Saturday, June 3, 2023

IN STOCK NOW -- Limited number of signed copies of Lili Chin books Kitty Language and Doggie Language (updated 7.1.23)

UPDATE 7.1.23 -- Thank you Lili for signing all the pre-order copies from the website, as well as some additional copies of both titles. Signed copies of both books are in stock now. Available at the store, or via the website.

Lili Chin had a successful career in animation before she became known for her animal art. Her longtime animal art muse was her wonderful rescue Boston Terrier, Boogie. The bond between Lili and Boogie -- and Lili's drive to educate herself about animal behavior --  shaped her career path. That legacy continues with Lili using her art skills to raise awareness. Her illustrations do a brilliant job explaining how animals use their bodies and behaviors to communicate with each other, and with people. Lili has evolved her vocation. She's moved from important animal behavior info graphics into to her own book projects. Between conventions and the store, I was able to meet artist Lili in person years ago as well as follow her career. It was very special to also meet Boogie before he passed away in 2020.

Here's a bio of Lili from her Doggie Drawings website:

"Lili Chin is an artist well known for her globally popular dog art,  while her work also includes cats and other species. Since 2008, she has been providing custom illustration and a catalog of art products for sale. 

Lili Chin's dog behavior infographics have become a popular tool for dog training professionals, veterinarians, behaviorists, and welfare groups who advocate for humane animal training methods.

A partial list of prominent behaviorists, authors, and organizations that have used her art include the late Dr. Sophia Yin, Fear Free Pets, RSPCA, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and International Cat Care.

Her first book - Doggie Language: A Dog Lover's Guide to Understanding Your Best Friend - was published by Summersdale in October 2020, and has been translated to multiple languages.

Her newest book, Kitty Language: An Illustrated Guide To Understanding Your Cat  will be published by Ten Speed Press in Summer 2023.

Lili Chin is Malaysia-born and currently lives in Los Angeles with a writer-husband, and two rescued and bonded cats - Mambo and Shimmy. Her muse is her rescued, blue-eyed boston terrier, Boogie. (2004 - 10/20/2020) She loves making frozen desserts, listening to podcasts, and playing board games."

Lili's first book, Doggie Language was an instant hit and has been translated into nearly 20 languages.

UPDATE 6.12.23 -- Doggie Language -- awarded top prize in 2 categories of the Dog Writers Association of America writing awards for 2020-2022. Best Series of Illustrations. And Best Book (Behavior, Health and Welfare)

Her new book, Kitty Language, releases this month. 

Stuart featured Lili and her books in a recent edition of his online newsletter. All the latest news from SNB arrives arrives weekly in this email written by Stuart himself. You can can subscribe to the SNB newsletter via this "mailing list" link on the SNB website:

Links on the SNB website are now open for pre-orders for signed and/or inscribed copies of both Kitty Language ....

And Doggie Language...

Lili's artwork first caught my eye in an infographic for "The Yellow Dog Project" ( that appeared in a local newspaper. Thankfully, the ad include artist credit and her website address! I loved the charming dogs rendered in a distinctive style. And the message that some dogs (and people) need space that "friendly" off-leash dogs often invade, without consent. 

More recently, Lili wrote and illustrated her own free download called "Hello, Friendly Dogs" -- a great primer to share on leash etiquette. It was inspired by safety risks she faced walking Boogie, who needed space due to age and health issues.

On her website Lili explains why she created this important resource.

 "I know I am not alone in this. I have a dog that needs more personal space than other dogs. He is a senior; he is suspicious of unfamiliar dogs and will lunge or snarl at them if they stare at him, or come too close too soon.

And yet every so often, an off-leash dog will come bounding up towards him (or even sometimes, an on-leash dog) and the owner will call out “HE’S FRIENDLY!” without checking with me first if it is OK for their dog to meet my dog.

There is this automatic assumption by most people that if their own dog is friendly, then everything is fine with the world. Who the heck cares what OTHER PEOPLE’s DOGS are feeling? The idea of consent does not seem to cross their minds at all.

My response is always usually “Please call your dog away. My dog is NOT friendly”. But sometimes I can’t say this fast enough. Or the other person ignores me.  

My dog freaks out and turns into a murderous beast. To the other person with the “friendly dog”, we look like the bad guy. I wish I could simply say: “Please google  SPACE ETIQUETTE FOR DOGS when you get home!”  

Here are more samples of the info graphics Lili has produced on her own and with vet clinics and dog behavior experts. 

Lili's expressive art style has been licensed for authorized use by large companies... 

