Johanna van der Sterre, children's book illustrator and Mama Goose customer

You know how sometimes kids tell you what they want to be when they grow up, and then they name something so clearly out of reach that you just want to gently pat their hands and say, “Oh, honey, let’s maybe think about a back up plan.”  Or maybe you don’t react like that —- maybe I’m just naturally a pessimistic crusher of dreams, but that’s how I respond whenever a kid wants to be a professional basketball player, or a ballerina, or a rapper.  Until recently, children’s book illustrator was on that list too — the kind of job that some people somewhere get to do, but nobody you actually know, so it doesn’t seem like a realistic option.

Johanna van der Sterre, real live children’s book illustrator, has changed that for me.  Johanna went from a kid who liked to draw to a student of fine art to a grown-up honest-t0-goodness published children’s book illustrator.  Her work includes Mendel’s Accordion by Heidi Smith Hyde, The First Christmas Present by Marilyn Sommerer, Fievel’s Flying Horses by Heidi Smith Hyde, and, most recently, Why Do I Have to Make My Bed? by Wade Bradford (due to be released next month!)  When she’s not working on a book, Johanna spends time with her husband and two children, and fits in some shopping at Mama Goose whenever she can!

Johanna’s illustrations are whimsical and engaging — grown-up art for a child-friendly environment, and are currently on display as framed prints for sale in the back hallway Goose Gallery.  If you’re interested in purchasing one of Johanna’s original pieces,visit her Etsy shop. Check out some of her illustrations below, and then stop by the Goose to see our entire selection.  (Look for “The Goddess” — it’s my favorite.)

"Little Flower"

From "Fievel's Flying Horses"

From "Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?"

-Meryl at the Goose


The Cloth Diapering Section

I’m feeling festive these days. I have a five year old who has been preparing for his annual train-trip-and-grandparent-extravaganza since the first day I said it was too cold to swim. I’m also a self-identified gear junky, so the opportunity to talk shop with a bunch of new mamas really gets me going.

Sunday, December 6 at 3:30pm I will be co-hosting the Cloth Diapering and Babywearing Workshop at Mama Goose, and there’s a lot on the agenda. I will be joined by diaper guru and carrier connoisseur Sandra Sorenson, mama of five (Need I say more?), and Rebecca Schillenbac, the owner of Diaper Duty diaper service for an afternoon of fun, food and invaluable information.

Mama Marsh Locally made All-in-Ones

Been surfing the web or flipping through the pages of Mothering Magazine lately? Then you’re probably a bit befuddled about the number of diapering options out there. We’ll help you narrow it down to the four basic varieties of cloth diapers

  • prefolds/DSQ
  • fitteds
  • pockets
  • all-in-ones (AIOs)

and cover the pros and cons of each. Are you interested in cloth diapering because you want to save money? Concerned about the environment? Think it’s better for baby? Come demo a diverse line of diaper products to figure out which one will be best for your family.

We’ll also spend some time demystifying baby carriers. The focus will be on the Ergo baby carrier and Ithaca-made Cuddlebunny Slings. Front, back and side carries, adaptations for twins or two children – bring on your questions,  bring on your special circumstances! We love a challenge! And, if you have another style carrier at home, bring it along as well! Chances are we’ve worn it, sold it, made it, or demo-ed it before and we’d love to help make it work for you.

Register for the workshop by swinging by or calling Mama Goose (607.269.0600) and letting us know you’ll be there. The sooner we know you’re coming, the sooner we can make sure there will be enough cookies for you. And did I say it was free? I meant to. Free. Cookies. Advice. Information. The Goose.

-Gina from The Goose

The Geese Visit Wild Apples

October 15, 2009

On a windy October day in Central NY, 2 Geese from Mama Goose followed the Art Trail up the West side of Cayuga Lake to visit Wild Apples, the studio of master crafter, Gunther Keil.

We love Gunther’s wooden toys, and we know you will too! Mama Goose sells most of his toys, including pull toys, banks, puzzles, play sets and the ever-popular “opportunity bags”.  We just put in a big order for the upcoming holiday season which Gunther should be delivering to the store any day. Wild Apples is on the Ithaca Art Trail and participated in Open Studio Weekend this past weekend. If you missed it, his studio is open all year round by appointment.

Bunny pull toy

Bunny pull toy

Dragon pull toy

Dragon pull toy

-The Geese From The Goose