My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn’t believe this access to knowledge we have here in America. They couldn’t believe that it was free. – Kirk Douglas
My Father read to me a book when I was a little girl called Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg. Every night he’d read to us another story from the red book and little did he know that these stories would shape my whole world.
And so if you are going to the Rootabaga country you will know when you get there because the railroad tracks change from straight to zigzag, the pigs have bibs on and it is the fathers and mothers who fix it.
And if you start to go to that country remember first you must sell everything you have, pigs, pastures, pepper pickers, pitchforks, put the spot cash money in a ragbag and go to the railroad station and ask the ticket agent for a long slick yellow leather slab ticket with a blue spanch across it.
And you mustn’t be surprised if the ticket agent wipes sleep from his eyes and asks, “So far? So early? So soon?” – Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg
If your parents read to you as a child then you remember, you remember the stories as vividly as your own memories. The world of Willy Wonka, Peter Rabbit and The Wizard of Oz are as alive as the world you remembered around you. It is something fantastical that parents give to their children, all the while placing the seed of reading deep into their hearts.
… the little boy with his stick and stone castle put his finger to his lips. “Sssshhhh”, he said to the little girl in the blue dress drinking sugared sun tea on the pale porch. and she watched him as he made an imaginary drawbridge to the porch and tip toed across it silently. as he approached he reached out his hand to the little girl in the blue dress and with curiousity unknown to her she took his hand and for the first time in moons and moons and suns and stars, she stepped off of the porch into the unknown, onto the imaginary drawbridge with the boy with his stick and stone castle.
as they made their way to the secret secret place, he told her a story about pigs with bibs and the zig zag roads to the rootabaga country. she looked long and hard at the sights that were to be seen, pastures of spirit flowers and rich ripe strawberries, but she did not see the pigs with bibs or the balloon pickers (which carried much fancy to her as she kept little notes in her pockets), but she was joyous none the less to venture far far away past the rail road tracks and forty times beyond with the boy with his stick and stone castle. -Tales by Manda Tippit
Although there are hundreds of e-readers out there and just as many phones with applications. Nothing compares to a worn used book that had seen the love of better days in the hands of child. Nothing compares to the feeling of the pages as they turn one by one by one while counting down the numbers until the last with excited anticipation and sorrow as the story unfolds to it’s last period. A book, a new or well used book is the best gift one could ever give. The eyes of a child light up at the characters and colors and the pensive look upon the brow of a teenager as he or she traces the white and black worded summaries of the new world they’ve yet to discover. And one book, one story, will stay with them all of their life and shape small curious pieces of their minds whether for it’s curiosity, it’s strength and determination or because of it’s loveliness; they will always remember and they will always keep it close to their hearts.
“He knows, it seems, that young people are young no matter how many years they live; that there are children born old and brought up to be full of fear; that a young heart keeps young by a certain measure of fooling as the years go by; that men and women old in years sometimes keep a fresh child heart and, to the last, salute the dawn and the morning with a mixture of reverence and laughter.” – Carl Sandburg
This is why I love My Childs Bookshelf. It is an online store created with that old Hometown feel, the Owners are delightfully pleasant to speak to, always kind and considerate as if you had just walked into their front door (that I imagine has a little tinkling bell) and there they are behind the counter waiting with a smile to be helpful and guide you towards some adventure or another. Their books are new and used, they even accept trade-ins as Hometown bookstores often do. So if you have good condition books and want to turn them in for credit for other books they aren’t opposed to such things.
Their books are shipped quickly, in very great condition and packaged well. Every time I had gone to their shop there were always books that my children would love. One of the books we had gotten, “I’m Not Scared” is now embedded into our Nighttime routine for all time. Every night we read about Baby Owl and how he isn’t afraid of the Dark (even though he is) and that it’s his little stuffed animal Owley. It’s adorable and my 3 year old loves it with all his heart. My eldest, who is 13, grasped onto The Hunger Games and it’s series and didn’t let go for a long time. The boy who can’t ever get his head away from a T.V. screen, due to games and movies, stopped for weeks when the books arrived from My Childs Bookshelf and read until there weren’t any others left. This was a secret gift to me.
If you want to give a gift that will last forever, give your children a story. It may not be as shiny on the outside, it may not make a lot of noise or have the extravagant price tag; but it will outlast anything you could purchase this Holiday because stories stay. They linger in our minds and grasp hold of our memories with dear affection. The gratitude from the gift of a story is not the many thanks because it was the most desired and hottest item out there, it is the knowing that from it there was gained a new adventure, a new journey and sometimes even a new hope.
“She has a gift. It is her eyes. They are so blue, such a clear light blue, the same as cornflowers with blue raindrops shining and dancing on silver leaves after a sun shower in any of the summer months.” – Rootabaga Stories – Carl Sandburg
You can purchase many books in their store and/or you can contact them about helping out by sending good/great quality books for children.
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I did not receive books for the purpose of reviewing. I had purchased mine with credit. Opinions are my own and/or my families and are not influenced by any form of compensation.