It had a special children’s section with everything carefully arranged; the owners were extremely kind and encouraging of my sister’s and my extended browsing sessions. (We always left with a book each, as my parents were ever glad to buy books.) When my now-teenage son Charlie was a toddler, we lived in St. Paul where there was a wonderful children’s bookstore, The Red Balloon, outfitted with little chairs and tables in a house-like structure.
Charlie, who is moderately to severely autistic, is not a reader, despite many efforts. He has some ebooks on his iPad and has shown the same amount of (minimal) interest for these as he has for paper books. Although, just this weekend, on a hot summer’s night when he was tired but not yet ready for sleep and had used the iPad to listen to music throughout the day, I pulled out a book. To my surprise, Charlie said “yes” to hear me read it and then repeated my reading of each page’s sentences.
He has not asked since to have a book read to him. I have actually given most of our once extensive library of children’s book to a cousin with two young children. I’m glad I kept a few that have gathered some dust — it might be time to make a new purchase or two.
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