Almost as much fun as handing out free books to librarians at PLA was visiting kids’ bookstores in Minneapolis. I fell in love with Wild Rumpus the moment I saw the kid-size purple door built into the adult door. I wished I were seven again—or at least really, really short—so that I could go through it myself. Inside there was an explosion of color and—stuff. Even the ceiling was wonderful--as you walk deeper into the store it seems to crack open to reveal the sky. There was garden shed lined with books. A reading chair. Cats roamed, birds chirped in a row of cages in the back of the store. Best of all, there was a chicken.
Seriously, a chicken—wandering around the store as if it were a perfectly normal kind of indoor pet. “I think there’s a poultry connection here,” I suggested when I introduced myself and showed the book seller at the counter the cover of Everything You Want. We laughed.
It was clearly a great photo op, so I held the chicken (a first for me), the book propped in the crook of my arm. Snap. See above.
My experience at the Red Balloon was cosmic. There was a display rack featuring Catherine Clark’s Wish You Were Here and—guess what? It turned out Catherine Clark herself was at the store. She works there. We had a delightful conversation. Maybe we could fix my Jax up with her Ariel, if things didn’t work out with their love interests in the books, we thought. A whole new sequel concept.
I did remind her, though, “Wherever 'here' is, I was there first.”
I bought her newly published Wish You Were Here (which kept me very happily occupied during annoying flight delays later that day) and she promised to read my Wish You Were Here as soon as working, writing, and chasing after her two-year old allowed.
I love thinking about my books in these two stores, each one so welcoming to kids of all ages.