Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weekly Whine: Book fairs

I hate book fairs at daycare/school.

It seems terrible to complain about books, because obviously you want your kids to read. But I just hate the way these things are set up. It's always in a really obvious place, where they are completely unavoidable in case you don't want to buy your kid a book. Then your kid cries and screams every day because you don't want to overpay for some book that they could get the library.

Book orders are new to me and I find them equally annoying. Every month, my daughter comes home with the book order and begs me to get her books. Some of the books are actually really great deals and I would be happy to get her those. But those aren't the one she wants. She wants the stuff on the book order that are practically toys, like the sticker books or the fancy diary. And if I don't buy those things for her, she feels left out when the books arrive.


  1. Stick to your guns and buy her books you prefer. She will not feel left out when orders arrive. I told my children early on that I have a say on what they get from book fairs, and it isn't toys. Don't worry if she cries and screams every day, it is only to wear out your patience. My kid whined every day that I do not let him play computer games (because he does not clean after himself). And now he cleans after himslef most of the time, and protests very little when he does not get his computer time (when he forgets to clean).

  2. I'm only gonna make it worse for you, but...

    ...I loved book fairs as a kid. I loved reading in general, but all the books! On display! So pretty! And my mum would say I could only choose one book, and a couple of times I wanted a Where's Waldo book, or a Jolly Postman (cute kid's book, envelopes inside with mini-games and pull-out stuff).

    She would always say I'd just get bored of the thing too quickly as they were either largely or entirely pictures. A couple of times she actually bought me the book... then returned it secretly a day later. Man! Those times hurt the worst!

    Well, I love pictures, I grew up to be an artist, I've never forgotten the Jolly Postman book. I've spent hours poring over Where's Waldo even when I was a teenager. And I've always had different reading taste from my mom. So I think it's great you buy your kid the books she wants. You don't want her growing up bitter like me ;)

  3. I've worked at those book fairs at my daughter's elementary school. Lots of the teachers and parents who staff the book fair hate them as well. Some kids don't have any money to spend those that do often just want to spend money on the flashy pens and erasers and no money on books. They're noisy and take time away from the classroom.

    But they're also fun and beneficial. Our twice annual book fair paid for 2 free books for all the students plus at least 1 classroom smartboard. And it's a great real-time way for kids to practice math, using money, and making decisions on how to spend the money they have. They can practice writing by making a wish list. I found it fun to help kids select and make their purchases and I got some hints on what type of books my daughter liked for birthday and Christmas gifts.

    You could allow your daughter one book of her own choosing and then one book that you choose and then see if any of the other books on the list are at the library. And there's benefit in learning how to watch others receive things you don't. And learning how to walk by tempting things without buying. It doesn't make it any easier on you but she is learning good lessons.