In case you missed it, our toy expert Summer Ryan was on the Rhode Show talking about some of the great toys we have in stock for the beach, the pool, the backyard and the car. Check it out here:
Don't have time to watch? Here are some of the toys mentioned:
Slick Trick bubble kits - goes way beyond blowing bubbles! Make different shapes, bubbles that bounce, bubbles that dance and more! Great for ages 5 and up.
Ultra Dash - create your own relay races and obstacle courses.
Versus - take your night time game of tag to the next level.
Sand Molds - make a pyramid, the Eiffel tower, the taj mahal, or the Sydney opera house. Take a trip around the world at your local beach.
Car Bingo - everyone gets a board with lots of items you have to find on your next car trip. The first one to find them all, wins!
Table topics - also great for the car, the deck has a variety of topics that can start a very interesting conversation and let your kids get to know you better (and maybe you'll learn some fun stuff about your kids).
For more toys and gifts and books for summer, visit us in Barrington or Garden City!
Are you tired of the cold weather? Are you ready for Summer? Do you have lots of fun outdoor activities planned for your family? If the answers are Yes, Yes and Uh no, then we can help. Here are a few fun things to inspire you to get outside.
For the Beach:
Haba World Landmark Sand Molds - On your next trip to the beach why not create some of the marvels of the world like the Taj Mahal, Mayan Pyramids, Egyptian Pyramids, the Parthenon or the Colosseum. Expand your sand building beyond castles and maybe learn something as well.
For every kind of weather:
Popup Basketball game - It’s actually more of combination Basketball Skee Ball game, and it works inside or out. Perfect to keep energetic little ones busy on sunny days or on rainy days when you have to stay indoors.
If you like to walk the bike trail, spend time at the beach or visit the Audubon society, these guides will help you identify the flora and fauna that’s native to the area. They are laminated so you can pick up a dry eraser pen to mark what you’ve found. Guides include: Common Butterflies of New England, Ultimate Guide to Birds of the New England Coast, Shells of the New England Coast. and Sibley's Common Trees in the Cities & Towns of the Northeast & Upper Midwest
We have tons of books on where to hike, where to kayak and information about the area’s lighthouses. But if you’re looking for something different that you’ve never seen before check out Rhode Island Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide To Unique Places, New England's Colonial Inns & Taverns: Centuries of Yankee Fare and Hospitality or The Best Bike Paths of New England.
Did you know that Barrington Books loves book clubs? How could we not? A group of people read a book then get together to talk about it. Sounds like a party to us.
If you register your book club with us, you can get a 20% discount off your purchase. It’s easy. Just come into either store, tell us your book club’s name and what book you’re reading. Your book club doesn’t have a name? You can use yours or make one up on the spot (just be sure to tell the other members). And there are no bad names, but Persian Pickles, Ladies of the Eighties and the Green Book Club are taken.
We’ll be happy to order as many books as your club will need. We’ll probably order a couple more to let other people know what local book clubs are reading. Some of the current picks are The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis and Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West.
What book is your book club reading? Let us know!
Are you a collector of vinyl records looking for a new source of high-quality new and used records? Or new to music on vinyl and want to learn what all the buzz is about?
Our Garden City location is RI's newest resource for high quality music on vinyl! Ok, well it's been a year. But still today people happen upon our vinyl department and are thrilled to discover the quality and assortment of music we have in store. It takes them back to the 'good ole days' when listening to music was a multi-sensory experience, not just a download. From the smell of a fresh pressed record, the feel of slipping it out of its sleeve, to hearing those first crackles turning to sweet, sweet music - there's nothing like it. Now, sure there are some skeptics out there that just don't see the value of crates of old (and new) records. So, we suggest a taste test, if you will. Download an mp3 file of your favorite song. Listen to it through your headphones. Now, put the needle on the record of that same song. There's no doubt of the distinct difference in sound quality and listening experience.
Whether 70's post-grunge is your thing or if you're on the hunt for the holy grail of jazz (Miles Davis/Kind of Blue/original pressing), come finger through our carefully curated, ever-changing, eclectic inventory geared toward new collectors and audiophiles alike. You're bound to find something to add to/start your collection.