The commerical appeal -- and potential -- of her images has also made her a target for art theft. Lili has been on the vanguard of fighting for protections for indie artist creative rights. It's not a position she wanted to find herself in. But her art posted online was often stolen for unauthorized commerical use by others. 

Lili was able to protect her valueable IP because Lili registers her copyrights. She has been able win settlements in legal cases about infringement on her work. Just because an art image is online, that doesn't mean it's free to use. Lili has educated fans and other artists about copyright protections through her free downloads of infograhics.

Lili's own fans report art theft cases to her. They alerted Lili to a TV profile in the UK featuring an art thief whose entire inventory was online images stolen from Lili! Scroll down in this blog post to read more about this important case study:

Lili will be appearing at the upcoming CatCon in August 2023..

You can see my post on the very first CatCon here:

Check out all the wonderful merch on Lili's online store!

Thank you Lili for being art in action. Educating animal lovers -- and art fans!

Friday, June 2, 2023

Alina Chau -- Signed copies of her 1st book now in stock!

 Artist and longtime SNB friend, Alina Chau, stopped by the store. 

She signed copies of her 1st book "Marshmallow and Jordan" -- and added an orignal drawing! There are a limited number of these special signed copies w/ drawings.

This bio of Alina is from the back cover of her book: "Alina Chau is an award-winning filmmaker and artist. Her credits include the Emmy Award-winning Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, and numerous best-selling games. She illustrated The Nian Monster, which received the 2018 APALA Picture Book Honor. Her creative vision is strongly influenced by her Chinese-Indonesian upbringing. As a child, she was always fascinated by her grandmother's stories, colorful sarongs, and delicate wooden sculptures brought from Southeast Asia. The aroma of Indonesian food still brings back loving memories of sitting and drawing next to Grandma while she prepared spices from scratch. Marshmallow & Jordan is inspired by the wonderful memories she and her grandmother shared."

Here's a screen grab from the fun video of her visit on her Instagram: The video shows her drawing in the books.

These signed copies with drawings are available on both the hardcover

and paperback versions.

This is a substanial book -- 384 pages!!! 

The SNB website links above include several images of the wonderful art. 

"Marshmallow and Jordan" is magic realism for middle-schoolers (and up). This graphic novel in book form follows a basketball team captain, challenged by a life-changing injury, who helps, and gets guidance from, a magical elephant. 

This longer synopsis is from the book back cover:

 "Jordan's days as star player for her school's basketball team ended when an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Now, she's still the team captain, but her competition days seem to be behind her...until an encounter with a mysterious elephant, who she names Marshmallow, helps Jordan discover a brand new sport.

Will water polo be the way for Jordan to continue her athletic dreams--or will it just come between Jordan and her best friends on the basketball team? And with the big tournament right around the corner, what secret is Marshmallow hiding?"

A recent SNB newsletter shared info about the visit and an excerpt from an interview-

Children's book illustrator Alina Chau visited the store Sunday and signed all of our copies of her original graphic novel, Marshmallow and Jordan. We first got to know Alina when she was living in San Francisco and working in animation. It's a transition we've seen a number of artists make and here's a long quote from an interview with Alina:

"When and why did you decide to switch from animation to illustrating and writing children's books?

Throughout my animation career, I worked on mostly 3D male-oriented titles with male lead characters. In the beginning, it was fun and exciting because it's quite different from my natural style. However, after a few years, I missed expressing myself on paper. I missed drawing. So I started painting and drawing again after work, just for fun. Then one day, my coworker invited me to join the Totoro Forest Project art show at Pixar. That showed me that there was an opportunity for me to explore the gallery scene and to continue to draw and paint. As my paintings garnered attention, I started getting commission inquiries to the point that I could no longer balance my day job at the studio with my personal projects. It was a good problem to have - I eventually quit my day job to focus on an independent career as an artist. After some years of artistic discovery, I realized that children's book publishing is where I could spread my wings as a visual storyteller. Illustrating picture books or writing & illustrating graphic novels for young adults taps into the same reason why I love animation: it's telling stories through pictures."

SNB also has in stock Alina's most recent book project."Bonnie's Rocket." The story is inspired by engineer Lau Tung Kwan, an engineer on the Apollo 11 space mission, and the grandfather of the book's author, Emeline Lee. Alina did the illustrations and it was her idea to include diagrams in the art for the various experiments.  

These copies arrived after Alina's store visit and are NOT signed.

However, they have a wonderful STEM themed story with lovely illustrations by Alina Chau.