The Reader

doomed to dance!

The perfect children’s book may not exist, but an ideal read for your tiny page-turner? That’s another story. Local author Annie Barrows chatted with best friends (and mischievous characters) Ivy and Bean about how a parent might find such a thing.

Bean: Don’t do it. Leave the poor kid alone.

Ivy: The perfect book is about a girl. Or maybe two. And it should be funny. Not stupid. It could be about olden times on the prairie. Those are good. Or it could be about magic.

Bean: What about volcanoes? Volcanoes are good.

Ivy: But then people die. I don’t like that.

Bean: They don’t die if they jump out of the way. I like volcanoes.

Ivy: I like books where the world seems just regular until something magic happens. That’s what I’m hoping for.

Bean: I like books with lots of pictures. But grown-ups keep giving me books with just words.

Ivy: You know grown-ups. They always want kids to do things the hard way.

Bean: Still, a perfect book has pictures.

Ivy: Okay, pictures. And funny. And about a girl. Or maybe two.

Bean: And a volcano.

Doomed to Dance, book six in the Ivy and Bean series, is available at Bookshop West Portal, 80 West Portal Avenue, between Vicente and Ulloa Streets; online at chroniclebooks.com.

this week in san francisco!

Ethnic Dance Festival Auditions

What: One hundred thirty-six local dance companies vie for the 30 festival spots in four days of ADD-optimized, free-for-kids dance performances.
Why: Dancing without the stars.
When: Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Also Jan. 23 & 24.)
Where: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., at Bay St. (415-474-3914).

Inner Sunset Beautifull Opens

What: The new outpost offers tasty neo-hippie cuisine for takeout or curbside pickup.
Why: Goji cranberry muffins, curry bowls, and butter bean tagine.
When: You’re running on empty.
Where: 816 Irving St., at 9th Ave. (415-664-2033).

Bay Area Shakespeare Camps
Wee thespians (ages 4 and up) take on tragedies, comedies, and histories.
Why: Join the Elizabethan Club.
When: Enrollment for spring (Apr.) and summer (June-Aug.) sessions just opened.
Where: St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 25 Lake St., at Arguello St., and other Bay Area locations. Register at 415-558-0888.

Illustration: Sophie Blackall

816 Irving St
@ 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon St
nr Bay St
San Francisco, CA 94123
Bookshop West Portal
80 W Portal Ave
bt Ulloa & Vicente Sts
San Francisco, CA 94127
St. John's Presbyterian Church
25 Lake St
@ Arguello Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118