International Children’s Book Day

“Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.”

International Board on Books for Young People 




If you’d like to celebrate with one of our children’s book t-shirts, visit 

April is School Library Month

School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs.

On Twitter look for the hashtag #SLM14 to talk with other people who are advocating for the importance of school libraries this April.




Watch this sweet video with kids talking about what their school library means to them…

Perhaps you’d like to wear one of our children’s book t-shirts while you celebrate School Library Month. Check them out at 


So Many Books; So Little Time

Happy first day of April! It’s April Fools Day, but we’re going to ignore that. People who love to read and promote literacy are no fools. Today we’re going to focus on celebrating T-Shirt Tuesday by sharing with you our top 3 tips for making time to read aloud. We know you’re very busy and time feels in such short supply.

1) Start Small

Fifteen minutes a day is enough to make a difference. 

2) Make it A Habit

If it becomes automatic it will feel less like something you have to deliberately schedule time for. 

3) Read Everywhere

Look for time to read aloud with children during all of the spare moments in the day, no matter where you are. Even in the car you can make a game of encouraging children to practice reading whatever they see. Keep small books handy for waiting rooms and other transition times. 

Let us know what you think of our suggestions. Are these tips you use? What other ideas can you suggest?

If you want to wear our “So Many Books; So Little Time” children’s book t-shirt, or give it to a little person in your life as a fun reminder to make reading a priority, visit our website.



What Makes Children Feel Motivated to Read?

It’s Motivation Monday. Today we’re thinking about what motivates children to read.


Research shows that children who think they are good at reading feel more motivated to read.

This video discusses additional factors involved in reading motivation:

One of the tips for encouraging children to feel motivated to read is to reward them with reading related rewards. May we humbly suggest using our t-shirts as a reward? Check them out at 


From your experience with helping children love to read, what has worked well for you?


Does it Sound Like Chocolate?



Do you love to read to your children? Do you enjoy a good children’s book t-shirt? Do you have children in your life who would enjoy seeing their favorite children’s book characters on their t-shirt? Then you might enjoy checking out our website…


Book Buddies at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County

Look at this adorable photo of two Book Buddies wearing our Mo Willems t-shirt designs with Elephant and Piggie reading a book, and The Pigeon reading a book. Everyone is reading!

Our t-shirts at ARL


On Valentine’s Day we wrote about the Book Buddies program at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

We sent them ten of our Wonder-Shirts t-shirts with illustrations from well known children’s book illustrators on them. They are using the t-shirts to give as prizes to the young people who are reading to cats in the shelter. They posted a photo about it on Facebook at it got 189 likes and 5 shares!



The Book Buddies program has gone viral on the internet and talked about in the mainstream media. It was even featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. 

We love books and we love cats so the Book Buddies program makes us smile. Speaking of cats, it’s Caturday today!



Happy Caturday! It’s time to do our Cat Aerobics…purr and stretch and meow and reach…lift those tails high in the air…now roll over and roll over and roll over. Good job! Now you are as limber and lithe as a cat!

This is one of our Edward Gorey t-shirts. Edward Gorey is a famous illustrator who still has an avid following today. He illustrated many children’s books with his unique and captivating drawings.

You can find the shirts pictured in this post at our website. Come pay us a visit at 


Books, Babies, Bows, & T-Shirts!

In February we discovered a wonderful blog called, “Books, Babies, and Bows.” The author is a mom named Jenny who writes to promote early childhood reading.

Here’s a photo of Jenny wearing our Skippyjon Jones t-shirt.

We were very impressed with Jenny and her passion for reading, and she was very excited to discover us and our t-shirts!

To support her in her literacy promotion efforts, we sent her three t-shirts of her choosing. Her two-year-old daughter “J” wanted our Elephant & Piggie t-shirt.


Her seven-year-old daughter “M” wanted Mo Willems’ pigeon “Driven to Read” t-shirt.


And as you saw in the first photo, Jenny chose our Skippyjon Jones “I Can Read You Like A Book Dude” t-shirt. 

Jenny says, “Little J smiles every time she sees the t-shirt and makes the connection that the characters on her shirt are the same as the characters in her books.”


Jenny writes beautifully out of pure love for her subject matter. Click through to read the following blog posts from “Books, Babies, and Bows.” 

Taking Vacation Time to Read Aloud

A Wonder Day Wearing Wonder-Shirts

Do you have a blog that promotes reading to children and helping children love to read? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to see what you’re writing!


Valentines, Giving Books, and Reading to Cats! So Much Love!

We love kids who read to cats!

Do you know about International Book Giving Day? You can celebrate it in one of three ways-

1) Give a book to a friend or relative.

2) Leave a book in a waiting room or lobby.

3) Donate a book.

Isn’t that the coolest concept? We love it. For us it is totally in harmony with Valentine’s Day. We are overflowing with a love of reading, and there is no better way to express love than to give books (or t-shirts and totes about reading books).

