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Monday, November 7, 2011


This Saturday my side of the family met up in Rockport to attend the book launch party for illustrator and Rockport resident Melissa Sweet's new book:

The book is about the true story of Tony Sarg, a brilliant puppeteer who was the genius behind the balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  Melissa wrote and illustrated this book and it is a really fun tribute to a tradition most of us think little about.

While we were reading it, Ella kept saying, "This is a REAL parade?  We can watch it?" clearly not remember a few years ago us shouting with enthusiasm and pointing wildly to the TV for her "Look a giant Clifford!" or "Hello Kitty!"

One of the wonderful things my mom brings to her grandchildren's lives is books.  She instilled a great love of reading in me and is now helping to shape our girls this way.  She always buys them a book as a part of any gift (such that Ella now says, "Well, it's got to be a book if Grandma gave it to me" while she is tearing a packaging) and often the books are often signed from their Maine authors and purchased at her local small town bookstore. 

Some other Melissa Sweet books we have and love:

(and sorry, no,  you can't click to look inside...)

While I'm at it, I cannot pass up an opportunity to pass on the wonderful world of Chris Van Duesen.  He is also a Maine author/illustrator who lives right in Camden and writes my favorite children's books.   Apparently he is also a really kind, down-to-earth guy and whenever my mom's friend Ann, Chris's neighbor, takes my mom over to sign yet another book for her grandchildren, he happily obliges.

(Do you also love this image of my mom as this hard core book buyer, autograph seeker, trolling the streets of her small coastal town for the betterment of grandchildren's literary future?)

Camden, where my mom lives and where I went to high school and where any creative person would be smart to live:
(I just can't talk about Camden without showing you how stunning it is.)

Here are some of our favorite Chris Van Duesen books.  I promise you will not tired of reading this funny, charming books over and over to your eager listeners. Maybe consider for Christmas! (And no, they are not paying me.)

The book launch party was fun because it was all about kids:

Maya did not know what to do with the puppy balloon animal she requested that turned out to be a poodle.

My super adorable nephew:

Michaela got to go up on stage during the balloon show as a volunteer.  She thought this guy was REALLY funny.

Somehow Kathryn got selected as well, although she definitely didn't raise her hand.
After lunch at my mom's house, we hit the kids favorite destination: Cedar Works.  They make amazing, and fantastically expensive, playsets and have a whole play yard for kids to check out the merchandise.

Can we all just take note of this outfit??

Sometimes the adults have to test the quality as well.  This is Brian, my sister's super sweet boyfriend.

Grandma decided to try on Ella's gloves and hat while she was holding them.
Ella is going to be seven in ten short days.  She is looking every bit that to me these days.

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