Monday, October 14, 2013

Third Annual Decatur Root Beer Festival -- This Sunday!!!

Third Annual
Decatur Root Beer Festival
Sunday, October 20, 2013
2 to 4 p.m.

There's lots new this year.

First, we're moving the Root Beer Festival to the day after the Decatur Craft Beer Festival. Parking and accessibility to the shop are major issues during the Beer Fest, but not a problem on Sunday at all.

I believe that this is the final list of beverages that are going to be poured:

A&W Root Beer
Boylan Creamy Red Birch Beer
Boylan Root Beer
Bulldog Root Beer
Dang's Butterscotch Root Beer
Dr. Brown's Root Beer
IBC Root Beer
Jones Root Beer
Krista's Do-It-Yourself Root Beer
Sioux City Sarsparilla
Virgil's Root Beer
Virgil's Special Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer

Americana Huckleberry Soda
Boylan Creme Soda
Ginger People Ginger Beer
Jones Cream Soda
Red Rock Golden Ginger Ale
Reed's Cherry Ginger Brew
Reed's Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Cream Soda
Reed's Premium Ginger Brew
Reed's Raspberry Ginger Brew
Reed's Spiced Apple Cider
Regatta Ginger Beer
Sprecher's Orange Dream Soda
Virgil's Orange Cream Soda

Some of these are in very limited supply and may not be available during the time you do your tasting.

Not a single one of these beverages contain caffeine. Nearly all are sweetened with pure sugar cane. (The highly commercial sodas, such as A&W, use high fructose corn syrup. You'll notice the difference.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The 2013 AJC Decatur Book Festival Is Almost Here!

The 8th AJC DBF is coming up this weekend and promises to be perhaps the best ever. art | DBF, new tracks, Books as Art, and two new stages at the beautifully remodeled Decatur Recreation Center are all fascinating additions this year.

There is amazingly great programming on the Children's and Teen Stages again this year. It's truly an embarrassment of riches. You can check out the list of authors and illustrators here. More detailed information and Saturday's complete schedule is on the DBF website here and Sunday's here.

And there's more.

The Friday Kidnote Address at 5pm in Agnes Scott College's Presser Hall will be given by the creator of the beloved Strega Nona books, Tomie dePaola! His newest: Strega Nona Does It Again. The 2013 On The Same Page book will be revealed at this event as well.

Tickets for Tomie dePaola are still available at Little Shop of Stories. Even if you do not get a ticket and want to come, please come to Presser Hall.

And more.

Friday's Keynote Address at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University will be given by Congressman John Lewis, author of a graphic biography, March. Mr. Lewis, along with his collaborators, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, will also be at the AJC Pavilion on Saturday at 1pm. Please note that all tickets for the Keynote Address have been distributed.

But there's more.

Saturday Children's Parade will be lead by Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney. Sunday's parade features Origami Yoda dude Tom Angleberger.

But there's even more!

Susan Cooper
At 10am on Saturday at the Decatur Recreation Center stage, Gennifer Choldenko, Susan Cooper, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Kirby Larson will comprise a panel to discuss The Big Shiny Sticker: An Insider's Perspective on the Newbery Medal. This will be moderated by children's author Laurel Snyder.

Also at the Rec Center on Saturday -- at 4:15pm -- the program Celebrating 75 Years of the Caldecott will feature Peter Brown and Jerry Pinkney, with Laurel again serving as moderator.

On Sunday at 3:45pm at the Rec Center, Martin Luther King, III will present his new children's picture book, My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 And throughout the weekend try to figure out ..!

Where's Waldo?

He'll be at the AJC Decatur Book Festival -- but you'll have to find him! Pick up a postcard entry form at the Children's and Teen Stages, the souvenir booth, festival welcome booths, or at the Decatur Visitor's Center and look for FIVE Waldos hidden all around the festival. Turn in your completed entry form at the Teen Stage for a chance to win some awesome prizes!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Far Far Away Has Arrived

Tom McNeal's Far Far Away, the consensus best book of the year so far here at Little Shop, is here.

Using Jacob Grimm as the narrator, Far Far Away tells a modern day tale of a fifteen-year-old through the voice of both a (mostly) wise and knowledgeable old man. There is so, so much to recommend. The writing is superb. It has a great sense of place. One learns much about the Grimm brothers and a smattering of northern European history. There’s the achingly difficult navigation of a first love, a mystery, friendship, unmitigated evil, baking, and, of course, fairy tales. (And it has a cool cover!)

How good is Far Far Away? Dave guarantees it!  Buy it from us. Save the receipt. If you’re not very, very happy, we’ll buy it back.

