I’d love to browse Orthodox children’s books in a cozy stone cottage. Sunlight would gleam through the mullioned windows, and the books would be neatly arranged on a home-built wooden farm table. Kittens would scamper under foot, and the breeze would bring garden scents through the open half door.
In real life, I’m thankful that Orthodox children’s books can be purchased in a variety of places, for those who never find the stone cottage of my imaginings. Most book sales occur in one of three ways, and I’ll discuss the benefits and limitations of those options here.
You know that’s the first place that came to mind. Isn’t it always?
Yes, you can purchase many Orthodox children’s books from Amazon, even some that may be out of print. Behemoth that it is, Amazon can offer you every amenity, free shipping, high speed, and considerable selection.
If you have a choice, Orthodox publishers and authors agree – we’d rather you bought our books directly from the publisher. Amazon takes a bite out of every sale, and that reduces the payment to the publisher and author. One of the most powerful ways to support the genre of Orthodox children’s literature (and it needs our support now as it’s beginning to blossom) is to pay the people who create it directly.
Your Parish Bookstore
This is a wonderful option, although it’s not available to everyone. If your parish does have a book table or bookstore, make that your first stop when shopping for Orthodox children’s books. Your parish likely has a wholesale account with one of the Orthodox publishers. That means they purchase the books at a discounted rate and then resell them to you at the recommended retail price. Your purchase is thereby supporting your parish, the Orthodox publisher, and the author. Not only do you get a beautiful, faithful book for your little one, you have the satisfaction of supporting three good causes at once!
Direct from the Orthodox Publisher
Full disclosure: as you know if you follow this blog, I work for an Orthodox publisher! But I’ve also been published by two other Orthodox publishers, so I know this little world very well and can tell you that the companies who inhabit it are all worthy of your attention.
Perhaps the most wonderful way (other than that imaginary cottage) to purchase Orthodox children’s books is directly from the publisher. You’ll have access to their full selection, their dedicated customer service team, and other useful and beautiful Orthodox books and products in their webstore. Below is a list of Orthodox webstores hosted by these publishers.
- Ancient Faith Store: This one comes first because I work for Ancient Faith and have been published by them many times. In my view, they are the biggest thing on the Orthodox kidlit landscape. You can find their children’s department HERE.
- SVS Press Books: I’ve got one board book published, one at press, and a third just contracted with this publisher. Historically an academic press, they’re reviving and expanding their children’s line, which is exciting. See their children’s department here.
- Park End Books: Park End is the publisher of my recent middle-grade novel, Little Lost Nun. Although they publish a variety of genres, they are extremely Orthodox friendly. You’ll find children’s books in their shop here.
- New Rome Press: Books from New Rome are always beautifully produced! You can see their children’s books here.
- Potamitis Publishing: This family-run company has an astounding line-up of books about saints. I especially love their Paterikon for Kids. Those colorful little paperbacks are a godsend for little ones who struggle to focus in church. You’ll find these and other books from them here.
- Sebastian Press: This is a Serbian-American publisher on the west coast. At least one of my friends has been published by Sebastian, and you can find their children’s line here.
- Exaltation Press: This is a newer publisher, offering illustrated catechetical books for children. See their collection here.
- Philotheia: This is Kristina Tartara’s shop! She’s the illustrator of my three SVS Press board books and a good friend. You’ll find those books and her own board books, in addition to her other creations, here.
The 8 publishers listed above are well-known, but they’re not the only Orthodox children’s book publishers. Some, like Potamitis, offer their books in multiple languages, and of course I haven’t included Greek, Russian, and other international publishers because my knowledge of them is limited. I do know of one in Romania – Libraria Sophia, the publisher of the Romanian edition of The Barn and the Book.
I’d love to hear from you if you have publishers to add to this list! The more we share their names, the more their books will find their way into the hands of the children for whom they were created. May God bless the work of our hearts and hands!