Top 10 Back-to-School Essentials for Young Learners

Back-to-School shopping season is here!!

Here’s a sweet collection of Milk+Bookies‘ top picks to prepare kids for a year of learning by ensuring that their nutritional needs and social-emotional development are all taken into consideration!


Clockwise from the top-left:

Little Girl Indigo Knit Dress, Splendid

A fashionable little piece perfect for the fall weather.

Nautical Print Ice Packs, The Honest Company

BPA and PVC free, sweat-proof ice packs in adorable prints–gotta keep those lunches and booboos cool!

Burlap Indigo Stripe on Canvas Tiny Biminis, TOMS

Burlap Geo Textile Tiny Classics, TOMS

Avoid morning shoelace catastrophes with these no-fuss shoes in two vibrant prints.

Friendship Activity Booklet, The Mother Company

Guide your children as they navigate their relationships with others; help them reflect on the meaning of friendships!

Gluten Allergy Alert Name Label, Tiny Prints

Dairy Allergy Alert Name Label, Tiny Prints

Using these friendly reminder stickers is an excellent measure to prevent potentially dangerous mishaps.

Little Boy Knit Top, Splendid

A simple, long-sleeved shirt in a neutral palette that shouts “I’m ready for school!”

Teacher’s Pet Backpack Panda, The Land of Nod

Teacher’s Pet Backpack Lion, The Land of Nod

These backpacks need to be made in adult sizes. That is all.


We hope you have a GREAT school year!!


Want to get your LAUSD school involved with Milk + Bookies?? Have them host a LEADERS + READERS School Book Drive!! Email for more information!!


by Betty Fang

Paper Potpourri: Jodi Levine Masterminds Another Crafts Book

Here at Milk+Bookies, there’s a special place in the heart of our founder Meredith–reserved just for Jodi Levine. A long-time, devoted fan, Meredith has followed Jodi’s delightful projects and creations since her Martha Stewart Living days.  Before the days of Pinterest and the rise of Instagram–Jodi had been one of the pioneers of crafting.  The magic behind her projects, however, was revealed only in dosages on air or in print.

Fortunately for us, we can now explore the endless permutations of Jodi’s wondrous visions to our hearts’ content. Her website Super Make It! features edible crafts, holiday ideas, and more! And now, she has published her second book: Paper Goods Projects!

Paper Goods Projects is a compendium of Jodi’s years of “collecting, playing, and making.” Growing up with an eye for the “everyday,” Jodi organized the book into four chapters based on materials:

  1. Coffee Filters & Cupcake Papers
  2. Paper Plates, bags, and Doilies
  3. Balloons
  4. Recycling Bin

We especially love that the book’s materials focus on everyday supplies. Not only does it equip children and adults alike with an eye for imagination, it also enables all families, classrooms, and organizations to participate in making, regardless of niche craft supply levels or budgetary concerns. The ease with which these materials can be acquired is further evidenced by our own ad-hoc crafts session today at the office, the outcome of which is displayed below! Happy crafting!

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Learn more about Paper Goods Projects and Jodi’s first book–Candy Aisle Crafts here!

by Betty Fang

Bike for Bookies! Soulcycle Event Recap

On August 8th, Milk+Bookies held its Bike for Bookies Fundraiser at Soulcycle in West Hollywood. The event brought together 30 sublime individuals who stepped up to not only bike, but raise funds for our Leaders+Readers school-to-school book drive program that gets much needed books to students in LAUSD!!

With everyone’s support, Milk+Bookies raised over $5500!

Since January, we have raised a total of 55,800 books and worked with over 30 LA area schools! With the dedication, sweat, and burned calories of our amazing supporters, we have gotten closer to our goal of getting 100,000 books into LAUSD this fall! Thank you for joining our cause and being a champion of literacy and philanthropy!

We loved participating in this Soulcycle event and wanted to give a great big THANK YOU shout out to everyone on the West Hollywood Soulcycle Team for being superbly kind and welcoming! Our instructor–Chris–danced with us, inspired us, and pushed us past our limits! From song choice to energetic fervor, Chris’ Soulcycle session was challenging and invigorating!!


With all of the hard work we put in on the bikes, of course we needed to replenish our bodies with nutrients afterwards! Thanks to Bolthouse Farms‘ new line of organic, pressed juices 1915 Organic–we had an ice chest full of healthy, delicious juices! With flavors like Carrot, Romaine, Blueberry, Beet, and Pineapple, everyone at Soulcycle found a flavor (or three) they loved! Thank you Bolthouse Farms!

