|Me with Lynne Rae Perkins|
Along with bookseller and hostess roles, I am generally the photographer of my own bookstore events and thus, all too frequently, appear in none of the pictures. Determined to avoid that pattern on Friday, here I am (thanks to friend Dan Stewart) with Lynne Rae Perkins-- writer, artist, friend, fellow Leelanau County resident (Suttons Bay), and our county’s only Newbery medalist (Criss Cross, 2006). We were launching her new book, Nuts to You, at Dog Ears Books, with chairs for the reading set up next door in my husband David Grath’s gallery.
|Lynne's art from her book, NUTS TO YOU|
David’s paintings graced the walls, but Lynne also brought some of her own art, delightful illustrations from Nuts to You. Fun!
She brought a squirrel, too! This one is named Jed, after one of the characters in the book, and for a squirrel (I was somewhat nervous when I heard he was coming) he behaved pretty well at the party. And Lynne’s husband, Bill Perkins, known more as a maker of artisan rustic furniture rather than jewelry, contributed little acorn necklaces (Lynne gathered the acorns), and every book purchaser received one, and we wore them all evening long. Is this adult behavior or squirrelly behavior?
There were raffle items, also: a Nuts to You t-shirt; a Nuts to You iron-on patch (to put on anything the winner wanted to put it on); and a brown knitted acorn cap, knitted by the artist-writer herself.
Early arrivals had a chance to visit with Ms. Perkins before her reading, and I know they were grateful and happy to have the opportunity.
|Fans of all ages|
|Kids meet Newbery author|
It’s a good turnout when the chairs in the gallery are all filled and the crowd spills through the doorway and back into the bookstore. It’s fun to have some little kids come, too. Someday they can tell the story to their kids: “We were on vacation, and our mom took us to meet Lynne Rae Perkins. I don’t remember much about meeting her, but we read the book over and over, year after year.” That’s what they’ll say.
|Punch bowl needs refilling again|
We had punch and cookies and peach pie. (My latest brainstorm for punch—I share it freely—is Kilcherman's fresh apple cider and Vernor’s ginger ale.) The honored guest herself made the sugar cookies in squirrel and acorn shapes, and another guest brought the pie. More acorns? I assembled a few out of tiny crackers, peanut butter, Hersey’s chocolate kisses, and butterscotch chips.
|Author-illustrator baked treats|
|Bookseller assembled hers|
So what do you think? Are we all nuts here in Northport, or is it only writers, artists, booksellers and booklovers? No matter, we all had a wonderful time, and I’m not embarrassed that Lynne Rae Perkins and I look like a couple of kids playing grownup in the photo below. Nuts to You is a book for all ages, I love it madly, and Lynne is one of the funnest (not a typo: I mean that just the way it reads), most talented, and most generous people it’s possible to imagine! Lynne, thank you again and again and again!
|We had fun! We sold out! We are happy!|