Children’s Books for the Grandchildren solves a gift question year around…
Alfred and Bernice were not only neighbors, but they were dear friends I had for many years.
Each year they insisted on giving me a Christmas present and I tried to reciprocate in my own way. It wasn’t about getting something for them that they needed because they were retired and affluent. Additionally, they really didn’t need anything I could afford to get them. Understandably, I still wanted to get them something that would be regarded as more than just: “it’s the thought that counts.” Another fruitcake that ended up being a door stop wasn’t going to cut it.
I did know there was one meaningful thing in their lives that was paramount to them, and that was their two grandchildren. One was 4 and the other, 8 years old. My friends had academia backgrounds in University teaching and administration. Although they occasionally used social media, they often related their frustration of kids (in general) not applying correct grammar and use of limited vocabulary when texting or posting to various online platforms. Alfred didn’t look kindly upon ROLF and LOL. Although one time, I did hear Bernice swoon over her eight-year-old grandchild’s text that said, “ILY grandma.”
That’s when the thought crossed my mind to get something that they could have for the grandkids when they come over to visit. In other words, I was going shopping for a gift my friend’s grandkids would enjoy. Crosswords, puzzles, and board games wasn’t what I had in mind. I decided to look into something for them that was say, ‘a bit more cerebral’ … but for kids.
I went to the bookstore in the mall but couldn’t decide on anything that didn’t strike me as either stupid, corny, or pointless. I was looking for children’s books that had meaning and down to earth lessons for a child to learn and embrace. You would think I was looking for a real life unicorn, mountain troll or witch’s broom stick. (Do you think kids really like those things, or is that what the children book authors like to write about?) I couldn’t help but think, “why is this so difficult?”
I left the bookstore and went to my local library. Here I approached a ‘professional,’ the librarian. Certainly she would know which direction to point me.
When I asked the librarian about Children’s books, with the qualifier as:
books for grandparents to read to grandchildren,
she asked what genre I was interested in. Caught off guard, I responded quizzically, “Genre?” “Yes,” she said: “Children’s stories, poetry, horror, Fables, Fairy tales, Folklore, Fantasy, fiction, we have quite the compendium.” I didn’t say it, but I thought it, “what a farce.”
Politely, I inquired if she knew of something that would be appropriate, wholesome, educational, enlightening, and edifying for grandchildren aged 4 to 8. Her demeanor suddenly softened and she almost whispered, “Oh, you mean children’s Picture Books like those authored by Dr Qooz!”
Exasperated, I couldn’t help but speak my mind. And like a complete ass, I blurted out, “Dr Suess? Are you kidding me? What on earth is enlightening about ‘green eggs and spam’ or a stupid ‘cat with a hat.’
The librarian courteously waited until I stopped raving, allowed a pregnant pause, then raised one eyebrow as she said, “I didn’t say Dr. Suess, I said Dr. Qooz. Perhaps you would like to peruse one of his selections?”
Immediately realizing my mistake, I apologized profusely and blamed my blunder on my childhood dyslexia. The librarian corrected me again with, “Dyslexia usually manifests in the reading and learning of letters and words. Unless of course you are referring to auditory dyslexia, but that is not near as prevalent as displaying difficulty of simply listening.
Needless to say, I was embarrassed. As I started to speak, the librarian calmly told me, “I think you are looking for books for grandkids written by Dr. Qooz, let me show you what we have.”
As she displayed various copies of Dr. Qooz children’s stories she told me that the author periodically will do readings and that he had donated these books to the local library. She also pointed out that these copies were for library loan, but I could purchase the books for the grandchildren online at the Dr. Qooz website.
I read each story booklet and fell in love with the ‘genre’ of Dr. Qooz. The stories were fun and their plots insightful. The characters are endearing and the lessons to learn were significant and important for kids. These children’s books were exactly what I was looking for. I found it compelling that Dr. Qooz actually used real facts in his stories, but also employed wit with a sprinkling of humor throughout his narrative. In a nutshell the Dr. Qooz books were fun to read.
When I left the library I purposely stopped and thanked the librarian for her help. She smiled and offered, “Come back when I can assist you further.”
When I got home I went online and viewed the videos Dr. Qooz had offered for free. His flipbook videos were entertaining to watch and can be accessed by leaving my email address. On the Dr. Qooz site I especially liked reading questions from the readers about certain aspects and characters of the stories. I then purchased several of the books for the grandkids that I intuitively knew that they would enjoy.
When the children’s books were delivered in the mail I carefully gift wrapped them and carried them over to Al and Bernice. I inadvertently told them I thought the grandkids were going to love the present. Bernice was sharp enough to know that the gift was vicariously meant for the grandchildren. They didn’t wait for Christmas. That evening they opened the gift and read each and every book. Little did I know the grandkids were coming to stay with them for the weekend and the books had arrived with perfect timing.
Later Alfred told me the grandkids didn’t need to know it was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but they adored the books. The 4-year-old wanted to be Tode the Turtle and the 8-year-old loved Zora the Zebra. He expressed to me how grateful he was of the thoughtfulness I had put in selecting the Dr. Qooz stories. He also told me he and Bernice had went online and purchased another assortment of Dr. Qooz books to be put in their RV for trips and vacations.
I have to admit I had mixed emotions, both joy and gladness that the idea of
Books for the Grandchildren
worked out as well as it did. I really do think it is a wonderful gift, but I also know it wouldn’t be as meaningful and successful without the contribution made by the writings of Dr Qooz.