Live Inspired

6 Books to Inspire Kids This Summer

Summer has a special way of awakening new curiosities and encouraging exploration. And it’s the perfect time to nurture a child’s love for reading! We’ve put together a list of six children’s books that invite kids to venture into exciting worlds and embrace their endless imaginations. From inspiring true stories and timeless messages to interactive fun for the whole family, these books are sure to create wonderful memories during story time this summer.

Tiny, Perfect Things
This is the story of a child and a grandfather whose walk around the neighborhood leads to the discovery of the most wonderful treasures! With rhythmic storytelling and intricate illustrations, Tiny, Perfect Things is a celebration of how childlike curiosity can transform ordinary days into extraordinary adventures.

What Do You Do With a Chance?
The final addition to the New York Times best-selling What Do You Do With...? picture book series, What Do You Do With a Chance? inspires kids of all ages to find the courage to go after the opportunities that come their way. Because taking a chance just might lead to something incredible!

The Girl Who Ran
In 1966, the world believed it was impossible for a woman to run the Boston Marathon. Bobbi Gibb was determined to prove everyone wrong. The Girl Who Ran shares the true story of how Bobbi broke the rules and, through her grit and determination, changed the world one step at a time.

So Many Cuddles
This is the heartwarming story of a little girl and her animal friends who don’t always need words to talk to each other—a simple hug can say so much. From first cuddles in the morning to giggly cuddles on the couch and snoozy cuddles at bedtime, it’s incredible that one day can hold so many feelings! So Many Cuddles features adorable illustrations and easy-to-read verses to teach kids emotional literacy and to offer gentle reminders that there is no right or wrong way to feel.

Tickle Monster
A lovable monster has just flown in from Planet Tickle and is on a mission to tickle any child who happens to be following along with the Tickle Monster book. Parents read aloud and do the tickling while children laugh and squirm with delight!

Dive In!
Calling all explorers! Sir Sebastian Stockingbottomham needs your help on his wild diving expedition to the ocean floor. Share in the fun by following the interactive read-aloud prompts! With Dive In!, learn how to talk like you’re underwater, take part in some very silly shenanigans, and get ready to laugh like you’ve never laughed before.

Go beyond these six and explore all of our illustrated books to add even more fun to a child’s summer reading list.

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A Rose for Every Student

A few months ago, we had the opportunity to participate in a very special project at Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah.

Tamara Bailie received an email from her daughter’s school letting her know that they would be selling roses as a Valentine’s Day fund-raiser. Parents could purchase roses for their child or students could purchase roses for each other. She made a mental note to buy some roses for her daughter so that she wouldn’t feel left out. But as the day went on, Tamara kept thinking about the other students—what if they didn’t receive any roses? Would they feel excluded?

That night she went to her Facebook page and posted a simple inquiry: could her community help her raise enough money to purchase roses for every student at Riverton High School? Soon word spread about Tamara’s mission. Within 48 hours, donations poured in from friends, family, and even strangers across the country. Together, they contributed enough money to give roses to all 2,164 students!

Inspired by her friend Tamara’s work, Mary Anne Radmacher reached out to us in hopes of including a ThoughtFulls card with each rose. We were delighted to join their mission and offer these students a small message of inspiration. School volunteers personalized the cards by handwriting each student’s name on them.

On February 14, the school halls were bursting with excitement as each student received a red rose with a ThoughtFulls card tied around the stem. Tamara says, “My daughter was sending me text messages about how it was going… Many of the students were saying that they weren’t going to get a rose that day, and then when the deliveries came they were so happy to receive one! She said one boy who never really smiles just kept looking at his rose and smiling.” With the help of Tamara and a network of bighearted friends, the teenagers felt special and cared for on Valentine’s Day.

Later that day, Tamara and the rest of the country received news about the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “As I read the chilling news of this event, I couldn’t help but think that at the very same time that we were filling a Utah high school with love and good energy and roses, a school in Florida was being filled with terror and gunshots and fear,” she says. “The differences in between those two realities that were happening at the same instant made me even more appreciative of all the people who came together from across the country to let strangers know that they care.”