At Wonder-Shirts, we don’t make books, but we do make t-shirts about reading. So for Valentine’s Day/International Book Giving Day we are giving some or our t-shirts to kids who are reading to cats.

Did you see this story in the news recently?

Purrs, not frowns: Kids feel comfortable reading aloud to shelter cats

Shelter Encourages Kids to Read to Cats, and the Photos are as Adorable as You’d Expect

Photos: Kids Reading to Shelter Cats Make People Across the Globe Smile

If you haven’t seen the story and you don’t have time to read the links, the synopsis is that the Animal Rescue League of Berks County has a program called “Book Buddies.” It encourages kids to read to the cats in the shelter. It gives the kids a chance to develop literacy skills, and to practice public service. It gives the cats some soothing human contact, helping to keep them less stressed, healthier, and more likely to be adopted.

When we read the story it made our hearts feel like they would burst. What is more adorable than encouraging kids to read and showing kindness to animals in need of homes? We think it’s a brilliant idea, and we want to encourage it. So we’re sending over ten t-shirts to give as prizes to the kids. The shelter has been rewarding the kids with small prizes like stickers and pencils. We want to see the looks on the kids faces when they win our t-shirts.

We’re also very very excited to see the photos of the kids wearing our t-shirts while reading to cats! Stay tuned!

We create stylish t-shirts and totes to inspire early readers and delight lifelong learners. Our company’s core purpose is to encourage the love of books and support those who share the gift of literacy. We love Wonder Moms, Wonder Dads, Wonder Librarians, Wonder Teachers, and Wonder Kids. In our book, anyone who encourages reading (or puts effort into learning to read) deserves the word “Wonder” as part of their title. We are so impressed with the Wonder Kids who volunteer at Berks County Animal Rescue League, and with the Wonder Mom, Christi Rodriguez, who had the idea to start the “Book Buddies’ program. We hope that by giving these t-shirts to the program, we are helping to make this effort even more successful. We hope that by being one of the organizations to reach out, we can encourage the idea of a “Book Buddies” program to spread to even more locations.

Lots of Love,


The Story of How Pete the Cat Became Part of The Wonder-Shirts Family

One day James Dean went to an animal shelter to adopt a cat.

He knew he didn’t want a black cat. He thought they were bad luck.

Boy was he in for a surprise.

He tried to play with the kittens that were up for adoption, but only one would play with him. It was a scrawny black kitten. James Dean took him home and named him Pete.

Pete became James’ muse. James began to paint Pete. Prolifically paint Pete. Beautifully, wonderfully, creatively, obsessively paint Pete.

James became a local celebrity by painting Pete. People purchased his paintings at art fairs and James developed a strong local following. Many people tried to pitch ideas for writing children’s books with Pete as the main character. None of them seemed right.

One day Eric Litwin, a local songwriter, wrote a song about Pete the Cat. Pete’s ability to be a muse expanded from art to music and a book was born.

The book was a success and it caught the attention of a big publishing company. Eventually James’ wife, Kimberly Dean, began to write the Pete the Cat books.

Now there are so many Pete the Cat books, I can hardly list them all.

So you tell me. Are black cats good luck or bad luck? I’m going with good luck.

Or maybe Pete the Cat would say, “There’s no such thing as good luck or bad luck. It’s all good.”

Just like James Dean, and so many others, we too have fallen in love with Pete the Cat. In a sense, we too have brought him home. We’re happy to have him be part of our Wonder-Shirts family.Here’s the very first Pete the Cat t-shirt we have for sale. It’s not yet available on our website. However, if you are at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference you can stop by booth #414 and pick one up. You can also say hello to Larry, our founder and Vice President. Do you remember him from the last blog post?

From Kidstamps to Wonder-Shirts: All For the Love of Books

Larry spent his life around books. From haunting libraries as a child and young adult to being an English major in college to getting an MLS and being a school librarian and public library administrator.

In the late 1970s, when his kids were very young, he tried to remember the toys he had played with “way back when” and the only thing that came to mind was a set of circus-themed rubber stamps that he played with constantly.

At the time, Larry was employed by a large public library system to review children’s and young adult books. He came up with the idea of having prominent children’s illustrators create rubber stamps that librarians, teachers, and parents could use to promote reading with kids.

He called the company Kidstamps and issued the first catalog in 1981. From that germ of an idea he and his team built a company that eventually employed more than thirty people and produced rubber stamps, t-shirts, paper bookplates, and mugs, but all using the same idea: employing (at that point) more than eighty of the world’s best illustrators for children, including such big names as Maurice Sendak,  to create products that instilled a love of reading in kids.

In 2002 he gave Kidstamps to his employees, and he retained the t-shirts and apparel product lines. He re-branded as Wonder-Shirts. It was a much smaller company and one that he could handle by himself with one other employee. It stayed that way until he sold it to Wonder-Shirt’s current owners in 2012.

Can you relate to any aspects of Larry’s story? Let us know in the comments. Now you know a little bit more of our story. We’d love to hear more of your story too.