Not only do we offer new and high-quality used vinyl, but we also BUY vinyl. Inherit someone's old record collection? Have your own stockpile collecting dust in the basement? If you have records you want to sell, give us a call. We are always looking for good quality albums in all genres. In-store appointments on nights and weekends. Home visits for larger collections. (401-432-7222)
Barrington Books in Garden City Center, Cranston - for the very best in books, toys, gifts... and now vinyl. Follow our vinyl Instagram profile for all the latest arrivals. (@barringtonbooks_vinyl_ri)
All of their hard work has paid off, and now it’s time to celebrate. (Phhew. It's over!) We know that you want to get the graduate a gift, but we also know it can be difficult to find just the right thing. Here are a few of our suggestions (based on our experience and input from our own graduates!)
Of course, we're going to start with some books! From Oh the Places You’ll Go to What Color is Your Parachute to Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. We’ve got a wide selection that will inspire, help and maybe teach them something they didn’t learn in school.
Another great book to consider, is a cookbook. If they’re living on their own, they may need a few tips on what (and how) to cook. Give them your favorite or a great all-purpose classic like The Joy of Cooking or How to Cook Everything. Add a few thoughtful accoutrements to help in the kitchen like a cutting board, an apron, cooking utensils, serving platters or glassware.
If they are leaving the state for the first time, why not send them off with some things that will remind them of home? A mug with “Rhode Island”, “Barrington” or even “Barrington Books” on it. We have the softest tees around with a picture of the state on it, even Block Island. How about a bottle opener in the shape of RI? They can take a little piece of Little Rhody with them where ever they go.
Living on your own for the first time means learning how to fix things. We have books on how to do just that but we also have some great tool sets - Wrench Multi tool with torch, the Barbecue Multi tool, with spatula, serving fork and basting brush and the Rhode Island Bar Tool Opener (which is also a reminder of home!)
We also have something that they’re going to need immediately - a beautiful frame to show off their diploma or degree, or just a picture of them in their cap and gown (or a picture of mom and dad, without which none of this would have happened!) They have just completed an important milestone in their life, they deserve to show it off - and so do you!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Still unsure how to thank Mom for being the glue that holds the family together? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
If your mom is anything like ours, she taught you that it’s the thought that counts. And all she wants is more quality time with her kids. So, yes, a beautiful gift is in order, and we have plenty of great suggestions. But why not make this Mother’s Day one she won’t forget by sharing an experience with Mom? Here are a few suggestions from our gift gurus. (As seen on WPRI 12 The Rhode Show on Friday, May 4th).
A day at the spa is always a good idea. A sweet escape from the day-to-day demands of busy family life. However, finding the time to actually get to the spa is another story. So, bring the Spa to Ma! Bath bombs, essential oils, cozy PJ bottoms, and a new page-turner, of course, is all you need to encourage Mom to take a break from it all.
A Bouquet as Beautiful as Mom
The Gift of Music
What would Mom do if you showed up on Mother’s Day with a new turntable and some new LP's for her to enjoy? She’d probably shriek with excitement and say put the needle on the record! Exclusively at our Garden City store, an extensive assortment of high-quality used and new music on vinyl is sure to have some of mom’s all time favorites. Take a spin down memory lane together.
Oh, and don’t forget: we offer complimentary gift wrapping all year round.
Barrington Books is proud to announce that we will be celebrating the 4th annual Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, 2018 in both Garden City and the OG Barrington location! We are joining over 500 independent bookstores across the country who are having parties to honor books, authors, bookstores and you, the book loving community.
The 2018 IBD author ambassador Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You; Little Fires Everywhere) says, “My favorite thing about independent bookstores is that they all have their own distinct personalities: each reflects not just the tastes but also the ideals of its community. From the second you walk in, you get a sense of what the people who shop there know and enjoy—as well as what's currently on their minds, what they want to learn, and what they value: in short, what kinds of people they want to be. Bookstores are more than just repositories of knowledge, they’re living, breathing, evolving representations of our best selves. I love Independent Bookstore Day because it asks readers, writers, and booksellers to join in celebrating all that bookstores represent. It's a gathering to remind ourselves that the written word can change both us and the world, and of what’s possible when we all come together.”
