“There Are Worse Crimes Than Burning Books …

… One of them is not reading them.”  Joseph Brodsky, poet and essayist.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Customers who live in our home town of Belleville, Ontario were saddened by the recent closing of Greenley’s Bookstore, a city fixture for more than 30 years and one of the region’s best independent booksellers.

When we opened Scalliwag Toys, almost 30 years ago (as a business we’re a little bit younger than Greenley’s was), we carried a carefully-chosen but small line of books for babies and small children.  We focused on board books, picture books, and early readers, and we tried hard to include as many Canadian authors and illustrators as possible.  About ten years ago, we decided to drop the book line (Greenley’s was doing a great job just a few doors away from us, after all) and concentrate on games, puzzles, and toys.

Another of the incoming titles is the very funny Parts, by Tedd Arnold.

They say that when life hands you lemons, you might choose to make lemonade … and we’ve chosen to do just that.  We’ve decided to respond to the closing of Greenley’s by re-introducing children’s books to the store.  We’ll be re-stocking the book section slowly and gradually over the next six months or so, and — thanks to social media like Facebook and Twitter — we’re looking forward to feedback and suggestions from all of you out there.

Things have changed in the publishing world since we last placed a book order, needless to say!  What has not changed, however, are the wonderful books available — some of which have been in print for many years, and some of which are brand-new.  There are lots of titles that we haven’t even heard of, and we’d love to get some suggestions about what we should have on the shelves.  Do your children have favorite books, ones that they demand be read night after night?  Are there books on your shelves that you can “read” without looking at the pages? (I can still recite almost all of “One Fish, Two Fish”, I think!)

A charming Step 1 reader from Penguin!

Let us know what you’d like to see, and we’ll start compiling our wish list and writing new book orders.  And though we know we may never be able to replace Greenley’s, we’ll do our best to give customers an indie alternative for children’s books.

Our first re-stocking shipment is on its way to us now.  If you want to get bulletins from us on new titles, be sure to friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check out our boards on Pinterest.  We’ll be posting reviews and info on new books there, along with any special offers that might come along.

Let’s make some lemonade.

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