Guest Post: Laura Beingessner

Today’s guest post is from Laura Beingessner! Laura is the illustrator of Our Corner Grocery Store, written by Joanne Schwartz. Her illustrations have been described as: “folksy” (starred review, School Library Journal), “charming” (CM Magazine), “wonderfully detailed” (Kirkus Reviews), and “glow[s] warmly” (Booklist).

Our Corner Grocery Store

Laura Beingessner: Our corner Grocery Store was a joy to draw. It took me back to my own childhood. Going to the Corner Store for a freezie was always a highlight for me on a hot summer day.

Laura Beingessner and Joanne SchwartzThis is Joanne and I on the day of our book launch. We look like we just had a freezie.

Arts and Craft with Laura BeingessnerHere I am at a Hillcrest school doing an activity with kids. They coloured and pasted up their own corner store picture.

A TINARS Weekend

On Saturday, it was “Look Again Day” at This Is Not A Reading Series for Tots, presented by Pages Books & Magazines, Bunch, Gladstone Hotel, and the Little Paper. Marla Stewart Konrad presented her two books, Getting There and Mom and Me:

Marla Stewart Konrad at TINARS for Tots
Marla Stewart Konrad

Also at TINARS for Tots that day was Rebecca Upjohn presenting Lily And The Paper Man and there was a tribute to Tomi Ungerer of The Three Robbers & Moon Man.

Then on Sunday, it was the TINARS Literary Arcade! TINARS set up listening stations in the ballroom of the Gladstone Hotel as part of Doors Open Toronto. Featured authors and illustrators included: Joanne SchwartzLaura Beingessner, Claudia Dey, Lisa Foad, Stacey May Fowles, Hilary Leung & David Bruins, Ibi Kaslik, Damian Rogers, Zoe Whitall, and Nathan Whitlock.

Authors and Illustrators at TINARS Literary Arcade

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.

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!