Made In The U.S.A.

Children’s Books

In Adventures on December 9, 2009 at 12:26 am

In the course of my holiday shopping, I’ve made a disconcerting and highly disappointing discovery. The majority of the children’s books I’ve sought for purchase are printed overseas.

The most popular presses are in China, although Singapore more specifically gets credit a large amount of the time. (Is that because “Printed in Singapore” somehow reads better than “Printed in China”?)

Most of the books I’ve looked to purchase this year have been Made In The USA. The usual exception is a book with a special/fancy/handmade element. (This same denominator seems to hold true in Hallmark greeting cards. The plain old cards tend to be MITUSA, while cards with ribbons, bows and general hand-applied adornment are almost always Made In China. We seem to have the market cornered when it comes to machine-made items. For handmade, though, there’s nothing quite like cheap labor.)

But with the vast majority (seemingly 8 of 10 or so) of the large format picture books I examined as gift options, they’re printed in the far east.

So kids who expect to receive books from me this year, I hope you’re okay with a somewhat limited selection of book choices. I hope you won’t feel that I’ve sacrificed on quality. In fact, I hope you’ll appreciate the additional inherent “quality” (in a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sort of way) that my hand-selected MITUSA books bear.

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