I went right before Elspeth's birthday and was able to nab these paperback Angelina Ballerina storybooks for $1 a piece. So Amabel gave her sister a stack of seven books for her birthday and it has been a very loved collection from the time the wrapping paper was torn off. The hardcover copy of the original Angelina Ballerina was sent to my brand new baby niece. My younger sister and I share a love for children's books and when she has a new baby, I always send four or five special books to start the little one's personal library off. Little Peyton Olivia was Sarah's first little girl and I felt that she had to have a copy of Angelina Ballerina as soon as possible. What luck to find a brand new hardcover copy for $7!
On to the holiday books, I found a great Jack Prelutsky Thanksgiving poetry book for about $1 and another great little Halloween hunt book for around the same price. The Halloween book was one I chose for August- a hidden picture, Where's Waldo? type book that I know he'll really love. Between those two books in the picture is a Margaret Wise Brown book that I had never seen before. Imagine how many of her books are lost to our generation! Anyway, the book is called The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin and it is charming. I was hesitant when I saw the $3 price sticker, but it was in like new condition, and I am glad that I went ahead and snatched it up. In the end, I also figured August would really like this one the best too. To even things out, I ordered Elspeth a copy of Tasha Tudor's Pumpkin Moonshine on Amazon and found her a copy of Angelina's Halloween on ebay (9 like new Hardcover Angelina Ballerina books for $9.95! Can you believe it?! My Christmas shopping for her is practically done!) for her halloween book treat and Amabel gets Halloween Madlibs and a trip to the theater to see Guardians of Ga'hoole. So everyone gets two things, but I spent the least on August first! Oh well, isn't that always how it goes?
The right side of the picture has all of my Christmas finds. The Cookie Store Cat is a Cynthia Rylant title I had never come across before. It is out of print now, but if you should ever come across one, grab it up because it is adorable. It could use some updated illustrations, but the story itself is delightful. It is, as the title suggests, about a cat who lives in a bakery which sells all kinds of delicious cookies to all different kinds of people, all of whom love the cat. And at the end of the book, there are recipes for all the cookies described throughout the story. This one is for Amabel. I feel I have cheated her out of storybooks too early. Just because she can read chapter books doesn't mean she can't also appreciate a good storybook- look at me!
Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear! got cut off in the picture, but you are likely familiar with The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood. Well, who knew there was a Christmas book too? This is sort of the same idea as the Harold book from the last trip- if there's a Christmas book involving a favorite character, we should probably have it. August has the original Big Hungry Bear book so I bought the Christmastime sequel with him in mind.
Above those two books in the picture was a really exciting find, Snowball Fight by none other than Jimmy Fallon! I had no idea Jimmy had written a children's book. I have spared y'all many a post praising my new favorite late night host (though I am eager for Conan to be back- November 8th!), but the book definitely needs to be mentioned. It's really well done, a book about exactly what it the title suggests, a snowball fight. It really captures the excitement of a snow day off from school and the exciting events of such a day. I wish Jimmy would write more children's books, but I'm pretty happy with Late Night.
Letters from Father Christmas was a really cool find, and I splurged and spent $10 on it for George! If you have never been to our house during the Christmas season, you may not know about the letters from Father Christmas that George paints and writes to our children each year. They are really lovely and, honestly, awesome. George got his inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien who penned and illustrated letters to his own children each year from Father Christmas. I was so thrilled to find a nicely bound collection of these for him. I think they will be handy for reference but also fun for the kids to look through once they figure out that Father Christmas is actually Daddy. (It's currently hidden from them so as not to ruin the "magic." And please don't ever let on, should you find yourself conversing with my children about the matter, that Father Christmas isn't anything but 100% real- also, he's NOT Santa.) More on all of this around Christmastime, I think.
Last but not least, a brand new copy of Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms. We discovered Fletcher and the Falling Leaves in preschool last year. It was a delightful fall treat, and I went ahead and purchased it for Elspeth because I loved it so much. I was thrilled to find a spring sequel, but I am saving it for the appropriate time of year. With that in mind, it may interest you to know that Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas has just come out in the last couple of weeks.
Okay, so all of these books were pretty inexpensive, but, as you can imagine, it added up! Can you tell that books are what I spend any amount of undesignated money on? I made this trip back at the beginning of September and haven't let myself buy anything since (well, nothing except a hardcover fairytale collection that I needed for school for $5). But I think November might be good time to go back and see if there's anything new in the holiday section and peruse titles for some potential Christmas presents. I'll let you know if I find anything. The accountability will be good for me :)