Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Books, books, books!

If you've visited our store in the past few months, you may have noticed we've been growing our inventory to include stock aimed at older children, we're not just a 'baby' store anymore.  As part of that effort, we've been growing our selection of books beyond board books and puppet books.  As someone who enjoys a good book more than anything else, I think reading is a valuable pastime for everyone, big and small.  It's a great way to improve your comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar skills, and it's a wonderful escape from real life.  

As much as I enjoy reading books for my own pleasure, reading to our children when they were younger is something I'll always look back on with fondness.  Reading at bedtime was a great way to wind down at the end of the day, and it was part of our nightly routine.  Aside from providing entertainment, children can benefit from the message some books can offer.  Towards that end, we've stocked three new titles that emphasize gratitude, kindness, and sharing.  Given current world events, I think these messages are especially important right now.

The Invisible Boy

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

This gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish.

Last Stop on Market Street

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

Those Shoes

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for "want," just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants. 

These books are a great way to open the door to conversations about the themes they present.  And those conversations, in turn, can serve as a great reminder that as uncertain as things may feel right now, the vast majority of people are kind and caring, and everything will be alright.