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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Area bookshops offer programs for young readers


Finding activities for children or the entire family can be difficult. You can't go to a museum every weekend and sometimes a movie isn't the answer.

Many bookstores in the area offer programs geared toward pre-teens and younger children. The combination of learning and fun should offer appeal to both parents and the young ones.

Five Barnes & Noble locations feature a number of different groups for kids. Mayfair Mall, 2500 N. Mayfair Rd. in Wauwatosa, includes preschoolers to preteens in its many offerings.

Two programs currently running are Junie B. Jones and Coretta Scott King. Both target beginning readers.

"They are educationally based to enhance reading comprehension and increase a love of reading," says Paula Jones, Community Relations Manager at the store.

Junie B. Jones (no relation to Paula, we assume) follows the humorous adventures of a girl in kindergarten. It's already a popular group and both girls and boys love the chapter series books. It meets every third Sunday of the month at 1 p.m.

"I hand out activity sheets with word games and story games at each group meeting," Jones says. "There is a lot of parent interaction. They work with the children a lot, which is great."

The Coretta Scott King group meets on the last Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. They discuss past winners of the Coretta Scott King award. This group is aimed at older children.

Two reading groups coming this summer are A to Z Mysteries and Magic Tree House. Jones said that the demand for both led her to postpone them to summer.

Golden Slumbers, for those of pre-kindergarten age, meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. Storybook Character, another pre-kindergarten group, gathers at 10 a.m. on the last Monday of the month. A pre-school storytime group meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

For additional information call (414) 475-6070.

The Greenfield Barnes & Noble, 4935 S. 76th St., offers Storytime with Miss Sarah for pre-schoolers every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. For more details call (414) 281-8222.

The Brookfield location, 16220 W. Bluemound Rd., features two unique book groups: American Girl, a kids historical group, on the second Saturday of the month at 10 a.m., and Magical Journeys, aimed at preteens, every third Friday of the month at 1 p.m. On Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., it's Storytime with Miss Carole. Call (262) 782-1514 for more information.

Racine's store, 2710 S. Green Bay Rd., hosts the American Girl Club on the second Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. and the Magic Tree House on the fourth Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. Storytime, with changing themes, takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. To learn more call (262) 598-9757.

The Bayshore Mall Barnes & Noble, 5900 N. Port Washington Rd., holds a story hour for children every Thursday at 1 p.m. For more information call (414) 967-0007.

The Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Mequon, 10976 N. Port Washington Rd., hosts a kids reading group every third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. For further information call (262) 241-6220.

The Shorewood location, 4093 N. Oakland Ave., offers a Young Readers Group on the second Tuesday of every month. It meets at 7 p.m. and is most suited for kids between 8-12. Call the store at (414) 963-3111 for titles or more information.

The Brookfield Schwartz location, 17145 W. Bluemound Rd., is home to a mother/daughter reading group, primarily aimed at 9-12-year-olds. It meets once a month, usually on the last Tuesday of each month. Call the shop at (262) 797-6140 for each month's title or additional information.

Schwartz's downtown Racine shop, 430 Main St., features storytime for kids on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. To learn more call (262) 633-7340.

Border's in Fox Point, 8705 N. Port Washington Rd., encourages youngsters between 5-14 to participate in Chess for Kids on the first and third Sunday of the month. At 12:30 p.m., G. David Guerrero teaches the free class.

They also have Toddler Time, storytime for children ages 2-4. This happens on Wednesday mornings at 10:15 a.m. and includes fun stories, singing, stickers and crafts. Call (414) 540-1427 to learn more.

Border's Greendale location, 5250 S. 76th St., features Miss Mary's Storytime every Saturday at 10 a.m. Each week, an experienced educator brings stories and art projects for kids three and over. For more information call (414) 282-0882.

The schedules are subject to change, and it's a good idea to call ahead and confirm dates and times.

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