Praise for Far Far Away

Rarely does Dave fall this hard for a book, but he’s fallen clear off the bus. ... This is perhaps the finest children’s novel since Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. For ages 11 through adult.
- Little Shop of Stories website

Friends, prepare to be ruined by Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, an utterly stunning novel that is destined to become a classic for all ages. As timeless as the fairy tales that inspired it, Far Far Away will worm its way into the hearts of readers young and old.
- Sara, Novel Novice blog

I've already stated that I came to love the characters. Why? They're all uniquely written, as if McNeal knew these people in real life and decided they needed a story of their own. They're likable, kind, care for others, but they're also mischievous and flawed, just like the best of us. Even McNeal's secondary characters are well fleshed out, and many of them get their moment in the spotlight, which I think is generous writing on the part of the author. 
- Erin York, author, editor, and book reviewer blog

A very unique read, sort of spooky, definitely creepy as it goes on. With one notable exception, the characters are-not-quite Grimm characters, but nearly. The book is filled with Grimm tropes and you think the author is going to take you in somewhat predictable fairy-tale directions and he doesn’t. McNeal really knows how to make food sound really scrumptious and also various characters twinkly and fun until…they are not. It probably would have given me nightmares as a kid. That is, I was the sort of kid who always freaked out around clowns and there is a character in this book that reinforces just why they freaked me out. Can’t say more without spoilage.
- Alice, Educating Alice blog

 Disquieting.  STRANGE…but in a good way.  It is full of magical realism, dark happenings, references to history and fairy tales, and reflective passages.  It doesn’t rush; rather, it ambles along and unfolds its unique story in its own winding way.  The style isn’t necessarily for every reader, but I thought it really worked to serve the story and found it quite charming.
- Lauren, the Raucous Librarian blog

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Comics Event!

Come see three cartoonists (including our very own Justin Colussy-Estes) read from their works and discuss their art. So leave the kids behind and join us for adult beverages, comics, and conversation!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Art Walk Silent Auction at Little Shop!

Little Shop of Stories is hosting a silent auction on Friday, May 24th from 5 to 9 p.m. All proceeds from the sales of these works go to the Decatur Book Festival (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) to benefit On The Same Page, a community-wide family reading program. A portion of the winning bid may be tax deductible.

The following pieces are up for bid and are currently on display at Little Shop.

We hope to see you Friday evening!

Tony DiTerlizzi

Ink and watercolor painting of Thimbletack, the house Brownie introduced in the first book of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black’s The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Field Guide (Simon & Schuster, 2003). Frame not included.
New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Tony DiTerlizzi, has been creating books with for over a decade. From his fanciful picture books like Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, Adventure of Meno (with his wife, Angela) and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in over thirty countries. Tony works with his wife, Angela, and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with their daughter.

Mike Lowery

Framed print of Bunny Parade on archival paper. Frame is included.
Mike Lowery is a local artist living in Atlanta, Georgia and his work has been seen on everything from greetings cards to children's books to gallery walls all over the world. He is a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta. He lives in an atomic ranch house, surrounded by trees where he likes to draw little animals in party hats and other silly stuff. His picture books include The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, What Can a Crane Pick Up, Moo Hoo, and Ribbit Rabbit, among others.

Jarrett Krosoczka

Ink sketch of Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley, chief protagonists of Jarrett’s new series, Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked (Walden Pond Press, 2013). Frame not included.
Jarrett J. Krosoczka has been passionate about storytelling through words and pictures since he was a kid. He began his professional career by illustrating educational readers for a national publisher while still an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design. Then, just six months after graduation, Jarrett received his first contract for a trade book that he authored, Good Night, Monkey Boy in 2001 and Jarrett hasn’t stopped or slowed down since. He currently has authored and illustrated eighteen published books—ten picture books and eight graphic novels. His Lunch Lady series has twice won a Children's Choice Book Award, in the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year category, and was nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. This summer, Jarrett has his chapter book debut with the publication of Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked. His Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are both currently in development as feature films. While Jarrett awaits seeing his work adapted for the silver screen, he can be heard on The Book Report with JJK, his new radio segment on Sirius XM's Kids Place Live. Jarrett is happily living out his childhood dream in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he resides with his wife and daughters and their pug, Ralph Macchio.

James Dean

Original painting of Pete the Cat, post blueberries. Enough said.
New York Times Bestselling illustrator James Dean has been painting Pete the Cat for over a dozen years and has turned his love for cats into his life's work. His art has sold in more than ninety galleries and shops across the United States. He illustrated his first self-published children's book, Pete the Cat I Love my White Shoes, by Eric Litwin, in 2008, and soon after it was picked up by HarperCollins Publishers. All of the Pete the Cat books have spent multiple weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. James lives in Georgia with his wife, four cats, and one dog.

