Sunday Post: Architecture…Books Create a Strong Foundation

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is ARCHITECTURE.

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I held my mother’s hand as we approached the impressive façade of the eight-story building, my older sister excitedly chattering about the dress she was going to buy to wear at her junior high school graduation.  Located in downtown Brooklyn, Abraham & Strauss was a well-known department store with floors and floors of the finest merchandise.

Taking the elevator to the eighth floor, we entered a paradise for book lovers!  Wall-to-wall books…and in between…tables and tables of books.  Admonishing me to stay there and find something to read, my mother and sister left for the dress department.

Perhaps you are shocked and horrified that any mother would leave a nine-year old girl alone in a department store in New York City.  Looking back on the experience, I’m also surprised that she did…but it was another time…over 50 years ago…and people felt a lot safer, even though perhaps they weren’t.

I wandered around, happy as a clam (are clams happy?), picking up this book and that book and just reveling in the ecstasy of having so many books at my disposal.  I finally choose LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott, one of my favorites.

I sat down on the floor and proceeded to read the entire book from cover to cover.  When I am engrossed in a book, the world outside of the book ceases to exist for me.

Is it that way for you?  I had no watch…time stood still for me until I finished the last page, closed the book   and crawled out from my quiet little cubbyhole under one of the tables.

“THERE SHE IS!!!!”  I saw my mother and sister running towards me.  Several policemen, uniformed store security guards and sales clerks were with them.  Later, my mother explained that after several hours of shopping for my sister’s dress, they returned to the book department, but couldn’t find me (I am very petite and at age nine, I was even smaller).   Store personnel and the police were called in to help search throughout the entire store because they believed I had walked away from the book department.

Walk away from a book department?  It’s obvious they didn’t know the real Vivian!

I’m sure my mother never did that again…but at no time during the experience was I frightened or concerned.  I didn’t think I was lost in the store…I was lost in the world of the book…and I was very happy to be there.

Books are like wings…they help children soar!

Why should we read to young children?

Research shows that young children who are read to on a daily basis have greater school success.  Buildings like the old Abraham and Strauss needed a strong foundation…children need a strong foundation as well…and books contribute a very important part of that.

Why should we limit TV and participate with young children in other activities?

Recent studies point to possible future health problems when kids get too much ‘screen time’.



With the holidays just around the corner, are you wondering what to get for friends who have young children, teachers who teach young children, grandparents or daycare providers?

Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking


A brand-new, signed and inscribed copy is just $19.95 on Amazon (there are several used copies from other book dealers being offered for $50 – $60).  The book contains 100 picture book suggestions with a summary, quick craft project and child-friendly recipe for each recommended title.  In addition, there is a gentle parenting tip and lined space for writing your own notes on every page.

This is a must-have book…you’ll never wonder what to do with your kids…and they won’t have to turn to the TV for entertainment.  Get your copy today!


Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on November 18, 2012, in Reading with Children, Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-Esteem Through Reading, Sunday Post and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Great work Vivian for this week theme , Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂


  2. Thanks for sharing this story! I bet your mom gave you clear directions the next time she left you alone. Growing up in France, I was raised to be very independent early on but honestly, there’s no way I’d do the same thing with my kids! I remember the man trying to lurk girls in his car with candy outside of our school and nobody did anything about it! Americans may be paranoid with their kids’ safety, but it’s a good thing in my opinion.


    • It’s a funny thing, Milka…many parents here seem to think that if their little one is in a store, they can allow the child to run around, unattended…I’ve had to catch 2 and 3 year olds who were almost out the door…and where is the mom…unaware of where her child is, shopping…trying on clothes…thinking the 2 year old was with the 5 year old…or with a grandmother who thought the child was with the mother…and yet it only takes a second for a little one to disappear…whether they are 2 or 5 or older.  So perhaps some parents are too overprotective…but some are definitely negligient. 😦  


  3. What a wonderful memory! Nothing like the magic of those old department stores- I doubt any of them have book departments now.


  4. I love Little Women too. I am now thinking it would be a perfect gift for my daughters this year. My daughters who love reading and see going to the book store as a wonderful treat: to browse and to choose one book to take home. As a teacher, I know that if a child is successful at reading that this will translate into success in their subject areas.


    • Thanks, Erik…it was an amazing store to visit, especially as a child…everything seemed on a super-sized level…the elevators were gleaming polished wood and brass inside and you felt like you were being transported to Oz. 🙂


  5. Lovely post, with wonderful memories. I still remember trips to Boston as a child: the amazing architecture and my excitement at being IN Make Way For Ducklings. I was sure they were around every corner!


  6. Wow, that is some building! 🙂


  7. I couldn’t imagine how you read the book from cover to cover in such a short span of time . . . until I learned the span was longer than I had envisioned.

    How scary for your mom.


    • I know…it was quite a few hours…although for me, because I was reading, it seemed like a few minutes. 🙂  Those were definitely different times, Nancy…these days they would have probably taken my poor mother away in handcuffs for having abandoned me. 😦   


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