Saturday, December 27, 2008

How to write a book by your favorite author in ten steps or less

I love it when I read a great book and then find another book by the same author with a similar plot. Sometimes I get so familiar with an author that I can predict the plot of a book before I open it.

Here's an example:

Basic Harry Potter Plot Summary

  1. Harry is at the Dursleys for the summer and he’s miserable.
  2. An event happens before Harry gets to school. After it’s over, Harry visits Diagon Alley (or Mrs. Weasley visits it for him) and takes the train to Hogwarts.
  3. Harry arrives at Hogwarts and finds out who the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is (who is always someone Harry’s met before school started).
  4. Harry gets a lot of homework and Quidditch practice and games happen.
  5. Major events occur on Halloween and/or Christmas.
  6. Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to solve a mystery.
  7. Harry and friends study for exams. In the afternoon after the last exam, the answer to the mystery is suddenly discovered.
  8. The climax of the book occurs and something terrible or miraculous happens. Harry meets Voldemort and narrowly avoids death. The climax lasts all evening and takes up several chapters of the book. At the end of it, Harry ends up in the hospital wing.
  9. Dumbledore explains it all.
  10. Harry deep in thought about whatever happened during the climax, takes the train home and dreads another summer with the Dursleys.

Of course, there are deviations to this structure in various books. Harry doesn’t take the train to Hogwarts in Chamber of Secrets, he doesn’t meet Voldemort in Prisoner of Azkaban (although Voldemort is discussed during the climax), he doesn’t play Quidditch in Goblet of Fire, etc. But basically, if you think about it, the events listed above happen in Books One through Six.

**Begin spoiler alert. Don’t read the comment below unless you’ve read the Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows.**

One of the things I love in Book Seven is that Dumbledore STILL explains it all. He doesn’t let a minor thing like death stand in his way of summing up the entire plot and explaining every mystery that’s happened during the book.

**End spoiler alert**

Stock plot summaries can work for lots of books. Take a look at this one:

Basic Amelia Bedelia Plot Summary

It only takes five steps.

  1. Mrs. Rogers gives Amelia Bedelia a list of things to do and then leaves the house.
  2. Amelia Bedelia bakes a pie before she starts working on the list.
  3. Amelia Bedelia does every item on the list and takes each task literally.
  4. Mrs. Rogers comes home to find that the house is a big mess and that Amelia Bedelia hasn’t done anything correctly.
  5. Amelia Bedelia’s pie makes everything better again.

This always makes me wonder. Hasn’t Mrs. Rogers figured out by now that Amelia Bedelia is an incompetent maid? Why doesn’t she hire someone else? Amelia Bedelia can open a bakery and contract on the side with Mrs. Rogers to bake pies.

And it's not always plot devices. Some authors seem to have lists of characters that often appear in their books. Here are several reoccurring characters from one of my favorite authors:

L.M. Montgomery's Stock Characters

For those of you who have just read Anne of Green Gables series, believe me, these characters surface in nearly every other L.M. Montgomery book.

Primary characters

  • A female ingénue who is deeply in love with the house she lives in. She often has a teaching degree and sometimes a college degree (unusual for the time period). She has a creative imagination and writes stories and sells them to magazines for a small profit. She is usually (but not always) an orphan. The story is always told for her point of view.
  • A handsome, perfect male who grew up with the female ingénue. He crosses signals with her multiple times and moves away (a letter is usually lost or destroyed.) But he always manages to come back three pages from the end of the book at the perfect moment and declare his undying love.
  • An older female who takes care of the ingénue in a strict and no-nonsense way. She is usually not the ingénue's mother.
  • An older man who falls in love with the ingénue. He proposes and is engaged to the ingénue, but she only sees him as a friend and she eventually breaks the engagement. (Not in the Anne books, but in many others).

Secondary characters (optional, but usually included)

  • A wonderful housekeeper that the family couldn’t live without who has a mother that occasionally gets ill.
  • A gossipy female neighbor who does beautiful needlework and feels there's a enormous difference between Presbyterians and Methodists. (Presbyterians are always favored.)
  • A female friend who's had a rough life and only opens up to the ingénue.
  • A female friend or sister that dithers for years over which of two identical men she should marry, and then falls in love with a third man and marries him immediately.
  • A rich, crotchety elderly woman who dies and leaves her fortune to the ingénue.
  • Small children who have big imaginations and provide amusing stories about adventures and local people. (The stories are typically the same from book to book.)
  • A town doctor who makes house calls. (In the Anne books, he’s a primary character).
  • A town minister.


