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Watchung Booksellers Story Time
Attending book readings with my two children in tow has always been challenging until I walked through the doors of Watchung Booksellers on Fairfield Street in Montclair. In addition, to their weekly toddler story time, this local independent bookstore invites children’s authors and illustrators on Saturday mornings to read their published works. The Watchung Booksellers Story Time take place in the serenely decorated children’s room located at the back of the store.
This has been my family’s second visit to this cozy establishment for a Watchung Booksellers Story Time and every time we have been greeted warmly. This particular Saturday had author, Nancy Viau, reading two of her books. Yet, it wasn’t just a book reading, it was a celebration. Nancy brought noisemakers, stuffed animals, a craft activity, and invited the listeners to participate.
The first book Nancy read was Storm Song which highlights all the sounds overheard during a storm. With the use of pot lids, drums, feet and hands, we helped make the sounds that appeared in the book. For example, the tapping of feet mimicked thunder, the clapping of hands sounded like rain, and drum sticks banging on the pot lids was lightening. What a great lesson to teach young children, how music surrounds us even in nature.
Look What I Can Do was the next Watchung Booksellers Story Time reading that encouraged young children to be persistent. Through the shifting perspective of animals in a forest we learn how they struggle to leap, fly, and walk. Nancy’s animated personality kept everyone’s attention. Following the reading, all children were invited to participate in the game “Look What I Can Do”. Nancy brought stuffed animals that appear in the book such as a squirrel, owl, and spider to name a few. Children enthusiastically lined up to toss the animals into baskets and were rewarded with small prizes. Afterwards, Nancy demonstrated how to make spider holders for lollipops. At the end of the program, the books can be signed and purchased.
There are several reasons I enjoy bringing my family to Watchung Booksellers Story Time.
- The children’s room is beautifully decorated and filled with interesting books tempting little hands.
- This is an independently owned bookstore. Their staff is knowledgeable and incredibly friendly. As I was struggling with a crying toddler, a staff member kept my child entertained so I could pack my things and pay for the book.
- This book reading was not overly structured and children are truly embraced in this space which makes me feel comfortable.
- They have children’s authors and illustrators who read their publications. I appreciate that my children have the opportunity to hear the story from the voice of the writer.
- They feature books that I may otherwise not know or learn about from searching online.