Books. Nothing sparks the imagination of children more than storytelling. Children can go on incredible journeys through the pages of a book, and the books of my childhood still are well loved today.
As technology progresses and online shopping is normally your go to way of making purchases, book shops may be overlooked. But there is nothing better than browsing shelves and touching pages and you can spend a wonderful hour or two taking your children to a book store and curling up with a story.
Lucky for us, London still has some incredible book shops right at our fingertips. Here are some of the best dedicated to children's storytelling and the joys of reading:
A book is like an alligator's mouth, if you see one open you often end disappearing inside - Lemony Snicket.
Credit: Alligator's Mouth Facebook
The Alligator's Mouth is a dedicated independent children's bookshop in Richmond and is an absolute delight. They stock books from baby to late teen and often hold events in the shop include a story time, book club, comics club and more to encourage all forms of creativity. To find out more about these gorgeous events for kids, see here.
Location: 2a Church Court, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1JL
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 5:30pm ,Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm.
Contact: 0208 9486775 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Children's Bookshop at Muswell Hill is an independently run book shop that has been telling stories since 1974. They receive shop author visits from wonderful authors and a regular weekly storytime which takes place every Thursday at 11am and Saturday at 10am.
Location: 29 Fortis Green Road, London, N10 3HP
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:15am to 5:45pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm
Contact: 020 8444 5500 or email@example.com
Tales on Moon Lane is a multi award-winning children's bookshop committed to inspiring a life-long love of reading. They regularly host events to celebrate books, reading and your favourite characters with themes, games and celebrations dedicated to what kids will love. For a list of upcoming events see here. They also host weekly interactive story time on Thursdays at 9.30am and Jolly Phonics which is a thorough foundation for reading and writing. It teaches the letter sounds in an enjoyable, interactive and multisensory way.
Location: 25 Half Moon Lane , Herne Hill , London , SE24 9JU
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5:30pm and Sunday 10:30am to 4:30pm
Contact: 020 7274 5759
If you feel like you need to step up your reading game though, why not take a visit to the Discover Story Centre. Located in Stratford, the story centre is the first of its kind in the UK. It is aimed at children aged 0-11, and their families. Their aim is to create a love of language, literature and stories. The centre comprises of Story World and Story Garden. They are both creative play spaces designed to inspire children’s curiosity and imagination. There are regularly changing interactive exhibitions, as well as visits from authors, illustrators, poets, musicians, artists and storytellers who run workshops.
To read more about this incredible place, you can read our full review here.
Location: 383-387 High Street, Stratford, London E15 4QZ
Opening Hours: Open 7 days 10am to 5pm
Contact: 020 8536 5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pickled Pepper Books are a specialist interactive children’s bookshop located in Crouch End with a beautiful lively and colourful atmosphere. During the week they host preschool activities, and after school they run a young illustrators and a lively book group. Most weekends you can meet an author or illustrator, experience some theatre or come along to a story time. To find out more about these activities and also the upcoming events, see here.
Location: 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End, London, N8 8PL
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5:30pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm
Contact: 0203 632 0823 or email@example.com
Ottie and the Bea is a playful and creative book shop in South East London. Selling toys, books, gifts, party supplies and tableware, everything is hand selected with love by the owner who is passionate about imagination play and creativity. They also host a variety of events, from regular book clubs to workshops run by illustrators, makers and authors. To find out more about these events see here.
Location: 12, Old Dover Road Blackheath Royal Standard SE3 7BT
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 5:30pm and Sunday 11am to 3pm
Contact 020 8465 5318 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Have we missed any other wonderful book shops that you and your kids love? Please let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.