In the age of e-books, smartboards and tablets, there are those who think that traditional books are a thing of the past. Christie Michaud, proprietor of Enfield’s Tell Me a Story, is not one of those.
Michaud’s Palomba Drive shop is founded on a love of reading, and takes storytelling far beyond the pages of her shop’s books in an effort to increase early literacy.
“When children play out stories, they get it,” says Michaud, who works to build reading comprehension and nurture a love of reading through creative play.
Accordingly, Tell Me a Story isn’t just a place where someone can pick up a good picture book for bedtime. Rather, Michaud’s shop provides parents with a place where they can easily build the foundation of a lifetime of reading for their children, and have tons of fun along the way.
Coupled with daily programs and story times at Tell Me a Story are a bevy of events and activities.
Songs and free play accompany storytime for infants; children make silly hats while hat-related stories like “I Want My Hat Back” and “Go, Dog, Go” are told; birthdays are celebrated with cake, balloons, pizza and more.
Tell Me a Story also features children’s knitting circles, activities with nut-free snacks and the occasional contest, like this month’s Snowy Haiku Contest with prizes for entrants, or its most recent giveaway, which is the product of a new partnership with Mamma Miro’s.
Those who stop in to Tell Me a Story or Mamma Miro’s can enter to win a storytime pizza party for up to 10 kids (no purchase necessary).
Storytime is an integral part of establishing early literacy, according to Michaud, who came to embrace the concept when her own daughter showed early signs of being a bookworm (Michaud says her daughter would spend up to 45 minutes flipping through a book at just seven months old).
Formerly a pediatric nurse, Michaud took it upon herself to fully support her daughter’s love and, combined with coursework at The University of Hartford, a passion storytelling and its impact on youth blossomed.
The result is a comprehensive resource for parents of readers from infancy to young adulthood.
Sure, books, costumes and other toys can be purchased at Tell Me a Story, but Michaud can also help parents facing a myriad of issues.
She can, for example, help the parent whose child is a precocious reader capable of blowing through the Harry Potter series, but not yet capable of handling some of the series’ more mature content. She can also help young adults become engaged with a given story by helping establish a voice and comprehend story development.
Tell Me a Story is located at 76 Palomba Drive, Enfield. The shop is currently holding an “Inventory Turnover Sale,” featuring holiday-specific or slightly damaged items through Jan. 11, 2014.Mamma Miro's is located at 117 Hazard Avenue, Enfield.