Bookstore of the Month | The Children’s Bookshop Muswell Hill

Bookstore of the Month

Our Bookstore of the Month this May is The Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill!

Children's Bookshop

Describe The Children’s Bookshop in three words

Eccentric, jolly, and bibliophilic!

Where is your favourite spot in the store?

There is a corner by the picture books which is particularly cosy — you can see the whole shop, but no one can see you!

 Give us a brief history of The Children’s Bookshop.

We’ve been around since 1974, and it’s been passed down from family to family – and always to someone who was already working here! Some of our earliest customers are now bringing in their grandchildren, so we have a lovely sense of our history – and canny customers will find staff members who have been here for over thirty years.

Do you have a store pet?

No? What would be your ideal bookstore pet?

We don’t have a pet, but an octopus would come in handy – enough arms to get all the books at once! Or a niffler, just in case we’re sitting on a pile of buried treasure.

Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

The general consensus from our staff is Philip Reeve, Meg Rosoff, Andy Stanton, Michael Morpurgo, and Eva Ibbotson – storytellers who stand the test of time.

Children's Bookshop

What is your favourite opening line from a book?

We had a vote, and Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman wins for sheer poetic menace:

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

What was the last book you read?

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans (Sanchita)

What is your favourite A&CB book?

It’s got to be the two Adas – Ada Twist Scientist and Ada’s Ideas – fantastic heroines whose stories are bought to life with quirky illustrations.

And in winter, Stina is the sort of book you want to wrap yourself up in.

Children's Bookshop

What is your favourite book?

A collection of staff favourites:

Lost Happy Endings – Carol Ann Duffy & Jane Ray (Sanchita’s choice)

Wed Wabbit – Lissa Evans (Maj’s choice)

Tadpole’s Promise – Jeanne Willis (Jeff’s choice)

Jasmine Skies – Sita Bramachari (Meena’s choice)

Share a #Shelfie with us!

The Children's Bookshop

You can find The Children’s Bookshop at:

29 Fortis Green Rd, London, N10 3HP

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Bookstore of the Month | Tales on Moon Lane

Bookstore of the Month

We are taking a trip to South London for our Bookstore of the Month this March: three cheers for Tales on Moon Lane!

Tales on Moonlane

Describe Tales On Moon Lane in three words.

Stories. Theatre. Community.

Where is your favourite spot in the store?

Our illustrator’s wall, where visiting authors and illustrators have been doodling for over a decade. Among our favourite doodles are Jan Pienkowski’s Mog and John Burningham’s sketch of Borka.

Illustrators wall

Give us a brief history of Tales On Moon Lane

This year, Tales on Moon Lane is celebrating its 14th anniversary as one of London’s top bookshops. Here is a short time-line of our history:

2016 – www.cantputitdown.co.uk is launched to help get self-published authors off the ground. Tales On Moon Lane bookseller Jennifer Bell publishes her bestselling debut novel, The Crooked Sixpence with Penguin Random House.

2015 – With the help of a James Patterson Grant, Tamara launches the Teens on Moon Lane initiative, alongside a teen-orientated website with content from the UK’s top bloggers. A pop-up Tales On Moon Lane shop is set up in Harris Girls Academy.

2014 – The shop is awarded Julia Donaldson’s bookshop of the month for September.

2013 – Hodder publish Amazing Esme and the Pirate Circus. The shop is devastated by a local flood which destroys most of the stock. It closes for three months.

2012 – Tales On Moon Lane is nominated for the Eleanor Farjeon Award – for distinguished service to the world of British Children’s Books. The second book in the Amazing Esme series, Amazing Esme and the Sweetshop Circus is published.

2011 – Bookshop manager, George Hanratty wins Young Bookseller of the Year and Tales On Moon Lane wins Children’s Bookseller of the Year for the second time at the BA awards. Tamara’s book Amazing Esme is published.

2010 – In conjunction with Dulwich Picture Gallery, Tales On Moon Lane hosts the first annual Children’s Literacy Festival, aiming to inspire a life-long love of reading.

2009 – Tamara writes a book for 6 – 8 year olds called Amazing Esme and gets a publishing deal with Hodder. The shop launches the WeRead award in conjunction with UCS.

2008 – Tamara and her team win Children’s Bookseller of the Year at the Bookseller’s Association Awards.

2007 – The shop is highly commended for the Walker Books Children’s Bookshop of the Year. Time Out names Tales On Moon Lane as one of the Top Five bookshops in London.

2006 – Tales on Moon Lane, as it is now called, is featured in Time Out’s Top Thirty Independent Bookshops in London. The shop launches regular half-term literary festivals, free to all.

2005 – The range of older fiction is expanded and the back-room goes through a refit. Tamara gives birth to her second child, Xander, who becomes the bookshop baby for the first year of his life.

2004 – The shop celebrates its one year anniversary!

2003 – Whilst still teaching at a local school, owner Tamara Macfarlane opens a bookshop, originally called ‘Tell Tales’ on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill.

Do you have a store pet?

Yes, we have a schnoodle puppy named Pluto. She spent her first few months of life snuggled up behind the desk and now enjoys scampering around the shop floor. She loves all our customers, especially the children. The tag on her collar says ‘I belong to Tales On Moon Lane.’

Pluto - Tales On Moon Lane store pet

Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

Our team of booksellers have wide ranging tastes in children’s books, but two of our favourite children’s authors also happen to be part of our bookselling team – Tamara Macfarlane, author of the Amazing Esme series published by Hodder and Jennifer Bell, author of The Uncommoners series published by Penguin Random House.

What is your favourite opening line from a book?

We have lots of favourites! A recent one that sticks in the mind is the opening of Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell: ‘Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there was a dark and stormy girl.’

What was the last book you read?

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen – a brilliant humorous YA family drama.

What is your favourite A&CB book?

We all like Alphablock – a fantastic interactive board book, so beautifully designed!

Alphablock
Alphablock
Christopher Franceschelli & Peskimo Illustration
Abrams Books

What is your favourite book?

We all have so many favourites! Picture books sell particularly well at Tales On Moon Lane, and one of our shop bestsellers is I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen – the whole team love it to bits.

Share a #Shelfie with us.

Tales On Moon Lane shelfie

You will find Tales on Moon Lane at: 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9JU

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!