Thursday, January 23, 2014

Little Bookstores We Love. . . Red Balloon Bookshop

Mr. Pig went on the road again, this time to St. Paul, MN, to interview the very nice folks at another beloved independent bookstore...

Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Avenue 
St. Paul, MN 55105

What year did Red Balloon open its doors?
1984. We moved down the street to our current location in 1989.

Tell me what the name of your shop signifies... why was it was chosen?
The name is related to the 1956 movie and subsequent book. According to Carol Erdahl and Michele Cromer-Poire, the original owners of Red Balloon, they wanted a name that would appeal to folk of all ages. “Red Balloon” was suggested by a woman in Port Angeles, WA, and Carol & Michele liked it right away. “The idea that books can open up new worlds and ideas—soaring like a balloon,” appealed to both of them.

Oooh, I love that. Why is Red Balloon a favorite among your community and customers, would you say? 
We have over 184 years of book experience accumulated by staff here! This knowledge, combined with continued passion for books and reading, makes Red Balloon the place to go when you want help finding just the right book, or if you want to share your own love of books.

Another unique and cool thing about us is we invite local illustrators to paint our window! This one was painted by Jennifer Bell.

How magical! Speaking of... which children’s books and/or authors would you say are store favorites? 
We love our local authors and illustrators, but there’s too many to mention them all! Here's a picture of one of our favorites, Kate DiCamillo, presenting Flora and Ulysses.

[Gasp!] The Ambassador, herself! How marvelous! I have all Kate's books back home on my crooked bookshelf at the Little Crooked Cottage. So... what recent children’s book made you laugh out loud?
Moo! By David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. The combination of word & pictures made us laugh hysterically.   

Made you cry?
Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Finish this sentence: Everyone should support indie bookstores because...
...we’re an integral part of a lively community, providing a wide choice of books and great service, making us a wonderful place for other book lovers to connect.

Well said! Thank you so much for giving us the tour of your marvelous book shop, and for all you do to support and celebrate authors, illustrators and their creations! 
Our pleasure, Mr. Pig!

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