This week, get to know our curator, Andrea. A mom-extraordinaire from Austin, TX. She is passionate about reading and finding just the right books for her own kids, and now others’ too! If choosy moms and dads choose Zoobean, then they’ll really appreciate Andrea’s uber selectiveness. She is passionate about upholding high standards for all of the books she curates at Zoobean. Oh, and we should mention that she has a PhD in applied linguistics, which means she is “plagued by punctuation rules!”
Read below to learn more about Andrea. And, if you have more questions, leave comments or visit us @zoobeanforkids!
Jordan: Why do you love books, and what makes you an awesome Zoobean curator?
Andrea: Zoobean is what I didn’t know I wanted when I started going to the library with my kids who are now 4 and 2. I was so frustrated by shelves of books that were not at their level or with bad art or with miserable stories. I fancy myself as Zoobean’s target audience, a mom with a young reader and a reader-to-be who wants to know what the good books are and wants to be able to find particular topics sometimes. As a curator, I get to help solve for others the same problem that I face.
Jordan: Is it difficult for readers, parents, and loved ones to discover books on their own for kids? Why is curating important (or not)?
Andrea: I really appreciate trusted recommendations; for a pediatrician, a mechanic, schools, and so on. I wanted those kinds of recommendations when we started reading with our daughter, but they seemed much harder to come by.
Zoobean: How do you know when a book is right for Zoobean families? Or, what makes a book a Zoobean loved book?
Andrea: Since I consider us a Zoobean family, I’m looking for a book that we all want to read, over and over.
Zoobean: What are some of your favorite Zoobean books that you’ve curated so far?
Andrea: For the 2-4 crowd: The Rain Train, for the 5-7 crowd: That Book Woman, and for everybody: Chickens to the Rescue.
Zoobean: What would be your number one piece of advice in choosing a book for a child?
Andrea: Look for something you’d be happy to read 7 times in a row. If you love it that much, chances are your little reader will too.
Zoobean: What was your favorite book as a child?
Andrea: Superfudge, by Judy Bloom. I read it 8 times in third grade and laughed hysterically each time.
Zoobean: What children’s book could you read over and over again without getting tired of it?
Andrea: The Jesus Storybook Bible which is so beautifully and hopefully written. We’ve read it cover to cover half a dozen times in the past couple years.
Zoobean: What is your favorite activity to do with your children (in addition to reading, of course)?
Andrea: This summer we’ve been exploring city parks and naming them; Our Park, Fiona’s Park, Two Parks, the Floppy Bridge Park, and so on.
Zoobean: What is your favorite thing about reading with your children?
Andrea: Now that they are active and running around, I’m happy to have the snuggle time.
Zoobean: What is your favorite memory of reading as a child?
Andrea: Most of my childhood was spent reading, so that’s like asking what was your favorite memory of breathing.
Zoobean: How do you help your own child (or loved ones) develop a lifelong love of reading?
Andrea: I don’t know how to answer this briefly, but a lot of it is just that we love to read, so they are growing up in an environment that reflects that.
Zoobean: Do you have any hobbies (besides reading)? If so, what are they?
Andrea: Crochet and powerlifting
Zoobean: What makes you unique?
Andrea: Back in the day, I studied Kazakh and Azeri (Turkic languages)
Zoobean: Do you prefer coffee or tea? Explain.
Andrea: I’m going to double brag here. My husband makes me a mug of French press coffee every morning—awesome husband, awesome coffee.
Learn more about Zoobean and Andrea’s selections at www.zoobean.com