Book Trailer Premiere: A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshay

I love kicking off a new week by premiering a book trailer and chatting with authors and illustrators. Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshay dropped by to share the book trailer for A Morning with Grandpa and to finish my sentences. We discussed Gong Gong, Mei Mei, tai chi, school libraries, and Photoshop. I wrote the words in purple, Sylvia wrote the words in black, and Christina wrote the words in orange. Thank you, Sylvia and Christina! 

A Morning with Grandpa’s book trailer was a do-it-ourselves project. Christina and I were playing around with ideas and decided we could make it ourselves. Christina learned how to animate using Keynote, and I put it together in iMovie. It’s amazing what you can learn from YouTube. We hope you enjoy it!

The first time I saw Christina’s illustrations I fell in love with them! I loved how she captured the spirit of both Gong Gong and Mei Mei and the story as a whole.

Illustration by Christina Forshay used with permission by Lee & Low Books.
Mei Mei’s grandpa is based on my dad and his fun and funny relationship with my daughters.

Qi is the life force or energy found in all living things. It is the basis of much of Chinese philosophy, medicine, and mind-body practices like qi gong and tai chi.

School libraries are a haven for children and an invitation to journey into other worlds.

Illustration by Christina Forshay used with permission by Lee & Low Books.
When I received the manuscript for A Morning with Grandpa I thought the story was adorable and I immediately thought of my 5 year old daughter who is as high energy as Mei Mei! I took a lot of reference photos of her kicking and jumping to help me illustrate Mei Mei’s energetic poses.

I created the illustrations using lots and lots of layers in Photoshop!

I think Mei Mei is like the yin yang symbol: strong and feisty yet gentle and sweet. I love her strong personality. 

Thai chi is something I would love to try at a park overlooking the ocean!

Illustration by Christina Forshay used with permission by Lee & Low Books.
School libraries are cozy, warm and always have that great book smell! I couldn’t wait for my class’s turn in the library when I was in elementary school.  

Sylvia Liu is an environmental lawyer turned children’s author and illustrator. A MORNING WITH GRANDPA is her debut picture book as an author. She is inspired by oceans, aliens, cephalopods, and more. She lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with her husband and their two daughters. Visit her online at

Christina Forshay is a full-time illustrator known for her colorful images and joyous style. Born and raised in sunny California, she was inspired to become an illustrator by her many visits to Disneyland and by watching hours of cartoons as a child. Today she still watches cartoons for inspiration for her illustrations! Christina lives with her husband, son, daughter, and two dogs in California. You can find her online at

Borrow A Morning with Grandpa from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. Great interview. Can't wait to read the book!

  2. Being a student of T’ai Chi Chih and Yoga, I really loved the idea of this book when I heard about it. Adding a Grandpa and little girl makes for a sweet and educational story. Congratulations Sylvia and Christina!

  3. Great trailer! So excited for you both!

  4. I love the warmth and closeness Mei Mei has with her grandfather.

  5. Congratulations, Sylvia!! Love the trailer. It really captures your wonderful book.

  6. What a sweet video! Congrats to you Sylvia (and Christina)!

  7. Adorable trailer! Congratulations. And thanks for sharing, Mr. Schu!


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