Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Bonjour Mama Bookstore is Open in 2014!

Meilleurs Vœux! Bonne Année 2014

First of all, a GRAND merci to everyone who supported Bonjour Mama in 2013. If you liked us on Facebook, or subscribed to the email and blog posts – merci beaucoup!  If you bought a book (or more!) at an event or online, or in our brand new physical space in Kensington, I can't tell you how grateful I am for your business! 

When I opened our temporary holiday store last month, I really had no idea what would happen.  Would anyone come? Would they buy books? Would people think I was folle? All I knew was that I had to try.  And I'm so glad I did!  We are still far from a sure thing for the long term, but the response from all of our Francophone, Francophile community has been so encouraging that we have decided to give this a real try over the next few months:  

We are happy to announce that the Bonjour Mama bookstore will be staying open through April 2014!

Please stop by anytime to browse, chat, or play en français!  

Our hours and location are as follows:

3786 Howard Avenue
Kensington, MD
(Inside the Kensington Row Bookshop)

Tuesday-Friday from 10am to 3pm
Sundays from 12pm-5pm

If you haven’t yet stopped in to the bookstore, please come in!  
If you see something you just have to have- for yourself or as a gift-I hope you will consider buying it from Bonjour Mama!  

If you have already been to see us, merci beaucoup --and please come back often!  
We are getting new books in all the time based directly on your feedback.  If you prefer, feel free to email or call (240-383-9163) to make sure we have what you are looking for before you come in.  We also have several events planned and hope you will come join us for one or all!  Scroll down to Bookstore News to see a few of our latest additions, upcoming events, and more! 

Help us Improve and Grow!
We are new, small and must continue to expand and improve on all fronts in order to make this work for the long term. So we can increase our offerings, organize more events, and hopefully be here even beyond April, I humbly ask for your support in any of the following ways:

  1. Give us your feedback, advice, ideas!  There are so many areas I need input on. At some point I’ll have to figure out how do a formal survey, but in the meantime if you would like to help shape the direction and character of Bonjour Mama please weigh in on any of the questions below (scroll the way down to where it says SURVEY). As an extra incentive, anyone who responds to the questions will be entitled to a 10% discount on their next online or in-store purchase!  Constructive criticism is BIENVENUE!
  2. Spread the word anyway you can: share this post, like us on Facebook, and tell anyone who is even remotely interested in French culture or language about us!  [I started this business to serve the needs for French-language books of those of us who are already fluent and passing it on to our children. I am humbled and inspired by the many, many beginners who are so eager to learn this beautiful language–and I have ordered more French language-learning and bilingual resources for both children and adults.]
  3. Donate or trade in your gently used treasures. We have a "new" used section which I'm affectionately calling Déjà-Lu.  It is small but we hope to increase it quickly with your help. We accept gently used books in French for all ages, and offer a small store credit (ask us for details). It may take us a few days to process your books, and if you prefer not to wait, we will gladly accept donations!
  4. Volunteer for storytime!  I would love to do storytime all day every day!  But right now (and for the near future) I am a one-Mama staff. For anyone who is interested in coming in and reading books to children in French and can commit to reading out loud to kids at least 30 minutes either during the week or on the weekend (and at least a few days in advance --to I can advertise in time) PLEASE contact me! I can “pay” in the form of a free book --and the glow that comes with reading to children in this gorgeous language. Please note: you do NOT need to be a native speaker --or even totally fluent – just enthusiastic and with a semi-decent accent - the authentic French "R" is particularly valued;-)) 
For all this talk about the need to sell books (which is true and necessary for us to stay in business!), if you know me I hope you know that the reason I'm doing this is for the pure love of French, books and children (how I love reading and speaking to your little ones!) and to help support our French-speaking, French-learning, French-loving community.  

Please be a part of it by spending time chez Bonjour Mama!

À bientôt!

Bonjour Mama

(Jennifer Fulton)


Location:  3786 Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895 (Inside the Kensington Row Bookshop)

Hours: Tuesday-Friday from 10am to 3pm and Sundays from 12pm-5pm

Brand New Titles Just In!

We have dozens of new books just added in the past few days.   Here are just a few of them:

 The world's favorite sorcier has arrived!  Have you or your young reader not read Harry Potter yet?  Discover him in French! Harry Potter Books 1, 2 and 3 are in--and in demand--grab a copy while they last!  Or if you already read the series in English, re-discover him in French!  Many of those magical terms have their own translation in French. Loved Hogwarts? Vous adorerez Poudlard!

