Friday, May 2, 2008

Garage Sale-ing in the rain... or ohhhh books!

It was garage sale day in the town just east of us. Now I have to admit, garage sales are not my specialty. Normally, I shop with a specific mission. That doesn't translate well with garage sales. But, last spring I went on a mission and found a crib and changing table at the first 2 sales I hit. So, I was inspired to try it again.

My mission today - babygirl stuff : 12/18 month clothes, a toy piano, and books. Babygirl and I set off around 8:30, around 8:35 it started raining, pouring actually. But now I was on a mission. So between showers I visited the handful of sales that braved the weather. I found clothes : overalls, shorts, and 2 cute "red" outfits - one with the cutest denim jacket. I thought $5 for 7 pieces was pretty good. And babygirl looks so good in red. Sadly there was nary a toy piano to be found. But, what I really want to talk about is the books.

I was inspired at my MOPS meeting last month to expand my horizons when it came to books for babygirl. Our mentor mom, Holly, spoke about creative ways to use books. She encouraged us to choose a variety of books; fiction and non-fiction, old and new. She also encouraged us to let our children have access to the books, just keep scotch tape on hand. I have always loved books, but hadn't really thought about the wealth of possibilities in children's books. So the third part of my mission turned into a treasure hunt.

I found the treasure trove at a country farmhouse a little ways out of town. The garage was out back and jam packed with stuff. It was dark and dim and the door was down partway to block the recent downpour. It was too muddy and crowded to use babygirl's stroller, so I perched her on my hip as I squatted to sort through the 3 laundry baskets of children's books. Here is what I found:

2 Little Golden Books - Mother Goose and Baby Farm Animals. I love the old fashioned illustrations and sense of nostalgia from my own childhood.

Sea Creatures - Okay, this is 109 pages, photo and fact filled. Probably a little beyond my 8 month old, but the photos are beautiful and hopefully someday she will find the information fascinating. I especially can't wait to watch babygirl and her Aunt Becca pour over the 25 pages devoted to penguins, Bec's favorite animal.

Baby Animals - This is not a highly sophisticated anthology. But I liked it for the simple text, and variety of animals grouped by their habitat.

Rhinoceros Tap - One of my favorite finds. A mint condition book and music CD, of Sandra Boynton's fun silly books set to music, including my favorite "Barnyard Dance"

The Grumpy Bunny Goes West - A silly little perfect condition paper back about a pessimistic junior Easter bunny who wins a vacation at a dude ranch. It is certainly an original concept. And as an Easter baby, I have a soft spot for bunnies.

Who Says a Dog Goes Bow-wow? - This is not your standard "a cow says 'moo' " book. It also tells you that a cow says "Boeh-boeh" in Dutch, and "E-bah" in Ethiopian. The multilingual "animals" in this book are a wonderful way to expand world view, and a fun way to play with language sounds.

Whose Tracks Are These? - A fun little fact filled, "figure it out" paperback about forest animals. Perfect for our camping, hiking, nature-loving family.

Shiver Me Letters - A fun frolicking alphabet book. A crocodile pirate forces his animal crew to find him more letters to add to his "R" (as in "Arrh") A great creative book using letters for words more original than "a is for apple."

Curious George Goes Camping - Does this need an explanation? Where wouldn't I go with my childhood friend Curious George.

I limited myself to 10. They were 5 for a dollar. But I couldn't resist picking up the slightly battered copy of The Cat in the Hat I found at the last sale I visited. Dr. Seuss is well worth the 25 cents.

All-in-all I think I did pretty well. I hope mentor mom Holly would be proud, and I hope babygirl Holly will be pleased, fascinated, enriched, and delighted. Now it is time to go read some books!


Steph said...

I love finding kids books at garage sales! It's the cheapest way to fill a library.

And Sandra Boynton is the best... love Pajama time!

Holly said...

Not just proud, but impressed! You found some real treasures! I started reading Sandra Boynton with some of our grandkids, and I love her -- such silly fun! And old Golden books are my favorites. You did great!