What's in-store on IBD?
Some of the things we have planned are give-aways, gift card raffles, a store-wide scavenger hunt, free IBD tote bags (with purchase of $100, while supplies last) an instagram-worthy sweet treat for the first 36 passionate readers that say they are here to celebrate IBD with us, and limited edition literary merchandise available for one day only. Last year we had short story collections by Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park) and Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay), and a fine art print by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston (Child of Books). There’s no telling what great things will be available this year (no peeking!)
We’ll also have a visit from author Erin Dionne at both stores. She’s a self described book lover (and Star Wars nerd) who has written several books for tweens (ages 9-12). Her latest book Lights, Camera, Disaster is about Hester Greene has executive function disorder (think extreme ADHD plus anxiety), which isn’t a problem when she’s making movies, but hampers her academic progress. Laugh out loud funny, but also a poignant lesson for any unintentional trouble maker! Stop by and say hi – 10:30am-12pm in Barrington and 1:30-3pm in Garden City – and pick up a signed copy of her new book or one of her previous ones: The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, Moxie & the Art of Rule Breaking, and Notes from an Accidental Band Geek.
And lastly, in true Barrington Books tradition, we will have live music while you shop in the afternoon on the 28th as our way of saying thank you for celebrating the essence of being an indie with us.
Mark your calendars! Saturday, April 28th
Barrington and Garden City
Overheard in the bookstore:"Let's see if they have The Snowy Day (by Jack Ezra Keats) because if they don't, then it's a yucky place!" We are happy to report that we earned the favor of this father-son duo and are definitely not yucky. In fact, we pride ourselves on having an extensive library of classic children's books as well as new favorites to discover. Profiled here are three of the people that help curate our kid lit section, our dynamic Storytellers! We offer three award-winning story times weekly that are free and don't require registration - just stop in for a themed read-a-loud followed by crafts. All ages welcomed.
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray: Most of us think of the Gingerbread Man during the winter months, but don't forget about him year round! Laura Murray brings this zany little guy to life in her series of Gingerbread Man books including, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo, and The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School. With a silly storyline and catchy cadence even the most wiggly of readers are captivated by the Gingerbread Man's antics! Have fun with silly voices and the underlying story of this little cookie's resilient nature!
Recommended age range: 3-5. Personal opinion: 3-10.
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima: This beautifully illustrated story of Kelp, a unicorn raised by narwhals, is a touching story of a fitting in and standing out. Kelp knows he isn't like the other narwhals in his family and one day he happens upon "his kind". Kiddos become entranced by Kelp's story and what he will decide to do. A touching story and a beautiful gift.
Recommend age range: 4-8. Personal opinion: 3-8.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes: Chrysanthemum loved her name, until she started school. Chrysanthemum knows she is loved and adored by her family, but sometimes kids can be cruel and suddenly her beautiful name which she so appreciated makes her wilt with embarrassment. Soon Chrysanthemum learns it just takes one new friend to remind her that being unique is what makes all of us so lovable. A thoughtful story of the importance of believing in yourself no matter what your differences may be to those around you. This is a wonderful message for any kiddo going through a tough time and feeling a little wilted.
Recommended age range: 4-8. Personal opinion: 4-10.
Favorite Board Books (ages 0-2):
Sandra Boynton collection: She combines comical illustrations with easy, upbeat words. As board books, babies can hold on to them and “pretend” read. All time favorite is Moo, Baa, La La La.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann: Another great comical story, where the zoo animals outwit the zookeeper. It has few words, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for the grown-up and the child to create the story together.
Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go: Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Richard Scarry’s books are not stories, but merely illustrations with the words. A terrific way for babies to identify the things in their world.
