Celebrations at The Story Shop

What do we love almost as much as reading?


Celebrating!

 
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Celebrations at The Story Shop are whimsical, bookish, and so much fun. We celebrate everything - birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, retirement parties, ladies’ tea, and so much more. We provide beautiful decorations, place settings, entertainment, and cleanup, so all you have to do is enjoy!

Kids’ Celebrations

Pin the rose on Belle

Pin the rose on Belle

 
Coloring and temporary tattoos

Coloring and temporary tattoos

 

Our children’s celebration packages cover a variety of ages and themes. We provide fun activities like “party name” name tags, pin-the-tail games, a scavenger hunt, temporary tattoos, and story time through the Narnia wardrobe. It’s the perfect place for your child’s celebration, no matter the occasion!

 
Naming ceremony

Naming ceremony

 
Peter Pan

Peter Pan

 

Adult Celebrations

 
Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

 
Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

 

Our adult packages are classy and versatile. In addition to the place settings, decor, and cleanup, we provide mini clipboards that hold several social games for the guests to fill out at their own pace. The setting is perfect for a sit-down affair or casual mingling.

 
Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

 
Woodland Fairy

Woodland Fairy

 

Here’s a sneak peek at some of our other lovely themes, as well as more details on how to book your celebration today. (We’ll even tell you how to get beautiful and theme-coordinated invitations from the geniuses at Gratuity Paper Co.!)

 
Woodland Fairy

Woodland Fairy

 
Harry Potter

Harry Potter

 
Construction Trucks

Construction Trucks

 
Unicorns

Unicorns

 
Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

 
Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

 
Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

 
Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

There’s one more thing you should know before you book: we have partnered with Doyle Wallace Photography to offer a photography package for your party!

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The photos are sure to be elegant and fun, so you can take the celebration with you when you leave. To add a photography package to your celebration, simply click “Photographer” in the add-ons section when booking.

We hope The Story Shop inspires you to find something to celebrate (and come see us when you do)!

Book Review: Song for a Whale

Lynne Kelly’s newest release is a masterpiece that offers a glimpse of the world from a perspective we hope to see more of in kid lit!

 
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Here’s the publisher’s summary:

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” to him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Adventure, loneliness, discovery, friendship: Song for a Whale holds so much between its pages.

Iris is an amazing protagonist. I love seeing the world through her eyes and seeing how she solves the problems she faces in ways that would never occur to me as a hearing person. The way that Iris’ empathy for Blue 55 moves her to action is an excellent display of her ingenuity. Sound is something many of us hear, but for Iris, it’s something she feels. She shows the reader how we, too, can feel sound, and all that is communicated through it, on a whole new level.

Her experiences of being deaf at a hearing school open the reader to a different perspective. How do we show respect to those we communicate with? Kelly shows the difficulties in communication barriers though conflicts with Nina, who is sure she has mastered sign language, and with one of Iris’ teachers, who refuses to see past Iris’ difference. How often do we think we’ve mastered a complex topic, like a language and a culture, from reading a single book instead of learning from those embedded in them, as Nina does? Or how often do we limit our view of another and belittle their abilities, like Iris’ teacher?

Iris’ family dynamics are another intriguing element. Kelly links Iris’ relationship with her grandparents to poetry. The sign poems, poems rhyming not with words but with sign shapes, that Iris and her grandfather create are beautiful and a realm of poetry that I’d not experienced before. And the shared but distancing gulf of grief between her and her grandmother after the death of her grandfather draws the reader into the narrative in relatable ways.

Song for a Whale is excellent for those who love fixing things, for those who love adventure, for those who feel they are often misunderstood, for those who long for that special connection between kindred spirits.

Book Review: What Is Given from the Heart

Patricia C. McKissack’s final book is a harmony of thoughtfulness and feeling that speaks to the resilience of children.

 
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Here is the publisher’s summary:

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving. 

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service– the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack–with stunning illustrations by Harrison–delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

I was first struck by the illustrations of this book. Harrison’s use of collage works brilliantly. Each page is filled with bittersweet texture that not only appeals to kids, but also nods to nostalgia. Fabrics, papers, and photograph snippets all serve as vehicles back in time for older readers and sources of wonder for younger readers. Harrison’s colors and patterns beg us to turn the page, if only to see what the next visual will convey. The diversity of media used in the illustrations also serves McKissack’s story - give to those in a variety of situations, with a variety of backgrounds. Give to those who are trying to piece together a world from scraps.

