The other day I went to the local book store to find a book for my dad's upcoming birthday. I was having trouble finding it so I went to the desk to find out if they had it and if I could order it for him. While I was standing there waiting for the the employee to end a customer phone call, I saw a book on the counter that caught my eye. The book store was announcing an upcoming book signing for the book. I read the cover, mostly because it had a horse on it, and I noticed a familiar name as the illustrator. Michelle Black. Hmmmm... I know someone named Michelle Black, a horse trainer and riding instructor, but I didn't know she was also painter. I wonder... could it be her? I did not recognize the author's name, Camille Matthews, right off the bat.
When the bookstore employee finished up with her phone-in customer, I asked her if the name on the book could possibly be the local Michelle Black. She said she didn't know, but did the obvious and wise thing and opened the book to look. She said, as I read, that the author was a lady named Camille Matthews and she lived at 1908 Glade. WHAT?!? That was the address of the house I grew up in!!! If the author lives there then it MUST be the Michelle I know! Indeed it was, and the author is the same person that bought that house from my parents, has horses and is involved in therapeutic horse activities. Wow! I decided right then and there that I would return on Saturday during the book signing.
Today, I remembered about the book signing at 1:20 pm. Ack! I gotta go NOW! I called my sister-in-law and asked to steal her kid, Autumn for a little while. The two of us made it to the book store with 10 minutes to spare before the end of the book signing. Michelle saw me and greeted me and I introduced both Camille and Michelle to my niece. They asked her questions which she answered a little shyly at first but she soon bloomed and they personalized a copy of the book, A New Home for Quincy, just for her.
The book is geared for children, ages 4-8 or so and it's a wonderful look into Quincy's world as he moves to a new home. His first big barn, his new friends and his secret fears and hopes. He befriends the horse in the stall next door, Beau, who helps him adjust and answer questions. The paintings by Michelle that illustrate the book are eye-catching and lovely (and some of the originals were on display at the book signing too!) For more about this new beautiful book and Camille and Michelle, visit their website QuincytheHorse.com.
How cool and small is the world of horses that it turns out that I did know the illustrator of the book and was connected to the author in a way too. I knew that those who had bought my parent's house bought it, in part, for the horse corrals and barn. What I originally thought was bad luck in the store not having the book I wanted to buy turned out in my best interest after all. I mentioned this to them while I was there and Michelle said that it's magnetism. Horses do that.