  • A farm on Prince Edward Island near a small town, where everybody’s primary occupation seems to be keeping track of the entire life histories of everyone else.

There are a few obvious exceptions. The Blue Castle is the only book that is not set on Prince Edward Island. And the male hero and the ingenue are together and happy for half the book and not just the last three pages. And Kilmeny of the Orchard is an exception because it's told from the man's point of view, not the woman's.


I love these kinds of books when they're written by a favorite author. Sometimes it's great to find many variations on the same theme. And just because stock characters or basic plot points are used, doesn't mean the books aren't original and delightful.

Also, it makes me intrigued about an author's life and when I see obvious patterns, I like to research them. A lot of it tends to be based in fact as authors frequently write what they know.

Compare the stock characters to L.M. Montgomery's actual life. Her mother died shortly after she was born and she was raised by farm on Prince Edward Island by her grandparents. She had both a teaching license and a college degree. She fell in love with the perfect boy- someone she had grown up with (her cousin) but didn't marry him and married an older man who was a Presbyterian minister instead.

Unfortunately, though, I'll never get to read a Harry Potter book again for the first time. And after a trip to Prince Edward Island and a careful search through tons of used bookstores there, I think I've exhausted all the new-to-me L.M. Montgomery books. But, by knowing the formula, I can also appreciate departures from it. I love Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Blue Castle, precisely because they break the mold.

And sometimes, only one book really rises to the top. I liked The DaVinci Code and read other books by Dan Brown. I was disappointed that not only were they all the same, but The Da Vinci Code (which still had flaws) was the best.

A Plea

If you found this post by googling "Anne of Green Gables characters" or "Harry Potter plot summary," please don't use what I've written above for any kind of informational purposes. They're just generalizations, and I hope that you read the books discussed above if you haven't before. Despite what I said, each one truly is unique and I've enjoyed every one. (Some more than others, of course).

Your Turn

How about you? Is there an author whose plot summary, typical setting and stock characters you know even before you start reading one of their books? Post it below. If you chose to write your own post about it, I'd love to see it and please include the link in the comments.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Which children's book author would you like to meet?

In the past few weeks I've gotten a change to hang out with Emily Gravett and Jennifer Holm, two of my favorite children's book authors. Stay tuned for details... including how long it took to write and illustrate Orange Pear Apple Bear and the name of the newest (and yet to be published) Babymouse book.

This got me to thinking. Due to a lucky combination of working in book stores, attending conferences, being active in the Kidlitopshere, and founding a book club, I've had the chance to meet many amazing authors and illustrators in the last few years. And, I hope to meet many, many more.

This leads me to ask a few questions.

1. Which authors\illustrators have you met or talked to via e-mail? Which experience were the most meaningful to you?

2. Which authors\illustrators would you most want to meet or to e-mail you? (Caveat: they have to be alive, so that it would actually be theoretically possible to meet them or receive e-mail from them).

I have to mull about my answer to Question 1 a little longer.
Question 2 is easy though. J.K. Rowling, of course.

How about you?

Monday, December 8, 2008

An Annoucement/ Plea for Help

I'm delighted to finally be able to share some very exciting news. Starting in mid-January, Jen Robinson, MotherReader and I will be working together on a children's book blog for PBS! Topics will include getting kids interested in reading, early literacy and reviews across a variety of genres.

It's really an amazing opportunity and I'm so honored that PBS wants me to be a part of it. None of it would have been possible without Gina Montefusco from PBS and Jen Robinson who have been the driving forces behind this project.

We're trying to come up a terrific name for the blog. Got any good ideas? Please, please, please send them my way. I'm usually good about this kind of thing, but this time I'm drawing a blank (probably because it's PBS and a lot of people will see it). I know you creative folks out there in the Kidlit world can come up with something perfect.

P.S. This blog isn't going away because I'll be writing for PBS only once a week. And yes, I promise, I'll start updating Wizards Wireless again. Sorry for the long drought.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Beedle the Bard Day!

