When we were in Minnesota, one thing on my to-do list was to visit The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul. When we visited two years ago, I happened across it just when author Kate DiCamillo was there (author of Because of Winn Dixie). I was able to meet her and get a couple of books inscribed to my class and autographed. To me, it was like meeting a celebrity! It was important to me to get back there.
Being in The Red Balloon to me is like being a kid in a candy store. It reminds me of the fictional "Shop Around the Corner" in the movie You've Got Mail. Because the store has many authors come for signings, they have many autographed books on their shelves. I probably shouldn't have asked the sales lady for help finding the autographed ones, because she started pulling books left and right and piling them all around me. Talk about pressure to purchase! It was OK, though, because we were on vacation, right? Here's what I walked out with:
Higgledy-Piggledy Chicks by Barbara Joose, illustrated by Rick Chrustowski (signed by the illustrator).
This is an author I like. In this picture book, baby chicks learn what safe and what's not on the farm.
Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (not signed - this is just one I had to have).
AKR is an author I have mentioned on my blog before. Her ideas are fresh and funny to kids and adults alike. This one is another role-reversal story. A little girl puts her mommy to bed while Mommy stalls just as a child would.
One Pup's Up by Marsha Wilson Chall, illustrated by Henry Cole (signed by the author).
Marsha Chall is a Minnesota author, so I decided to go local with one of her books. It's as cute as can be! It's a rhyming counting book with text that sometimes is a tongue-twister. "4 pups drink. 5 puppies huddle. 6 puppies piddle in the middle of the muddle." It counts to ten puppies, then counts backwards. The circular ending will have kids begging you to reread it!
Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing) by Alison McGhee (chapter book signed by the author).
I haven't read this one, but it's one I bought for the library last year. It's well reviewed and the first in a new series.
Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald (chapter book signed by the author).
I read the first Judy Moody book, and along with the Stink books about Judy's brother, these are popular with the kids. Megan McDonald is a big name, so I decided to get this autographed copy.
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm (chapter book, not signed).
I had to get this one after reading several starred reviews and blog buzz. I liked Jennifer Holm's book Penny from Heaven, so I know I'll love this one too. It's historical fiction set in during the depression.
Countdown by Deborah Wiles (chapter book, not signed).
This is another book that I've read a ton of buzz for. It's already a favorite for the Newbery Award, which won't be given until January. It's another historical fiction book, but this one's set in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's got tons of period photographs in the book and text variation, so it looks interesting from first sight. Another book for my "next read" stack.
I'm so excited about these new additions to my book shelves. Normally I'd be itching to share these titles with kids, but now that I'm not in a school, I will share them with you! Happy reading!