You always need to look for the perks of a job, in this case there were many but one of the main ones was that I got to read heaps of new children's books. Shoppers were keen to know what I thought about certain books and I really enjoyed talking about them with both the kids and the adults they dragged into the van.
The van holds books that are old favourites and fabulously new.
These were my top three recommendations:
1) The Story Machine by Tom McLaughlin.
We have had this for close to two years and it is still a favourite at bedtime. Children pick up different things over time, noticing the seasons, the festivals, the flow of their year. Illustrations that seem so simple are actually quite engaging and provide just enough for little eyes to see without giving the entire picture that can be filled in with your imagination.
I find this a perfect book for the child you don't know what to buy for.
The reality is that this is a drawing book, not a reading book and there are not even any prompts. However I still really liked this one. It encourages kids to draw any type of building. It's a dollhouse for some or a barn or a farm. It could be the inside of a room or the outside of a dwelling. It's for your own stories, and really they are probably the most important. For adults, it's also a much more convenient way to hold on to some of your kids artwork.
Away from the van I have recently finished the books The Five People you Meet in Heaven and For One More Day. Both written by Mitch Albom. They are not new books and I don't know why they haven't crossed my path before. You might know Mitch Albom from his more popular book Tuesdays with Morrie. Both books are written in a simple conversational dialogue, as though you are just chatting with the characters. Both are fictional accounts of life after death. I am rather fascinated with the possibilities of what heaven may or may not look like and I enjoyed reading about just what might be. Because really. You just don't know.