Favorite Toddler/Preschool (ages 3-6)
Curious George by Margret & H.A. Rey: George is kind, lovable and sometimes gets into trouble. But he always learns from his mistakes and he loves making new friends. I like the large collections, such as A Treasury of Curious George, which includes 8 stories in one book.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: The beautiful story of a one-sided friendship between a boy and a tree. Only when the boy becomes an old man does he realize the importance of his very dear friend.
Young Readers (ages 6-8)
Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems: They’re best friends, but they go through their ups and downs. What these books do right is have few words per page, so the early reader can visualize what the words mean through expressive illustrations.
Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo: Mercy Watson is the best pig ever! She loves buttered toast, and she loves all the fun she has in her family of humans. Everybody loves Mercy Watson!
National Geographic Early Reader Series: With excellent photography and clearly written text, these books are a natural fit for children who prefer non-fiction. Early levels (1-2) are perfect for reading aloud. Later levels have “chapters,” allowing the child to have a real sense of accomplishment as they move up to more comprehensive skills.
I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont: A fun, fresh board book that teaches even the littlest readers about self-acceptance. Silly illustrations and a musical rhyming style will keep readers’ attention as they snuggle on your lap and build their self-esteem. “Inside, outside, upside down, from head to toe and all around, I like it all! It all is me! And me is all I want to be.” Board Book. Ages 0-3
Non-fic for high school students – The Middle Passage by Tom Feelings. This dark, powerful, and emotional book requires a mature reader but is an essential resource for anyone learning about slavery or the slave trade. There are no words, but evocative illustrations speak volumes while depicting one of the most tragic ordeals in history. Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Ages 13+
Frederick by Leo Lionni: A Caldecott Honor for a reason and beloved classic! As a family of mice prepare for the difficult winter months ahead, they begrudge the seemingly disinterested Frederick, a member of the family who just doesn’t seem to grasp the urgency of preparations. However, they soon find out that Frederick’s preparations, while different than the rest of his family, can make all the difference in the long winter months. This beautiful story reminds young readers (and adults too!) that each of us has value and worth, and that all art, poetry, and friendship matter as much as our more practical needs. Read together: ages 3-7; read alone: ages 6-9
Non-Fic for kids: The “Ultimate” Series. Detailed, engaging, and fun series that encourages young readers to learn and discover about their favorite subjects. The typical book will have over 40 flaps, pop-ups, pull-tabs, and more that allow little fingers to have a hands-on experience. The series includes The Ultimate Book of Space, The Ultimate Construction Site Book, The Ultimate Book of Vehicles, The Ultimate Book of Cities, & The Ultimate Book of Airplanes and Airports. Fun for ages 4+
Non-Fic for kids: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli. This is a worthy sequel to the groundbreaking first book. Each page features a different female pioneer who helped shape the world. Some are familiar names, while others many have never heard of. A beautiful addition to any bookshelf. Ages 5+
Need some fun!! Come enjoy a family game night with Barrington Books. Put away your phones, get off the computer, turn off the TV, grab the family and head to your favorite toy/ book store for a free night of connecting with family and community.
We love playing games and we know you will too. Barrington Books hosted our first game nights earlier last Fall and are looking forward to bringing friends and families together again. We have so many great games to try out. Anyone from 4-99 will find the perfect game to play. We have everything from one person strategy games to group games for you to sample. What a great way to get in the quality time that is so hard to carve out in our fast paced world.
Many don’t even realize the benefits of simply playing games together as a family. Games are a great way to reinforce important educational skills such as math, problem solving, spelling, vocabulary and critical thinking. Even for the very small there are lessons in taking turns, predicting outcomes, visualizing patterns and memory all disguised as good old fashioned fun.
And social skills….YES!! Games help us strengthen our attention spans, exhibit patience with others and are a great way to reinforce winning and losing with grace.
But your family and friends will be having so much fun they won’t even realize all the underlying benefits for your whole family. That can stay our little secret. Join us!!
Some of our favorites…
Barrington Books & Barrington Books Retold are your local independent bookstores AND toy store! All of our staff will contribute to our blog to share our thoughts on books and more. We look forward to hearing from you!