For someone who loves picture books and used bookstores, I actually spend very little timein the children's sections of used bookstores. I guess this is because they are usually crammed in a neglected corner of the store, and usually nothing more than a mountain of chaos.
But this weekend while roaming the city on a unexpectedly beautiful day, I decide to brave the kid's section for a few minutes. I look over and the spine of one book pops out at me right away. It was a beautiful brand new hard copy of The Three Golden Keys by Peter Sis.
Sis is one of the modern giants of children's literature, who truly elevates the medium to the level of high art. His books bring to mind the fiction of Borges, Italo Calvino, and Orhan Pahmuk... but with the added bonus of beautifully intricate illustrations.
After reading through the book, I flip back to the front and find this inscription:
"REACH FOR THE BEST--PETER SIS"
I plopped over the $15 for the book and after a quick google search it turns out that this is an autographed first edition which currently sells for $150!
So I guess I did "reach for the best" when I bent down to pluck this treasure off the store's bottom shelf. Thank you, Mr. Sis! Or should I say, thank you whoever was foolish enough to let go of the book in the first place!