She’s giddy and filled with excitement and just can’t wait to see two of her favorite book characters come to life today at The Cedars. An elementary student at St. Andrews? No, she’s 24 year old Emily Grossenbacher, children’s manager and buyer for Lemuria Books at Banner Hall. The “all things kids” book nut says you’re never too young – or old – to experience the wonder of The Magic Tree House Live show at 5pm. “There’s not really an age limit”, she tells us. “If you’re ten, you’ve read the books and know the stories. If you’re eight, you’re probably reading them right now. And if you’re three, these are great read-alouds. It really is for everyone”.
Readers will meet the characters they read about with actors on stage who take their roles seriously. “They ARE the characters”, Grossenbacher says, “and they bring the books to life”. She says they hosted a similar show last year for Junie B. Jones and the children were ecstatic. “They just lit up because it’s something you don’t really think about: the book I’M reading – and the people in it – are real and in front of me”? She says there has been a buzz in the store lately and today is being talked up. “I keep telling parents if you miss this, you will regret it. I’ll bet my life this will be talked about for weeks”.
Grossenbacher says the series, with 47 titles to its credit and celebrating its 20th year, is quite the coup for Jackson to get. “We told them (Random House) of the success of the Chuck Palahniuk event (held last October at Hal & Mal’s)”, she says, “and they liked the idea. They wanted more kids events like that”. The live show this evening at The Cedars is one of 15 tour stops nationwide, featuring a preshow of Jackson Zoo exhibits and Mississippi Children’s Museum interactives. But there’s another show Grossenbacher is even more excited about. “We’re at Boyd this morning”, she says “and it’s our first time working with them. This is such a good learning tool”. For every child in 3rd – 5th grade, Random House has donated a book. “This is not just about Lemuria. We’ve had so much fun working with Jim (Wilkirson) at Fondren Renaissance, the museum, the zoo; it seems like everybody’s just been waiting for an opportunity like this to work together”.
With great weather on tap and something for everyone, make sure you are at The Cedars today at 4145 Old Canton Road at 5pm. The cost is $10 per child and includes a book, a snack, access to all exhibits, the show, and one adult admission. A portion of each ticket price will go towards scholarships for the Summer Children’s Art Camp at The Cedars. For more information on this event or to purchase a ticket, log on to lemuriabooks.com.