This past Saturday (May 2, 2015) was Canadian Authors for Indies Day. A day dedicated to raising awareness for the small independent bookstores that are still around and trying to hold their own against the giants like Chapters and Amazon. Don’t get me wrong, I love wandering around the big stores with my Skinny Vanilla Latte and sometimes, when life is hectic, I enjoy the ease and convenience of ordering something online and having it delivered.
All that being said, it is a warm and welcoming feeling that you experience walking into a small bookstore where they quite probably know you by name. A place where they remember what you like to read and maybe have a recommendation or two that usually turn out to be great suggestions.
My local store is Wordsworth Books in Waterloo, Ontario. Co-owned by David Worsley and Mandy Brouse, it has been successfully operating for more than 30 years. They have a wonderful little nook in their children’s section, all lit with twinkle lights where a little one can curl up and look at a book while mom and/or dad browse. I wanted to crawl into it myself but realized it would be highly inappropriate. J
Our local independent bookstores were welcoming authors to come in and host a meet and greet in support of the store. I understand this was going on all across the country.
From the website, “Independent bookstores enrich our communities. They provide gathering places for discovering new authors, sharing favourite books, and expanding our horizons. Store managers are thoughtful curators, bringing in books they know customers will love. Our neighbourhoods would be much diminished without our local bookstores.”
I learned that one of the authors participating at my local store was Andrew Kolb, who has recently published a wonderful children’s book called “Edmund Unravels” about a ball of yarn named Edmund Loom. It is very cute children’s book with an important message for little ones told in very entertaining way. The pictures are whimsical and creative.
Not having any little ones around at this time in my life, this is not the type of book I usually read and review but consider it my good deed for May. I’ll explain more after the book description.
Edmund Loom is a ball of yarn.
Edmund likes nothing better than to bounce down the three front steps outside his house and go exploring. “As Edmund travels he unravels”. Although Edmunds parents “love his enthusiasm” his exploring means hours spent rolling him back up to reel him back into the house. As Edmund got older he, of course, got bigger so he could travel further and further from home. The further he traveled the more adventures he had until one day he realized he’d gone too far and been gone too long.
Would Edmund ever feel that familiar tug and know his parents were rolling him back up towards home?
So why did I go to this particular event? Yes, in support of my local independent bookseller, but also because it’s a special book written and illustrated by a young man I have known for years as he and my daughter went all through school together. Of course I had to go and offer him my congratulations on his published work. It goes without saying that I purchased one of his books, which he graciously signed to my daughter. She couldn’t attend because she lives out of town, but she does collect signed books … a collection started quite by accident … but one she has enjoyed adding to since she was in her teens.
Andrew Kolb received his Bachelor of Art degree in Brisbane, Australia and is now back home living in Ontario, Canada. His work has been featured in numerous galleries, exhibits and publications. Edmund Unravels is his first picture book.
Andrew … congratulations on you success and I hope there will be more books to follow. I’ll be in line to purchase every one.