We knew as soon as we saw our first granddaughter we knew that being a grandparent was going to be the best thing that could ever have happened to us. Today we have five grandchildren, ages three through eight.
In the thirty years that have elapsed since raising our own children, we've never lost sight of the important role that books, music and video play in a child's early life. As we sought out appropriate material for our granddaughter, we were overwhelmed by the variety of products available. Only after a long and arduous journey did we stumble across the restful bedtime music we'd been seeking in the form of an exceptional music box set that offered soothing sounds for tiny ears. Even though she is now eight, our granddaughter still enjoys listening to what she calls "soft music" while going to sleep.
Our search would have been so much easier had someone been able to guide us. That's why we created Little One Books - to help others make informed choices from among the vast amount of material available for children today.
We recommend quality books, music, and video, for children birth through age five, and have personally reviewed and selected each and every item. You'll find detailed information on why we prefer a particular product in our "Why We Chose" section of each product page.
At Little One Books, we match each product to what we believe is the youngest appropriate age group. However, our carefully selected items can and will be used for many years to come. As children develop they often find pleasure in revisiting illustrations from old favorites, and eventually learning to read them on their own.
We hope your enjoy our selections as much as we enjoyed finding them. Please contact us if there is anything we can do to help you find the perfect product for your little one.
--Barney and Joan
Barney Cohen, CEO
A lifelong passion for music, along with a savvy and practical head for business, guided Barney to create and grow Valley Media into what JP Morgan described as "one of our most successful IPO's ever." Over a period of 13 years, Barney grew the company from zero to over $900 million in sales.
In 1974 Barney decided to build upon his long experience working in record stores by opening a record store in Woodland, California with a $10,000 bank loan. By innovating in areas like computerized inventory control, distribution logistics, and Internet commerce, Barney built the largest wholesale distribution company in the music business with customers all over the world.
In addition to Little One Books, Barney guides growth-oriented business people to craft and advance their companies in steady, proven ways. His journey is rich with lessons learned in the school of hard knocks.
Barney has an Executive MBA from Harvard and a Bachelors Degree from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He has two grown children and two grandchildren, and lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Joan McCoy.
Joan McCoy, President
Joan has over 30 years of experience in both the private and the not-for-profit business sectors. As a Partner at Nexus Northwest, a consulting firm in Seattle, Washington, she works with organizations to meet their objectives through strategic planning and implementation, communication, and community partnerships. Joan also provides capacity building services and individual coaching to nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations.
Joan has a Master's Degree in Communication and a Bachelor's Degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, and has received numerous awards in the fields of journalism, public relations and communication.
Joan is a former board member for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the past board chair of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce. She also serves as a trustee for the Hanlon Foundation, which is committed to funding child and education projects, and is a past board member with the Alaska Community Foundation.
She has one grown child and three grandchildren, and lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, Barney Cohen.
Our Team of Contributors
Audra Rundle, Online Community Manager
Audra grew up in Spokane, Washington and moved to Bellingham in 2001 to attend Western Washington University where she earned a bachelor's degree in English, Creative Writing, and Canadian-American Studies. Immediately after college she moved to Seattle to begin her career as a writer. She met her husband-to-be and married him in the summer of 2008. Today they are the proud parents of a one-year-old puppy.
Although they do not yet have children of their own, they thoroughly enjoy spending time with their friends' children and their beautiful 4-year-old niece, Emily. They enjoy bonding with them over books, music, and occasionally video. "We love watching the kids in our lives learn about the world around them."
In her spare time Audra trains for marathons and triathlons, reads, and writes. "I hope to write my own children's books in the future," she says. "It is so rewarding to teach children to recognize the things that make up their world, to read, and to fan the flames of their creativity."
Abby Walker, Social Media Manager
Growing up in Snohomish, a town forty-five minutes northeast of Seattle, Abby was an avid reader and aspiring author. She continues to read many children's books today as the full-time nanny of a three-year-old girl, Emily. Over the past two years, she has been employed as a nanny for three families with kids ranging from the age of two to eight, and as an occasional babysitter for many more. She has read more children's books than she can count and enjoys taking Emily to weekly story times at the library.
Despite thoroughly enjoying a creative writing class in high school, Abby decided to pursue the more practical route of a career in journalism. After earning an A.A. from Cascadia Community College, Abby enrolled at the University of Washington in September 2005. Prior to graduating with a B.A. in Communications in 2007, she wrote news and feature stories for The Daily, the student newspaper of the University of Washington. Abby has combined her love for childcare with her passion for writing and has had over a hundred articles published. She has worked part-time at a newspaper, interned at two websites, and written freelance articles for several Seattle-area publications on a wide array of topics, ranging from high school sports to pet health.
Abby currently lives in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. In her spare time she enjoys exploring Seattle, planning her next vacation and hosting dinner parties and game nights.
Andrew Pederson, Web Developer
A native of Everett, Washington Andrew moved to Seattle after graduating from the Web Development program at ITT Technical Institute. Although he doesn't have any kids of his own yet, Andrew loves spending time with his nieces Ellie, Lainee, and Kaila, and his twin nephews Gunnar and Gannon. He has seen firsthand how reading benefits young children and is constantly dazzled at how much his nieces and nephews know. He hopes that Little One Books becomes the go-to place for every child's parent, grandparent, family member and friend. In his spare time Andrew loves to cook, read, spend time outdoors, travel, discover new restaurants and laugh (a lot). He hopes to never stop learning and would like to have a family of his own someday.
Fabiola Reina, Graphic Designer and Photographer
Born in Indonesia, Fabiola has traveled extensively throughout the world. She has always had a passion for art, graphic design, photography and architecture, and has had multiple art exhibitions in the United States and Asia. In addition to getting her BA in Architecture from Portland State University, Fabiola is a skilled artist, photographer, and graphic design. She also speaks multiple languages.
Fabiola lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband Alex, her two year-old son Tavian, their dog, Rama, and their cat, Buttercup. Fabiola strongly believes in the importance of the first five years of a child's life, and enjoys the imagination and bonding experience that books and music bring to her family. In her spare time, she loves to surround herself with her family, music, food, and the outdoors. She considers the Pacific Northwest her home away from home.
Ranny Levy, Video Consultant and President of KIDS FIRST! Coalition for Quality Children's Media
In 1991, Ranny founded KIDS FIRST!, a coalition dedicated to promoting and nurturing quality children's media. KIDS FIRST! evaluates, rates and endorses children's feature films, DVDs, videos, CDs, TV shows and interactive media using volunteer, community-based juries comprising child development professionals, teachers, parents and children from diverse geographic, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. A former educator, Ranny has designed award-winning programming for a variety of media outlets including PBS, the Discovery Channel and Showtime. She is the creator of KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals, a traveling event that partners with over 100 venues worldwide.
She has co-authored two books, "The New York Times/KIDS FIRST! Guide to The Best Children's Videos," and "A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs," and is a frequent speaker at conferences. Ranny's reviews and articles on children's media appear in national publications including Grand Magazine, Parentguide, and Parenthood.com.
Ranny has two grown children and two grandchildren. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.