You've flown your Firebolt to the nearest bookstore.

The owl has tapped on your window.

And now…

you have the Tales of Beedle the Bard in your hot little hands.

You open it, see how big the font size is, and dive right in.

You're finished in less than an hour.

WAIT! Don't do that.

Read slowly. One story at a time. Savor it.

When's the next time you're going to get a chance to read original J.K. Rowling stories set in the Harry Potter world?

Not anytime soon, I can tell you.

After you've enjoyed the book, come back and tell Wizards Wireless what you think.

I'd love to hear your opinions, even if you've only read part of the book.

And be sure to take the new poll on the sidebar.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Easy Halloween costumes for characters from children's books

Looking for a quick and easy Halloween costume you can make yourself? Try these great ideas from fellow bloggers for characters from popular children's books. These ideas work for both kids and adults.

Maureen from Confessions of a Bibliovore suggests:
  • Fern from Charlotte's Web: a farm girl costume
  • Mrs. Whatsit from A Wrinkle in Time: Crazy scarves, hats and skirts.
  • Harry Potter: Graduation gown, round glasses and a mascara scar
Pam from MotherReader suggests:
  • The Cat in the Hat: get a red and white striped hat and a black tail. Wear all black. Cut the "bib" from a white T-shirt/undershirt. Tie a red bow around your neck with cloth. Draw on whiskers.
Andrea from Three Silly Chicks suggests:
  • Pippi Longstocking: Make a wig with red warn and wire.
  • Waldo: Dress in red and white striped clothing and a stocking cap. Go from house to house asking if anybody if they've seen Waldo.
Wendie from Wendie's Wanderings suggests:
  • Professor McGonagall: Use your grad gown. A loooong pretzel makes a good wand. It's great for keeping that feather in the air, too. Additional suggestion from Susan: Add glasses, a witch hat and put your hair in a bun (if possible).
  • Little Red Riding Hood: A red cape and carrying a basket (with a wolf inside it).
  • Wear an orange blouse and put pumpkin eyes, nose, and mouth on the back of it. You could be Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater or The Great Pumpkin.
Stacy from Booktopia suggests:
  • Viola Swamp from Miss Nelson is Missing: Black dress, striped tights, black nails, messy black wig.
From my friend Cate, who always has great suggestions:
  • Knuffle Bunny: Put on bunny ears, a tail and whiskers.
Also, see this post from last year, for some punny Harry Potter Halloween costume ideas that Cate and her husband came up with.

My ideas:
  • The Pigeon from Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: Dress in blue. Draw on a beak. Carry a toy hot dog and a bus.
Do you have any more ideas? I'd love to hear them. Please leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Change of topic

Many people have told me that they think of Wizards Wireless as a bookseller blog.

But, when I first started writing it,

I was a library school student.

Then I became a bookseller.

And now I'm about to start a new job as a children's librarian.

It'll be interesting to see how the blog changes as I change careers.

But, it will still be about what it's always been about:

Children's Books,

Comic Strips,

and Harry Potter.

I want to say

to all my regular readers.

Feel free to drop me a line.

There will be a brief hiatus but I'll


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Books by Mo Willems

I was flipping through the Hyperion 2009 spring children's catalog today and noticed this:
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: Coming January 6, 2009.

It's about a naked mole rat named Wilbur who likes to wear clothes. I saw a sample page in the catalog... it was pure Mo. I'm hoping to get my hands on an advance copy in the near future.

Also, two new Elephant and Piggie books are being published soon.

Are You Ready to Play Outside? Coming October 28, 2008.

Watch Me Throw the Ball!: Coming March 17, 2009.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I'm a big Mo Willems fan. (For a goofy picture of me standing next to Mo, see this post). And I've noticed that I get two kinds of reactions to Mo at the toy/book store where I work. About half the customers are huge fans of Mo, and the other half haven't heard of him.

Why are so many people not aware of him? Because he's so new to the children's book scene.

His first book: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus was published in March, 2003. That was only five years ago. Take a quick look at his complete bibliography, and see what he's published since.

2009 (through March 2009)
Mo loves to use exclamation points! 14 of the books listed above (or nearly 3/4) have exclamation points in the titles!!!

