Nothing I love more than a browse in a bookshop for a gift. The gift I was choosing today was for a three year old, and the venue was one of my favourite local bookstores, Berkelouw Books. As I browsed I thought what a great blog this would make. So today my blog is about my shopping experience.
I buy books in many different places, for many different reasons. Berkelouw is my go to shop for gift books because they they do not limit their selection to books from wholesale providers, in fact they have often found a hard to find book for me and brought it in. They believe in old fashion service.
This means they are not the cheapest place to buy books, but I would rate them the best place to buy books nearby.
My books search
The Cover – Circle by Marc Barnett and John Klassen
I am a cover person. Especially when shopping for a picture book, I make my initial decision on whether to not to even pick a book up by the cover. When faced with the selection in the picture, my first choice was Circle by Marc Barnett and John Klassen.
The book did not disappoint either. A great story about friendship, fears and tolerance. I loved both the story and the illustrations. But I did not buy it.
Oh, if the book were for me, then it would be in my collection, but the book was for a three year old for a present, and I think perhaps this book is one children would need to choose for themselves. I cannot see a lot of excitement coming from opening it as a gift.
So I continued my search.
Titles – The Magic Bookshop by Natalie Jane Prior and Cheryl Orsini
An interesting title can also induce me to pick up a book, and I was drawn to The Magic Bookshop by Natalie Jane Prior and Cheryl Orsini. Why, simply because it had two of my favourite things in the title – magic and bookshop.
Beautifiully illustrated, this story really drew me in. I mean the idea of a child spending an afternoon in their grandfather’s bookshop able to read anything they choose. I was sold.
I reluctantly replaced the book after reading only the first two pages. Too many words for a three year old. I really enjoyed what I read of the story line, but I could not imagine a three year old interested in it. This one is perhaps targeted at older children.
A Good Old Learning Book – P is for Pterodactyl The Worst Alphabet Book Ever
Learning books are great. Raj Halder and Chris Carpenter have written a great books poking fun at the oddities of the English language. I mean C is for Czar and K is for Knight.
The illustrations by Maria Tina Beddia are beautifully done, and this book was a joy to read.
I nearly had my wallet out, a funny book is always a winner, but I stopped. For a 3 year old learning the sounds of the letters of the alphabet in their journey towards reading is hard enough, perhaps this book is better suited once they have learnt that lesson.
A Book for a Laugh – A Stack of Alpacas by Matt Cosgrove
I know I like to find different books for people to read, but when you are buying present for someone you want them to be excited when they open the gift, and you want them to love it afterwards.
Some of the books I have reviewed, especially by independent authors, would have fitted the bill, but I was not organised enough to buy these books online.
In the end I went a Matt Cosgrove book. His love of Alpacas continues with a A Stack of Alpacas, and we have a chance to see Uncle Macca look after some young alpacas with hilarious results.
Written in rhyme, there is lots of mayhem and fun for children to love, it is beautifully illustrations, and in my mind, the perfect book to gift to a three year old.
I have not included any links to buy the books I reviewed this week, an dI have no affiliation to Berkelouw books. Odd, I know, as I do need to fund the page. The reason this blog stands alone is because I would like to encourage you all to spend some time looking round bookstores near you to find something new and different to read yourself, our purchase for someone else.
It can be a fun way to spend a quick half an hour, or even longer. If you are worried you might end up spending too much money, one of the reasons why I do not do it too often, then move the activity to your local library. But you do not have to actually spend anything, just go, have a look, it might surprise you how much fun you can have.