Up Your Story Time Game

Free or cheap story times abound in this city – plus, Blue Manatee is helping local authors get published.
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→Can’t read Goodnight Moon for the four-millionth time? Good news: Free or cheap story times abound in this city. All of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s 41 branches host story times, which on their own could keep your kids occupied and well-read forever. At least through age 6, as there is various, specific programming geared for all ages up to then—all for free. (And the Clifton Branch’s story time is not to be missed.)

Photograph courtesy Joseph-Beth Booksellers

On the east side, Blue Manatee bookstore typically has a free story time a bonkers six days per week, sometimes involving art (check the monthly schedule on their site). Kids will occasionally even hear manuscripts from its in-house book publisher, too. Joseph-Beth’s Rookwood spot will read to your little ones Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings (with Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday offered at the Crestview Hills location).

Up north? Liberty Center’s Cincinnati Children’s Discovery Center turns its “Living Room” into story town every Friday at 11:30 (free). Book Bums in Old West Chester, a learning center/coffee shop/lending library, hosts a weekly story time hour, too. It’s $5, but includes crafts and snacks. And we mentioned the coffee, right?


→Designer/illustrator (and father of four) Andrew Neyer’s Letters Are For Learning (Blue Manatee Press) takes a different tack “on the typical A is for apple kids’ book,” he says. He instead describes an action, e.g., C is for cooking. “The new format allowed for the images to be more playful and also added an alliterative look-and-find element—[like] having a chef-capped crab carefully cooking Cajun chicken on a cooktop.” Which makes it amusing for the adult reading the book, too.

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Photograph courtesy Aaron M. Conway

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