By the spring of 2009, Mo will have published twenty one books. And, he's won five major awards along the way: 3 Caldecott honors, 1 Gesiel, and 1 Carnegie. Plus, the majority of his books are bestsellers. It takes many writers and illustrators a lifetime to do what he's done in five years. And let's not dismiss the six Emmys he won as an animator for Sesame Street.

Pretty unbelievable, isn't it?

Which of his books do you like? See the poll in the sidebar.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's Missing from the Cybils: Early Readers

Have you nominated a book for the Cybils? Hurry up, there's only a few days left. Nominations close on October 15, 2008. Anybody can nominate one book per category.

I've compiled a list of books in the early reader category that are eligible, but haven't been nominated yet. To the best of my knowledge, all the books I've mentioned below are designed for beginning readers, are 64 pages or less and have a publication date between January 1, 2008- October 15, 2008.

There are three exceptions that don't meet the 64 page limit, and if these books aren't eligible for the Cybils, then they should be eligible for the Geisels and the Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award. They are:
All three books are published by Candlewick. Although they have roughly 72-80 pages, Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig and The Twin Giants in particular have appropriate word choices, white space, and liberal use of illustrations throughout the text. I'd definitely consider them early readers. But, we'll leave that up to the judges.

I'm so glad that the early reader category has been established as part of the Cybils (and I'm honored to have been the one to suggest it). I think this genre is extremely important and I've always felt that these kinds of books go unsung. If you click on the Amazon links I've provided below, you'll notice that almost none of these books have been reviewed yet, even though some of them have been published for nine months. After you put in your nomination, drop by Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a quick comment or review.

Last year, while all the Newbery and Caldecott predictions were being posted everywhere... the only books I saw on anybody's Geisel prediction lists were Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books. I love these books, and I'm delighted that There's a Bird on Your Head won the Geisel, and I think it was well deserved. But, Mo Willems just started writing early readers and he's not the only one in the game.

Here's a list of titles that haven't been nominated for a Cybil yet:

Amazing Animal Journeys by Liam O'Donnell

Annie and Snowball and the Teacup Club by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Suçie Stevenson

Ape Adventures by Catherine E. Chambers

Basketball Bats by Betty Hicks, illustrated by Adam McCauley

Family Vacation by Fiona Lock

Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O’Connor

Flood! by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by John Wallace

Goof Off Goalie by Betty Hicks, illustrated by Adam McCauley

Greek Myths by Caryn Jenner

Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia J. Murphy

Just Five More Minutes by Marcy Brown and Dennis Haley, illustrated by Joe Kulka

Let's Play Soccer by Patricia J. Murphy

Lulu's Wild Party by Paula Blankenship, illustrated by Larry Reinhart

Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate Dicamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

The Mozart Question by Micheal Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman

My First Ballet Recital by Amy Junor

Pete's Party by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Gordon, Loren Long and David Shannon

A Pony Named Peanut by Sindy McKay, illustrated by Meredith Johnson

Quack Shack by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Yukiko Kido

Snow Dogs: Racers of the North by Ian Whitelaw

Snow Trucking by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Gordon, Loren Long and David Shannon

The Spy Catcher Gang by John Kelly and Kate Simkins

A Trip to the Theater by Deborah Lock

The Twin Giants by Dick King Smith, illustrated by Mimi Grey

Volcano! by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by John Wallace

Wagon Train Adventure by John Kelly and Kate Simkins

Welcome to China by Caryn Jenner

Wet Pet by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Yukiko Kido

Zoom! Boom! Bully by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Gordon, Loren Long and David Shannon

Click here to nominate in the early reader category.

In addition to this list, another great place to look for ideas is the Mock Geisel blog, created by the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Check out the new poll on the sidebar to see if you've nominated a book in every category.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lawsuits and bookstores, oh my

I thought I'd share a pair of articles from the New York Times.

First, the big news: Harry Potter Author Wins Copyright Ruling

This was an incredibly complicated case, with lots of potential precedents hanging on the verdict. To me, the key sentence in the ruling by Judge Patterson (which isn't in the New York Times article, but which you can find at the Leaky Cauldron) is:

“While the Lexicon, in its current state, is not a fair use of the Harry Potter works, reference works that share the Lexicon’s purpose of aiding readers of literature generally should be encouraged rather than stifled.”

