It’s always nice to meet someone who believes strongly in the importance of good children’s book. It’s even more amazing when that person goes a few steps further to bring such books to the awareness of parents and kids.
Helen Antoniades has accomplished this feat in a huge way by creating Butterfly Books: bringing books to a child’s doorstep.
I’ll let Helen explain this in her own words.
AMM: Welcome Helen. What inspired you to create Butterfly Books and what do you hope to accomplish?
HA: I have always loved reading, and got so much pleasure out of sharing my love of reading with my children. I wanted to create a way that other people could share their love of books with children that went beyond just buying a book.
My mission statement has 3 points: a) to make getting a book exciting for a child, which can help create a love of reading, b) to share books that reflect diversity, and c) to have a gift that can connect people through the good feeling of giving and receiving a quality gift.
AMM: What a great mission statement, Helen. So what type of books do you feature? Or are you open to most kid literature?
HA: I have books of all kinds for newborns to teens. I find books that are not bestsellers or well known series but which are great books. There are a lot of amazing stories out there that people don’t hear about!
I also work hard to choose books that reflect diversity. These books often don’t get space on bookstore shelves so families don’t find them, and it’s so important for children to see themselves as well as the diversity around them in the books they read.
AMM: I’m smiling here. What has the reaction been so far to Butterfly Books?
HA: The feedback I have received both from children and parents has been really positive. Children really look forward to getting a package in the mail with their name on it. Parents like that their children get books they probably wouldn’t have found on their own—and they didn’t have to do any work to find!
I’ve also heard from people who gave a subscription as a gift, who tell me how good they feel about giving it. Children get in touch with the gift giver each month to tell them what they got, so it has brought them together.
AMM: Finally, Helen, what do you see for the future?
HA: I see expanding the therapeutic part of Butterfly Books. I was a social worker for many years and have a blog where I recommend books for helping children through hard times. In the future, I would like to grow that as a business.
A bit about Helen
Helen Antoniades is the creator and owner of Butterfly Books. She is a clinical social worker, mother of two, and lifelong book lover. Knowing the power of books to help children through difficult times, she started the Butterfly Books blog to share therapeutic books with other parents. The blog quickly grew into the subscription service, which sends books to children and teens across Canada.
To find out more about Butterfly Books, you can visit:
The subscription service site: www.butterflychildrensbooks.com
Helen’s blog: www.butterflychildrensbooks.com/blog