On The Core Knowledge Blog, Robert Pondiscio cited a newspaper column bemoaning the disappearance of the Little Golden Books and other inexpensive children's fare; that columnist noted that the books are available in some places, mostly online. While I don't agree with the premise—I have seen The Poky Little Puppy, etc., in Walmart, for one—the blog did get me to thinking about affordable books for little ones.
The public library, of course, is the biggest bargain; library cards are free.
Here is a version of what I wrote in the comments at Core Knowledge:
Goodwill and other thrift stores are excellent places to buy
inexpensive books for children, as are library sales. Tag sales and
garage sales are other good places to look, not to mention online
resources like Freecycle lists and Paperback Swap. Almost all libraries
offer free Internet access, so one does not have to own a computer to
have accounts or join email lists.
My local Goodwill sells children’s paperbacks for something like 50
cents. The various Scholastic clubs also offer at least some
inexpensive books in almost every catalogue. (A tip:
just avoid the books that come with the cheap tchotchkes. Breakage=heartbreak.)
Any other ideas? I hope you'll add them in the comments. I'd be happy to make the suggestions into a flyer.
What a lovely lot of trees, don't you think? And it's so special, so heartwarming, so seasonal that they're grown here in the Nutmeg State, too. Ah, smell the scents of evergreens and "O Tanenbaum" wafting through the air. Want to buy one of these beauties?
Perhaps, then, we'd better go with a sunset.
At least it has some color.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Chicken Spaghetti!
Laura Miller, author of The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia, writes an op-ed piece today, which begins,
Every Christmas, I re-read C .S. Lewis’s novel “The Lion, the Witch and
the Wardrobe.” The holiday seems like the ideal time for an excursion
into my imaginative past, and so I return to the paperback boxed set of
“The Chronicles of Narnia” that my parents gave me for Christmas when I
was 10. For me, Narnia is intimately linked with the season.
Meanwhile, 'tis the season here at Chicken Spaghetti of The Best of the Best: Kids' Books '08, a collection of links to many year-end lists. From the Abilene Reporter News's Top Ten Texas reads to the Washington Post's audio-book recommendations, you'll find lots. One terrific new addition is fromGood Comics for Kids, a new School Library Journal blog.
As the third anniversary of Katrina approaches, Susan Larson, books editor at the Times-Picayune, rounds up a long list of new titles that deal with the hurricane in some way. She includes children's books and a number of poetry books, too. I liked Julia Reed's House on First Street (nonfiction) and am on the library's hold list for Tom Piazza's City of Refuge (fiction).
A blog carnival is a roundup of links to posts on a particular topic; in this case, it's children's books. How fun is that?
A round of applause goes to Melissa, Bonny Glen's proprietor, who 1. has a new baby; 2. home-schools her other children; 3. is about to launch a Club Mom blog; 4. writes books (oh, yeah, that little thing); and 5. keeps her blog lively and up-to-date as ever. (Was there Wi-Fi in the hospital?) Take a bow, Melissa!
Previous kid lit carnivals to indulge in are #1 at Here in the Bonny Glen #2 right here at Chicken Spaghetti #3 at Semicolon
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books takes over the town this weekend. With so many choices, I had a hard time deciding which panels to attend (if I could click my heels and magically transport myself to LA, that is), but a few caught my eye. Panels are free, but you have to sign up in advance. Children's activities and many more literary happenings are also on the bill. Go see the whole roster over at the Festival web site.
Saturday, April 29th
2:30 PM - Creating New Worlds: Young Adult Fantasy Writing
Fowler Museum Lenart Auditorium PANEL 1064
Moderator Ms. Denise Hamilton
Ms. Cornelia Funke
Mr. Adam Gopnik
Ms. Margo Lanagan
2:30 PM - Taylor Branch in Conversation with Tavis Smiley
Moore 100 PANEL 1104
Interviewer Mr. Tavis Smiley
Mr. Taylor Branch
Sunday, April 29th
10:00 AM - First Fiction: Finding A Voice
Moore 100 PANEL 2101
Moderator Mr. Mark Rozzo
Ms. Lisa Fugard
Mr. Marlon James
Ms. Laila Lalami [MoorishGirl!]
Ms. Adrienne Sharp
3:00 PM - Fiction: L.A. Lit
Fowler Museum Lenart Auditorium PANEL 2064
Moderator Ms. Janet Fitch
Mr. Chris Abani
Mr. Steve Erickson
Ms. Michelle Huneven [Have you read Jamesland? Very good book.]
Mr. Jim Krusoe
3:00 PM - Sarah Vowell & David Rakoff in Conversation
with Tod Goldberg
Royce Hall PANEL 2053
Interviewer Mr. Tod Goldberg
Mr. David Rakoff
Ms. Sarah Vowell
3:00 PM - Young Minds, Young Eyes: The Picture Book
Young Hall CS 24 PANEL 2084
Moderator Ms. Mary Ellen Walker
Mr. Eric Drachman
Ms. Rachel Victoria Rodriguez
Ms. Paula Yoo
Remember how in college the weekend started on Thursday? Tomorrow will be a blogging holiday at Chicken Spaghetti, so here is the weekend reading a bit early. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, and dive in! Don't worry about the splash...
Enough with the "mommy wars" already, at the Forward
No reading 'til 2nd grade? An emphasis on art and nature? A Waldorf School profiled, in the Newtown (CT) Bee
Caldecott winner The Hello, Goodbye Window elbows Fancy Nancy aside for #1 spot on picture-book list, at Publishers Weekly