I think it’s safe to say things look a little different right now. We’re working remotely, homeschooling our children, and trying to find ways to keep ourselves occupied as we shelter safely at home. As the outside world remains unpredictable, I find myself craving any sort of routine that once was, any sort of normalcy. When life outside your home becomes uncertain, it tends to open your eyes to what matters most – health, family and security, to name a few. That same uncertainty also serves as a reminder to find happiness in the little moments at home. For me, one of those little moments is story time with my boys.
Now, if your weekday evenings look anything like ours – a sprint through dinner, bath time and bed time routines – you know story time often gets the boot. My almost four-year-old lives for story time before bed. He begs and pleads, and piles books up on his little twin bed as high as he can without them all toppling over. I know half of this effort is his ploy to avoid going to bed at a reasonable hour, but I also know he loves to get lost in stories, inquiring about superheroes’ powers, dinosaur name pronunciations, and monster truck statistics – he’s always eager to read more.
In a pre-coronavirus world, I would often hurry through these stories. Hurry through the routine to get just a few minutes to myself before my own bed time (#selfcare). Now, not so much. This part of our routine suddenly gives me and my son so much more than story time; it gives us an escape from reality – a way to imagine faraway places and look forward to a time when we can get outside again. It gives us hope and a reminder that when this phase of isolation passes, there’s so much for us to see, do, and explore.
Part of the wonder of having children, at least for me, has been the gift of experiencing life through their eyes as they explore the world around them. Everything is new. Everything is celebrated. Even the routine things that we take for granted feel fresh when experiencing those things with them. For those reasons, I’ve looked forward to the start of summer for months now, planning how I would take my boys to so many of the places around San Antonio that make it oh so special – think the River Walk, the Alamo, Brackenridge Park’s duck pond, and the Zoo train.
The reality, though, is that we’re home. The good news is we’re safe. The bad news is our plans to adventure around our beloved city are on hold. But, being home brings us back to story time…and books. What better way to explore from home than through books? For now, we’re prioritizing story time before bed at our house – heck, really at any time because we’ve lost track of weeks, hours, and days – to keep our sense of adventure strong. We’re leaning into this part of our nightly sprint to keep us sane and to give us a small sense of normalcy that once was neglected as routine.
So, if you’re like me – ready to read, explore, and imagine a world after this pandemic – join me in enjoying local literature – some all about the Alamo City, others authored by local writers. Curl up with your kids, hug them a little tighter, and read through adventures of Texas and the Alamo City with a selection of stories listed below.
10 Children’s Books About the Alamo City
(*and, some authored by San Antonians)
Authored by: Jennifer Gaines Drez
“…a colorful and beautifully illustrated book that captures a child’s attention, while teaching them the history and importance of San Antonio”
Authored by: Veronica Waldrop
“Through a series of adventures, a unicorn with a broken horn discovers the truth about herself and what it means to be enough… or a NUFF!”
Authored by: Puck
“A cool counting book”
Authored by: Carmen Tafolla
“From piñatas to flower coronas, little ones are introduced to the many colorful aspects of an important and lively Latino cultural tradition.”
**Look for this title at your neighborhood library.**
Authored by: Linda Sulser and Jeanne Schaefer
“The ABC’s of San Antonio’s celebration”
Authored by: Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper
“Howdy partner! This book features some of San Antonio’s most cherished sights and fun attractions.”
Authored by: Heila Rogers
“…an unusual and unique souvenir that combines the value of a traditional ABC book for children and a colorful and helpful guidebook (for adults).”
Authored by: Martha Zschock
“Welcome to Texas! Parent and child Armadillos tour the Lone Star State…”
Authored by: John Skewes and Michael Mullin
“Follow Larry as he gets separated from his best friend Pete and searches for him all over Texas. Larry journeys through the major cities-Houston, Dallas, San Antonio…”
Authored by: Carol Crane
“There are enough special people, wildlife, and natural wonders in the Lone Star State to fill several alphabet books, and Sleeping Bear Press has picked out the finest to represent Texas…”