engines inside the sofa, thereby saving space. If the user is thinking, “How am I supposed to put it inside the box?” Well, let me tell you, it shrinks so the user can take it whenever and wherever he wants. Families can go on vacation because up to ten people can fit on The Sofanator and the luggage would go inside the base of the vehicle. The Sofanator runs on junk food such as chips, candy, and ice cream. The more junk food a person drops between the cushions, the faster and longer it can fly. The material of the sofa would be made out of latex to protect The Sofanator from all types of weather.

And Jessica give us all chills with a freaky tale:

My Weird Dream

Jessica Morales

One day I was in Texas eating pizza until an old lady gave me a poison apple that I didn’t notice. When I took a bite I got dizzy, then I went to my house to go to sleep. The next morning I looked in the mirror and my head was upside-down. I got scared so I told my mom to come to my room, and the next thing you know, my mom’s head was also upside-down! So, when I looked out the window, people from across the street were like that, too. So I started pinching myself, and then I was in my bed. My mom knocked on my door and her head wasn’t upside-down anymore, so I realized it was just silly, and the worst dream I had ever head in my whole life!

We loved to see kids get crazy with their imaginations during the course of writing and producing Not By My Cookie! Crunch, Crunch, Crunch! But we’re pretty sure even their wild imaginations couldn’t have prepared them for what came next.

Thanks to the generous support of two local community partners, we provided a feast for authors and their families courtesy of Whole Foods Venice. We had all-you-can-eat salad, scrumptious bread rolls, and a delicious helping of pasta for everyone! As the sun was going down and our party came to a close, we followed that dinner up with sweets from our favorite local bakery, Platine Cookies. With friends like Whole Food and Platine, we knew that we’d have an unforgettable night at 826LA in Mar Vista: everyone from a local family (plus a host of volunteer tutors) went home with a full belly, free of charge.


Not By My Cookie! Crunch, Crunch, Crunch is available in the Mar Vista Time Travel Mart and online. Thanks to our two neighbor businesses, Platine and Whole Foods, who handled the details of catering from start to finish … and thanks, of course, to all the wonderful tutors who let us put this book out in the first place! If you’re not familiar with the work that we do in our after-school tutoring programs at both 826LA sites, which includes helping our neighborhood families excel in school and taking them on adventures in publishing, you should check out the program synopsis at this link.


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