To read the full 68 page decision, see this PDF on the Wall Street Journal's website.

What do you think? Leave a comment or vote in the new poll.

And second: Children's Bookstores, Hanging On
I was surprised with this one. It only briefly mentions the two famous children's bookstores in Manhattan: Books of Wonder and the Bank Street Bookstore... and then focuses on the Scholastic Bookstore. Don't get me wrong, Scholastic's store is fantastic. But, it's owned by a publisher and doesn't feature the variety of publishers that other independent stores do. For some great children's bookstores (and to find one near you), check out the Association of Booksellers for Children.

Also, the article mentions the closing of a famed bookstore in Alexandria in 2007, (A Likely Story) but does not mention the fact that a new children's bookstore reopened in the same location in 2008 under new management as Hooray for Books!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Travel and activity books

Since I work as a children's book buyer at an independent store, you might logically assume that I buy board books, picture books, novels, and non-fiction. I do, of course, but I also buy sticker books, coloring books, hidden picture books, dot-to-dots, mazes, word searches, puzzles, cloth books, audio books, book and CD sets, calendars, workbooks and handwriting books.

I thought I'd share some of the gems I've found in these categories. They're the kind of books that rarely get reviewed, but that lots of customers ask for.

Need a really simple dot to dot book? Try Buki's great, compact activity books. They're terrific for kids ages 3 and up who are learning how to do dot to dots. They come in a lot of varieties and shades of complexities and fit easily into a backpack, purse or diaper bag.
On the other end of the spectrum, anyone who thinks they're too old for dot-to-dots should try the amazing puzzle books published by Monkeying Around. The books are accurately titled The Greatest Dot to Dot Books in the World. Each puzzle contain a variety of symbols and directions and there's no way to tell what the object is before you complete it. Younger kids might want to stick to volumes 1-3 or the Greatest Newspaper Dot to Dots. Older kids and adults should try Volumes 4-6.

My favorite one of all is The Greatest Dot to Dot Super Challenge: Book 6, which has many as a thousand dots per puzzle. I've been having so much fun doing the puzzles, each of which is incredibly creative and inventive. Some puzzles are made up entirely of symbols, or words, or compass points. Check out their free sample pages for a small taste of what I'm talking about. The puzzles in Book 6 are much more elaborate and challenging than the samples. These books are fabulous for traveling or relaxing. I'd also recommend them for someone who's sick or in the hospital and looking for something fun to do.

Looking for unique coloring books? Check out Mindware, which carries a variety of fun and creative options. Some of my favorites include Microdesigns, Threads (intriguing quilt patterns to color), Animal Habitats, and Modern Patterns (where you can color molecules!)

In a similar vein, I also like Sterling's series of Kids' Mandalas. They're a little easier and a little less complicated than the Mindware books, and I find them soothing and a lot of fun to color.

Lots of kids enjoy finding hidden pictures, but I've found that the Where's Waldo and I Spy books can sometimes be too intense and complicated for the under 5 crowd. Looking for something a little easier? I highly recommend Usborne's 1001 Things to Spot series.

The objects are (relatively) easy to find and are identified by both number and picture. That means that a child doesn't have to be able to read to use these books. I've found them to be great books for traveling or going to restaurants. My son also enjoys reading a page a night as part of his bedtime stories.

Got any other recommendations? I'm always on the look out for creative, imagining and challenging activity books.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For Better or For Worse: Stop!

In today's strip, what made Elizabeth stop the limousine on the way to her wedding?

Did she see her Uncle Phil leave the hospital?

(Did Warren's helicopter just land?)

It looks like Elizabeth is going to figure out by herself what's going on with Grandpa Jim. I like that.

Based on Thursday's strip, I see I was completely wrong about this one. Yes, obviously, I knew that in Wednesday's strip Liz was yelling at the kids to stop because they were driving her nuts. But, there was such an intensity in her expression (beyond even wedding day jitters), that I thought the "Stop!" was more than just a punchline and was a set-up for the next day's strip. Plus, Tuesday's strip had been about Uncle Phil leaving the hospital. So I thought it was likely that they passed the hospital on the way to the wedding and Liz was going to figure out what was going on with her grandfather.

Ah, well.