For all the Petit Nicolas fans, not only do we have several new titles from the "Premières Lectures" ($8.95 each), but there are cute mini-hard cover books that would make a perfect gift set. $4/95 each.

Looking for TRUE beginning readers - i.e. a very few words on each page, with wonderful illustrations, just the right length to encourage an early or hesitant reader?  We have more than a dozen titles by Dominique et Compagnie's "A pas de Souris" series. These are a favorite of several local immersion teachers!

En Solde / On Sale!

Are you drawn to 'clearance' signs like a magnet? (like me!).  Allez-y!  We have a brand new "Clearance" box --from 10-50% off the original price.   Fabulous Usborne sticker books, non-fiction books, T'choupi bath books, and MUCH more!   Plus 20% off all the Christmas stock!

Upcoming Events

All Day, Every Day

Audiobooks and musique en Francais!

Live stories and/or French practice with Bonjour Mama upon request!


Wednesday, January 8th

11am - Storytime. 

We will read as many books as possible. As the only staff member, I can promise to read through one book.  After this, depending on if I'm needed elsewhere, I can keep reading, or we can play some audiobooks or comptines. Any parents who wish to keep reading may do so -- I have a number of books to choose from for storytime or feel free to bring your own!


Friday, January 10th

4PM - DMCV-Jouons! (Dieu Merci C'est Vendredi) / TGIF-Let's Play! 

Forget homework, it's Friday! Let's all play a board game, or two, or three! We can play Scrabble, Monopoly, cards, --anything as long as it's en français.  Bring a game, and a "gouter" if you like! For elementary age kids and up.


Sunday January 12th 

2pm --- La Galette des Rois

We will read stories, sing songs, and best of all, have a piece of Galette (for the children). Who will find the fève?. Space may be limited, so please reserve your spot and RSVP to (please tell us how many adults and children will be in your party) or via Facebook 

Free; suggested donation: buy a book, or donate a book to our Déjà-Lu collection (gently used, en Francais, any age!)

"New" in Déjà-Lu

Les Grands (Adults)

Have you met France's whirlwind of a Culture Minister, Aurélie Filippetti? Whatever your politics, she is someone to take note of. She is also a novelist twice over, and we have her second novel --Un Homme Dans La Poche--which gives us a passionate glimpse into her past grande histoire d'amour.  It is little water damaged on the corners, but for those who can overlook it, it's a gripping read and a great deal at $2.00!! 


Anyone who responds to  (please copy and paste into your email) all* the questions below will be entitled to a 10% discount on their next online or in-store purchase! 

*Please just do your best to give us honest and complete feedback. It's ok not to answer every one if you honestly don't have an opinion or don't know! 
  1. What types of books are you looking for (especially if you’ve been to the store and not found what you are looking for, what were we missing)?   I realize we have a long way to go here and that we are “light” in several areas, especially teen and baby board books. We have been writing down all requests, and have already ordered many titles and categories you have asked for (for example: Harry Potter, Early Readers and several new board books are in, and more Percy Jackson and original French books for teens are on their way). But would love to have input from as many of you as possible so I can gauge what is the most in demand and get it LPVP (ASAP). Please share your most desired:

    1. Age range
    2. Category (fiction/non-fiction, chapter books, picture books, bilingual, language-learning, etc)
    3. Specific publishers/titles/ authors
  2. Store Hours. Currently we are open 10am-3pm (school is out, Bonjour Mama on Mama duty!) and Sundays from 12-5pm. Should we open Saturday? If we can only open one weekend day, which are you more likely to shop on - Saturday or Sunday?
  3. What type of “rewards” would you be interested in for shopping at Bonjour Mama?  In addition to offering a decent price and selection, and a helpful, friendly atmosphere--would you be interested in a loyalty program – like for every $100 get a $10 to spend at the store?  What about other types of rewards?  Are any of these of interest:
    • A special storytime for your child?
    • A special e-card or other digital reward?
    • Another type of reward? What?
  4. Book-of-the-month club. Are you interested in buying a monthly or yearly “subscription” where you are essentially paying in advance for a book that you either come in and choose yourself and/or have shipped to you (or as a gift to someone else) each month
  5. Events.  What types of events would you be interested in attending at the store?

  • Author redings/signings
  • Seasonal events (like Galette des Rois)
  • Musical events
  • Storytime
  • Other?

Thank you so much for your help! Please feel free to offer additional input on anything you like!  

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