In the face of such a tragedy, we are inspired by Tamara and countless others who continue to spread joy and kindness in their communities. We hope their compassion and spirit inspires you too.

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Sharing a Beautiful Thought Only Takes a Moment

Whose life could you touch today? Whose world could you brighten with a simple note? Thoughtful words have the power to change someone’s day for the better. And it only takes a moment to make a big difference!

Our Beautiful Thoughts postcards make it easy to share something meaningful. Each elegant box holds 60 cards, featuring two each of 30 quotations. Organized by five themes—Inspire, Appreciate, Love, Celebrate, and Connect—this collection makes it simple to find just the right words for just the right person.

April is National Letter Writing Month and the perfect time to spread a bit of joy with a handwritten note. Here are a few quick ways you can use Beautiful Thoughts to delight the people in your life this month:

  • Share a note a day
    Each set offers 30 different postcards, so there is a new thought to share with someone special every day of the month!
  • Send something short and sweet
    A simple note to say “I appreciate you,” “You inspire me,” or “Your friendship means the world,” can mean so much. Use a postcard to remind someone how remarkable they truly are.
  • Leave cards in unexpected places
    Each postcard holds an uplifting quote to make anyone smile. Leave one on a coworker’s desk. Drop one at a neighbor’s doorstep. Or leave one for your favorite barista. There are countless places to hide a bit of cheer.

Let National Letter Writing Month inspire creativity and meaningful connections with those around you. Celebrate those you care about with a handwritten note today.

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Behind the Scenes: Even More Than Yesterday

It’s the everyday moments that make partnership real, meaningful, and lasting. With Even More Than Yesterday, we sought to create a book that honors these everyday experiences—and the simple joys that create our daily lives.

“I’m glad it’s possible for a person to feel so much like home. So right and so true.”

Lyrical, warm, and tender, every statement in Even More Than Yesterday is paired with a delightful illustration. From a French press with coffee set for two to a pair of toothbrushes at a shared sink and sets of playfully mismatched socks, the illustrations—hand drawn in gouache and assembled digitally—evoke scenes from a day at home with a loved one.

The designer focused on the little moments in every day that are so much brighter when shared.

“Our lives are so affected by the person we share them with, from grand romantic gestures to small imperfections that make you smile, and I wanted the visual narrative to tell that story,” says illustrator and designer Jill Labieniec.

As part of their creative process, both the author and illustrator immersed themselves in the themes of lasting connections and daily expressions of love. “I spent a lot of time thinking about the strong, caring, successful partnerships I know and see in my life and in my community,” author M.H. Clark recalls. “I thought about the people I love most in this world... I thought about the little, everyday ways that people have of keeping the flame of love lit.”

A book sitting open on a table beside a cup of tea evokes the quiet presence of a person you hold deep affection for. Each illustration in this book is paired with a warm sentiment. Here it reads “You, just there, in the other room.”

For Labieniec, who was preparing her own wedding invitations at the time she was first sketching ideas for this title, the work became reason to “pause and think back on my own relationship... even without knowing it, I put a lot of elements from my life into this book.” She also drew inspiration from romantic black-and-white movies, playing them in the background as she illustrated.

The majority of this book was illustrated from the designer’s kitchen table. “Being able to look around my home at all the things I love, and the memories they hold, helped me to focus on what I wanted to convey…

Even More Than Yesterday honors the long-term journey two people have been on together as well as the smaller, day-to-day moments of the relationship. It offers many creative opportunities to tell someone how much you love and care. Clark suggests this title could be “given just because, or even read aloud as part of someone’s wedding vows... I love to think about the ways this book might help people express themselves and their love for each other.” This is also a book that inspires us to notice expressions of love that we can easily overlook.  As Labieniec says, Even More Than Yesterday can be a reminder “just to enjoy the beauty of having found someone who will eat all of your orange Skittles.”

