Friday, December 28, 2007

2008 begins with a BANG!

We have some great authors coming in January, including some of the biggest names in kids books!

In just under two weeks on the 9th of January, Joanne Harris will be here reading from and discussing her new fantasy chapter book Runemarks. Joanne Harris is the author of the book Chocolat, and Runemarks is her children's book debut.

Some very lucky Little Shop of Stories customers got advanced copies of the book and they are loving it. In fact, Abby, one of our readers, just walked up to the counter and said "it was really good!"

According to Nick, son of Diane, "It's an awesome fantasy, and the best book I've read all year." We're excited about hosting Joanne's first stop on her book tour. Please stop by and meet her.

On Friday, January 11th, one of our local favorites, Carmen Agra Deedy, will be reading from her new book Martina the Beautiful Cockroach and signing at the Decatur Library and we will be there as the bookseller on hand! When she came last month to the store we had a great time. She's an incredibly engaging, wonderful storyteller. Come see her at the Decatur Library!

Jon Scieszka is one of the biggest names in kids books, and he's coming here! On Tuesday, January 15th, the author of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The Math Curse, the Time Warp Trio series, and many, many others, will be her signing his new book Smash! Crash!, the first book in his new series Truck Town. Truck Town is a world much like a local preschool, only everybody is a truck of some sort. Dump truck, garbage truck, ice cream truck -- you name it, Truck Town's got it!

Jon's website ( says more about him than we ever could, so go there to see all of his great books, and find out about his organization Guys Read, an effort to help guys find good books they'll like to read, and to become lifelong readers. Looking for a guy's reccomendation? Check out the Guys Read website at Meanwhile, for a great truck book, come hear Jon read from Smash! Crash!

You've heard the story -- though we do suspect a bit of Urban Legend -- that Diane has wanted to be a children's bookseller since she was a wee one. Regardless, she did go through a period where kids books were not all that, a period of time we refer to as "The Latency Period," when she did not have children -- or children's books for that matter -- to call her own.

Fast forward to Christmas 1997: Diane purchases a copy of The Cinder Eyed Cats by Eric Rohmann on a complete "I really like the cover of this book" whim for her baby boy, Nick. Together, Diane and Nick fall into this book and fall in love with it (as well as each other --ah, the power of children's books!), and Diane's love for children's book is reignited.

Cinder Eyed Cats
is a lushly illustrated, sparsely worded book about a young boy on a dream-like adventure. It's probably not a stretch to say that this book, and by extension, its author, had much to do with the birth of Little Shop.

This is just our long way of saying that we are honored to host Eric Rohmann at The Shop on January 18th at 4pm. Since Cinder Eyed Cats, Eric has won a Caldecott medal for My Friend Rabbit, as well as penned and illustrated one of our all time favorite picture books, Clara and Asha. He will be visiting us to share his latest book, A Kitten Tale, the story of some skittish kitties and their first snowfall. We truly hope you will join us for this very, very special event.

So come hear some great authors read from great new books, and see you in 2008!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Whoosh! Happy Holidays and see you next year!

WOW! We've been so busy here at Little Shop that we haven't had time to update the blog in like, forever!

Okay, maybe just a week or two. But it has been busy. Last night we had hot chocolate and cookies for our Winter Solstice story time, and wonderful live music. It was fun, and lots of folks dropped by who were at the Decatur Bonfire

including Santa Clause!

I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and he said a long week's rest after the 25th. I said "great!" and proceeded to put some fun things to read in his hands for all that time he's got coming.

What did I suggest? Well, it's mostly stuff I've been reading, like Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Jane Yolen's beautiful Owl Moon, or the forthcoming book from Jessica Day George (of the very fun Dragon Slippers) called Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. I just finished reading this book and it has gone to the top of my favorites of the season list!

Enjoy these and other snowy titles until we meet again next year!

Yours in books,

Little Shop of Stories

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Seventy Degrees Outside! Get Your New Cold Weather Guide!

The sun is shining.
The grass is green.
The oak and magnoila trees sway . . .

It may be freakishly warm right now in Decatur --we've had several patrons in shorts and sleeveless tops in the past few days-- but that doesn't mean you shouldn't snap up a copy of the new Pocket Field Guide for Cold Weather (2007-2008) from our friends at the Duck & Herring Co.

Many of you have already enjoyed the goodness squeezed into D&H's Pocket Field Guides: the timely (and delicious!) recipes, the engaging short fiction, the handy To Dos, the helpful (and winsome!) nonfiction pieces, all handily packaged in a format that is easily carried in purse or pocket--ever at the ready to entertain and delight while you are stuck standing in a long line, are delaying some unpleasant task, or perhaps just have a cup of tea/coffee/cocoa and need something good to read for the next half hour.
Others of you have heard about the PFG (or have seen it at our store), but still aren't quite sure what it is, exactly.
Perhaps even more of you are still in the dark about the whole thing.

But no matter where you stand on the locally-edited, Atlanta-based literary companion, we invite you to come in and give the newest edition a try. Inside you will find How To Dress in Layers; A Frostbite Warning; Pinecone arts & crafts; fiction by authors from Minnesota, the Soviet Union, Los Angeles, and Germany; plus suggested things To Do during the duration of the cold weather, and an authentic recipe for Oyster Stew. But these are only a few of the many things available to you in this compactly compelling collection.

Perfect for your brother in-law's stocking, your mother's bookshelf, or your office's Secret Santa pool, the Pocket Field Guide for Cold Weather 2007-08 is on sale now for only $9. Visit their site for subscriptions and submissions:

Friday, December 7, 2007

Hey Kids, Comics!

Well, the American Library Association's Great Graphic Novels list for 2007 has just been announced, and there are some great books on that list. We carry several of the titles on the list, and graphic novels are really coming into their own as books with stories as exhilarating and brilliant as anything else on the bookshelves. This puts me in mind to talk about some of our graphic novel faves here at Little Shop of Stories:

The Owly books by Andy Runton are great for pre-readers, beginning readers, and early readers. Great artwork highlights these wordless stories of a little owl and his friends as they have light, fun adventures and learn about friendship, loyalty, and acceptance. Andy Runton is another local author, and his publisher, Atlanta's own Top Shelf, is one of the finest comics and graphic novel publishers around.

Perfect for every budding ballet dancer, To Dance is the memoir of Siena Cherson Siegel, as illustrated by her husband Mark Siegel. Siena tells of her inspiration to dance when she saw Maya Plisetskaya of the Bolshoi perform in Swan Lake when Siena was young, her early days training at the American School of Ballet, and her struggles both at home and with the exhausting, rigorous life of a ballerina. Her husband's art is wonderful, perfectly capturing the wonder and delight of a young girl fascinated and determined to succeed in the best ballet school in the country.

If you've read every volume of Jeff Smith's Bone, and you're looking for a new series to sink your teeth into, look no further than Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet series. The first volume just arrived, and it's an amazing fantazy filled with sinister demons, cool robots, and talking animals. Here's the book description from the publisher:

"After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world. Together with Miskit, a small mechanical rabbit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves."

Owly art from Andy Runton's website: Go there and check out all his fun art and stuff (including the cutest Owly hats ever!)