Posts tagged: bookstores

I am a Blog Capitalist

By , May 29, 2008 10:20 pm

My first real foray in to the world of blog capitalism is open for business. No, I am not plastering Unplug Your Kids with ads for cheap narcotics, online casinos, and get rich quick schemes. It’s just my store!

All my life I have secretly wanted to own a toy store and a bookstore and fill my stores with all the toys and books that I like! (“Mines, mines, MINES!!!” as my 2 year-old would say). As a child, my toys were very meaningful to me. I am a packrat who kept many of them. I guess I just haven’t grown up yet.

Since owning a real “brick and mortar” toy or book store isn’t very practical in this day and age (especially in my small town), and there are plenty of wonderful online stores already, I decided to try setting up my own store through Amazon, just for fun. Besides, the toys and books that I like probably aren’t mainstream enough to ever be profitable anyway.

I have been fooling around with my store for over a year now, so it is finally time to try it out. I am quite proud that I managed to figure out how to fit the iframe reasonably well into my page. I feel like quite a techie!

As with all my Amazon links, I’ll earn a small percentage of any sale, even if someone enters Amazon via my store (or any Amazon link on my blog for that matter) and buys something else.

I don’t expect to become the next Donald Trump from this. My goal is very humble: to fund the purchase of a new book every month to review on my blog. I figure that in this way, I would be passing some of the goodness back to others. Of course I will feel that I have really hit the big time if I can cover the monthly cost of my web site hosting too!

This blog originally started out, long, long ago as a “shopping blog,” inspired by my friend Wishy who liked the gifts I bought her daughter. I guess my store is also a way to preserve that aspect of it, while I delve into other topics on the blog itself, as I have been doing for over a year now.

This leads to my last point…and if you have made it this far in reading my post, I am grateful! In addition to the more monetarily-oriented goals that I have mentioned above, I really hope that my store can help people cut through some of the toy and book junk out there. Having only a Walmart and Kmart to shop at for toys has made me an expert online shopper. I would like to pass along the good finds to others. Most of what I recommend, we have and love. The rest is stuff I would like to have and love!

So, I hope you enjoy the Unplug Your Kids store. If you like it, then check back from time to time because I will add new things as I find them. I also have a seasonal section that I plan on changing every so often. Knowing me, I will be tinkering with the store for quite some time.

The link is the “Shop Unplug Your Kids” tab in the upper right sidebar.


(Photo thanks to photographer Kevin Rosseel and

Celebrate International Children’s Book Day!

By , April 2, 2007 8:03 am



(Photo by DuBoix from

Today is International Children’s Book Day with celebrations being held at libraries around the world, as well as a “mini-festival” in Aukland, New Zealand (this year’s sponsoring country).

In honor of International Children’s Book Day, this seems like the perfect time for the post I had planned about resources for finding multicultural children’s books.

Here are some websites that promote multicultural children’s books:

1) For those interested in children’s books from and about the Pacific Rim and South Asia. They have featured books, author interviews, and my favorite: links to suggested reading lists by country and topic. (Note from 11/2016: The Papertigers website is no longer being updated but archives are still online and you can find lots of great information.)

2) A list of 50 Multicultural Books That Every Child Should Read can be found at the National Education Association (NEA) Website. This list is arranged by age and is merely a list of titles and authors, with no photos, descriptions or reviews. But, it could be a good starting place for a search for age-appropriate multicultural books.

3) Another interesting link is Growing Up Around The World – Books as Passports to Global Understanding For Children in the United States. This bibliography complied by the Association for Library Service to Children is arranged in downloadable PDF format by continent of interest. I downloaded the “Africa” list and found 8 pages of book suggestions broken down by country. Each book reference contains title, author, grade level, and a brief description. In order to promote cultural accuracy, all the books on this list were written by authors who have lived a minimum of two years in each culture. If you want children’s stories specifically about Cameroon or Tanzania for example, start here!

4) Lee & Low’s Blog (“A blog on race, diversity, education, and children’s books”):  A blog for Lee & Low’s Books (see below). Lots of information about children’s books with themes of diversity and multiculturalism.

Some stores that specialize in multicultural books are:

Culture For Kids
– Bilingual and multicultural books and videos.

Asia For Kids – Asian language and cultural materials.

Lee & Low’s Books – “Lee & Low Books is the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the United States. We are your diversity source.” Really huge selection of books.

Multicultural Kids – Books, videos, music, crafts, puzzles, dolls, gifts and educational materials. Also includes resources on related subjects such as self-esteem, adoption, differently-abled kids.

Brown Sugar & Spice – Primarily African-American, but some other multicultural books too, including biracial and adoption.

And finally, a multicultural magazine for kids:

Skipping Stones – I have not read this one but it looks interesting! It is an award-winning, nonprofit children’s magazine which is published bimonthly during the school year. It sounds so neat that I will simply quote the publisher’s description:

In Skipping Stones, you will find stories, articles and photos from all over the world: Native American folktales, photos by kids in India and the Ukraine, letters and drawings from South Africa and Lithuania, cartoons from China… Non-English writings are accompanied by English translations to encourage the learning of other languages. Each issue also contains international pen pals, book reviews, news, and a guide for parents and teachers. The guide offers creative activities and resources for making best use of Skipping Stones in your home or classroom.”

Plus, they accept original photos, artwork, and writing from all ages and in any language. If you have a creative child who is just dying to be published, this could be the magazine for you!

Our favorites: I can’t complete this very lengthy post without including a list of some of our favorite multicultural/international books. The last one is a real eye-opener: Material World: A Global Family Portrait, is geared more toward adults, but children will find it fascinating too, when read with an adult.

(For more info on two of these titles: I have posts about Wake Up World, and Let’s Eat – plus another here about Let’s Eat)

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