It seems like a lot of musical stars are making the move to children's books. Madonna's The English Roses was published this year to widespread critical hisses, which might give pause to Bono, who's illustrated the upcoming Peter and the Wolf. The transition to kid-friendly content seems a little more natural for alternative icons They Might Be Giants, considering their affinity for lyrics about everything from palindromes to purple toupees. Following up their successful children's album No!, zany, brainy Brooklynites John Flansburgh and John Linnell have now brought their lively imaginations to print. Their aptly titled bedtime picture book Bed, Bed, Bed will be released Nov. 3.
To promote this effort, which comes complete with a CD of four new recordings so kids can sing along before they slumber, the authors make an in-store appearance in San Francisco to sign copies of the book and give an acoustic performance of songs from No! and Bed, Bed, Bed, in addition to a few classic tunes from their 20-year career. That's a lot more fun than the Material Mom delivered at her recent book-signing. The event starts at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Turk), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com. -- Sandra Nygaard
Making a Splash Kids run away with the circus
Let's be honest -- it usually starts early. Maybe some kids are "normal," but most are a little weird, in the best way.It's this kind of child who thrives in the nurturing environment of Splash Circus Theatre. In this all-youth circus ensemble, people from 6 to 15 start out tumbling, and wind up juggling, hand-balancing, and clowning for the general public. Catch them live at In the Magical Forest, a fairy-tale showcase for the talents of some wonderfully kooky kids. The acrobatics begin at 7 p.m. Friday (2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) at ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F. Admission is $8-15; call 863-9834 or visit www.splashcircustheatre.org. -- Hiya Swanhuyser