When we started simple pleasures, we really did not intend on having a children’s section. we wanted to focus our attention on an area we felt was more our forte- women’s interests. It’s not that we didn’t have ample experience with children’s books, since we are all four mothers ourselves, but we felt the children’s market was amply covered and we had space constraints to consider. Then we expanded a bit into the young adult arena, and as time went on we made sure everyone knew we were open to special request orders.
Since we have closed our brick and mortar store, and no longer have to worry about space constraints quite as much, we can pay attention to those books we loved to share with our children- both old favorites and new discoveries.
Each week we will highlight a children’s (grade k-6) book as well as a young adult(grade 7-12) book here. We hope our followers will enjoy these reviews/recommendations and find them useful. for those who knew us locally, you may also find the following useful- in an effort to focus attention on local talent and business, we will strive to devote the majority of our recommendations to local (Virginia area) authors and publishers.
Read, enjoy and share.
have you found a great book for this section that we may have overlooked? Please email us @
Do Spiders Need Leggings When it’s Cold Outside? by Terri Sebastian
Illustrations by Buttons Boggs
In a delightful book that pays homage to her son and the wonderful stories she wove for him, Terri Sebastian created
Do Spiders Need Leggings When it’s Cold Outside?. The stories included in this charming collection sprang from questions asked by Terri’s son Ryan.
As parents, we’ve all had our children ask us challenging questions- whether it comes from a flight of childish fantasy or innocent wonderment over the oddities of nature- and we are often stumped for an answer that will suffice. With this book, Terri Sebastian has provided at least a few entertaining answers. From explaining the noises that may or may not be emanating from the dresser in their room, to possibly encouraging a flight of nocturnal fancy, or discovering just how our friendly spiders cope with the winter chill, you will find yourself incorporating this book into your child’s bedtime ritual with delight.
With wonderfully crafted illustrations by Buttons Boggs, these engaging stories come to life in a way that’s sure to enchant any child. I highly recommend this very special volume of children’s stories and feel sure that it will become a favorite that is passed from child to grandchild.
The Fat Boy Chronicles by Lang Buchanan
While we have reviewed this elsewhere on this blog some time ago, I wanted to return attention to this wonderful book for parents who may have missed it the first time around. This novel, written in journal form is the collaborative work of former teachers, Diane Lang and Michael Buchanan. Based on a true story, it tells the saga of Jimmy Winterpock, a young man entering his freshman year of high school at the age of 14, standing 5′ 5″ and weighing 187 pounds. Outside the comfort of his home and church, Jimmy struggles with the cruel taunts and careless remarks of his classmates. Inwardly, Jimmy sees himself as an overall good person; a faithful friend and a good son and student. He appears somewhat surprised that others can’t see past the surface to what’s beneath. While he’s aware he is overweight, it doesn’t become a critical issue for him until he sees himself through the sometimes brutally honest eyes of his peers.
An assignment by his English teacher gives Jimmy the vehicle to do some serious thinking about his situation, and how he feels about the things he experiences. Through his journal assignment the reader experiences Jimmy’s journey to reconcile the way he sees himself with how others see him. Jimmy’s chronicles are not insular by any means. He shares his views and feelings on his friends and family and gives wonderful insight into what helps shape our self-image. Far from being depressing or over-serious, The Fat Boy Chronicles is a very real and incredibly identifiable story. Jimmy is an incredibly likeable figure- engaging, at times self-deprecating, mischievous and typically teenage- you will laugh and cry with him, and cheer for him as finds his way.
In a time when childhood obesity has reached an all-time high in our country, coupled with a culture that places a premium on being thin and beautiful and shocking reports of bullying and abuse within our middle and high schools, this book could not be any more timely or compelling. I encourage all parents of children approaching the difficult and transitional teenage years to read this book and share it with their child.
Despite the title, this is not merely a book about struggling with obesity, but about dealing with self-image and conformity and how our children can meet those challenges without sacrificing themselves to its dangers. I cannot recommend this book more highly. Read it. enjoy its wonderful message and by all means share it. You won’t be disappointed.
Reviews By Brenda Seward