Share Rhode Island with Young Readers

Books are always wonderful gifts for kids, especially if they’re meaningful to the child. This year, why not pick up an RI-themed book for the little reader in your life? It’ll make local kids feel a little more connected to their state, and kids who live far away will feel a little more connected to you.

Mark Perry has put a festive, Rhode Island spin on Christmas, history and tourism for kids. His newest children’s story, ‘Post’ Mark – The North Pole Postman Visits Rhode Island, is the charming tale of ‘Post’ Mark’s little journey through Rhode Island to collect letters to Santa from local kids. On his quest, he stops at historical sites across the state such as Slater Mill, the Providence State House, Roger Williams Zoo, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Block Island and more. He goes to WaterFire, rides the Flying Horse Carousel at Watch Hill, sees a PawSox game, and even gets to sit down and have a bowl of clam chowder with all of the kids.

This story is wholesome, cute and educational for any kid who wants to learn something new about what makes Rhode Island so awesome. Lia Marcoux’s illustrations are warm and bright. She adds small details to the pages that would make any RI native smile. Keep an eye out for the RI mailboxes in Santa’s mailroom, the cups of Del’s lemonade and the coffee milk. Perry creates a twist on the classic Christmas tale with ‘Post’ Mark, a unique elf at the North Pole.

Screen-shot-2014-12-05-at-5.07.52-PMHow do you spark an interest in American History in your kids? With puppies! Lauren E. Kelley’s Tuggie The Patriot Pup is a story about a British Yorkie who takes a big journey across the Atlantic to Rhode Island, one of the American colonies. In Providence, he helps the colonists sink a ship, the HMS Gaspee, in their fight for independence from England and the rule of King George III. Along the way, Tuggie meets Half-Moon O’Riley, another Yorkie puppy who quickly becomes Tuggie’s best friend. The two become honored Patriots in their protest against Britain.

This little book is not only educational, but fluffy. It also has some drama, which adds excitement to the tale. Rick Shier’s illustrations of Tuggie and Half-Moon are detailed and adorable, and mimic colonial paintings. The back of the book provides pages of supplemental information about the American Revolution, as well as a glossary of terms that a younger child may not understand at first. Tuggie’s story is the perfect way to introduce a child to American History.

Local author Jill Austin has fun with her RI heritage in her two children’s books RI Loves, an ABC book of all the wonderful things about our state, and R_0Where Did All the Rs Go?, a story about an R who moves to Rhode Island, excited to meet lots of R friends, and disappointed that he can’t find any. Maybe they’re all pahking the cah. The simple stories are perfect for young readers and the colorful illustrations make them eye-catching gifts for baby’s first Christmas.

Pick up a copy of any of these fun kids books from your local bookstore and delight the little bibliophile in your life.

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