Jayashree Anderson (she/her)
Gift & Toy Buyer
Coordinator for Bookshop in a Box, Consignments, and Merchandising
Jaya joined Red Balloon after moving to the Twin Cities from Florida in October 2018. She has been a bookseller since 2005, and strongly believes in the magic they provide the community. An avid reader since childhood, Jaya loves to read and can often be found with a book in hand. When not working at Red Balloon, she is probably painting, writing her own novels, reading the latest fantasy, or going to concerts with her husband, Jeff.
Jaya's favorite picture books tend to be funny and fun to read aloud. She enjoys reading YA and Adult books that have magical or fantasical elements, high and traditional fantasy, or scifi with heart. And, every once in a while she'll grab a romcom when the world feels a little too rough.
A Few Favorites:
Bruce can sometimes be a little grumpy about things, especially holidays. But his friends have an idea to make him like Halloween—they decide to tell him the tall of "The Legend of Soggy Hollow." Needless to say, Bruce is grumpy about this, and, at one point, possibly runs away. Funny and charming as always, this new Bruce story is a great read-aloud for the whole family.
I just adore Oona's stories, and this new one is just as delightful! Oona in the Arctic is beautifully illustrated and full of adventure. Oona and Otto help a baby beluga whale find her way back home with the assistance of many arctic animals. A fun read-aloud, this book is perfect for families looking for excellent visuals and narrative storytelling!
Sejal Sinha is a girl after my own heart - she thinks science is cool, she's got a cheetah best friend, and she believes in cardboard box magic. This is a delightful read for the whole family about believing in yourself and your own imagination. Full of South Asian references and scientific facts! I'm very excited for this series!
A gorgeous book! A combination of illustrations and text, Brian Selznick weaves a beautiful story. If you enjoyed the film, Hugo, I recommend getting this to share with the whole family.
The first book of my favorite fantasy series, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Each book features a new chracter, and this one is Cimorene's - she's a princess who's bored, so she convinces a dragon to let her be their assistant. Full of adventure and magic! A great alternative to more well known series.
How does one describe such a powerful book...I hope a generation of botanists emerge from reading this beautifully illustrated story about two sycamore seedlings. It's a story about hope, and siblings, and taking a journey on your own. Such a delightful dive into the natural world, and a great read for the whole family!
The perfect Cinderella retelling! Creative and adventurous, I've reread this fun story many times. Full of great characters and magical beings.
This squad of misfits is trying to save the universe. Alternating POV's, and full of space excitement. Perfect for fans of Star Wars and Firefly.
So WONDERFUL!! Might be my fav read this year... Made my heart swell and swoon! I loved these characters, and related to the MC so much! I need a sequel please! Great writing!
I absolutely loved this! A delightful contemporary YA with a dash of magic, a heap of friendship, and a sprinkle of romance. Sweet and fun while being emotional and vulnerable, the story is fantastic! And, wonderful characters! The perfect Summer read for anyone ages 12 .
What a beautifully written book! Rachel Griffin has become one of my favorite authors. She writes wonderfully, her characters are well developed, the setting is incredible, and each book touches on environmental issues. Plus, the romances are such epic slow burns! I definitely recommend this book, and her others, to anyone who likes contemporary settings with touches of magic and romance.
What a fun fantasy adventure! Wren and Rose are twins separated at birth and raised very differently, one as a princess and one as a witch. They're both trying to find out what happened to their parents, and eventually have to work together. I had such a great time reading this book - great characters, palace intrigue, and awesome witches.
An incredible debut! Loved this story about sisters and magic, and finding yourself! The alternating timelines kept the story moving, and the magic was quite interesting. Can't wait to see what Vanessa Montalban writes next!
Such a delightful romance! I loved every page. The characters are great, complex and real. The setting is fantastic, who doesn't want to go to Paris and Edinburgh? And, the steam is A ! Love seeing diverse characters in a Regency setting. Love the marriage of convenience, and the fact that they can't help themselves by falling in love. Just so wonderful!
A beautiful, feminist story about an empress and her rise to power. Quick, but powerful read. Calm and lyrical yet haunting and emotional.
A survival romance set in Antarctica, it's pure fun - grumpy/sunshine couple (he's a glaciologist, she's a cook), forced proximity (one tent, one sleeping bag), and a global mystery while being chased across the coldest place on earth. I enjoyed reading it this winter, and really loved these two characters.
A delightful romance with some serious Ted Lasso vibes (and I couldn't be happier)! Great characters, amazing setting, and kids playing soccer, what more could you want? And, probably the most epic slow burn I have ever read! So good!