Launch of: Our Corner Grocery Store

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.

John Lorinc, The Globe and Mail

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 BeingessnerLaura Beingessner signing Our Corner Grocery Store. Look at the line-up of readers!

Joanne SchwartzJoanne’s turn to sign!

Reading Our Corner Grocery StoreReading Our Corner Grocery Store
Reading Our Corner Grocery Store in the front yard.

Joanne Schwartz and Laura BeingessnerJoanne 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.

Author Lunch: Susin Nielsen

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!

Chicken SouvlakiNo Peanut signs!

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.

Susin's CakeSusin Nielsen
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 NerdWord Nerd centerpiece!

Most Promising Newcomer TrophyThe “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 NielsenSusin Nielsen signing copies of Word Nerd for our guests. Thank you Susin for coming in and sharing your wonderful (and funny) stories with us!

TINARS for Tots: Our Corner Grocery Store

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 StoreOur Corner Grocery Store by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Laura Beingessner

TINARS for TotsParents have brunch while children are entertained by authors and illustrators!

Joanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner organized a wonderful arts and craft project:
Crafting Our Corner Grocery StoreColouring the grocery store and food items.
Crafting Our Corner Grocery StoreCutting and..
Crafting Our Corner Grocery Storepasting!

Joanne Schwartz, Winston, and Joanne BeingessnerJoanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner with Winston, the TINARS mascot!

Launch of: The Battle for Duncragglin

Andrew H. Vanderwal’s young adult novel, The Battle for Dunragglin, was launched on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. The outstanding event was held at the Assembly Hall from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

The Battle for DuncragglinCopies of The Battle for Duncragglin waiting to be signed and read.

Andrew H. Vanderwal's first signing at the launchAndrew H. Vanderwal’s first signing at his launch!

MCI Senior Strings Quartet
MCI Senior Strings QuartetAndrew H. Vanderwal hired his son’s school’s quartet, The MCI Senior Strings Quartet, to play at the book launch.

McDonnell School of Highland Dance
The McDonnell School of Highland DanceA wonderful performance from the McDonnell School of Highland Dance. Many thanks to Julie McDonnell and her students! Short video clips of the performance can be viewed on our facebook page.

Kathy LowingerTundra’s publisher, Kathy Lowinger, talks about The Battle for Duncragglin and introduces Andrew H. Vanderwal on stage.

Andrew H. VanderwalAndrew H. Vanderwal talks about the progression of The Battle for Duncragglin and reads a passage from the book.

Guests at the Battle for Duncragglin launchWhat a fabulous turnout of guests!

Tundra would like to thank Andrew H. Vanderwal and his wife, Jan, for making the event such a success! You can read about the launch on Andrew’s blog here.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2009

Tundra’s Director of Foreign and Special Markets, Catherine Mitchell, shares her photos from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair:

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.

Tundra's Bologna Booth

Tundra's Bologna Booth