You Asked Us. Here Are Our Recommendations!
Thank you to all who responded to our first “Ask a Rep” solicitation! For all of you who missed it, please feel free to comment here, write on our Facebook wall, or send us an e-mail anytime with your burning book or bookstore-related questions. We want to share our knowledge with you! We are answering your first few questions here. If you have more recommendations on the topics below for our readers, please share them in the comment section.
Question 1: What are some recently published books about dogs that young girls would enjoy? (asked by AnneMarie)
We had so many ideas to share with you on this topic! There are tons of wonderful “dog” books to choose from for every age. Here are a few to start with, great for girls or boys!
Dandy and Sarah W. recommend The Fast and the Furriest by Andy Behrens, a great silly dog book that young boys will love, too.
Sarah W. also recommends Bulu: African Wonder Dog by Dick Houston. She says, “This book is Lassie in Africa and I mean that in the most complimentary way. That the story of Bulu is real story makes this book all the more moving. Not only a vivid picture of this independent dog but a great view into life in Zambia.” She also recommends Star in the Forest by Laura Resau, another great choice for middle grade readers.
Sarah N. recommends Rascal: A Dog and his Boy by Ken Wells and Christian Slade, a story of a beagle’s adventures in the Louisiana bayou, which she really enjoyed. She also says, “We have a few beginning chapter books starring dogs, great for newly independent readers: Shampoodle and the Lucy series by Ilene Cooper.”
Erin recommends the following picture books: How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills, Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates, My Big Dog by Janet Stevens (“my kids’ favorite!”), and Good Dog by Maya Gottfried, “a great book pairing haikus about dog breeds with amazing watercolor art.” For early readers, she recommends Dogerella, a silly take on the Cinderella story starring a pug, and for slightly older kids, The Friskative Dog by Susan Straight, a lovely story of a young girl and her stuffed dog.
Question 2: What is one book you wish every child would read? (asked by Bermuda Onion)
This is a tough one for us to narrow down to just one title each! Here are some books that we all loved so much, we want to share with all children.
Deanna recommends Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time.
Lillian recommends Possum Come A-Knockin’ by Nancy Van Laan and George Booth, and says “This was a favorite of my kids when they were little. They loved when I would get animated telling the story…”
Erin (and Lillian agrees!) recommends Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. All of his books are still beloved by children for good reason, but environmental message in The Lorax makes it very timely. And Erin says, “My four-year-old daughter sat patiently through the whole book and then asked some very thought-provoking questions about the content, proving kids are never too young to learn to care for the environment.” She also recommends Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney as a book with the perfect message of how important it is to travel, see the world, and to make it a more beautiful place.
Dandy chose Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt. “No child’s library should be without this. I can still remember my niece making the icky face when she touched the daddy’s scratchy face page.”
Kate recommends The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by The Provensens: “A lovely and gentle going to sleep book and a simple introduction to color.”
Nic recommends the entire His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman as classic reads for all kids.
Sarah N. says “Every child should read at least one Nancy Drew book. It’s the series made me fall in love with books (I hated reading and struggled in elementary school before I found Nancy).”
Question 3: What are your recommendations for great bookstores to visit while traveling? (asked by Jennifer Rayment)
We regularly visit the most charming, unusual bookstores in our weekly travels. Here are a few recommendations for vacation spots or touristy areas. If you have a specific city you would like to ask us about, please share it in the comments and we’ll let you know what is nearby!
Sarah W. recommends Sister Wolf Books, a seasonal independent book store in Dorset, Minnesota. This is a wonderful summer-only store in a vacation spot, and Cannon Beach Book Company, in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Though open year round they thrive during the summer when their town is flooded with tourists going to the beach.
Deanna recommends three Pacific Northwest gems, Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island, Washington, Darvill’s Bookstore on Orcas Island, also in Washington, and the inimitable Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, a can’t miss for anyone who travels to Oregon and recently featured on “Portlandia.”
Dandy also loves Powell’s, and says, “I don’t think a visit to Portland is complete until you get lost at Powell’s!” She also recommends Book Passage in the San Francisco Ferry Building- a great place for foodies to visit.
Kate recommends two stores on the other coast: Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts – “One of the best bookstores in New England and a bonus is that it’s on one of the most beautiful islands in the Northeast. Huge selection of children’s books, but something for every member of the family. A quick walk from the ferry landing, and you can get lost in the bookstore for an afternoon; and Sherman’s Books which has four locations on the Maine Coast – Boothbay Harbor, Freeport, Camden & Bar Harbor. These are stores with everything from candles to toys and local souvenirs but best of all LOTS of BOOKS.”
Nic recommends two in the Washington, D.C./Virginia area, the well-known Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. and Toymaker of Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, a store full of “classic toys and unusual playthings.”
Sarah N. recommends three great Florida beach stores, “Books and Books, an iconic bookstore with a few locations in Florida: Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Bal Harbor Shops. They also have a store on Grand Cayman Island! The Vero Beach Book Center is a perfectly pink building located just minutes from the ocean in Vero Beach, Florida. The children’s store has its own separate building and it’s enormous! Classic Bookshop in Palm Beach, Florida is small and cozy and you just may bump into a famous author while you’re there (I have!).”
And finally, if you are out in California, Erin recommends Bay Books in Coronado, California, within walking distance from the legendary Hotel Del Coronado. This store has great staff recommendations and a very enthusiastic children’s book buyer who loves to recommend her favorites to kids. She also loves Book Soup in West Hollywood, on the Sunset Strip, and says, “No vacation to Los Angeles is complete without a trip to this unusual, edgy store right in the heart of Hollywood. You are guaranteed to see a celebrity there, often filming right in the store!”