Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.
At the end of June, the traditional Tattered Cover opened in the Stanley Marketplace Tattered Cover Kids, its first shop for children. In an area of ââ1,400 square meters for young readers, the new bookstore offers child-friendly shelves, a large mural by the artist Patrick Maxcy, interactive decor and of course loads of books and a few toys suitable for children of all ages.
CEO Kwame Spearman was excited to welcome the community to the new shop. A good six weeks until school started, we asked Spearman and the staff at this new store to choose their favorite children’s books, which range from works by local artists to timeless stories to an ABC book by a pop star.
Here are their must-reads:
Written by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca
Starting with the first chapter book in the Poppy Series, ambrosiaColorado-based author Avi created an enchanting world of talking mice who go on adventures. These are “stories of bravery and tension in an animal society with Poppy the deer mouse battling against the ruler of the forest, Ocax the screeching owl,” says Spearman. Ideal for reading aloud, these chapter books have just been reprinted and are best for children ages eight to twelve.
Written by Lupita Nyong’O; illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Written by award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’O, this adorable picture book is about a little girl named Sulwe, who has darker skin than her parents and sister. “She learns from the beauty of the world that darkness and light together make a greater beauty,” says Spearman. “Add love and kindness, Sulwe’s beauty shines.” So did this book that Spearman thinks should be on all young children’s summer reading lists.
What do you do with a tail like that?
Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Steve Jenkins and Robin Page published this book in 2009 and it is still a popular tome recommended for all little ones by Tattered Cover children’s book buyer Kate Brasch. “This interactive advice book shows children the amazing things that animals can do with their noses, eyes, tails, and so on,” says Brasch. “Written and illustrated by a bouldering couple, this colorful title brings these animals and their quirks home happily.”
The new Tattered Cover Kids offers all children’s books and toys.
Although California writer and illustrator Pete Oswald may have written this mountain adventure picture book about Colorado. It follows a father and son preparing for a day hike in the mountains, and most of the stories are told with wonderful pictures rather than words. âThis detailed, but almost wordless book is an absolute gem,â says Brasch. “It’s just like the father-son outing.”
What will you be
Yamile Saied MÃ©ndez
Written by Yamile Saied MÃ©ndez, an Argentine American with five children, this new, 40-page picture book tells the story of a little girl who is often asked what she will become. “I love the message in this book that all you have to be is you,” said Allie Bravo, store manager at Tattered Cover Kids. “As someone who’s still trying to figure it out, I think it’s great to encourage kids to be themselves and never stop exploring their options.”
Author Katherine Applegates Wish tree, Released in 2017, is a timeless story about a 216 year old tree and what it sees, its history as a wishing tree and what happens when it becomes a tool of hate and love. âThis is a nice story about community and acceptance,â says Bravo. “It’s quiet powerful and extremely hopeful.” The 224-page chapter book is best for children ages eight to twelve, and one that all children should have in their library.
The interactive tree in the newly opened Tattered Cover Kids.
This is the first book by the author Cornelia Funke Ink world Series, and there was too much fanfare in 2011. The 500-page book is still a favorite with children ages ten to fifteen and a popular read for Sydney Haven, Store Manager at Tattered Cover Aspen Grove. “This was one of my favorite books as a kid that I read so many times that it literally fell apart and I had to replace it,” says Haven. “What would you do if you could read things about life from your favorite books?”
“As a Gaiman fan, I had to read this, of course, and it’s absolutely brilliant,” says Haven. “Pirate babysitters, fantastic adventures, beautiful illustrations by Chris Riddell and of course the classic Gaiman charms, this one is a must!” The picture book was released last December and is perfect for children ages four to eight and anyone else who loves Gaiman’s works, funny illustrations and pirates.
C stands for country
Lil Nas X
Give your kids a little “S for Swag” with this quirky ABC book from pop country rapper Lil Nas X, best known for his hit single Altstadtstrasse. “This is a new generation ABC book where faux fur and the feeling of ‘extra’ are part and parcel of growing up,” said Jeremy Patlen, purchasing manager at Tattered Cover. “Be yourself, no matter who you are, all of you.” The picture book came out in January and is great for preschoolers learning the alphabet and anyone else who just wants a fun and unique take on the ABC.
From Archie to Zack
The picture book by author Vincent Kirsch, published in December 2020, tells a sweet story about young, queer love. “This is a very simple and, well, ordinary story about how difficult it is to tell someone how you feel about them, even when ‘everyone knew it was so,'” says Patlen. “This book is just great at normalizing some subjects that are not always easy to discuss.” Best for second through fourth grades.
Tattered Cover Kids is located at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora. The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Keep Westword Free … Since we started West word, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we want it to stay that way. We offer our readers free access to concise coverage of local news, food and culture. We produce stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with bold coverage, stylish writing, and staff who have won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award to the Casey Medal for the Deserving Journalism. But with the existence of local journalism under siege and the setbacks in advertising revenues having a bigger impact, it is now more important than ever for us to raise funds to fund our local journalism. You can help by joining our “I Support” membership program, which allows us to continue to cover Denver without paywalls.