Changes Ahead for Once Upon a Storybook

The Struggle Is Real

Many of you, knowing our story of financial struggle, continue to ask how we are doing. As you know, our angel investor, Erin, came in over a year ago and added energy, ideas, and dollars to Once Upon a Storybook, which has allowed us to stay open. Alas, the summer has been a challenge, and we continue to struggle. To continue to offer you a unique bookstore focused on the love of children's literature and a place to bring your young ones to encourage them to explore their world trhough reading, we will be making some operational changes starting in January 2018.

Sneak Peek at the Changes Ahead

  • Once Upon A Storybook store hours will be reduced. Our new hours will be M-Th 10-2; Fri 10-6; Sat 10-5.
  • Our Frequent Buyer Program threshold will increase to $200—so every $200 you spend, you will receive a $10 credit on your next purchase.
  • Our Educator Program will be modified to 20% off books only.
  • Our in-store inventory will be more tailored. We will continue to carry classic children’s titles and the newest, greatest titles. We will focus on award-winners and top sellers.

What's Not Changing

We still believe what we are doing is valuable and important to the community. We want to stay open. We sincerely believe that cutting these costs will help our bottom line enough that it will enable us to continue to provide storytimes and weekly author and special events.

Here are some things that will NOT change!

  • We will continue to offer storytimes (in fact we'll even be increasing storytime offerings!)
  • We will continue to offer book clubs for pre-K to 6th grade, and possibly adding an adult book club and a kids’ poetry club.
  • You can still place special orders and buy audio books through Libro.fm
  • You can still order books through us online and have them shipped right to your door, and we hope you do!
  • We will be very happy to schedule private events outside of our store hours. Private Milk & Cookies Storytime? We can do that! Girl Scout meetings? We love ‘em! Our space will still be available, and we are happy to schedule events when the store is closed.
  • Miss Susie will also be available by appointment for charter school customers, librarians, teachers, homeschooling moms, or anyone who needs some special one-on-one time.

How You Can Help

The most obvious answer is by regularly patronizing our lovely little shop when you are looking for quality children's books!

  • Don't let us be your little secret, tell your friends about us.
  • Share our posts on social media to help us spread the word.
  • Encourage friends and family, even those not nearby, to use our Online ordering system that's available 24 hours a day, and also has access to books we don't carry in-store, including adult titles and best sellers.
  • Come see us on Small Business Saturday (see this month's newsletter for all the fun events and great specials we'll be offering) and start your holiday shopping at Once Upon A Storybook.

Thank You!

Our mission at Once Upon a Storybook is to provide the best of classic and contemporary literature and a unique experience when you are in the store—those values have not changed. We are so thankful for the incredible support you friends have given us. Thank you for making us feel valued and important to you.

Change is yucky! (Miss Susie has always said, “Change is a four-letter word.”) Nevertheless we find that these changes to our business model are necessary for us to continue. Even as we reduce our hours in January, we will still have our online bookstore open for you whenever you need it. To help us return to expanded store hours and keep the doors open, we ask that you be intentional about shopping with us. When we are open, we want you to visit us!

Please help Once Upon a Storybook stay open!!! We want your kids to grow up here! And we want to help you find the perfect books for them. Thank you for your continued support.

Mighty Moby Is Mighty Inspiring

mighty moby.jpg

Mighty Moby is Mighty Inspiring

You know I always make Caldecott & Newbery predictions.  I've already voted for my favorite (figuratively--you can only literally vote if you are on the committee!)--I chose *Blue Sky, White Stars* by Savinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.  But now I want to show you the book that SHOULD win.  

Barbara Dacosta and Ed Young's unique interpretation of Moby Dick, *Mighty Moby*, is a stunning collage piece that focuses on a child's imagination. Dacosta writes the book using quotes from the original *Moby Dick* text. This book is not for the youngest children (there's a lot of red symbolizing blood), but it is a great way to introduce this classic book to kids who value adventure and creativity.  The first read-through will surprise the readers with a twist!  And then you'll never read it the same way again.

Come take a look at this amazing, artistic, energetic book! 

Preparing Your Brain for Back-to-School with School Stories

The summer is such a lovely time of freedom. Waking up late, eating off schedule, playing outside as the sun goes down. Vacations, relatives, VBSes, special events. What a joy! But the fall is coming . . . very quickly! Many kids will be back in school in the next two or three weeks! And then the reality of schedules, homework, practices, deadlines hits.
The best way to prepare for the oncoming drama of fall while still enjoying the freedom of summer is to read a school story! There are numerous books that will place kids in the classroom while they read in their hammocks or on their beach towels. Here are a few good ones:

  1. Frindle (Andrew Clements)—One of the best school stories ever, Clements’ Frindle shows a boy’s adventurous spirit and cleverness as he tries to outwit his teacher by inventing a new word. Always makes me tear up at the end.
  2. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Tom Angleberger)—A classroom of kids deals with an awkward boy who walks around with an origami Yoda on his finger. The kid is weird, but, man that Yoda gives good advice! Is it possible that origami Yoda is . . . real???
  3. Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Louis Sachar)—Is it tall tale? Is it fantasy? Is it realistic fiction? Well, maybe it’s just all of the above. Plus, it is laugh-out-loud funny!
  4. Wednesday Wars (Gary Schmidt)—Historical fiction at its very best. Holling is forced to spend Wednesday afternoons with his 6th grade teacher and her favorite playwright, William Shakespeare. Set in 1968, this story feels like you are watching a session of The Wonder Years. (Remember that incredible TV show?!) Honestly, this was my favorite book of the summer!

Any one of these books would be a great read for kids transitioning out of summer into fall. And it would be even better to enjoy them as a family and discuss all of your classroom experiences together.

Class of 2017 or 2018 or 2019 . . .

It’s that “dads and grads” time of year again. When I was growing up, graduations were only a special event for high school and college, but these days, there are graduations from every possible school year or event!

There are some wonderful, meaningful gifts you can give to the graduate in your life that will last much beyond the summer of 2017. One of our favorites is Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Buy this while your child is young. Each year, take it to your child’s teacher and have him or her sign a little message to your child. How meaningful it will be when you give it to your child at the end of high school or college, after the significant people in his/her life have written special messages! A true keepsake.

If you haven’t prepared for that long-term commitment and you’ve got a graduation this year, we have other wonderful gifts. For the writer and reader, we have beautiful journals that use the text of a classic book as the lines for writing. Your young writer will be inspired that he/she is writing on the words of a famous author!

If you are having a graduation party this year, pick up a unique gift that many people can participate in: Letters to the Graduate. Everyone at the party can write a letter to the graduate, and they are all stored in one collection for the graduate to read in years to come.

And a book signed by the author would make a wonderful gift for any child or any age. We have a large selection—from Little Goldens to picture books to chapter books. A specially chosen book is a treasured gift. Congratulations to you and the new graduates in your life! Let us know how Once Upon a Storybook can start them on their “happily ever afters.”