~post by BookPeople’s Children’s Book Buyer, Meghan G.
I am thrilled to announce the launch of BookPeople’s Modern First Library initiative. Under the banner of this program, we will be featuring a broad range of books, new and old, that we think belong on the shelves of the very youngest readers.
BookPeople is committed to helping all kids find books that broaden their idea of what’s possible, provide fresh perspectives, and open windows to new experiences: all the things that great children’s books always do. And because we live in the vibrant, global society of the 21st century, our book suggestions have been purposefully designed to reflect the diversity of that experience. After all, a child’s first library offers his or her first glimpses of the world outside the family’s immediate sphere, and we think that view needs to reflect a reality that’s broad, inclusive, and complex, just like the world we all live in.
Build Your Modern First Library
To make things easy and to showcase some of the books we really love, I have put together some fun first library starter sets that make perfect gifts for baby showers, holidays, or special occasions. These are absolutely not designed to be some kind of static canon of must-have titles. Instead, I intend for our starter kits to be fluid and changeable, offering any number of accessible entryways into the world of great books.
Pairing beloved picture books that will never go out of style with a selection of other favorites that reflect a multicultural worldview, these starter kits will be available as gift packages in-store (so check out our display in the picture book room). You can also take a look at a smaller selection of recommended titles on our website. Feel free to snap up one of these sets or mix and match your own favorite titles to put together a starter kit that speaks to you!
As you may know, there is an impassioned discussion ongoing in the children’s book world about the importance of diversity in the books children read, and the under-publication of books to fill this need. In fact, this whole program developed out of a brainstorming session with Austin author Chris Barton about how bookstores and authors could partner to help parents and readers find some of the wonderful books out there that celebrate kids and families from all kinds of backgrounds.
As part of that collaboration, we have invited a number of authors and illustrators from Austin to submit their suggestions for our Modern First Library and to help us expand the dialogue about this program here on our blog through the month of July. And we’re following it up with a series of special posts through August from authors and illustrators from around the country. So stay tuned for some great discussion. And, as always, let us know what you think in the comments!
Here’s To A Dynamic, Vibrant Life of Reading
For me as a parent, with a toddler at home and a baby due this Fall, championing books for young readers that embrace kids and families of all shapes and sizes has never felt more personal — especially as the importance of our childrens’ first books becomes ever more clear.
So here’s to starting our young readers off right with dynamic first libraries that simultaneously introduce them to the vibrant world they are a part of and inspire them to embrace a lifetime love of reading.