Judy Schachner

Final cover art for SkippyJon Jones and the Big Bones (Dutton, 2007). Pastels. Visually stunning. Frame not included.
New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator Judy Schachner was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, and after graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1973, Schachner worked for a greeting card factory, designing cards with various themes until deciding to devote her time to children’s book art. After a few self-illustrated children’s books Schachner introduced Skippyjon Jones to the world, and has since been nominated and won several awards for her books children’s books. Long a Little Shop favorite, Judy lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania with husband Bob.

Peter Brown

Two pencil sketches on one sheet of paper for Creepy Carrots! (Aaron Reynolds, author, Simon & Schuster, 2012). Examining the final art, one can see how Peter’s ideas shifted. Winning bid will also receive a copy of Creepy Carrots! signed by Peter Brown. Frame not included.
Growing up in New Jersey, Peter Brown told stories as a kid by drawing whimsical characters. Then as a teenager, he fell in love with writing, and told his tales with words. While studying at Art Center College of Design, Peter’s love of both words and pictures led him to take several courses on children’s books. And before long he knew he’d found his calling. After graduating from Art Center Peter moved to New York City to be closer to the publishing industry. He was working on animated TV shows when he was hired to write and illustrate his first picture book, Flight of the Dodo. Peter quickly signed up his second and third books, and his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books was under way. Peter’s books have earned him numerous honors, including a Caldecott Honor (2013) for Creepy Carrots! written by Aaron Reynolds, two E.B. White Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, two Irma Black Honors, and four New York Times bestsellers. Peter lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Poem: "To a Mouse," by Robert Burns

Click on image to enlarge
"To a Mouse"
by Robert Burns


illustration by Justin Colussy-Estes

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poem (of the week?): Mermaid

Click on image to enlarge

Mermaid, a Sea Shanty
by Anonymous

(drawings by Justin Colussy-Estes)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poem of the Day (er, eve) April 18

My Shadow
by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see,
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up.
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poem of the Day April 11

This is a Poem that Heals Fish
by Jean-Pierre Simeon

A poem
is when you have the sky in your mouth.
It is hot like fresh bread,
when you eat it,
a little is always left over.

A poem
is when you hear
the heartbeat of a stone,
when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.

A poem
is words turned upside down
and suddenly!
the world is new.

Mo! Mo! Mo! Mo! Mo!


Wednesday, April 24th, 6 p.m.
(Doors Open at 5 p.m.) 
Decatur Library Auditorium
Mo Willems is the author and illustrator of some of your favorite characters, including...


and he is coming to visit us in Decatur!!!!

 His new book is called That Is NOT a Good Idea, and it definitely IS a good idea to come to this event!

Things to Know:
1. The event is at the Decatur Library Auditorium and co-hosted by Georgia Center for the Book on Wednesday, April 24 at 6 p.m.  
2. The event is free and open to the public.
3. To get your family into the signing line you must purchase a copy of That is NOT a Good Idea! from Little Shop of Stories.
4. We will be selling the new book (along with his other books) outside of the Decatur Library (on the lower floor, by the parking garage) starting at 4 p.m.
5. Mo will only personalize copies of That is NOT a Good Idea! He will sign all books you purchase the day of the event, plus one book from home.
6. Doors open at 5 p.m.
7. The event begins at 6 p.m.
 8. We would LOVE to see you there!!!

Questions? Comments? Just want someone to share the excitement with? Email us at or give us a call at 404-373-6300

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Poem of the Day: April 4, 2013

Journey From Small Place

By Maria Sudibyo

I make a journey in a paper
A contemplation ink in white field
I make a journey inside the book
Traveling my imagination in the word ocean

I make a journey under the table
A furious food battle on the ground
I make a journey on top of the roof
Transforming myself among the cloud in the sky

I make a journey outside the glass
A different possibility faces on the transparent canvas
I make a journey at the bridge
Clearing the dark shadow with the water current

I make a journey above the tree
An adventure child who never stop to grow
I make a journey over my pillow
Bringing a piece of dream to reality world

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Poem of the Day: April 3, 2013

The Trees
By Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Poem of the Day: April 2, 2013

by Philip Larkin

On longer evenings,
Light, chill and yellow,
Bathes the serene
Foreheads of houses.
A thrush sings,
In the deep bare garden,
Its fresh-peeled voice
Astonishing the brickwork.
It will be spring soon,
It will be spring soon —
And I, whose childhood
Is a forgotten boredom,
Feel like a child
Who comes on a scene
Of adult reconciling,
And can understand nothing
But the unusual laughter,
And starts to be happy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Poem of the Day: April 1, 2013

By Alex Fischer

Spring! How beautiful is the
Spring! How wonderful is the
Spring! How majestic is the
Spring! How fantastic is the
Spring! How tantalizing is the
Spring! How glorious is the
Spring! How melodious is the
Spring! How joyful is the
Spring! How breathtaking is the
Spring! How uplifting the
Spring! How happy is the
Spring! How magnificent is the
Spring! How colorful is the
Spring! How tasteful is the
Spring! How memorable was the
Spring! How flavorful is the
Spring! How aromic is the
Spring! How sweet is
Spring! How beautiful is the

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Check Out These Chickens!!!

