We recently ran an article on an innovative fundraising initiative by the Junior League of Tyler that involved the publication and sale of a children’s book called “Goodnight Rose City,” a loving homage to one of the most famous children’s books ever…”Goodnight Moon.” We gave JLT full credit for a wonderful idea for a children’s book that brought the best of the League and the Tyler community together…and featured former First Lady Laura Bush as the “first reader” at the book launch.
But JLT is not the only League to experiment with publishing outside of the cookbook space. In fact, research shows that many Leagues have done innovative things in book publishing, particularly for children. Here’s a rundown.
Published in 1998, the Junior League of Charleston’s “Joseph’s Charleston Adventure” is a children’s book that tells a charming story of friendship between a boy named Joseph and a Boykin Spaniel puppy named Susie. Together, they explore the sights and sounds of historic Charleston as Joseph helps Susie find her way home. Included in the book is a dictionary of historical facts and terms exclusive to Charleston.
The Junior League of Houston’s “Sweet Dreams, Douglas” is the result of a project by JLH to address the reading needs of 3-to-7-year-olds, who are at a critical stage in the development of their reading interest and ability. Developed in partnership with well-known children’s author and illustrator Regan Dunnick, the book tells the tale of Douglas, a young dog, as he sets off on a colorful adventure to ask his animal friends if they dream and what they dream about.
“The Littlest Volunteers” is an award-winning children’s book created by the Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills to encourage children to get active in helping others and, in doing so, teach important life skills, improve confidence, promote healthy lifestyle choices and introduce young readers to a life-long commitment to volunteering. Written by JLOSH member Danielle Speckart, “The Littlest Volunteers” has been used in readings and activities in schools and libraries through the communities that the League serves. The book comes with an accompanying CD narrated by actress-singer Raven Symone, and an original, song, “Come On and Volunteer!”
The Junior League of Hampton Roads has published two children’s books. In “Ima Leaguer Finds Her Voice,” you can join Ima Leaguer, a fourth-grade student, as she learns how to make a positive impact on her school and community by experiencing legislative processes first hand. The “Children’s Party Book” is a unique and useful gift for any new or expecting parent (or grandparent!) that contains over 25 pre-planned children’s parties complete with invitations, menus, activities, decorations and games. And, moving in a different direction, JLHR’s “Blessings We Celebrate” is a full-color gift book with blessings, tributes, prayers, table graces, and poems suitable for every family gathering and celebration.
Celebrating the city it serves, the Junior League of London’s “Living in London: A Practical Guide” is described as “the original expat guide to London, written by expats for expats.” The authors are JLL members, who provide “insider tips to help make your time in London the exciting adventure it should be!”
For a different sort of “city book,” try the “Tuscaloosa Sketchbook” from – you guessed it – the Junior League of Tuscaloosa. Featuring 96 pages of beautiful, full color art of local landmarks by local artists, this beautiful book is a love letter to a Southern city.
Remember, the holidays are coming…and all of these books are available on Amazon, and the latest edition of “Living in London: A Practical Guide” is also available through Amazon in digital format for Kindle.