Lavender’s Bleu Literacy Market:
An Enchanting Children's Bookstore
My grandson and I recently visited Lavender’s Bleu, and we were both in awe of the murals, themes and the books!
I love bookstores and libraries, they are some of the most magical places in the world. Hiding behind the book covers, I imagine adventures to be experienced, stories to be told and places to travel–all without leaving my zip code! Inside a room filled with books, I can barely contain my excitement, as I want to devour as many books as possible. Imagine a bookstore exclusively for children, the only one in Oklahoma and right here in Tulsa! Bookstore seems an inadequate description of Tulsa’s new independently owned Lavender’s Bleu Literacy Market; as the title says -it’s a literacy market! It has plenty of books, but it also has tutoring, teacher development, story times and a beautiful room to host parties and events! This blog will contain more pictures than normal because my writing skills are not eloquent enough to capture the fairy-tale enchantment of Lavender’s Bleu Literacy Market.
Located next to Kathleen’s Kids in the shopping center on the southwest corner of 81st and Harvard, the location may be a bit hidden, but as soon as you walk through the doors you will be certain it’s a discovery worth making. The colorful, book-themed murals on the walls are sure to captivate all ages; make sure to look very carefully along the baseboards so you don’t miss paintings of little mice skittering around the rooms. Even the bathroom is a page out of Alice in Wonderland! Inviting reading spots are scattered throughout the store; a teepee, a swing and plenty of comfy chairs beg you to grab a book and cozy up for a good read.
Callister loved climbing into the reading teepee!
A comfy couch with lots of pillows is the perfect place to read. The Where the Wild Things Are mural is delightful
There is a special area for three scheduled story times each week, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM for tiny tots story time, and Saturdays at 11:00 AM for all-ages story time. The story time spot has a charming white picket fence enclosing a space with a bright rug for the children to sit and a big blue chair where the story reader sits. The children can walk in through the gate, or they can slide into the area. Guess which method nine out of ten kids prefer? The walls have Dr. Seuss murals with a saying that I thought was particularly appropriate for this grandmother and her grandson: “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read to a child.”
We borrowed the story time area to read one of our favorites, Llama Llama Red Pajama!
Callister loved the slide entry into the story time area!
In addition to being a bookstore, Lavender’s Bleu is a tutoring center for reading, even offering free consultations. The owner of the store, Mindy Smith, is a recently retired NSU professor and shares her expertise through providing a wide range of tutoring services for pre-k through 12th grade. All of the literacy tutors have Master’s or Doctorates and are certified reading specialists. The tutoring rooms carry their own personalities with themes of Charlotte’s Web, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Willy Wonka. Learning doesn’t need to be boring!
Callister explores the Charlotte’s Web tutoring room.
Don’t think this is a bookstore reserved for young kids. There is a fantastic room dedicated to young adult books; enter through the closet doors, walk past the coats and you’ll find yourself in the snow-covered world of Narnia! Any pre-teen or young teenager will love this room (I love this room!), which feels like the Narnia I imagined many years ago as I read the book to my children. There are shelves full of wonderful young adult books to appeal to almost any interests.
Callister and I loved our time exploring Lavender’s Bleu, and I know we’ll be making many visits in the future. The owner has thought of everything to make it a wonderful experience, the gift bags are beautiful enough to go straight from the store to a party, which is a big bonus for last-minute shoppers! At the check-out counter there is a large glass jar printed with the words “bookworms” and filled with gummy worms- so clever! Check out their website www.lbliteracymarket.com or their Facebook page–Lavender’s Bleu Literacy Market–or better yet, stop by 8210 South Harvard for a visit and experience it for yourself! Happy reading!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss