Bookworm of Edwards hosts pajama party with children’s author Rebecca Cohen
If you go …
What: Pajama party for kids with Rebecca Cohen, author of the PJ’s Backyard Adventures book series.
When: 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13.
Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St. in the Riverwalk at Edwards.
Cost: $35, includes a copy of “PJ’s Backyard Adventures: Play at a Paris Playground.”
More information: Dinner is included in the ticket price, and the event is limited to 35 children ages 2 to 8 and their families. Children ages 5 to 8 can be dropped off, and all children are invited to wear their pajamas and boots. To register, stop by The Bookworm or call the store at 970-926-7323.
EDWARDS — On Friday, The Bookworm of Edwards will host Rebecca Cohen and local children for a pajama party, with activities from and inspired by the newest book in Cohen’s PJ’s Backyard Adventures series, “Play at a Paris Playground.”
Cohen, who resides in East Vail, said after she published her first book, titled “Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids,” she wanted to create a series for children to encourage outdoor play. PJ’s Backyard Adventures is her version of “Fifteen Minutes Outside” for kids, and each book has eight ways to engage children, from coloring to finding hidden sight words on every page.
“Children naturally engage in creative play outside, but there are many activities competing for their attention,” Cohen said. “PJ’s Backyard Adventures is so interactive, kids may just put down their tablets and head outside with PJ instead.”
Read on to learn more about Cohen, PJ and their adventures.
VAIL DAILY: Where did the idea for your PJ’s Backyard Adventures series come from?
REBECCA COHEN: At the time, I wanted an early-reader series that would engage my family — not just picture books that my children couldn’t read or sight-word books that felt like a chore, so I created what I thought would have excited my children to read a book. Children can relate to PJ, who uses his imagination in his backyard to travel the world. In each book, PJ travels to a real place outside that kids and parents love.
VD: Tell me about PJ. What’s he all about, why do kids connect with him and what sorts of things do children learn in your books about him?
RC: PJ is the essence of every child: curious and full of wonder. He loves to play outside and wear his pajamas, boots and fireman’s hat. Every day, he asks, “Where should we go today?” Then he closes his eyes, turns three times and says, “One … two … three,” and he chooses a place on a gigantic map of the world to explore. Each night, PJ puts on warm, cozy pajamas to go to bed. As he sleeps, PJ dreams of his next adventure.
I love watching kids meet PJ. They immediately want to cut him out from the back of the book and take him outside. He is a playmate who understands them in every way. I have wanted every child to find something in PJ’s Backyard Adventures that excites them, and I am in awe of seeing this dream come true.
VD: Why was it important to you to include activities within the books in the series, rather than just a story?
RC: Since every child learns in a different way, the activities help parents discover what ignites their children’s interests. PJ’s Backyard Adventures books one and two incorporate 35 Dolch High Frequency words (sight words) for early readers, helping to support children’s reading fluency and comprehension in ways that parents find easy to use.
My experience of having had stacks of books in my house that I read to my children, but that they never wanted to read on their own, made me decide that there needed to be an interesting series for kids in between “Bob Books” and “Magic Tree House.” Other parent friends agreed. As early readers, my children never enjoyed nightly reading for school. My kids did enjoy lots of outdoor play every day, and the only book my then 5-year-old came home excited to read to me was one about fun outdoor festivals around the world.
PJ’s Backyard Adventures combines subjects and activities that engage children naturally. … Kids are so engaged with the different activities in the book. They don’t feel it is work; they are just playing.
Rebecca Cohen is available for classroom visits, and her goal is to visit every pre-kindergarten through first-grade classroom in Eagle County. Your child’s teacher can call The Bookworm of Edwards at 970-926-7323 to arrange a visit.