Updated November 2011
Our favorite go-to resource for fabulous books and high quality toys and games for the younger set is Chinaberry. This small company has been in business for 29 years, starting as an independent children’s bookseller and branching into a small selection of high quality, environmentally aware items and toys with a focus on things that create family traditions. If you have little people in your life, from infant to pre-teen, or need to find something for a child and aren’t up on the latest, you need look no farther than the Chinaberry website or browsing their wonderful catalog.
Sadly, Chinaberry has had to cut back on its book inventory as many people used their thorough book reviews to purchase from Amazon. The books they do carry are lovingly reviewed and kid-tested. Most of them are out-of-the-ordinary. They are grouped by age, birth-3, toddler-preschool, early school years and mid-elementary and beyond.
Things that caught our eye from their holiday catalog
Thanksgiving Bowl For that less commercial holiday, Thanksgiving, Chinaberry created this beautiful wooden bowl filled with wood maples leaves and acorns. It’s intended to be passed around the Thanksgiving table. Read the full description by clicking on the link. It’s a beautiful idea.
Advent Calendar Cards One of Nancy’s family Christmas traditions was an Advent calendar. Now that the kids are in college, she sends them these little mini calendars. There are also several lovely larger Advent calendars on the site, including this wonderful one by Eric Carle, as well as some heirloom selections that can be used year after year.
14 Cows for America Most of us are familiar with organizations like the Heifer project that provide livestock to support families in third world countries. But this moving book is about how a Maasai student, studying in the U.S., responded to the events of 9/11 by going back to his village in Kenya to share the story of what happened. The elders of his village responded by donating 14 cows to the United States, the equivalent of a king’s ransom, in a gesture of compassion and healing. This is a true story and you can see a video about it on Chinaberry’s website.
(Note: We have no affiliate links with this company and make no money from directing people to their products. We’re recommending them because they are just the right thing when you need to find gifts for kids.)