Sunday, September 19, 2010
Books of Wonder
When I was a boy I used to love those images and the captions that read something like "Reading makes all things possible" or "Reading opens a world of imagination".
I felt like the child in that poster. I knew well the fascinating journey that reading engendered. The adventures stayed with me when I put the book down too.
My bed became a boat with billowed sail, like Max in Where the Wild Things Are, only if I stepped off my boat I would suddenly become engulfed in hot lava. My poor stuffed turtle, Myrtle (pictured), was sometimes made to test the temperature of the lava by selfishly sacrificing herself for the good of the crew. I usually let her live.
Or I could be a wizard of great power transporting myself to any place in the world with the simple blink of an eye.
I once tried to build a log cabin based on the description by Laura Ingalls Wilder in one of the Little House books. I learned about frontier life from Young Pioneers and times long gone by from Betsy and Billy .
I loved books, still do. The smell of them. The weight. The journey. I loved sitting in the back of my living room surrounded by my family who were watching television and talking while I turned page after page. Or going to the park with my grandpa, sitting under a tree with a book while he flew his homemade kites with my brothers.
All of this was running thorough my mind as I walked to Books of Wonder in NYC this past week. I heard about this popular children's book store but had never ventured over there. It was about time I did!
The store houses an impressive collection of old and rare books, classic picture books, modern picture books, sale items (50% off!) and original artwork (pictured blue horse & red bird from Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Eric Carle).
They host children's book authors and illustrators for readings and many of the books are signed by the author/illustrator.
I became lost in the familiar titles and then lost again as I explored the newest releases. When I was approached by the staff for assistance "Can I help you find anything?", my smile and wide eyes let her know immediately that I had found my little patch of heaven (either that or she thought I was some nut who wandered in off the street).
I walked out wishing that I had allowed myself more time for this visit and with a list of books to recommend to our school librarian. If you find yourself in NYC do yourself a favor and stop by Books of Wonder - they also have a cupcake cafe connected to the store providing an extra enticement.