By Joanna Schwartz, Illustrated by Laura Beingessner
Tundra Books, 2009
Saturday is my favorite day of the week. I spend every Saturday at my Nonno Domenico and Nonna Rosa’s corner grocery store. It’s early in the morning when I arrive. Mrs. Mele is out walking her dog. Once in a while a car goes by, but mostly it’s quiet. The neighborhood is still asleep.
When I was younger, I thought “shop owner” was one of the coolest jobs in the world, right up there with koala trainer, candy maker, and writer. (And on a good day that doesn’t smack of self-defeat and exhaustion, being a writer is still pretty amazing.) Our Corner Grocery Store taps into that wonderment all children seem to have of store-keeping — making signs, putting out produce, unloading fresh bread, making sandwiches, and chatting with customers who are also friends. The illustrations are inviting and warm, and the narrative offers up some wonderful details, including a fabulous recipe for stuffed mushrooms.