What’s one of the things we love most about London? All the amazing bookshops for kids! There are some wonderful children’s bookstores in the capital filled with books just for children – here are some of our favourites. And, if you’re looking for ideas for children’s books about London, then take a look at these recommendations.
The best bookshops for children in London
The Children’s Bookshop
Located in Muswell Hill, the family-owned Children’s Bookshop is a fabulous book store for kids. It’s not terribly big but its shelves are packed with books for kids of all ages and my three love coming here. The staff are really knowledgeable and regularly recommend books to Alfie, Tess and Sam – with great success! They hold regular events, including a large number of author visits to the shop; we recently went and met Cressida Cowell. Past authors have included Tess’ favourite, Liz Pichon (if your child hasn’t read Tom Gates yet then go get a copy!).
The Children’s Bookshop, 29 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, N10 3HP
The Alligator’s Mouth
We haven’t made it to the Alligator’s Mouth yet but we’ve heard great things about this children’s book store. Located in Richmond, the store stocks everything from picture books for babies to young adult novels. The store is inspired by a Lemony Snicket quote: ‘A book is like an alligator’s mouth: if you see one open, you will probably disappear inside.’ The Alligator’s Mouth hosts events with children’s authors and illustrators and hold regular sessions including storytimes for 2- to 6-year-olds, a book club for 9- to 11-year-olds, a monthly comic club and a book club for teens.
The Alligator’s Mouth, 2a Church Court, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1JL
Discover Children’s Story Centre
Located in Stratford, East London, is the Discover Children’s Story Centre where children are invited to enter a wonderful world of children’s books. With a focus on story building and imagination, children can follow a story trail in the indoor exhibition or spend time outside in the story garden. The Story Centre also holds interactive exhibits, such as the Julia Donaldson that we went to see. Children are invited to listen to one of Julia Donaldson’s stories before entering a magical world where her books come to life; sit on the magical broom from Room on the Broom, step into the house from A Squash and A Squeeze and, of course, meet the Gruffalo! There’s also a really good book store on the ground floor with a great selection of children’s books for kids aged 0 to 11-years-old.
Discover Children’s Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, Stratford, E15 4QZ
Tales on Moon Lane Children’s Bookshop
Tales on Moon Lane is a beautiful store that kids just love. Located in Herne Hill, the exterior is painted to resemble a circus tent and the interior is just as magical. It’s very well stocked with books for tots, toddlers and young adults and the knowledgeable staff are on hand to help with recommendations. They hold wonderfully creative mini festivals during school holidays as well as regular author events and a weekly storytime for preschoolers. The store recently one the award for Best Independent Bookshop for London by Bookseller.
Tales on Moon Lane, 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, SE24 9JU
Pickled Pepper Books
Another one of our favourite children’s bookstores in London is Pickled Pepper Books. Located in Crouch End, North London, this lovely bookshop has a carefully curated selection of books for kids of all ages. What is particularly special about this place, however, is their new theatre space. Hidden away at the back of the bookshop, this cosy space is lovely and the setting for regular weekend small scale shows. Enjoy puppetry, poetry, storytelling and much more. Pickled Pepper also host regular events including author and illustrator visits, writing and drawing workshops and half-term activities.
Pickled Pepper Books, 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End, N8 8PL
Daunt Books is not a dedicated kids’ bookstore but it really is one of our favourite book shops in London and so I had to include it here. They have various stores across London but it’s the original location in Marylebone that we all love. Housed within a stunning building that had originally been built for antiquarian booksellers Francis Edwards in 1910. At the heart of the shop is a long, galleried main room with a beautiful arched window partly glazed wtih stained glass. Daunt Books is primarily a travel book store (one of the reasons I love it so much) and books are arranged by country – no matter whether they are fiction or non-fiction, biography, history, guide or novel. Yes, but what about the kids?! Well, the good news is that Daunt Books has a very good kids’ section too with everything from beautifully illustrated books, picture books for babies, novels and more. The only downside is that the staff don’t always know the children’s books very well (we’ve had some great experiences and some not so helpful) but if the whole family wants to browse books then Daunt’s is a great place to come.
Daunt Books, 83 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4QW
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