McKissack is unflinching from the first page. A note to parents: this book contains some heavy material, but McKissack handles it with grace and nuance while maintaining accessibility. While this is a story about some pretty painful things that happen in the life of a child, this isn’t one of those books that are about-kids-but-for-adults. No, this is a story for children, and James Otis’s intelligent, matter-of-fact voice allows it to move seamlessly from childlike curiosity to tough truths of life and back again.

The story also breaks down what it means to give “from the heart,” a phrase adults often present to children and then leave floating in their brains as a complete abstraction. The reader follows James Otis as he tries to think of anything he might give to a girl who lost her home in a fire. We see his careful choosing process and his doubling back, his excitement and his second guessing. We see him learn from Mama’s actions and explanations that to give from the heart is to give thoughtfully and sincerely.

What is Given from the Heart is a story that trusts its child readers to accompany James Otis on his quest for a heartfelt gift. It trusts kids to match its intelligence. How fantastic, to teach children that both emotion and logic exist side by side in the act of giving!

As always, happy reading!

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Book Review: Lola Dutch: When I Grow Up

The newest Lola Dutch book, out January 15, 2019, celebrates the sincere grandeur of a child’s imagination with charming characters and lovely illustrations.

 
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Here is a summary from the publisher:

Lola Dutch is always bursting with grand plans--so of course she has many ideas for what she wants to be when she grows up!

She could be a magnificent performer . . . 
or a daring inventor . . . 
or a brilliant botanist . . . 
there are exciting ideas all around! But Lola is too excited--she wants to try EVERYTHING. How will she ever decide what she is destined to become?

The curious and creative Lola Dutch is inspired to imagine every way to explore the wonder of her world. And she doesn't have to wait until she grows up!

Just like the Wright’s first Lola book, Lola Dutch: When I Grow Up is bursting with energy and imagination. The characters readers fell in love with in book one are back, and while the enthusiasm is the same, book two avoids feeling redundant or monotonous. The Wrights manage to create a fresh adventure without losing any of their signature charm.

Much like Lola herself, Sarah Jane Wright’s illustrations don’t shy away from being colorful and grandiose. She mixes minimalism and maximalism with expert fluidity. The important parts of Lola’s imagination are highlighted with bright, eclectic patterns and fearless detail, while the backgrounds remain gracefully airy, a canvas for everything Lola can dream up.

This brings me to perhaps the best thing about both the Lola Dutch books: they provide a space to celebrate the sincerity and grandeur of a child’s imagination. Lola Dutch may be a little bit much, but the story never tries to reign her in, and her friends - Bear, Gator, Pig, and Crane - are up for whatever adventures Lola comes up with next, loving her all the while.

If this book sounds as adorable to you as it does to us, good news! Author and illustrator team Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright will be at The Story Shop on January 16 at 6:00 p.m. for a fantastic party and book signing in honor of the release of Lola Dutch: When I Grow Up! You won’t want to miss it - join in the fun by registering here:

And as always, happy reading!

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Mini-List: Gift Ideas from The Story Shop

The Story Shop is full of bookish gifts for all your holiday needs!

Here is a mini-list of items and book pairings we think are pretty great:

 
 
This  Under Water  book + these adorable sea-creature knee socks (Bonus: reverse the book to read  Under Earth !)

This Under Water book + these adorable sea-creature knee socks (Bonus: reverse the book to read Under Earth!)

 
 
 
Would You Rather Be a Princess or a Dragon?  + these colorful party crowns

Would You Rather Be a Princess or a Dragon? + these colorful party crowns

 
 
 
BabyLit’s precious  Moby-Dick  board book + this felt white whale ornament

BabyLit’s precious Moby-Dick board book + this felt white whale ornament

 
 
 
Time for Bed, Miyuki  + the Really Tiny Book Light (This works for any of our bedtime books - just pick a book and a book light in a cute pastel color!)

Time for Bed, Miyuki + the Really Tiny Book Light
(This works for any of our bedtime books - just pick a book and a book light in a cute pastel color!)

 
 
 
Curious George  onesie + library checkout card socks with grippies shaped like date stamps (We realize this one isn’t technically a book/item combo, but Evelyn’s outfit was on point, so we had to include it.)

Curious George onesie + library checkout card socks with grippies shaped like date stamps
(We realize this one isn’t technically a book/item combo, but Evelyn’s outfit was on point, so we had to include it.)

 
 

Stop by The Story Shop to pick up these great gifts, and many others!

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