Authors’ books featured at 52nd Annual San Diego Local Author Showcase

Books by Oceanside resident Marta Arroyo, Solana Beach resident Paul Dayton and Del Mar resident Juliana Maxey-Allison, whose books were published by Dayton Publishing LLC, are among those featured in the San Diego Public Library’s 52nd Annual San Diego Local Author Showcase. The books will be on display throughout the month of February at the Central Library (330 Park Blvd., downtown San Diego), where an opening reception was held on Friday evening, Jan. 26.

The Showcase Reception is held annually to launch the exhibit and to honor San Diego County authors whose books were published during the previous year.

This year Library Director Misty Jones welcomed attendees in the Neil Morgan Auditorium. Following Jones’s opening remarks, keynote speaker Caitlin Rother, New York Times bestselling author of 12 crime fiction and narrative nonfiction books, entertained and enlightened the audience with her take on “the writer’s life.” Zoe Ghahremani, author of “Sky of Red Poppies,” the 2012 selection for the One Book, One San Diego program, spoke briefly on behalf of the Friends of the Library.

Arroyo’s entry, children’s picture book “Jorge and the Lost Cookie Jar,” celebrates harmony and tradition in a modern Latino family. It’s a story of moving day. Jorge and his family — brother, sisters, mom and dad, and grandparents — have been working hard, unpacking boxes and putting things away in their new home. Jorge is ready for a cookie break. But where is the cookie jar? Jorge sets out to track down this family treasure, conducting a thorough search of the new house until he finds the cookie jar and discovers how it got to its surprising location. The story ends joyously — with cookies! A glossary follows the story to help non-Spanish-speaking readers pronounce and understand the sprinkling of Spanish phrases retained in this multicultural, multigenerational family.

“Jorge and the Lost Cookie Jar” is Arroyo’s third book, her first with Dayton Publishing, an independent press established in 2013 and headquartered in Solana Beach.

“I loved Marta’s story of this optimistic, determined little kid the first time I read it,” said publisher Linnea Dayton, who also attended the Local Authors Showcase Reception. “And illustrator Penny Weber really brought the characters to life. It was great to see the book prominently displayed in the exhibit.”

Award-winning Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor emeritus Paul Dayton’s entry in the Showcase is “Rabbits and Rats, Birds and Seeds, Cactus and Trees,” an illustrated book for 8-year-olds to adults. The book explains in plain, easy-to-grasp language the fascinating relationships between desert plants and animals, as seen through the eyes of Renaldo, a tortoise who’s observed a lot in his 80-plus years. Numerous photos, along with drawings by illustrator Susan Heller, help make the science friendly and memorable.

“We’ve had a really positive response to the book from both children and adults, who find its presentation of desert ecology easy to understand and remember,” said the publisher, who is also the author’s wife.

Author Dayton has donated several copies of the Spanish-language edition of the book to the visitor center at the El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve and to schools near the Reserve in Sonora, Mexico.

The third Dayton Publishing entry in the Showcase is Juliana Maxey-Allison’s “Edelweiss: Chronicle of a Del Mar Beach House, 1885 to Now.” The book tells the story of the “sagging, slouching, peeling old Victorian beach cottage” the author encountered in the early 1970s, restored beautifully, and later researched for her book.

“Julie’s easy style and the photos, drawings and ephemera that illustrate the book make this combination memoir and local history very readable and entertaining,” said publisher Dayton.

Maxey-Allison wasn’t able to attend the Local Author Showcase Reception, but Dayton collected her Certificate of Achievement from the San Diego Public Library and delivered it to her at Edelweiss on Del Mar’s 10th Street. The “Edelweiss” book is available at the nearby Del Mar Community Connections (225 9th Street, Del Mar), where its sales benefit the Del Mar Historical Society.

Dayton Publishing books are also available from Amazon.com as well as barnesandnoble.com

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