Children's book a big hit in Costa Mesa schools

COSTA MESA — A new children's book written to whet kids' appetites for learning is making the rounds at some Costa Mesa schools, including St. John the Baptist Catholic School.

Called "Bon Bon Voyage," the 20-page book of rhymes is the collaboration of a mother-daughter team that explores the world through the desserts of different cultures — from Mexico to Morocco.

"South of the border, little girls go loca / for custard, called flan, which melts in your boca," one page reads.

Turn page: "Take a trip to Morocco and in markets you'll find / some sweet zucre coco, that tastes so sublime."

"You get the point," said Holly Wojahn, 53, a Seal Beach resident who came up with the idea of writing the book with her 28-year-old daughter, Kirby Fopma of Costa Mesa.

"If you want to teach children about different cultures in different countries as they relate to different desserts, then this book is for you," Wojahn said. "We think it's important to teach children early on about different people and what they eat.

"The younger they learn, the quicker they're going to become more accepting of other people."

Wojahn and Fopma plan to head to the East Coast in April to promote their book. It has yet to hit bookstore shelves. On the mother and daughter's website (, "Bon Bon Voyage" sells for $16.95 (plus shipping and handling). Their book is not to be confused with another book by a similar title. "Bon Bon Voyage" by Nancy Fairbanks is a culinary mystery available at, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

Wojahn and Fopma's "Bon Bon Voyage" also comes with a CD containing seven two-minute songs to go along with the storyline. The music was composed by Roger and Scott Wojahn, Holly Wojahn's twin brothers.

Their musical work can be heard each week in those Ford car commercials that air before and at the end of "American Idol," according to Holly Wojahn. Her brothers have also made jingles for Jack-n-the-Box, Taco Bell and Fruit-of-the-Loom commercials, she said.

Colleen Pena, a kindergarten teacher at St. John the Baptist, said she's managed to incorporate the story of "Bon Bon Voyage" into many of the classrooms at the school, which has nearly 600 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Some of the classroom assignments run the gamut from learning the locations of certain countries cited in the book.

"We give them clues, like a certain amount of miles from point A to point B, and then they try to figure out what country we're talking about," Pena said.

Students also pick a country that the main character, Bridget, has traveled to, then they produce a travel brochure that includes the highlights of the country and a map on where it's located, whether it's Japan, Australia or Holland, Pena said.

"This book is fantastic," she said. "And it meets both state and Catholic school guidelines."

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