Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Plastic Elimination Campaign: Plastic Toy Gift Substitutes?
A child can't have too many beautiful good books. Leastaways, that's what I feel (my husband has begged to differ). So whenever relatives or friends wanted to give our children toys, and I had a feeling they would send us plastic toys, I would suggest that they give us good and beautiful books. This can be a wonderful strategy for reducing gift-toy clutter and it's worked for us!
But of course, not all children's books are created equal, and some toy-spinoff books (ie: Barbie, Transformers) are just as as obnoxious as the toys themselves (and create the need in the child for the featured toy). Plus there are some children's books that are simply stupid.
So what to do...? You can suggest titles. And I had another idea from Sandra Miesel: she observed that the best children's illustrators out there won't illustrate junk. So if the pictures are breathtakingly beautiful, chances are the story is up to par.
And for older kids, you can always recommend your relatives buy something out of the Bethlehem Books catalog, which specializes in timeless and beautiful literature for children (and yes, subtle plug, I am one of their authors!)