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What Do You Do With a Chance? Is Here to Inspire Amazing Acts of Bravery

What do you do when a big chance comes your way—a chance that excites, entices, and scares you, all at the same time? Do you ignore it? Do you shy away from it? Or do you grab hold and let it take you to places you’ve never been?

What Do You Do With a Chance?—the final book in our New York Times best-selling series—is here and inspiring readers of all ages to be brave and embrace the wondrous opportunities that come their way. Because you never know when taking a chance just might lead to something remarkable.

In the third book of the series, our favorite character from What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem? now finds himself encountering a chance, represented by a golden, origami-style butterfly. Fear and uncertainty leave him unsure of what to do as chance after chance circle around him. And regret and disappointment soon follow when he realizes he’s let his chances slip away. But with a bit of courage and a lot of resolve, the boy discovers that when you’re brave and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen. Through brilliant watercolors and pencil drawings, illustrator Mae Besom takes us on a journey from the gloominess of a life spent playing it safe to one lived full out.

The first two books in the award-winning series are a call to nurture bright ideas and face your fears, and What Do You Do With a Chance? offers the perfect concluding message: go for it!

“I want these books to encourage kids to make every moment count, to hold nothing back, to live their best life,” says author Kobi Yamada. “The reality is we’re all only here for a little while; this is our one and only shot. If we are going to make some kind of positive difference in the world, it starts with the belief that we can.”

As the new year hands you new ideas, challenges, and chances, we hope the words in the entire What Do You Do With…? series remind you of all the possibilities around and within you. And that this year can be one of daring discoveries and grand adventures.

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Discover the Creative Inspiration Behind Escapes

Vacations have a way of restoring us on every level—body, mind, and spirit. They remind us that the world is full of beauty and adventure. They give us a chance to discover what happens when we break with our daily routine and seek out the unexpected. And, most importantly, they reconnect us to ourselves.

Simply put, vacations reignite our spirits. And that’s exactly what we set out to do in creating Escapes. Escapes offers a series of tiny vacations with poetic and sensory writing about beautiful destinations and evocative watercolor images.

“Maybe someone doesn’t have the means or the time to travel,” says Sarah Forster, the artist behind Escapes, “but with this book, they can still be transported to the magic of a place no matter where they are.”

It was a particular moment in Paris that gave Sarah the idea for this book. “I stepped off the train,” she said, “and the sky had a softness to it. I could smell sweet blooms in the air. Pigeons cooed and the sounds of the city were like music.” Every time she thinks back to that moment, years later, she says it still brings her a feeling of bliss.

“I wanted to share that joy and inspiration with others,” Sarah says, and that’s where the idea for this book was born. Sarah’s impressionistic watercolors give a glimpse into other worlds, and leave room for you to imagine the rest. Paired with M.H. Clark’s writing, each page offers a chance to go somewhere, to experience something, and to bring a bit of your journey back with you.

To create each vignette, Sarah used very wet and loose watercolors, then added a pinch of salt for “unexpected flair.” “I love creating the paintings,” she reflects. “I tried to let the paint take on its own life on the paper and not control it so much… to just let the magic happen.”

In addition to the evocative images, Sarah used hand lettering on certain phrases, including the cover title, to highlight their importance while also offering an intimate, personal feel. “I wanted the look to feel calm and easy to read—providing the reader a space to breathe and take a moment.” Sarah also chose a cloth material for the cover, with foil-embossed lettering, to give readers a book that echoes the sensory, tactile nature of the exercises and images inside.

Wanting to evoke the sensations of travel—and the potential it offers—Clark intentionally chose places that would bring a rich, vivid experience to readers. “From snowy cedar forests to rocky coasts and desert scenes at sunset, Escapes is a chance to connect with a sense of stillness, calm, groundedness, and inspiration,” she says. “We feel so deeply alive when we notice and feel engaged with the world… it’s that sense of being truly, wonderfully present that I wanted to capture in these words.”

