Written and Bound

  If you've been in the store recently, you may have noticed our growing selection of children's books... and we couldn't be more excited about it!   We are proud to be working with Leighanne Scheuermann from Written and Bound to curate a delightful selection of children's books for our little shop. Leighanne is a Learning Specialist and Educational Consultant who regularly works with parents, parenting groups and school administrations to gauge children's literacy needs and academic challenges.  After evaluation, she suggests reading recommendations that will meet the needs of those specific children.  Leighanne received a master's degree in reading from Teachers College Columbia University and a master's in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. Check it out, and next time you're in the store - read through a few of her recommendations that we've stocked up on! Below is our interview with Leighanne.  Also see her website where you can sign up for her newsletter and parent resources and check out her Instagram. Q:  How did you get into this?  Was there a specific experience that ignited a passion for this kind of work or have you always just been a bookworm? I first went into social work after college and tried not to become a teacher but I quickly found myself in the classroom because I love working with kids. While I do love reading, I think what really brought me this career is the connection you feel with parents when you realize how scared and confused they are about meeting their child’s needs. All parents want the best for their kids and apparently, not a single child comes with an instruction manual. Parents shouldn’t have to feel like they need a doctorate in education to help their kids. My job is often much more about making kids feel confident and helping teachers and parents find ways to focus on a child’s strengths in order to tackle an obstacle. Q:  What's your favorite or most rewarding part of "the job"? My favorite part is definitely watching a child take off and feel happier and more successful. These can be huge life-changing moments like learning to read or a small step like creating a habit of turning in their homework on time. I recently worked with a middle school student who learned how to set goals. I taught her that effort is a large part of her success. Not only did she reach her goal but I also saw her become addicted to the pride she felt when she was doing better in school. It makes me so happy! She now has a different self-perception and respect for herself. Q:  What are some of the common problems you see kids encounter where books seem to be the answer? I think all kids and adults want to see themselves in books, movies or stories. There is something truly magical when you are reading a book and feel the character mirrors so much of who you are and what you feel. I love providing books for kids who are going through something difficult like understanding their own learning diagnosis, anxiety, fear or loss. Q:  When you were growing up, what was your favorite children's book? When I was young my favorite picture book was Corduroy. I still love reading it. I also loved From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and all of the Ramona books. Speaking of feeling less alone, I’ve talked to so many women who say they really saw themselves in Ramona as a child. I can relate to that. My mom read to all three of her kids each night. We read a chapter a night every night until we were almost in middle school. It was a special routine and memories that I will always treasure. Q:  Where do you find all of these great books?!? In the busy phase of life, I try to give myself breaks from parenthood and working to do something I enjoy. I love the calm and quite of sitting in a bookstore and just browsing or looking at magazines. Lately, I’ve been visiting Interabang books in Dallas and they have a beautifully curated selection. I also just keep up with new releases through other book blogs and nerdy teacher and librarian magazines and resources. Q:  Approximately how many kid’s books do your daughters own? Oh, too many! My kids have the blessing and the curse of being a teacher’s child. So I’ve accumulated many books over the years. To keep things simple, I store almost all of them in a closet. The books fill the entire closet and then I rotate them out on my children’s bookshelves in their room. Q:  Do you have any plans to become an author yourself? Yes! I’m two years away from 40 and it was my childhood dream to become an author. So recently one day I woke up and thought, “So why aren’t I doing it already?” I’m submitting a few proposals now and will keep at it until I can publish some books that help children with some of academic and emotional struggles in life. Thank you Leighanne!  We're so excited to be working with you, and we know our customers are going to love your suggestions as much as we do. Have questions for Leighanne?  Feel free to comment below or email us:  hello@barquegifts.com