Search This Blog

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Squirrels and Nuts Gather in Northport

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.

Raffle items

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!


Deborah said...

I just KNEW it was going to be a wonderful event. I am so sorry to have missed the event but do look forward to reading her book. Pamela, I can only imagine what fun Dad would have had with all the acorn and squirrel ideas.

Dawn said...

Looks like a great event! And everyone had fun, the true test of success! Looking forward to reading the book!

P. J. Grath said...

Deborah, I thought of Dad's bedtime stories about Bushy, too. You're going to love the book! You, too, Dawn, and I'm shipping your signed copy out today.

Melanie Guthrie said...

This event was a class act and Northport is lucky to have such a fine bookstore as, Dog Ears. All the goodies and raffle made it very fun and kid like. Perfect for a kid's book. I am a retired reading specialist and I know what an incredible honor it is to have received the Newberry Award! No wonder, it was standing room only after the chairs filled up!!
Loved the whole evening!!
When's the next one, Pamela??

Melanie Guthrie said...

What a class act this wonderful event was on Friday evening. Lynne Rae Perkins was comfortable and fun and open to discuss her writing life.
An incredible achievement to have won the Newberry Award! Her new book is darling and funny!
Hats off to Pamela Grath for pulling this "standing room only" evening off in such high fashion!!
When's the next one, Pamela??
Northport is very lucky indeed, to have such a comprehensive bookstore, as Dog Ears!
Thanks for inviting us!!

P. J. Grath said...

Melanie, you probably thought your first comment hadn't "stuck," but since the second one is somewhat different I hit "publish" on both of them. Thanks so much! Thanks for coming to the event, buying the book, leaving comments on the blog, and for being a good friend for so many years -- with many more to come! xxxooo