Sunday, October 31, 2010

Special Delivery!

I was so excited to find a Random House box on my doorstep Saturday morning.

That's me being VERY excited

When I really dug through it I found ARC's (advanced copies of books),  a Leo Lionni mobile, bookmarks and of course and most important...The catalogs!!
 Random House has so many great and popular titles, it will be hard to choose how many copies of each book we need and what titles to select. 

Time to get ordering, this could take a long time! Any favorite Random House titles out there? What titles do you want to see on the shelves in December?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat!

I can't even begin to describe the excitement, fun and insanity of yesterday's Trick-or-Treat in the center!! People tried to warn me that it would be overwhelming, that I should go out and buy 1000 pieces of candy but did I listen? Yes. No. Well, sort of. I bought what I thought was a lot of candy and printed 500 fliers but...An hour into the event we ran out of candy. Luckily, we had a curbside drop off of 2 giant Costco bags of treats and we were ready to go again.

The team consisted of Little Red Riding Hood (me), Hermione (Sarah) and two beautiful Witch Women (Gloria and Shirley).

There were amazing costumes out and about and some of my favorites included a little train conductor, 2 crayons, a set of golf clubs (amazing!) and I always love the snuggly little lions, bears and monkeys and of course storybook characters.

Here are some action shots from the big event!
The crowd got crazy...Maybe it had something to do with 3 people handing out candy at 1 stop?
This little cowgirl was so sweet, I even got a "Thank you!"

Sarah and the cutest little witch I've ever seen!!

Ernest watches the fun from inside his window.

Next year maybe Ernest will come out and show off his costume?! Although he is very shy.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by, we loved meeting you! Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween fun in Lexington Center

I'm so happy to let you know that tomorrow The Elephant's Trunk is participating in the Halloween Trick or Treat in Lexington Center! We will be dressed up and handing out candy and flyers and we are hoping to win for best window display but the competition is fierce!

Ughh again with the glare! If you can see, we've dressed our Elephant, Ernest up as a pirate and added cobwebs spiders and bats with red eyes!

For more information about the fun filled afternoon click here

We will post pictures after the event, hope to see you there!

Stories to Fright and Delight

Halloween always brings me back to the glory days of childhood. I can remember the bitter Halloween nights when my mother forced a jacket around my costume, bending my fairy wings and covering up my glittertastic outfit. There were rainy Halloween nights, when I had no choice but to wear a big yellow raincoat and sit in the backseat while my mother drove from house to house, “And remember to say trick or treat!” Then there were perfect Halloween nights when in the crisp autumn night we scurried from house to house and passed witches, superheroes and mermaids. Sigh, how I miss those days.

Halloween also meant spooky stories and books about pumpkins. Today there are even more books on the market for Halloween and sometimes it’s hard to decipher which ones are great and which ones are just messes of black, orange and  random witches. So here are some of my favorite throwbacks as well as some recent releases:

One title often overlooked is Chris Van Allsburg’s The Widow's Broom. I remember the wonder and excitement I felt when as a child I read the very first lines, “Witches' brooms don’t last forever.” They don’t!? No. “They grow old, and even the best of them, one day, lose the power of flight.” The story then shows what happens one autumn night when a witch and her broom fall from the sky and are discovered by the widow, Minna Shaw. The witch disappears and the widow is left with a broom that has very special powers, powers that perhaps Minna’s neighbors don’t really respect or appreciate. A thought-provoking and moody read, you simply must put this on your Halloween reading list.

Another Chris Van Allsburg favorite of mine has nothing to do with Halloween but is instead more about autumn and the changing seasons. The Stranger begins when Farmer Bailey hits a man with his truck. This “stranger” can’t remember much of anything, including who he is and so he stays with the Bailey family and helps with the harvest. While the trees all around the farm turn golden and red with the fall, the Bailey farm seems trapped in perpetual summer. Finally the stranger figures out who he is and what he has done. Don’t worry; I won’t tell you what happens, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

If you haven’t read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, you must. It’s creepy and yet funny, harsh and yet touching. It begins with a grisly scene as “the man Jack” murders a family while they sleep sparing only a toddler who escapes and heads to the local cemetery. This toddler is Nobody Owens (Bod) and spends his childhood growing up in the cemetery with ghosts who keep him safe. The story chronicles Bod’s adventures and the constant threat of “the man Jack” finding him. The opening scene may be a bit scary but the rest is certainly kid friendly and Halloween perfection.

If you’re looking for something funnier and less scary than look no further than The School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari. If you loved The Mysterious Benedict Society (and who didn’t?!) then you’ll enjoy this book about an elite school for curing children of their worst fears. The four children sent there, all 12 years of age, are afraid of bugs, water, death and confined spaces and they soon learn that the school is not what it appears but how will they escape? Funny, quirky, and gloomy, it’s a sure hit with the middle school set.

Other books I like:

Scary Stories to tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz still gives me a major case of the heebie-jeebies. Only read it if you want a fright otherwise skip it. Yikes!

Only a Witch can Fly by Alison McGhee is a perfect picture book for reading together. Lyrical and engaging the illustrations are gorgeous and not a bit scary.

Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara is visually stunning and a fun tale about a witch who moves into a house filled with ghosts. After a few attempts to get rid of them, the little witch knows just what to do with the ghosts.

I could go and on but that seems like enough for now. What are you favorite Halloween stories?!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Bookshop is Born!

It's true! It's true! The Elephant's Trunk has found a home right in the center of Lexington, MA.  Can you believe it? No, neither can I.

The Elephant's Trunk is a full service independent children's bookshop serving children, teens, and the young at heart. Years in the making, the dream was born while in the children's literature program at Simmons College. My friend and classmate, Sarah, encouraged me to work at a wonderful independent bookstore where she was employed and thus began the grand dream. We visited shops, we schemed, and planned and avoided grad school papers.  I went on to be a children's book buyer and Sarah went on to manage a store but there was something missing. I loved my job but I had a dream that really wouldn't quit. There were ups ("It's really going to happen this time!") and  downs ("It didn't happen this time...") But through it all, we always believed that someday perhaps it would happen. And guess what? Someday is today!

Sure, I may not have a working store phone number right now, I might be missing some ceiling panels and dying for the carpet to come in but rest assured my friends, by December the store will be shiny and new and bursting with books.

If you can see past the glare, here is the very first window display just in time for the Halloween festivities!
The beautiful window is all Gloria's creative magic. Gloria also happens to be my mother and faithful toiler of the many Elephant's Trunk logos and future website design.

 Stay tuned for more updates as we creep closer and closer to opening day!