Whether you’re reading Escapes with a cup of coffee during a break in a busy afternoon, or finding a peaceful moment before bed, it’s our hope that this title, like any good vacation, becomes a way for you to connect to yourself, to rediscover a sense of beauty and adventure, and to restore yourself on every level along the way.

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The Holidays Are Here!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—the time to share your gratitude with those who matter most. Whether you are shopping for a mom, a child, a friend, or a teacher, our Holiday Gift Guide has just the right gifts to inspire and celebrate the special people in your life.

Explore our full holiday collection here.

Discover other creative gifts for kids here.

Find additional ways to say thank you here.

Find more great gifts for under $10 here.

Happy Holidays from Compendium!
Wishing you all the joy and wonder of the holiday season.

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An Inspired Community: Compendium’s Annual Service Day

What does it mean to live inspired? It means to celebrate the magical world we love and live in every day. That celebration is made easy when you look around and see all the people working to leave the world better than they found it. So our staff recently spent the day volunteering with some local organizations filled with people doing just that! During our annual community service day, we teamed up with Treehouse, PAWS, and Marra Farm, three organizations that inspire us while reminding us of some powerful lessons along the way.

Little Wishes Matter
Childhood wishes deserve the chance to grow into big dreams. But for children living in foster care, the shuffle from home to home can sometimes make this challenging. Treehouse works to make sure children living in foster care can pursue their dreams, too. Whether it is experiencing the joy of summer camp or falling in love with a favorite school outfit, through Treehouse, kids in foster care have the extra support they need in building the cherished childhood memories we all value. We spent the day sorting through clothing donations for Treehouse’s Wearhouse, a free boutique store for families to shop for high-quality clothes, books, toys, and supplies. And in between folds, we spent time reminiscing about our own sacred little wishes kept safe by our inner child. 

We All Can Give a Voice to the Voiceless
Animals have a unique way of speaking to our hearts in the most vulnerable of moments. They are our companions, our playmates, our healers, and our family. Yet they have no voice of their own. PAWS is an organization ensuring that our animal friends receive the protection they need. Through animal adoption, rehabilitation, and advocacy, PAWS reminds us of the power we each have to use our voice to make the world better for those we love. At PAWS, we had a chance to get involved in landscaping projects around the facility leading to nearby trails and to consider the courageous ways we can each speak up for others.

Small Seeds Hold Great Possibilities

Food is at the center of our lives. Yet thousands in our community go to bed hungry every day. Marra Farm is growing delicious organic vegetables to provide to families who struggle to afford healthy food. Through their community gardening programs, Marra Farm is doing far more than harvesting plants. They are cultivating relationships, connecting people to the land, and, in the process, making sure families have the food they need to thrive. At Marra, we enjoyed getting our hands dirty, harvesting carrots, beets, green beans, and lettuce. And we enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing these veggies would soon be on their way to the local food bank for families in need.


The world is filled with people who remind us of the joys of living inspired—the difference we can make, the community we can build, and the possibilities that surround us. It was an honor for us to spend the day with organizations in our community who, through their work and passion, are giving others the chance to live inspired every day.

Interested in finding a volunteer opportunity in your passion place? Learn more about how you can get involved in your community today.

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Bringing Hope to Hurricane Victims

In battling the recent historic hurricanes, hope is, perhaps, one of our greatest defenses. That’s why Hopebox, a company that crafts beautiful care packages filled with encouragement and messages of comfort, created special boxes just for hurricane survivors in Florida. In addition to featuring our Hope ThoughtFulls and Read This Till You Believe It, these care packages also included handmade cards, prints, lavender sachets, and plush toys to uplift and inspire.

The goal for these Hopeboxes was simple: to deliver hope to those in Florida shelters facing loss. With news of Irma’s anticipated arrival, Hopebox reached out to its partners for support in assembling Hopeboxes for projected hurricane victims. Within 24 hours of Irma’s landfall, 500 Hopeboxes were on their way to Trinity Rescue Mission, an overcapacity women’s and children’s shelter in Jacksonville.

