We're not the only cool kids on the block! In this epoch of big-box mega-stores and sameness (rhymes with lameness), we are a proud member of a community which supports independent, local business. Like a vibrant coral reef, we offer shopping symbiosis: the best in kids' books, toys, clothing, and more. Together, we strive to be a destination for families in search of a unparalleled experience. Whether by car, stroller, or on foot, we welcome you to browse the day away - you will be glad you did!
- King Arthur's Court Toys - an unbeatable selection of wonderfully analog toys staffed by kids at heart.
- Aglamesis Bros. - your one-stop shop for delicious ice cream, malts, and candy, in business in Oakley since 1913.
- The Spotted Goose Co. - enduring, stylish (cool, really), children's clothing, hand-picked by a hip lady.
- Astute Furnishings - a consignment service specializing in antiques, vintage designer and newer designer furniture.
- blue manatee - that's us!
Other Links We Like
blue manatee press. Founded in 2011, the mission of blue manatee press is to create meaningful, enduring books that help bring grownups and children together. They seek partnerships with public health, pediatric, and other non-profit advocacy organizations to help ensure that the story for all children is a happy and healthy one.
Sleepy Bee Cafe. Our sister business, located just a few blocks down Madison! Sleepy Bee is a gathering place that offers locally sourced sustenance—food that not only tastes good, but makes you feel good as well, in an environment that embraces the beauty of its community through its design and featured artistry.
Deeper Roots Coffee. Now occupying the space formerly known as the blue manatee decafe, Deeper Roots is more than just a coffee shop. They strive for excellence in ethical sourcing and crafting of specialty coffees. They also sell baked goods and gourmet toast!
IndieBound. Like manatees, we are deceptively nimble, elegant, and independent, with a strong sense of community. We are proud members of the American Booksellers Association, and its IndieBound program. This site keeps independent booksellers in the forefront of publishing, with best seller lists, recommendations, store information, and more.
CommonSenseMedia.org: A non-profit, web-based resource for kids and parents dedicated to media education rooted in, well, common sense, not censorship. Editor-, parent-, and kid-penned reviews of books, movies, and video games (who cares about the latter 2?), along with advice on minimizing electronic media, maximizing literacy, and enhancing the experience for all involved.
Justin Roberts is the Chicago-based, award-winning singer-songwriter who packs venues across the country. Justin is an ex-Montessori teacher and life-long musician, who is not only passionate about his work and fun to listen to, but he truly, really, gets it. His interactive website features audio, video, links, and other great stuff.
Imago Earth Center. One of our favorite places, a 16 acre oasis on Cincinnati’s Westside. Imago serves tens of thousands of kids every year via camps, special programs, and school visits. Many of the kids they serve have little or no access to nature, making their work even more valuable. We are fortunate to host them every month for interactive and inspiring nature programs (see events for upcoming ones).
Leave No Child Inside of Greater Cincinnati is a collaborative of grass-roots, educational, and nature-oriented groups, whose mission is to inspire kids and families to rediscover the outdoors. They are built on the groundbreaking work of author Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Kids from Nature Deficit Disorder), working to improve the physical and mental health of today's increasingly-sedentary, plugged-in kids.
The Cincinnati Zoo. We love working with (and going to) the zoo. Not only do they provide wondrous, oft-hands-on habitat for our favorite species (hint: rhymes with can o' tea), they are an amazing resource for families throughout the region. With so many books to read, we also have short attention spans, and are thus ardent fans of 90 Second Naturalist (and zoo Director) Thane Maynard, who has been generous enough to inhabit our store several times over the years.
Save the Manatee Club speaks for itself...and manatees. Based in Maitland, FL, they are dedicated to education about and preservation of these magnificent marine mammals. Learn about manatees, adopt a manatee, or best of all, get involved!
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. As a graduate of their pediatric residency program, our owner Dr. John Hutton had the opportunity to work with some of the leading experts in child development and literacy. The CCHMC web page is a great resource for parents on topics from common illnesses to development, to electronic media use. It's worth the surf!
American Academy of Pediatrics is an excellent resource for general as well as electronic media/literacy-promotion guidelines for practitioners and parents alike. Their Media Matters Campaign is specifically focused on the increasingly-important - if not crisis-level - topic of appropriate/healthy electronic media exposure for kids.
FreePlayTherapy. Our owner had the privilege of working with an exceptionally literate mentor, Dr. Joel Singerman, who is also the publisher of this excellent blog on children's literature. Regular posts offer thoughtful insight into both classic and contemporary children's literature, with glimpses in the context of child psychology and development. Cool stuff!