Enjoying Books, Blankets and Pool Floats This Summer in Pasadena

Fun activities for families to do during summer.

Summer is for …

Reading Good Books

Launched in March, Pasadena’s Brownish Books sends by mail beautifully wrapped children’s books that feature black and brown characters. Owner Shakira Johnson curates each bundle by its recipient’s age and interests, welcoming special requests and specific details about who the books are for. “I look for books where children can see positive images of themselves as the main characters,” she says. “The stories and illustrations should inspire them to dream big and have confidence.” Johnson avoids titles that promote racial stereotypes or represent characters in culturally inauthentic ways. Instead, she works with local authors and often finds new titles by word of mouth. Johnson walked into the conversation of racial diversity in children’s literature naturally, when building a home library for her two young boys. She’s now the go-to expert. Bundles from $50/2–3 books; brownishbooks.com <FC: brownishbooks@gmail.com>

Afternoon Naps

Muslin blankets by the mom-owned Easy Sunday Club aren’t the gauzy swaddles stacked in every baby store. Instead of a simple repeat pattern, these four-layer throws feature watercolor artworks painted by owner Cathy Zhang. “Each has an educational component,” she says. “The Alphabet Blanket features 26 animals with names beginning from A to Z, including ‘quokka’ and ‘X-ray fish.’” Zhang’s own children use the blankets to snuggle during naptime and as playmats on the floor. Using wooden alphabet blocks, she taught her 2-year-old to place her toy letters on the blanket’s corresponding animals. Zhang herself learned to watercolor as stress relief after long days working a draining, unfulfilling office job. Five years ago, when she moved to L.A. from Portland, she pivoted and launched a business to feature her paintings. $60; easysundayclub.com

<FC: Cathy, hello@easysundayclub.com>

Splish Splash

Like its name, local company Funboy will make you smile: It’s perfected the art of making silly, sustainable blowup pool floats. One of its newest designs is a giant Saved by the Bell meets Honey I Shrunk the Kids ’90s cell phone. Also launched this year, the Malibu Barbie line includes floats shaped like a private jet and a vintage pink convertible. For younger ones, you can order smaller cars and planes with shade covers and bright-yellow steering wheels as part of the new Funbaby line of blowups for infants. Chic patterns like tie-dye and Moroccan tiles adorn inflatable its kiddie pools. Barbie will surely make a splash in the hot pink heart pool design. From $49; funboy.com <FC: Annie Oliver, annie@autumncommunications.com>


Facebook Comments