Teachers: Tell us what you want!

It’s been requested that Blue Baboon Books carry teacher and classroom supplies, and we want to know what you want. Fill out the survey below, and help make Blue Baboon Books a store that can be a resource for you!

The LaLoggia Art Gallery

Blue Baboon Books wants to encourage and promote the efforts of area young artists. As a part of that, each month the bookstore will feature the works of one talented artist 18 years old or younger in our LaLoggia Art Gallery. The featured artist will also be the honored guest at a Final Friday reception at the end of the month.

If you are or know of a talented young person in the greater Wichita area, please send digital examples of the art to me, Sara Ornelas, at monkeyaround@bluebaboonbooks.com. We will review each month’s submissions and choose one artist to feature each month.

The LaLoggia Art Gallery is named in honor of my maternal family. The LaLoggia family has been a strong influence on me throughout my life, particularly in opening Blue Baboon Books. It is a family full of strong survivors, passionate pioneers that embrace the entrepreneurial spirit, and people who thrive in the face of adversity and laugh through all the ups and downs of life. Our matriarch, Joyce LaLoggia, died in 2016. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could call my grandma to talk about books (which we both read voraciously), family, or nothing at all. She left behind my aunt and uncles — Julia, Tom, and Jimmy. I cannot imagine a smarter, cleverer, passionate, or inspirational people to have in my life. I am forever in their debt.


New Market Square: Make Room for Blue Baboon!

Blue Baboon Books is opening a brick-and-mortar store in New Market Square on July 28. The opening comes just in time for Harry Potter’s birthday, and to celebrate the store will dedicate the entire grand opening weekend to the Chosen One. There will be trivia contests, wand-making sessions, and special readings. Customers are encouraged to dress up as their favorite HP characters.

The new store will share the building with J. Rae’s Baker, Interstate Batteries and Sports Clips right along Maize Road at 2357 N. Maize Road, Suite 109.

Officially, the brick-and-mortar location is a temporary pop-up store through December. However, owner Sara Ornelas is going in with the mindset that this will be a permanent location.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for 12 years. The mobile bookstore is doing so well that I really believe that the brick-and-mortar will be a strong branch of the Blue Baboon Books business.”

Additionally, the west side of Wichita has been desperately in need of a bookstore since Borders closed several years ago.Blue Baboon Books will continue its mobile business as well.

“That’s where we started, and it’s grown into such a fantastic opportunity to reach out to schools and kids. I love the mobile business, particularly school book fairs,” Ornelas said.

The new store will offer several weekly and monthly activities, as well as special events and literary-themed birthday parties.

  • Weekly story times
  • Science Friday activities for toddlers and preschoolers
  • Final Friday art shows
  • Coloring times

Blue Baboon Books will continue to specialize in contemporary children’s and young adult literature, but it will now offer some adult titles, as well as a few gift items and stationary. There will also be a modest beverage station, featuring coffee and pop.

“I want the store to be a place where families can enjoy the experience of Blue Baboon Books,” Ornelas said. “It’s all about helping kids fall in love with the written word. If we can create a space where they’re comfortable and their families are comfortable, the bookstore becomes a warm welcoming place for them.”

Free books for schools!

At the beginning of 2017, Blue Baboon Books set a goal of giving away $5000 worth of books or cash for the year. It’s only May, and we’ve already given $3776 to area schools!

So we think we set the bar too low. We’re raising the expectation. Our 2017 goal is now to give $7000 in books or cash to area schools. That includes public schools, private schools, or daycare and preschool facilities.

Do you want some free books? All you have to do is set up a book fair or event with Blue Baboon Books, and you can earn up to 43% of your sales in free books!

And Blue Baboon Books fairs and events are so easy! No volunteer coordination. No setup. And no sales minimums. Just give us a place to park our mobile store, and you’re all set!

Invite Blue Baboon Books to your school for parent-teacher conferences, open house, STEM night, literacy night, any kind of family engagement event, picnics, fundraisers, carnivals, or any event that families will attend. It’s a fantastic way to get books into your students’ hands and send them off in a lifetime journey of literacy!

For more information on book fairs, events, and rewards, visit our book fair page.

Summer Childcare Book Fairs

Summer childcare centers can earn big rewards with a Blue Baboon Books book fair.

