Bookroom Rocks Reading World

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The countryÂ?s foremost authority on childrenÂ?s literature opens salon.

Esme Raji Codell has created the PlanetEsme Bookroom, the first of its kind literary salon. Housing one of the country’s most impressive children’s book collections of over 12,000 titles in a non-circulating resource library, “Chicago’s literary living room” is dedicated to the principles found in her book, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, with the primary goals of promoting literacy and a love of reading in children.

Little did she know when she wrote in 2003, “I wish I could invite you all into my living room to share these wonderful books…” that her wish would come true. Self-sponsored, the ever-evolving salon currently offers storytimes, workshops, book talks by nationally renowned authors and illustrators and magical delights such as a rousing band organ and a “lollipop tree” that bears real fruit. Though the atmosphere may seem playful, the true purpose is to inspire and empower adults to make reading children’s books part of a lifestyle in the home, classroom and beyond.

Ms. Codell brings her experience as a teacher, librarian, parent and bestselling author to both the Bookroom and its corollary website, She seeks to create new alliances and enthusiasts with the zeal of a literary evangelist. “Her intention is to inspire parents and teachers to become more confident and positive about being a supporting character in a child’s reading life story,” says one parent. “I know I’ve been changed.”

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Esme Codell