I have to begin this post with a confession. It’s something I’m sure all writers do, but we rarely speak about it. Yes. Well. I suppose I better get to the point? So … the other day I was googling my name …(ahem)… and came across an amazing children’s bookstore in Cincinnati, called Blue Manatee. The reason they came up in my search is because a few weeks back they hosted a Squish Rabbit craft day, where kids were invited to make collage pictures from the book. How cool is that? Even now one of my favourite things to do is get messy (and creative) with paper and glue, so it was a thrill seeing my book being used to encourage this.
I contacted the bookstore to thank them, and it turns out the kids are not the only ones getting creative in store. This bookstore is soon launching something called ‘Blue Manatee Boxes‘ – a fun new way of buying books, which is described on their website:
The mission of blue manatee boxes™ is to provide unique gift boxes for babies and young children featuring books and materials that promote reading, creative play, and parent-child engagement, in a fun, affordable, sustainable, and developmentally-sound manner.
Through this you can order special packs of pre-chosen books (grouped by theme and interest) or choose your own favourites. However what’s unique about this initiative is that kids are encouraged to reuse the packaging the books are sent in. Suggestions are provided for creative ways to reuse the box in play and even the styrofoam cushioning isn’t wasted. Many children’s illustrators have joined in on the fun, sending in illustrated examples of how their characters would use boxes (which are featured on the website). John, the lovely owner of the bookstore, wrote to ask if I would participate. And as both Squish and I are long time lovers of boxes and silliness, I couldn’t say no…
They feature Squish and I on their website, but you can also click on the image above to see a bigger version.