Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Visit with Tomie

Today was an exciting day....I convinced my husband to go to Minneapolis/St Paul this weekend just because Tomie De Paola was going to be signing books at The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul. I had never been there and probably could have found my way while dragging three children with me, but having him come along to help was wonderful. We had to leave last night after we got home from work/school and stayed with some friends just south of the Cities. Then we had to get up early and drive about 45 more minutes to get to the store. We were over an hour early. At one point Chris looked at me and asked how in the world we were going to kill another hour. I love, love, love bookstores, and this one was great, but I spent most of my time trying to keep my eyes on all three kiddos, so I didn't get a lot of browsing done. Plus, the place was quite crowded. And, I was trying not to spend money (nearly impossible when I am turned loose in a children's book store). The girls had their picture taken with Strega Nona who was making the rounds, and then Tomie (finally) came out. The bookstore was packed, so even though my poor husband had never heard of this guy, it was obvious quite a few people had. I had brought a book from home, 26 Fairmount Avenue the first in that series that my girls loved when I read it to them at nights before bed, and had him sign that. I also purchased his newest book- a pop-up he and Robert Sabuda collaborated on. It is quite lovely. We had our pictures taken with him and he told us his next 26 Fairmount Avenue book, For the Duration will be published in June YAY! By that time we were ready to go. Chris had made friends with a lady in the crowd who had bought a newspaper that she shared with him, and waiting in line (we were #24) about did us all in. Still, I am glad we went, and I hope my girls remember how cool it was when their mom and dad took them to meet a famous author/illustrator. Tomie says many times in his books how he always wanted to grow up and be an artist- and he did. Maybe he can inspire some children with dreams of their own.

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