Think Globally, Shop Locally

The new tradition of Small Business Saturday, launched in 2010, may not have the history of Black Friday or even Cyber Monday, but support for the post-Thanksgiving independent retailing initiative goes all the way to the nation’s highest office. This past Saturday, President Obama went shopping with his daughters, Malia and Sasha, at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va. The White House has not released a list of the trio’s 15 purchases, which the president said were Christmas presents. But sharp-eyed observers have noticed Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Pandemonium (HarperCollins) at the top of the pile.

Window Dressing

Last month, the first International Ivy and Bean Day saw book, toy, and specialty stores in six territories around the world vying for top honors in the display contest. At U.S. regional winner Riverwalk Books, of Chelan, Wash., shop owner Libby Mathey opted for a live window display; she remembers her grandmother playing Mrs. Clause in the window of her family’s store each holiday season. Reviving the tradition were local second graders Emily (r.) – daughter of Riverwalk staffer Tracey Anderson – and her friend Celia, who acted out the cover of book eight, Ivy and Bean: What’s the Big Idea? (Chronicle). The grand prizewinner – Ottie and the Bea, a children’s specialty shop in London – won $1,000 for a promotion that included a photo booth in which friends could pose like the series’ title characters.

Brown and Brown at Little, Brown

The “Brown” in Little, Brown is for cofounder James, who with partner Charles Little launched the company in 1837. But, at least during a recent cocktail reception at parent company Hachette’s NYC offices, the name referred to author-illustrators Peter (l.) and Marc, who sat down with senior art director Patti Ann Harris for a casual interview in the vein of Inside the Actor’s Studio. She asked about their beloved books, the evolution of some of their favorite characters, and their craft. Afterward, in a game of Pictionary, the artists each picked book titles to draw, as the audience guessed aloud. Marc drew The Hunger Games and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Peter drew A Clockwork Orange and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The pair also signed copies of their books – Marc’s Ten Tiny Toes and Peter’s You Will Be My Friend.

Mood Lighting

Addendum, the YA bookstore located inside SubText in St. Paul, Minn., recently held an event with Andrea Cremer for Rift (Philomel), the prequel to her Nightshade trilogy. Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church, a few blocks from the store, played host to the reading, where the audience sipped hot cider and red wine while Cremer discussed her series and answered questions. To help replicate the mood of the novel’s setting – medieval Scotland – the church sanctuary was lit with candles. Cremer, who lives in Manhattan, is no stranger to the Twin Cities; she is a former professor at St. Paul’s Macalester College.

Seeing ‘Double’

Vordak T. Incomprehensible (r.) has a new book out with Egmont USA, so it’s only natural that he’d want to size up the competition. The caped super-villain – aka John Martin, illustrator of the Vordak books – swooped into the Book Beats store in Oak Park, Mich., while Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney (l.) was in town. Double Trouble is the third of the Vordak books, which are written by Scott Seegert – though Vordak is credited as author and refers to Seegert and Martin as his minions. In a starred review for the first book n the series, 2010’s Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World, PW said, “[R]eaders will have a grand time turning pages to see what outlandish thing [Vordak] will say or suggest next, while perfecting their own villainous laughs. Muahahahaha!”

International Relations

Author-illustrator Chris Monroe, who lives in Duluth, Minn., traveled to Sweden for the Kronoberg Book Fair as a guest of the city of Vaxjo, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as sister city to Duluth. While in Sweden, Monroe visited the Vaxjo and Kalmar campuses of Linnaeus University several times, giving presentations to art and literature students and teachers. She also gave a reading to 4th–6th graders at a school in the countryside; the children asked questions they had prepared in English, and extracted a promise from Monroe that she’d return in two years with a new book starring her Monkey with a Tool Belt character, from a series she writes for Carolrhoda.