1915 Organic Carrot Juice: Apple, Carrot Lemon, Ginger, & Coriander!

1915 Organic’s Romaine Juice matched this Bookies Biker’s clothing ensemble so perfectly! The juice includes Apple, Romaine, Cucumber, Spinach, Kale, & Lemon!

Milk+Bookies is immensely grateful for everyone’s continued support in our philanthropic and literary initiatives. Cheers to starting off the 2015-2016 school year with so much soul!

Bike for Bookies!!

Click here to contribute to our Leaders+Readers program help get get 100,000 books into Title 1 LAUSD schools!

by Betty Fang

Jack Jones is our Author Champion of the Week!

On August 1st, Milk+Bookies held its Leaders+Readers Wrap Party at TOMS and had the honor of featuring special guest Jack Jones! Author of the recently published children’s book, “Chizi’s Tale“, Jack was drawn to the issue of anti-poaching and endangered animals, and decided to pen a story on Chizi, an orphaned black rhino taken in by family friends in Zimbabwe. Jack Jones is our Author Champion of the Week for not only providing excellent vocal impressions of black rhino sounds, but–more importantly–for educating future generations on the issue of endangered species!


Tell us about the origins of Chizi’s Tale! How did this amazing story come about?

I heard about this story two years ago. I have known Colin Saxon, Chizi’s guardian, my entire life. He got a call from two scouts at the national park, alerting him about an abandoned, week old baby black rhino. After adopting it, he emailed me about this magnificent story.


As a new author, what were some unexpected challenges you encountered during the writing process for Chizi’s Tale?

The hardest part was cutting the story down to a reasonable children’s book length. Unfortunately, there were so many funny, heartwarming, and suspenseful moments that had to be edited out.



What advice do you have for other young authors who are trying to write?

Read, read, read! The more you read, the more you improve your vocabulary and writing style. One can learn so many valuable lessons and adopt key writing methods through reading.


What made children’s literature the right vehicle for you, given the many mediums that enable individuals to draw awareness to various causes—from crowdsourcing campaigns to films?

A children’s book addresses young generations. It is important for these young generations to understand the plight of the black rhino. If we want black rhinos to exist in 100 years, then it is imperative that the younger generations are educated on anti-poaching and dwindling rhino populations, so that when they grow up they can contribute to combating poaching.



How did your collaboration with illustrator Jacqui Taylor arise?

We met through a mutual Zimbabwean friend. He put us in contact through email, and the rest is history.


What is your favorite rhino fact?

A group of rhino is called a crash.



Can you tell us more about TUSK and why you chose this specific organization?

TUSK is a non-profit based in London. Its goal is to combat the poaching of endangered animals, specifically elephant, white rhino, black rhino, and lion. TUSK is a fantastic organization, and I thought that it would serve as the best organization to dedicate the proceeds of the book to.


What’s in the future for you? Do you plan to write any more books?

I start college in the fall, so right now I am just focused on completing assignments and essays. However, if the opportunity presents itself, I would love to write another book.

Any upcoming plans for Chizi’s Tale?

As of now, events are slowing down. The book tour ended in July. However, in September, we plan to revamp the tour.



Thank you Jack for coming to read at our Leaders+Readers Wrap Party, sharing your wonderful stories about Chizi, and inspiring us all!



Get your copy of “Chizi’s Tale” here!

All proceeds benefit TUSK and their mission to protect endangered species, support communities and promote education in Africa!


by Betty Fang

Book-Raiser Spotlight: Millie and Louis

This week’s book-raiser spotlight goes to Millie and Louis of Los Angeles! With the assistance of their wonderful mom, Christine, the sibling duo held an ice cream social for their neighborhood and invited everyone to bring new and gently used books to donate. Having attended Milk+Bookies’ Annual Story Time Celebration, Millie and Louis are seasoned givers and committed to promoting literacy among youth!

Total Kids Involved in Event: 30

Total Books Raised: a whopping 400!!

Donated To:  Milk+Bookies’ Leaders+Readers program!


What Millie and Louis thought of their successful book-raiser:

 “After everyone left, we sat down and read as many of the books as we could before we had to pack them up! We hope the kids who get these love reading as much as we do!”



To find out how you can Host Your Own Book-Raiser and start making a difference to children in your community, click here.

And don’t forget to purchase your Bookies Box full of all the materials you will need to make your Book-Raiser a success!!


by Betty Fang