OK, with a title like this and such stunning artwork, much like the Imperius Curse (though not sinister!), you simply CAN’T RESIST picking up this book! As you know, I don’t do book reviews (ahem—just so you know—I LOVE this book!), so that’s not what this is. What it is, is a celebration of the release of Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep!
In my opinion, there’s one thing that can definitely “cast a spell” on any book lover and that’s a BOOK LAUNCH! It’s even more “magical” when it’s an AMAZING book! And that’s what author Robin Newman and illustrator Chris Ewald‘s book is—AMAZING 😀
Over the years, I’ve had the honor of being invited to many friends’ book launches. Sadly, the venues are typically too far away for me to attend, so getting to attend this one was a special treat and there’s no way I wasn’t going to share it with you! 😉
First, there’s nothing like an independent bookstore with a fascinating history, and that’s just what you’ll find at The Corner Bookstore in Manhattan. Getting to spend time here was one of the reasons I was so excited to go! I had the pleasure of meeting Ray, the original owner of the store, and his wife (wish I had a pic!) and learned even more about his skillful craftsmanship in refurbishing the space. It has warmth and appeal inside and out, and as you can see, “Hildie” was featured, filling the entire left hand window. (Bookmarks and a mousepad go to a random commenter who spots a special “lion” feature 😎 )
Inside, the “books on wheels” are normally in the center of the store, but were moved to each side to accommodate the abundance of visitors:
From even before the “witching hour,” the store was filled with eager customers of all ages, the influx and excitement never ebbing throughout the entire event!
Leave it to Robin to have a snazzy outfit befitting one of her books…
He also generously offered two original sketches for raffle 😀
Along with The Corner Bookstore, the event was hosted by The Liza Royce Agency. The lovely Liza Fleissig (left), literary agent for both Robin and Chris, is pictured here with SCBWI pal, author and educator Rosanne Kurstedt…
Liza’s wonderful business partner, agent Ginger Harris-Dontzin, was also on hand for the festivities and they supplied quite the spread of goodies, including wine, cheese and grapes, cupcakes and cookies. Yum!
I was very happy to see that busy Julie Gribble (of KidLit TV) was able to make it, too. I was more preoccupied talking than taking pics (what a shocker!) so, didn’t get any of her, Ginger and a few others I wanted to, so you’ll have to trust me when I say they all looked terrific!
Adding to the festivities, Robin’s pretty niece, Zoe, got into the “spirit” of things:
Pictured here with Matt is this phenomenal and very key “staff member,” an antique Brass National cash register, circa 1912. Matt happily demonstrated it for me. I drooled. Seriously—this is one of the coolest things ever:
The register fits right in with the history of the store. What you see here is from the original facility which was previously a pharmacy, including the tin ceiling, artfully repaired by Ray, the owner, in 1976:
Everything about the event that evening felt enchanting: the locale, the book—the people. Elated faces filled every corner; people beamed in celebration of this proud moment as their “book baby” entered the world…
…and I left not just with my signed copy of what was Robin’s vision…
You can find even more on “Hildie’s” book release on Robin’s blog, where she also shared a fantastic post on today’s (4/30/16) Independent Bookstore Day celebration at none other than THE Bank Street Bookstore!