Karl Beckstrand’s 22nd book, It Came from under the High Chair: A Mystery, almost never got published. “I thought the concept of a monster made of spilled food might be too disgusting,” he said. “Then I saw all these bestselling bathroom humor books and figured the world was ready for my 20-year-old idea.”A media professor at a state college, Beckstrand always sneaks some education into his stories. “I think kids don’t mind learning if they are being entertained,” he said. This funny children’s picture book teaches prepositions in Spanish and English. It includes a bilingual pronunciation guide, a mysterious visitor, a mixed-race family and online secrets. The English version debuted in April at #1 in its Amazon category.
Beckstrand, who speaks Spanish and is learning German, has taught English as a second language as a volunteer for more than a decade. It Came from under the High Chair is his seventh bilingual book and the fifth in his Mini-mysteries for Minors series (others in the series: Sounds in the House, Crumbs on the Stairs, She Doesn’t Want the Worms and Why Juan Can’t Sleep).
Most of Beckstrand’s titles have online extras and surprise endings. In 2016 he won an International Book Award for his western novel To Swallow the Earth. His work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Horn Book’s blog and School Library Journal.
It Came from under the High Chair, features Filipino and Polynesian children, a wanna-be superhero, finding/counting activity, dyslexic-friendly font and vivid illustrations by Jeremy Higginbotham (for kids ages four and up, including dual language/ESL/ELL students). This Spanish book is available in English, bilingual, (en español), hard, soft and ebook versions. ◊