  • Childcare centers
  • School latchkey programs
  • In-home childcare facilities
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Any childcare facility

If you plan on working with young people this summer, invite Blue Baboon Books out to do a book fair. Not only will you be giving your kids and families convenient access to great books, but you will also have the opportunity to earn free books for your center.

To learn more about Blue Baboon Books’ book fairs and events, contact Sara at monkeyaround@bluebaboonbooks.com or click on the link below.

Book Fairs & Events

Blue Baboon Books @ VBS

Blue Baboon book fairs are a fantastic way for organizations to raise books or fundraising dollars, while helping kids get the great books they love! And now Blue Baboon Books is taking bookings for vacation Bible schools in with Wichita, Valley Center, Maize, Goddard, and Andover area!

A book fair is a wonderful end to a fun-filled week at VBS. Your little ones and their families will be able to shop more than 1000 books in the Blue Baboon Books mobile bookstore. And your organization will reap rewards of up to 43% of the sales in books or 23% of the sales in cash. For a complete list of our book fair rewards, visit the book fair page.

Blue Baboon Books book fairs are super easy for you. There’s no setup for you, no volunteer coordination, and no sales minimums. All you need to do is give us a spot in your parking lot for Blue Baboon Books to park its mobile bookstore. That’s it!

To schedule a Blue Baboon Books book fair for your VBS, contact Sara at monkeyaround@bluebaboonbooks.com or (316) 680-8268.

Reluctant No More: Getting Kids to Love Reading

Do you have a reluctant reader at home? A kid who would rather do just about anything than stick his or her nose in a book? Perhaps she’s overwhelmed by the thought of a chapter book. Maybe he’s completely disinterested in books other kids his age are reading. Have no fear. Blue Baboon Books is here to raise your kids from reluctant to robust readers!

Get them reading! It truly does not matter what they’re reading, so long as they’re reading. It’s okay to say yes to Minecraft handbooks, magazines, and comic books. Whatever they read, they are building vocabulary, learning sentence structure, expanding their imagination, and improving their capacity to comprehend. It’s better that they read Dan TDM’s “Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal” than to watch Dan TDM on YouTube. And it’s not just sufficient, but it’s valuable. The most important thing you can do to encourage your child to be a reader is to get them to read and support them in their reading endeavors. Dan TDM’s book might lead to books on computer programming, adventure novels, and a world of possibilities. Let them read what they want, and they will learn to enjoy reading.

Graphic and illustrated novels are amazing opportunities to bring reluctant readers to the table … or the library or bookstore, so to speak. Too many times I hear graphic novels dismissed as “not real books.” Au contraire! Graphic novels are an excellent bridge for kids moving from picture books into novels. And in recent years, graphic novels have upped their games with compelling story lines, witty humor, and gorgeous art. The graphic elements throughout these gems make chapter books less overwhelming, breaking up the words-words-words with clever and creative illustrations. A few popular graphic novels include …

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid“: There are 11 titles in this series, which centers around Greg and his general awkwardness.
  • Dork Diaries“: Another tale about the awkwardness of middle school, this time from a female protagonist. Choose from 11 titles, plus one do-it-yourself journal.
  • Again, Dan TDM’s “Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal“: This YouTube sensation comes to life in this full-color graphic novel.
  • Big Nate“: Tales of mischief and misadventure.
  • Raina Telgemeier explores the world of school, family, drama, crushes, and friendship in her beloved graphic novels:

It’s okay to read easy books. Parents might get frustrated that their child can read at a fifth-grade level, but he’s only interested in third-grade books. That’s okay. It could be a maturity thing, in that he relates more to third-grade materials. It could also be a matter of comfort. If she’s reading a book for enjoyment, she should actually enjoy it. If she’s struggling through it, not understanding the vocabulary or plot, or just not connecting … she’s going to feel discouraged and give up. Just because a child can read at a fifth-grade level doesn’t mean she wants to read at a fifth-grade level. Again, if we want kids to enjoy reading, we have to let them read books they enjoy.

Pass the book buck. My oldest son is a bit of a reading rebel. He doesn’t like to read what mom recommends. Never mind that mom owns a bookstore and reads about 100 books a year for fun. I’ve been told “Mom, you don’t know what’s modern.” Sigh … But I do know that there are people in his life who, if they said it was cool to jump off a bridge into the piranha-infested Amazon, he’d do it. So I’m not above nudging others to recommend a book that I think he’d like.