Tamara Staples
photographer and author of 
The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl
will be at
 Little Shop of Stories
March 27th
 7 p.m.

 Tamara's work is truly remarkable and the book,
with an introduction by This American Life's Ira Glass
is gorgeous.

Marcy, our resident chicken expert,
will be returning to Little Shop
to introduce Ms. Staples.

You can check out Tamara's work here.

Below are a couple of my favorites from her book:

Silver Sebright Bantam Cockerel
Black Langshan Cockerel

Thursday, February 14, 2013

President Obama Hugged Little Shop!!!

Vicariously. We all felt it.

President Barack Obama visited Decatur today to promote high quality early education, stopping by College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center and giving a speech at the Decatur Recreation Center.

 Here is the President of the United States hugging
Little Shop of Stories co-owner Diane Capriola

Following his talk, Diane thanked the president for his well publicized support of independent bookstores. President Obama asked Diane if we have been selling his books. Assured that we were, the president gave Diane a hug.

The president then headed back to Washington, D.C. to spend Valentine's Day with his family. Accompanying him on Air Force One were some gifts from Little Shop:

to promote early childhood reading, two great picture books -- Lane Smith's Abe Lincoln's Dream and (what we like to refer to as Decatur's own) Eric Litwin and James Dean's Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes;

and for Sasha and Malia -- Adam Gidwitz' In a Glass Grimmly and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Little Award (for Big Books)

Each January, we anxiously wait for the American Library Association (ALA) to announce its awards for the best books of the year. Some years we celebrate in agreement. Some years we are confused. But regardless of the outcome, we at Little Shop of Stories always have our own opinions about which books deserve to be recognized. We decided to start our own awards, and after months of reading, lots of impassioned debating, and one very late night at Brick Store Pub, we are please to announce our picks for the

2012 Little Awards
(for Big Books)

While thinking about the criteria for our awards, we wanted the books selected to reflect the fact that we work at a children's bookstore. We are not librarians, we are not teachers, and we are not parents trying to get our third graders to read War and Peace. We are not held accountable to state standards, core curriculum, or required reading lists. We are booksellers. Our sole purpose is to get kids excited about reading and to become lifelong lovers of books. Our staff reads because we love books and we love kids, and we love talking to kids about books we love. The winners of these awards are engaging, innovative books that we can't stop talking about. They are not just books we love, they are books we know kids will love.

Picture Books  
Winner: Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton (Candlewick Press)

Honor: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons created and illustrated by James Dean, words by Eric Litwin (Harper Collins)

Honor: Chloe and the Lion written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex (Hyperion)

Chapter Books

Winner: Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Random House)

    Honor: In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz (Penguin)

Honor: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy (Harper Collins)

YA Books

Winner: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Penguin)

Honor: The Diviners by Libba Bray (Scholastic)

Honor: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion)

Most Engaging Author

Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark and Grimm and In a Glass Grimmly (Penguin)

As we said earlier, our sole purpose is to get kids excited about reading and to become lifelong lovers of books. We have been fortunate to see the power of this idea through author Adam Gidwitz. A Tale Dark and Grimm and In a Glass Grimmly pay homage to the original (terrifying) Grimm Fairy Tales, and they are also funny, bloody, and charming. Adam visited Little Shop in October, and it was one of the best author events we've ever had. Not just because we had a great turnout (over 100 kids,) but because many of the kids were at the school he had visited earlier that day, and they were so excited by his presentation they wanted to see him again. A lot of these kids had never even been to our store before, despite the fact that their school is only few miles away.

We were blown away by the number of kids who wanted to not only read Adam's books, but also the original Grimm Fairy Tales as well after hearing Adam speak of and read from them. We had one parent come up to us and say, "My kid hates reading. But he insisted we had to come out tonight to hear this author. Thank you."

In response to that, we say, "Thank you, Adam Gidwitz!" We left the shop that evening on fire for what we do as booksellers.  It was a magical night.  And we all lived happily ever after.