Rex Wrecks It!

RexWrecksit

Image Credit: Candlewick Press, Ben Clanton

 

What a gorgeous cover, right? I know we’re thinking the same thing. 😉

In Rex Wrecks It, Rex is a WRECKING MACHINE. He can’t really help it; he just gets so excited around blocks. His friends Gizmo, Sprinkles and Wild are builders but Rex, well he’s a naturally-gifted wrecker. After building their masterpieces, Rex destroys them…every time and they get awfully frustrated. Finally Gizmo, Sprinkles and Wild come up with the best plan ever! They invite Rex to build something awesome with them. Sometimes it’s better to work together and it sure is more fun.

This book is adorable. I discovered it tucked in the picture book stacks at my bookstore and it’s one I always keep in the back in my mind for a great story about friendship, understanding and working together. I love Clanton’s art style; clean lines, splotchy watercolors, cute creatures and lots of dynamic wrecking scenes. Do you have one of those kids who loves to destroy things? If so, they’ll love this book! RAWR!

Recommended for: All Ages
Great for: Friendship, Teamwork, Animals, Dinosaurs, Humor, Read-Aloud
Book Info: Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton, 2014 Candlewick Press, ISBN: 9780763665012

The Art of the Recommendation

2NE1dancing

2NE1, YG Entertainment

Recommending books is like a dance; you give a little, they give a little, you try to figure out what it is they want and why.

Sometimes people don’t really want recommendations, they just want someone to brainstorm with and then they pick what they want. Some people come in with open arms, and take ALL THE BOOKS because they simply want to be done with THIS BOOK GIFT THING. Others listen intently, they seem excited about all the books you give them, and half an hour later you find all your awesome books hidden in a corner. Ah, that one always hurts…Amirite booksellers? Haha

We booksellers have the ability to effectively use our book knowledge to give you what you need; you generally trust us, so thanks for that. 😉 The perfect recommendation is when you see how happy the customer is with the books you place in their hands; it’s in their faces and body language (they keep smiling down at the books). You know that you did well; that they’re leaving store with EXACTLY what they came in for and that’s a great feeling!

Who Holds the Power?

“I want to get this book!”
“I don’t think that’s a good one for you. Try this one.”

After reading author Cynthia Lord’s thoughtful blog post about the importance of positive reinforcement when a child chooses a book, I started to reflect on my experiences as a bookseller. I observed SO many  instances where a child happily ran up to their parents with their book choice and the parents shot it down quickly; not because the book was expensive but because they didn’t think the book was a good choice. During the bustling holiday season at our store, I helped grandparents looking for book recommendations for their grandchildren (“Where are your girl books?”). These experiences showed me just how much influence adults have on what children read, especially at a bookstore, where a purchase will be made.

Adults bring preconceived notions, biases, wishes and expectations for what they believe the child they’re shopping for, should be reading. Countless times I heard “Meh…I don’t think he/she’d like that.” Of course they knew the child better than I did but…I just needed a bit of their trust. Occasionally I had the pleasure of actually helping a child find a good book and though it was often really tough, it was the best! I also recognize that as a bookseller, I brought to every recommendation, my idea of what a “good book” is; this is why I read broadly, diversely and kept an open mind. Booksellers have some power in this way…what a big responsibility! Phew  >_<

So parents, please trust your kids a bit and if they pick up a book that may be a little above their reading level, talk about it and if you still see a twinkle in their eye, encourage that reading spirit! 🙂