Now, it’s certainly a lot more of priority. I host a lot of kids’ events and if bringing in a llama (yes, they’ve done this) might get me more attendees, I’m going to think about it.
Being on the same block as two popular restaurants was probably one of the reasons Wild Rumpus was open past 6 pm on a Saturday, unlike most of the other stores I visited.*It was also quite busy. We watched several kids walk in through the kid-sized door, cut into the traditionally proportioned ingress. Immediately Kirk spotted two cats. We walked in further—there’s a bird. Oh, and over there, it’s a ferret!
Clotheslines strung across the store held kid-friendly book bags. A ladder ended at the ceiling with two legs heading to the second floor, but hey, there isn’t a second floor. Oh, and that lake running along the ceiling with the upside-down canoe, just breathtaking. All this and a store pretty well packed with books.
My eyes were drawn to the Edward Gorey Wild Rumpus tote. I brought it up to the cashier desk and asked the bookseller where the staff recs were. She replied, “Oh, we don’t have a section. Our recommendations are in person. I asked for one, and she offered several, but the one most interesting to me was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon and Schuster), by Benjamin Alire Saenz, initially because it was the only book mentioned that I didn’t previously know.
It’s about two teenage boys who meet at a summer swimming pool. Aristotle is an angry kid with a brother in prison. Dante’s more of a know it all, but both kids are lonely. Dante teaches Ari to swim, and they begin to open up to each other, learn a bit about themselves. Hey , this book is a coming out story, one of those books that used to be in adult sections.
We didn’t have it in our store, but I’m probably going to bring a copy in. And if it’s as good as all the reviewers say, I can think of several people to sell it to. Much thanks!
In all, a fun visit, a new bag, and even a good rec. My only concern about what it would be like to be a bookseller there—it must be a nightmare to clean, what with all those animals. Plus I have allergies.
Just one last stop, at the nearby Linden Hills Coop. Boy, Minneapolis and St. Paul have very nice groceries!
*The University of Minneota store, which I've heard is quite good, closes at 4, but it is summer, after all.