Last week was Julia’s winter school vacation. We headed off to Dedham, MA to visit my sister and her family for a couple days. It’s nice to have family close enough to visit. When in Dedham, we always try to visit a wonderful children’s book store called The Blue Bunny. It is owned by the Reynolds family and managed by Janet Reynolds. Janet is the mother of three boys and she juggles her family and store amazingly. The store is packed to the gills with books for kids of all ages and lots of fun toys – both educational and silly. They have a lovely studio room where they teach classes for children and adults.
Janet is married to Paul Reynolds who runs the company Fablevision, an educational and media company dedicated to learning of all kinds for people of all ages. Check out their website – there are lots of activities that are fun for everyone – young and old. Paul is a wonderful personality full of ideas and enthusiasm which seems to just bubble out of him. Fablevision is located atop the Children’s Museum in Boston which we have to explore. His twin brother is Peter H. Reynolds, author and illustrator of The Dot, Ish, So Few of Me, The North Star, along with illustrator of the Judy Moody books and a staggering number of many more children's books. His books have been translated into many languages - he is a giant in the children's book world.
Julia is a persistent kid and she had decided that she was going to meet Peter H. Reynolds on this visit. She marched up to Janet and asked about him. Janet said he was in the local area and she left a message on his phone for Julia. She looked at all the books - and kept hoping Peter would appear. Her persistence paid off and Peter arrived happy to talk with Julia. He was wonderful - he whisked her off to a little table at the back of the store and sat and talked and drew with her. She was mesmerized. I was overwhelmed at his generosity. It was such a great day and treat for both of us.
Do you know Peter's book “The Dot”? It is a kids book about a little girl named Vashti who thinks she can't draw. She goes on a little journey and learns a lot about herself and what she can do. When I teach knitwear design, I often hear similar comments from knitters - I then try to help them realize that yes, they can design too. I think I'll bring my copy of this book the next time I teach. The Dot was followed by Ish about a little boy who thinks he can't draw. It's a lovely story. We picked up the last of the trilogy of books in this series - So Few of Me and Peter signed it for Julia. I love these books - they speak to so many people - young and old - and if you haven't seen them yet - check them out.
Thanks so much to Peter, Paul and Janet Reynolds - this visit was the highlight of Julia's school vacation. And thanks to Paul Reynolds for taking these photos with his cellphone and emailing the memories to us!