“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”- Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl’s admonition might not be one that many parents will follow through with, but it does emphasize the importance of reading – and that is something any mom or dad can get behind. Luckily for Shunyi residents, there is a place to pick up that perfect book for your child.
Star Kids Children’s Bookstore has something for every age, reading level, and interest. Most of the titles are in English, with a small selection of bilingual Chinese-English books for the preschool set. A charming bilingual book about Mika, Picky Eater (RMB 50) can be paired with a cookbook, also bilingual, that introduces kids to popular Chinese dishes (RMB 150). The store carries books for adults too, mostly English non-fiction, a few parenting books, and China travel guides in French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
Opened in 2009, Star Kids’ real attraction is the eye-popping variety of children’s books. Avid readers will find Spot, Arthur, Wally, Pippi Longstocking, Willy Wonka, and more. A large comfy couch with stuffed toys makes a comfortable reading nook. The staff is friendly, helpful, and encourages customers to linger.
Buying for babies? No problem. It’s never too early to start kids on books. There is a wide selection of tear- and chew-resistant cloth books. Ladybird board books (RMB 55-70) are great for little baby fingers to handle. Toddlers and preschoolers will have a field day flipping through picture books with sturdy pages. Some illustrations are so attractive you may want to keep the book even if your kids are well past this stage.
Beginner and emergent readers can choose from fiction or non-fiction. For Levels 1-3, there are Puffin Books’ Young Readers series and National Geographic Kids (RMB 30). The Storylands Circus Bizurkus box set with 42 books (RMB 1,780) takes a child all the way from Level 1 (emergent reader) to Level 20 (early fluent). This is a gift that would last several years and can be shared among siblings or handed down.
Reluctant older readers (ages 9-12) may enjoy the Science Museum series, Why Is Snot Green? (RMB 70). The Be the Boss of Your Stress box set (RMB 220) makes a great gift for a tween or younger teen who needs some affirmation. The set includes a book, stickers, a star-shaped stress ball, an acupressure tool, a pinwheel for breathing exercises, and a biofeedback card.
Older readers will have lots to choose from, including the Harry Potter and Twilight series. Alex Scarrow, author of the Time Riders series, was recently at Star Kids for a book signing. The store is in talks with several publishers to bring more authors to Beijing in 2014.
For help with schoolwork, Evan Moor and the Letterland Activity books (RMB 45) provide great supplementary writing and phonics activities to do at home. School-age kids can find study books for different grades. Teenagers can also find review books and workbooks for IGCSEs, IB, or SATs.
Star Kids Children’s Bookstore
Daily 10am-9pm. Unit L319, Europlaza, 99 Yuxiang Lu, Tianzhu, Shunyi District (6458 1292 , firstname.lastname@example.org) 顺义区天竺镇裕翔路99号欧陆广场5层L319单元
photo by Dana Cosio-Mercado
This article originally appeared on p22 of the beijingkids January 2014 issue.
Check out the PDF version online at Issuu.com