With the storm looming, lines grew rapidly at the shelter as people looked for refuge; the delivery of Hopeboxes couldn’t have come at a better time. “This is such an answer to prayer,” said Jennifer Couch, the executive director of Trinity Rescue Mission. “See these dozens of women and children in the lobby? They are just the ones waiting to be in-processed. There are hundreds more residents back in the shelter. These Hopeboxes will be such an encouragement to them.”

“When the Hopebox team saw what unfolded in Texas with Hurricane Harvey, the threat of Irma to Florida’s residents was vividly clear,” said Hopebox cofounder Derik Timmerman. “We had to do something tangible. When we arrived in Jacksonville and saw the Trinity Rescue Mission choked with mothers and children needing encouragement, we were incredibly grateful to Compendium for helping us do a bit of good for these people.”

Hope is so necessary during times like these, and we’re grateful to Hopebox for allowing us to be a part of bringing support and hope to others. Interested in getting involved? Learn more about how you can help hurricane relief efforts today.

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Guest Blogger: Why The Tooth Fairy Kit is So Much More Than the Tooth Fairy!

The most magical thing about your child losing their first tooth is not the Tooth Fairy. It’s in the process of losing that tooth. The anticipation. The mystery.

And most of all, the rainbow of feelings for the parent and child. My daughter, River, just lost her first tooth after six long weeks of wiggling. She was excited, nervous, frustrated, scared, amazed, curious, and brave. And the thing that helped us through it all was The Tooth Fairy Kit.

The kit has everything you need to go along on this new adventure: a journal to record the story of each lost tooth, a tooth pillow with a pocket for tucking in lost teeth, and an illustrated book about Lunette, the Tooth Fairy.

Every family has their own unique tradition with the Tooth Fairy. Pinterest alone will show you how to make special, glittery Tooth Fairy coins and print Tooth Fairy certificates. As wonderful as these ideas are, they don’t actually focus on the emotions surrounding losing your first tooth. Or the six weeks of waiting!

As soon as River noticed her loose tooth, I gave her The Tooth Fairy Kit. It made the moment much more meaningful for both of us to sit and read Lunette, the True Story of the Tooth Fairy for the first time, write her name in her Tooth Journal, and snuggle her new star pillow.

For the following weeks, she took her star pillow everywhere. She took it to the grocery store.

She tucked it in her cubby at school. “In case my tooth falls out and my teacher doesn’t have a bag for it, Mom.”

She cradled it between her palms at bedtime.

And everywhere she went, she announced, “I have a loose TOOTH!” And proudly displayed her pillow, explaining how she will put her tooth in the pocket when it pops out. She shared smiles with dozens of people over those six weeks.

She also got frustrated that her tooth wasn’t falling out yet! She would forget to wiggle it some days, and the tooth would tighten its grip in her gums. Then at night as we read books in bed, she’d twist and push it so much we’d ask her to stop so she could pay attention to the story.

She’d also cry when she was tired, saying she would miss her tooth when it was gone. She told me she was afraid it would hurt a lot when it fell out.

Her impatience and fear were relieved whenever she took her Tooth Journal out to read all about teeth and how and why they fall out. She carefully filled in her Tooth Tracker in the journal, circling her tooth on the chart and practicing writing Lunette’s name next to her portrait.

River’s tooth eventually did fall out, in the middle of the afternoon, just as I was reaching to take a “before” picture of her smile. She looked up at me with wide eyes and started to cry and laugh all at once. And I held back my own tears mixed with bittersweet joy and pride. 


That night, River left a note asking the Tooth Fairy to leave her tooth in her star pillow so that she wouldn’t have to miss it. And the next morning after she discovered a dollar bill AND her tooth still tucked inside her pillow, she believed.

Lunette’s story centers on being brave, clever, and kind. As a fairy, that was her achievement. As a child losing her first tooth, that’s just what River was. And as the perfect companion for a childhood rite of passage, that’s just what The Tooth Fairy Kit is.

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