The Children’s Book Everyone Should Have

No offense to all the friends and family who gifted us a mountain of cool baby gear, but it was shocking how few books we received. I always thought of books as a classic present – with all the trappings of a great gift: timeless, personal, re-giftable, the gift that keeps on giving, etc. etc. And mostly unique! When the books did start to roll in over the various holidays, I began to worry about the health of the children’s book landscape. We received five gifts of ‘Goodnight Moon’ and re-gifted the lastcroc three copies of ‘Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site‘. ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?‘ I see you in the home of everybody.

Not that I have ever worried about diversity of book options – there are endless fabulous books for kids out there! But I worry about the monoculture of ‘bestsellers’ saturating the few remaining outlets we have for book buying. Leaving the literate starving for variety. I have often witnessed parents scramble to write down the name of a book recommended by another parent with a focus and speed typically not displayed by the sleep deprived. And recently I found myself in the same position where the sight of a few books I have never seen before sent a rush of adrenaline through my spine to quickly devour them. It was as if I’d been fed only hamburgers for weeks and was just seeing my first grilled chicken salad. I needed to own them, and read them to my children tonight!

Of coursethose who frequent their local library may not feel the pinch that the rest of us feel (though if people stop buying books, publishers will stop printing books, and libraries will go the way of bookstores). But for the rest of us, with the bookstore desert that is sweeping our landscape, where do we turn but to each other?

I am launching a call to parents – go to your bookshelves. Find the most tattered, chewed upon, food sticky, well-loved book that your child demands be read over and over again. And post just the title and author on whatever social media outlet you prefer: Facebook, Twitter, spam your email contacts list, text your favorites, call a few friends on your landline, or have a face to face interaction with another human being.  Let’s spread the good word.

The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water‘ by Gemma Merino

By Kathryn Grantham
lead_granthamKathryn has a passion for health and an activist’s fervor for the environment, and a track record of social entrepreneurship. In 1999, at the age of 22, Kathryn founded Bluestockings, an independent social justice-themed bookstore in New York City. In parallel, she was discovering the world of natural health and its connection with the health of our planet, at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She sold the bookstore in 2003, attended Harvard Business School (MBA ’05), and launched Roots Remedies, a locally-sourced herbal products company in 2008. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband and two young sons. 
For more Unique Children’s Book REcommendations from KAthryn, Check out her Mamajamas List Here.

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