An Interview with Mike Rawls, “The Book Wrangler”

Booksellers and parents know: It can be difficult to sift through the vast number of children’s books published each year to find those special gems. So Bas Bleu turned to an expert for help: Mike Rawls, a.k.a. The Book Wrangler! Our meeting was kismet: Two of our favorite wee bluestockings attend an Atlanta elementary school whose principal, Mr. White, is a major superstar among his students. When we found out Mr. White’s husband, Mike, is a beloved school librarian—recently named Library Media Specialist of the Year for the Atlanta Public Schools system—we asked for recommendations. The result is our amazing Curated Kids Collection…and this insightful interview in which Mike shares his tips for selecting the right children’s books, how reading can help kids talk about tough subjects, and why he’s known as “The Book Wrangler.” Continue reading

7 Memorable Fathers from Literature

Father’s Day is almost upon us! Whether you’re planning to celebrate your father, grandfather, husband, or another great guy who’s made a difference in your life, we’ve compiled a list of seven memorable fathers from literature. Not all of these men prove the old adage “father knows best”…but they did all make a mark on the lives of their children, as well as readers. And if you’re still shopping for a perfect Father’s Day gift, the Bas Bleu bookshelves are filled with options! Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2021

photo of open book with fluttering pages sitting beside a swimming pool

The mercury is rising—fast—and now’s the time to stock up on summer essentials. Sunscreen? Check. A cooler full of frosty beverages? Check. A comfy lounge chair? Check. A tall stack of awesome books? Double check! Wherever the summer takes you, Bas Bleu has your reading needs covered…even if you’re staycationing at home. To help you create your summer reading list, our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite picks from our new Summer 2021 edition. Hungry for more? Our Summer Reading Collections offer a whirlwind literary escape—no passport required! And for wee bluestockings celebrating their freedom after the final school bell rings, our Curated Kids Collection provides a summer’s worth of bedtime stories. Continue reading

6 Memorable Gardens in Literature

We’re deep in the heart of spring this month, that time of year when Bas Bleu‘s editors enjoy digging in the dirt, potting colorful flowers, and generally gussying up our green space. But when you’re a reader, there’s no need to pull on gardening gloves or relocate errant earthworms to spend time in a beautiful garden. Simply open a book! In honor of the blooming season, we’re tipping our sunhats to six memorable gardens in literature. Continue reading

Fresh Spring Picks 2021

An updated version of our Spring 2021 edition lands in mailboxes today, sprinkled with new books and gifts chosen because…well, because we couldn’t fit all that awesomeness in the first time around! Fingers crossed the weather in your neighborhood is beginning to cooperate, and you’re looking forward to alfresco reading marathons surrounded by blooming flowers, chirping birds, warm sunshine—and neighbors who do not fire up their lawnmowers or weed whackers at the exact moment you settle down outside. Even if temperamental spring weather and sky-high pollen counts keep you indoors, we hope these fresh spring picks from Bas Bleu will add a little cheer to your day. Continue reading

Spring Reading List 2021

open book on sunlit wooden surface, with cherry blossoms and other trees in the background

What a difference a year makes! Yes, we’re still grappling with the coronavirus, and political dissension hasn’t magically disappeared. But as we watch the fruit trees begin to bud and the daffodil shoots push free from the soil, we feel hopeful for the future. At Bas Bleu, we’re celebrating the promise of the new season in true bleu fashion: by delivering our Spring 2021 edition (and the following spring reading list) to readers nationwide! Continue reading

7 Books to Read During Women’s History Month

dictionary page featuring partial view of definition of the word "history"

March is Women’s History Month, but we don’t need to turn the calendar page to celebrate the contributions women have made to human history. At Bas Bleu, we’ve long highlighted women’s stories, both the well-known and the less familiar or overlooked. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, we’re highlighting just a few of those remarkable life stories with our list of seven books to read during Women’s History Month. Continue reading

How Libraries Continue to Serve During the Pandemic

COVID-19 disrupted just about every aspect of life in America…and libraries were not immune. Officially, they’re book repositories, but public libraries also operate as community centers, technology access points, continuing education centers, after-school hangouts, and unofficial social services agencies. When the pandemic forced libraries across the country to shut down, their doors may have locked but their work never stopped. From finding creative new ways to continue regular services (e.g., curbside book pickup, e-library card sign-ups, virtual storytime) to offering pandemic-specific services, libraries have stepped up in a big way. The Bas Bleu community is full of library lovers (and February is Library Lovers Month), so we thought we’d share just a handful of examples of how libraries continue to serve during the pandemic. Continue reading