Linda's Story Time in Monroe was one of only two independent bookstores in the nation selected to host PEOPLE Magazine's "PEOPLE Family Storyteller" with the author and illustrator of the new children's book Louise the Big Cheese And The Back-To-School Smarty-Pants! Author Elise Primavera and illustrator Diane Goode greeted fans and signed books at the event, held Saturday.
About 30 children listened as Primavera read her latest book in the series. Goode also treated the kids to a drawing demonstration. In total, an estimated 100 children stopped in during the two hour event to have copies of the Louise the Big Cheese books signed and receive free samples and a special gift bag, courtesy of Presenting Sponsor Milk and participating sponsors Citibank, Children's Claritin and Oreo.
“The biggest thrill is to have authors and this is a special author,” said Monroe resident, Wendy Searle. “I heard who was coming and this is no small potatoes!” Searle purchased books to use at Fawn Hollow Elementary School in Monroe, where she has been a librarian for nine years. “When these kids see a signed book by the author, these kids are like ‘Wow!’ When they see a signature, it’s a real incentive.”
Linda Devlin has owned Linda’s Story Time, a full service, independent book store specializing in children’s books, for 12 years. “I love when kids get to meet the author and illustrator. I love it too!” she said. “It brings an extra dimension to the book. They can hear the book in the author’s voice.”
“This is a great series about a girl who aspires to greatness and then real life steps in. But she still approaches it with humor and panache!” Devlin added. “They are so fun and I think adults get a kick out of it and the illustrations. And kids and their parents can relate to it!”
“Linda is a great resource,” said Lana Quincy, a Monroe mother of two is also a teacher in Stratford. “She knows her books and she excites kids about reading.”
Laura Kehlenbach of Monroe brought her three children to the event, “I am constantly buying books,” Kehlenbach said. “Anytime getting to meet an author is exciting!”
Six-year-old Jordan Kehlenbach explained how she picked her copy of Louise the Big Cheese And The La-di-da Shoes for the author and illustrator to sign, “Cause it’s purple!” When asked if she would go home and read it she explained that she was having a slumber party. “(I want to) wait for everybody to read it together,” she said.
“It’s nice to see the kids,” Primavera said. “They have great outfits and I’ve never seen so many sparkles!” Good added, “It’s nice to see the kids reading the books!”
Louise the Big Cheese And The Back-To-School Smarty-Pants! is the third in the series. “Louise the Big Cheese grew out of the idea that striving to be a big cheese is a great concept but it doesn't always translate into making one happy,” Primavera explained. “I came up with the idea years ago. I was talking to a friend at a party about another person who walked in, and said, ‘Louise, she’s the big cheese!’ and she said, ‘That sounds like the name of a book!’ and the idea started there.”
“(The books) are hysterical!” said Goode. “We had a good time doing these books together.” Goode has two new books she has illustrated coming out in the next year, including one by Cokie Roberts and another by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
A fourth book, Louise the Big Cheese And The Ooh-La-La Charm School! is due out March, 2012. Primavera also has two more books coming out that she will be writing and illustrating, Libby of High Hopes, an illustrated novel for 9 – 12 year olds, and another children’s story, House at the End of Lady Bug Lane. Primavera has illustrated more than twenty books for children, several of which she also wrote, including the New York Times bestselling Auntie Claus as well as Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas and Auntie Claus Home for the Holidays, Plantpet, and Raising Dragons.
Signed copies of Louise the Big Cheese And The Back-To-School Smarty-Pants!, as well as free gift bags, are available at Linda’s Story Time while supplies last. Visit their website at www.lindasstorytime.com. For more information on the author or illustrator, visit their websites at www.eliseprimavera.com and www.dianegoode.com.