In a city inundated with giant, gleaming supermarkets, Toronto’s old-style neighbourhood corner store may be nearly extinct.
But there’s no hint of decline at the impressively cluttered greengrocer located in the tiny front room of a house near Hillcrest Park, in the St. Clair West area. Every weekday at lunch, the 20-by-20-foot shop, owned by Domenico Cozzi, 76, and his wife Rosa, 77, is overrun with ravenous school kids, who swarm in to buy Mr. Cozzi’s salami and provolone sandwiches, pop and candy….
In recent weeks, regular patrons have noticed that the Cozzis have been even more upbeat than usual. The reason: Their modest business, purchased with the house for $33,000 back in 1966, has become the subject of a new children’s book, Our Corner Grocery Store (Tundra), illustrated by Laura Beingessner.
The publication of Joanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner’s new picture book, Our Corner Grocery Store, was celebrated on Saturday, April 25, 2009. Since the book is such a local story, Joanne Schwartz hosted a neighbourhood event at her home. Our Corner Grocery Store is based on Domenico’s grocery store which is located at 134 Tyrrel Avenue, Toronto. Domenico Cozzi and his wife Rosa, owners of the actual corner grocery store, came to celebrate the book’s release.
Laura Beingessner signing Our Corner Grocery Store. Look at the line-up of readers!
Joanne’s turn to sign!
Reading Our Corner Grocery Store in the front yard.
Joanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner thank everyone for coming. Thank you Domenico and Rosa for your inspirations and to everyone who came out and made the event such as success! Can you spot Domenico’s smiling face in the photo above? Also, thank you to John Lorinc for attending and writing the wonderful piece in The Globe and Mail.
Susin Nielsen happened to be in town, so we invited her in for lunch on April 21, 2009. We really wanted to celebrate the success of Susin’s young adult novel, Word Nerd. Inspired from Word Nerd, the main character, Ambrose is always invited to eat with his Greek landlords – so we decided to have delicious Greek food!
Left: Ambrose is a very good Scrabble player (he attends the West Side Scrabble Club), so we made food labels using Scrabble tiles! Right: The wonderful cover of Word Nerd features a “no peanut sign” because Ambrose is severely allergic to peanuts. We kept with the design and had “no peanut” signs displayed in our food trays.
For dessert, we had this delicious chocolate truffle cake. Congratulations Susin! Word Nerd is nominated for the Canadian Library Association’s 2009 Book of the Year Award for Children!
Word Nerd centerpiece!
The “Most Promising Newcomer” trophy! Inspired again from Word Nerd, Ambrose wins this trophy from the Scrabble Club. You can download the file for the trophy here. Simply print and cut!
Susin Nielsen signing copies of Word Nerd for our guests. Thank you Susin for coming in and sharing your wonderful (and funny) stories with us!
This Is Not a Reading Series for Tots on Saturday, April 18, 2009 was presented by Pages Books & Magazine, The Little Paper, Bunch, and the Gladstone Hotel. TINAR’s “Neighbourhood Stories Day” featured Joanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner’s book, Our Corner Grocery Store. Also presenting that day was Frieda Wishinsky and Marie-Louise Gay’s Please Louise!
Our Corner Grocery Store by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Laura Beingessner
Parents have brunch while children are entertained by authors and illustrators!
Joanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner organized a wonderful arts and craft project:
Colouring the grocery store and food items.
Joanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner with Winston, the TINARS mascot!
Here are two photos of our booth at this year’s Bologna Book Fair. The space is small but a representative selection of our picture books (back wall), fiction and non-fiction (side wall) are taken to show publishers in our meetings. Time is limited so the display has to tell as much as possible and act as backdrop to the discussion. We include quotes, honours, rights sales, and award stickers where possible to maximize attention to the list, all of which is helped by great looking covers to catch passers-by as well.