Four years ago I was looking at this...
Aaron @ one week old
...and now that same little human is an intelligent, perceptive, curious, kind, and mischievous four-year-old. They're not kidding when they say Blink, and you might miss it.
Aaron has been anticipating his birthday since, well, since he turned three. And it did not disappoint. (But it would be really hard to disappoint this kid; he's like his dad: easy going and easy to please.)
Birthdays offer me one of the rare opportunities where I feel totally and completely justified in buying brand-new books. I have known for months what I wanted to get Aaron: two books from the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo. (I would have liked to get him all six books in the series, but I had to show some restraint.)
I've been wanting to check out Weller Book Works in Salt Lake City for quite some time. It sells new, used, and rare books, so its inventory changes regularly. They catalog all of their used books so it's easy to find out if they have what you want.
It's kind of like a warehouse on the inside, but it has beautiful book displays and is very well organized.
And they had what I wanted! Two beautiful hardback copies of Mercy Watson. Both were labeled as used, but you could have fooled me. They look brand spanking new.
In case you aren't acquainted with Mercy Watson, oh, you are missing out. She was Aaron's very first introduction to "chapter" books. (They're divided into about 12 chapters but are easily read in one sitting with a picture on almost every page. In my mind, they're the perfect crossover between picture books and real chapter books.)
Do these look used to you?!
I love both the author and the illustrator so much, I cannot keep from gushing when I talk about them. Kate DiCamillo (of Tale of Despereaux fame) does amazing things with just a few words. Mike and I have both been so impressed with the way she gives all her characters tangible, memorable personalities without boring her young listeners. And of course, Chris Van Dusen's illustrations don't hurt one bit. His pictures are so warm and light. I feel happy just looking at them. (We just read his newest book, Randy Riley's Really Big Hit, for the first time this afternoon, and Aaron loved it so much, he took it to bed with him.)
Aaron got Princess in Disguise (a very girly title but very gender-neutral otherwise) and Something Wonky This Way Comes, which are actually #4 and #6 in the series; those are the ones Weller Book Works had, so I went with them. I think Maxwell (the two-year-old) was even happier than Aaron about the books. (He and I share both looks and book nerdiness.) Now I'll be on the lookout for the rest of the books so that someday we can have the complete Mercy Watson series (which will be a day worth blogging about!).