I think there’s a lot about this world that we don’t understand, like the afterlife or how bread becomes toast.
During the summer of 1965 my family took a driving vacation to attend the New York World’s Fair, of which I remember little. My lasting impression of that trip was of being near the Warwick Hotel in Midtown Manhattan which was hosting The Beatles prior to their August 15th concert at Shea Stadium. There were girls. Everywhere. Hoping just to get a glimpse of the Fab Four. It was one thing to see Beatlemania on television and quite another to witness it close up.
I have no idea how I got from there to working at a children’s bookstore, but here I am.
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”
“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” ― A.A. Milne
Frannie fell in love with Little Shop long before she joined the team and has not fallen out ever since! She adores fantasy books and is also an ardent tea drinker! Part of her heart will always be in the England, where she studied abroad in college after growing up obsessed with all things British. When she’s not fawning over pretty book covers or harping to her friends about the last book she’s read, she is probably hangalangin’ at home with a cuppa and her pup and sweet, floppy cat.
Hannah, Bookseller, Donations Coordinator, and Little Shop Players Director
Oh, what a sweet child is Hannah Hyde,
Oh, how thoughtful, oh, how nice,
To buy a hat with a brim so wide,
It gives shade to the frogs
And the worms and the mice.
Sadly, Shel Silverstein did NOT write this poem about her. She thinks. You never know. Whatever the origin of this poem, Hannah will forever lay claim to it anyway. It’s why she bought a wide-brimmed hat once! When not identifying with characters in books, Hannah can often be found solving crimes with Miss Marple, joining in the Arab Spring, nursing an unhealthy obsession with James Dean, and being part of the singles table at wedding receptions. Okay, fine; she’s an actress who just plays those parts onstage. Speaking of the stage, Hannah also heads up our very own Little Shop Players! And, yes, she would love to talk to you about how your child can get involved.
One evening Jason attended a public exhibition demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear laboratory waste materials sponsored by the General Techtronics Corporation. During the demonstration, a small Common House Spider happened to be in the path of a particle accelerator’s beam and was massively irradiated. The stricken spider fell on to Jason’s hand, broke his skin with its fangs, and died. It is to be noted that Jason gained no special powers from the irradiated spider bite, it was just an interesting story.
Does not like green eggs and ham, Sam-I-Am. Not in a box, not with a fox, not in a house, not with a mouse. He would not eat them here or there, he would not eat them anywhere. Justin Colussy-Estes would categorically not eat green eggs an ham, Sam-I-Am. They’re probably filled with dye, or are riddled with salmonella, or something. Justin eats a salad if he wants something green, thank you.
Krista spends too much time trying to decide where the sorting hat would place her at Hogwarts. She is pretty sure she would either be the lamest Gryffindor ever, or the leader of the Hufflepuffs. Her fierce ambition is to be the greatest of all the Hufflepuffs, which makes her think she possibly just belongs in Slytherin. Krista’s love of big ideas and getting the community together has contributed to annual events such as the Decatur Christmas Tree Lighting, On The Same Page Community Reading Program, and the 12 Miles of Christmas Fun Run, although she wonders if the last one can be considered annual if it’s only happened once in the last four years due to weather. After becoming a mother, she was inspired to create a storytime that her rambunctious toddler could sit through, and so began Circle Time.
Madison prefers living in imaginary worlds. Whether reading a book, teaching molecular biology, or doing improv, she thinks it’s more fun to explore environments that you can’t actually see. Growing up in Decatur, Madison kept being told that it was okay to be herself, even if that self was pretty weird. Through her time at Westchester, Renfroe, and Decatur High School, she developed two strong passions: science and theatre. At Davidson College, she continued to explore both of those passions, and from 2012 to 2016 she was a science teacher at Decatur High School (while teaching a lil’ improv on the side). Now she has switched from science full-time to more of an emphasis on theatre, performing and writing and improvising her way around town. She is excited to be at Little Shop of Stories so that she can help build bigger, weirder, more magical imaginary worlds for other people through BOOKS!
According to Wikipedia, Marcy is a variety of white potato “originally bred in 1990 at Cornell University from a cross between the Atlantic variety and Q155-3 variety. It is mostly used for chipping but can be used for baking and boiling. It has good storability; chip color is good even after short to medium storage. Marcy has a high yielding crop.” Our Marcy is pictured here standing next to her own creation, a phantom tollbooth. (She did not create Norton Juster.)
Rob prefers to work in the background, talking about himself as little as possible, and shuddering at the very idea of a bio. When he does talk, however, the shop shakes—thanks to a basso profondo that would make James Earl Jones tremble.
Sunny, Bookseller and Bookfair Coordinator
When not pinned under a giant avalanche of boxes at the Book Fair Operations Center or barrelling down The Connector in The Little Bus of Stories delivering books to all of the good boys and girls at their book fairs, Sunny can be found singing whatever song happens to be trapped in her brain at the moment and snuggling with her pride and joy, Hiroyuki, one incredible dog and best friend. Sunny loves to read: picture books (all of them), true crime stories, magical realism but NOT fantasy, anything to do with religious cults or extremists, and gut wrenching star-crossed lover stories. She occasionally dips her toe into sad but true middle grade, but only when she is feeling particularly vulnerable. Sunny’s favorite things at Little Shop incude: meeting world famous children’s book author and illustrator heroes, community reading with On The Same Page, running Goody for Girls camp, and hanging out with people who love reading just as much as she does.
Talia was born in Flin Flon, Saskatchewan, which is fun to say. She’s our second Canadian!
Terra, Bookseller Extraordinaire, was the very first employee of Little Shop of Stories, and still can’t manage to leave. Her very favorite thing in the whole world is sharing books and stories with readers and families of all ages. Writing those stories is her second very favorite thing, so she is also the author of six young adult books and two middle grade ones. She leads both our Kids & Companions and Page Turners book clubs, and has been seen leading camps and writing workshops, too.