Thursday, January 28, 2010

Family Literacy Field Trip: To Mabel's Fables

So it turns out there is a Mabel, and she is a ginger cat. And the place she lives is pure magic, with a bright pink door, and two floors of BOOKS! Upstairs there is a gigantic teddy bear and a princess chair, and downstairs are the books for little kids and babies, upstairs for the bigger ones, and there are even books for adults on the landing.

But perhaps the very best thing about Mabel's Fables, the wonderful children's bookstore in Toronto, is that Rebecca Rosenblum lives around the corner. So that we got to go to her house for lunch first, and she accompanied us on our first Mabel's Fables visit. (I've never been before because the store is not on the subway, and I have this impression that anywhere not on the subway is really far away. Turns out that it isn't.)

Harriet was pleased to be liberated from the snowsuit and seemed impressed by her surroundings. I was pleased to see so many of our favourite books and others I'd been coveting, and stuff I'd never heard of by the same authors, and a space that was such a celebration of childhood and children's books. We ended up getting our friend Geneviève Côté's new book Me and You, which is a gorgeous celebration of friendship, individuality and art. We also got The Baby's Catalogue board book by the Ahlbergs, because we love Peepo and Each Peach Pear Plum, and even though this isn't a story book, it's full of cool stuff for us to look at together and talk about, and there's a breastfeeding baby inside (and you really can't go wrong with breastfeeding in picture book art, oh no!).

Our final purchase was Sandra Boynton's Bath Time!, because Harriet loves bath books and we like Barnyard Bath very much already. All in all, it was a very successful shop, and you can see here that Harriet very much enjoyed herself. These photos were taken during a span of about thirty seconds, as I tried to get her to smile for the camera but she proceeded to just pluck books off the shelf and chew on them. I wrenched them away from her eventually-- I'm assuming Mabel's Fables operates on a "you chew it, you buy it" policy, understandably. "Come on," I said, pulling her away from the nummy bookish delights. "You've got plenty of books to chew on at home. " But I must admit to admiring her appetite!