A room of their own, an indoor playground, a garden of knowledge… growing up the right way


Andrea Milano
Youth librarian, Hollywood Library

For someone who’s accustomed to using chin-scratching phrases like “dialogic reading,” Multnomah County librarian Andrea Milano certainly has a way with kids. Not that she’d utter such terms to the doting mob of 2-year-olds who—with parents in tow—flock to the Hollywood Library for her weekly Toddler Time reading sessions. “It’s a fine line I walk,” Milano says. “I want to teach kids and parents, but it can’t seem educational.” Evidently she walks it well: This year Milano became Portland’s first public librarian to be given the International Reading Association’s prestigious Celebrate Literacy Award. No doubt her energetic story times (she acts out all the characters and conducts sing-alongs) helped win her an honor traditionally reserved for classroom teachers. And her dedication doesn’t end there: Milano visits students at local schools to discuss the latest children’s books, and organizes open houses to let local reading teachers network. It was a simple phone call, however, that impressed Joyce Iliff, a third-grade teacher at Beverly Cleary-Fernwood Site Elementary, who nominated Milano for the award. “I’ve taught for 26 years,” Iliff says. “Andrea is the only librarian who’s ever called asking about my students’ reading homework. That’s above and beyond.” We’re betting it didn’t hurt that Milano also can belt out “The Hokey Pokey” like nobody’s business.


Seams to Fit

Sure, financial advisors routinely hawk college-savings plans to parents, but they ought to consider tossing in a plan for daughters’ proms, too. Given the cost of professional hair and makeup, not to mention teeth whitening (and can’t they get a mani-pedi too?), your daughter’s dreamy prom—which today requires mind-boggling amounts of cash—also comes with sticker shock. At least a trip to Seams to Fit lets you buckle down in the dress department. The ultra-hip consignment shop traffics in a slew of like-new designer dresses and accessories, by the likes of Prada and Chanel, that are still plenty fabulous—every item is less than two years old—and that can be had on the cheap. A shimmering BCBG dress and goddesslike gold Coach sandals for $150? Now that’s a prom night for you to remember.


Goodnight Room

Goodnight Room’s goal is to be there for you as your child grows—from swaddling age on up to those fleeting preteen years. OK, the store’s mission oozes more sap than a Hallmark Hall of Fame special. But Goodnight Room lives up to every last word of it—at least when it comes to outfitting a Portland tot’s personal abode. Maybe Jimmy finally got his own room and he needs a bigger bed; or the twins need to share one space, which means you need bunks; or your 9-year-old wants a “grown-up” desk for his iMac. Goodnight Room stocks wares from 10 different furniture makers, including four-in-one cribs from Bonavita (a Consumer Digest best buy), which convert from a crib to a toddler bed to a daybed or twin bed. Sleek, modern desks and bed frames from AP Industries will appeal to older children. And if you’re having trouble figuring out whether all this stuff will actually fit in your child’s room? Plop yourself down at the nifty in-house computerized design center and dream away. Even better, have your son or daughter do the designing themselves.