Monday, August 18, 2008

For Better or For Worse: Grandpa Jim

Please forgive the lack of posting I've been doing as I finish up graduate school (only 3 more days left!) But I wanted to take a quick break from working on finals to ask what everyone thinks about the latest development in For Better or For Worse.

Quick update if you haven't been following it lately. The current storyline is ending on August 31st (see this article for more details). We're in the middle of Elizabeth and Anthony's wedding, which was moved up so that Grandpa Jim would be alive to see it. And then, on Saturday, August 16, here's the strip that ran.

So, what do you think? Is he going to make it? Are they going to move the wedding to the hospital? Will Liz be told about what's going on before or after the wedding? Is Grandpa Jim still going to be with us when the current timeline ends on August 31st? Leave a comment or vote in the new poll (or do both.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bookstore Profile: BookHampton

I'm proud to feature a guest post about the BookHampton bookstores in New York. Thanks so much to Rocco Staino for his in-depth post about this group of independent bookstores and the unique personality of each one. I'll have to plan a trip to the Hamptons to check out these terrific stores. Without further ado, here is Rocco's post (accompanied by the wonderful pictures he took).

I would like to thank Wizards Wireless for this opportunity to blog about some of my favorite children departments in independent bookstores. With the advent of the major book chain stores it is becoming more difficult to find those independent bookstores each with their own character. Therefore, when I come upon such a store I can not help myself but to go in.

Each summer I spend sometime in Watermill, New York but most people just call it “the Hamptons.” According to Wikipedia, “the Hamptons are a well known playground for the rich who own summer homes there as well as a seaside resort frequented by the middle class residents of New York City during the summer months for weekend getaways.” I am neither rich nor own a summer house there but I do enjoy the beach and the cultural offerings of the area.

While traveling through the Hamptons, I always make sure I stop in at BookHampton. It is an independent bookstore with four locations: South Hampton, Sag Harbor, East Hampton and Amagansett. I recently made the effort to stop at each location and gave their children’s department a close look. Each store is distinctly different reflecting the community in which it is located.

South Hampton
The South Hampton store has a distinct room at the rear of the store inviting children into KidsHampton.The warm space offers much opportunity to browse the selection which is large and varied. The young adult offerings are also extensive and definitely supplies the latest of all the popular series. I would say of all the stores the children collection is definitely the most extensive.

This, according to BookHampton owner, Charline Spektor, is due to the longtime store manager, Jane Cochran.

Sag Harbor

The Village of Sag Harbor, an old whaling town, has a more New England feel to it. This is carried over into the BookHampton located there.

When I visited on a sunny July afternoon, I found a dad with his son nestled in a warm leather chair reading together. In addition there was a thirteen year old boy checking out the collection. Although the area is not as large as South Hampton the area does have a cozier feel.

East Hampton

The Village of East Hampton is most decidedly the most posh of the Hampton with retailers, such as Tiffany & Company, Ralph Lauren and Gucci lining the Main Street.

Well, I guess, most people are spending most of their time in those stores rather than buying children’s books. Out of the four BookHamptons, East Hampton had the least inviting area and selection for children. This may be because a short drive from East Hampton is the newest and cutest BookHampton located on the green in the Village of Amagansett.


Spektor gushed about the store that “was designed with children in mind. There is a lovely space facing out into the green, filled with windows and natural light, and we've built in wide cushioned window seats, perfect for children and grandparents!”

Each Saturday, there is a puppet show on the green and there is a story time at the store preceding the show.

Spektor added that “Of course it is the selection of children's books that makes a store great, and BookHampton has a wonderful mix of classics and what we believe are soon-to-be-classics.” I found this to be true in all the stores. They have displays of well loved titles along side of such celebrity titles as Bernadette Peters’ new children’s book, Broadway Barks or pop-up books by Robert Sabuda or the new odd shaped and visually appealing interactive book, Pyramids and Mummies, by Anne Bolton.

If you happen to be on the east end of Long Island take a detour from the beach or people watching to checkout any or all of the BookHampton locations.

Thank you, Rocco!

This post is part of the Wizards Wireless series of bookstore and library profiles. If you'd be willing to write a post about a library with a great children's department or a terrific independent bookstore that specializes in children's books, I'd love to feature it on my blog. See this post for more details about my search for guest bloggers.