Rule out any learning challenges. If your child truly doesn’t seem to excel at reading, check with his or her teacher. She might, in fact, be struggling with an un-diagnosed learning disability. Getting a diagnosis and intervention will be key to overcoming this challenge.

A few of my personal favorites for reluctant readers:

  • Return to Augie Hobble“: New Mexico middle-schooler Augie Hobble grapples with adolescence, paranormal mysteries, an overdue Creative Arts project and heartbreaking loss while working at his father’s theme park, Fairy Tale Place.
  • Matchstick Castle“: Eleven-year-old Brian’s summer turns out a lot less boring than expected when he encounters a huge, wacky house in the forest and befriends the eccentric family that lives there.
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret“: Living in the walls of a busy Paris train station in 1931, clock keeper and orphan Hugo Cabret must constantly work to keep his secrets safe, but when an inquisitive girl and an old man who owns a toy store begin probing, he must do all he can to keep them at a safe distance.
  • Coraline“: Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.
  • Frazzled“: Struggling with a family that does not understand her and a cafeteria full of corrupt lunch ladies, drama-prone Abbie Wu throws freak-out tantrums in her struggle to figure out who she is, where she belongs and how she is supposed to survive the everyday disasters of growing up.
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon“: Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinarymagic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge onschedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

Blue Baboon Books for Wichita Public Schools!

Mobile bookstore to give 10% of all online sales to USD 259

March 15, 2017 – As part of its dedication to education and the community, Blue Baboon Books has committed 10 percent of its online sales from its retail website to Wichita Public Schools.

“As a business owner who works closely with the schools and as a mom of two children in Wichita schools, I am honored to be a part of this community,” said Sara Ornelas, owner of Blue Baboon Books. “I am awed by teachers’ devotion to their students and their jobs. They are an amazing group of resourceful and dedicated professionals. I am grateful for the opportunity to help.”

Customers, friends, and family can order from its retail website from anywhere in the continental United States, and get free shipping.

In addition to 10 percent of its online sales, individual schools also can also earn books or fundraising dollars from Blue Baboon Books through book fairs. Based on the sales from their fairs, schools can earn up to 43 percent of the sales in brand new books or 23 percent of the sales in cash. For complete details on book fair rewards, visit bluebaboonbooks.com/bookfairs.

Blue Baboon Books is a Wichita-based mobile children’s and young adult bookstore, which specializes in low-maintenance book fairs for public schools, private schools, and preschools. Additionally, Blue Baboon Books takes its mobile store to area food truck rallies, fairs, expos, and festivals.

Easter Bunny Book Baskets Benefit USD 259!

A Blue Baboon Book Basket will undoubtedly thrill your child on Easter morning, and it will also benefit our beloved Wichita schools! For every Easter book basket ordered from Blue Baboon Books, 10% of the sales will go directly back to USD 259!

Easter bunny book baskets will include a stuffed bunny, assorted Easter sweets, and (of course) the book(s) of your choice. Baskets will cost $11.99, plus the cost of the book you choose. Baskets will be delivered the week before Easter.

The deadline for orders is Monday, April 10. Delivery available only in Wichita, Valley Center, Park City, Maize, Bel Aire, and Goddard.

How it works:

  1. Choose your book from the Blue Baboon Books website. Do not order your book from the website. Find the book you want and follow the directions below.
  2. Fill out the form below, and fill in the title of your book in the form.
  3. You will be emailed an invoice with the price of your book and the cost of the Easter Bunny book basket.
  4. Pay the invoice online.
  5. Await eagerly for the Easter bunny to deliver your child’s basket!

Think Spring.

It’s important to keep kids’ minds stimulated during school breaks. Being out of school for a week doesn’t mean that their brains have to be on vacation, too!

If your organization or school will be doing spring break childcare, consider inviting Blue Baboon Books to do a book fair. You can earn up to 43% of the sales in brand-new books or 23% of the sales in cash!

Learn more about Blue Baboon Books book fairs and events.

If you’re interested in getting on our calendar, contact Sara Ornelas at monkeyaround@bluebaboonbooks.com or (316) 413-2400.

1 2