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!

 

Bookstore of the Month | The Alligator’s Mouth

Bookstore of the Month

Happy New Year friends! Here to launch our Bookstore of the Month feature for 2017 is a bookstore with a BITE, the incomparable children’s bookshop: The Alligator’s Mouth.

The Alligator's Mouth

  1. Describe The Alligator’s Mouth in three words.

Friendly, toothsome & biblioquirky.

  1. Where is your favourite spot in the store?

We generally discourage customers from obstructing the steps in the centre of the shop, between picture books and books for older readers, but it can be a nice place to sit with a cup of tea when the shop goes quiet.

  1. Give us a brief history of The Alligator’s Mouth

Margaret and Tony worked together at the Lion and Unicorn children’s bookshop, which had a great reputation in Richmond built up over more than 30 years. When it closed, they decided look for a new premises where they could carry on doing what they love doing. Mark joined the team as the third full time member of staff and the shop opened in March 2015. Our launch event featured Chris Riddell, Jacqueline Wilson, Axel Scheffler, Jim Smith and a host of other wonderful authors and illustrators who were there to get us off to a good start. We stock books from baby to young adult and host storytimes, a comics club, a 9-11 bookclub and frequent author events. In the nearly two years since opening we’ve had lots of lovely community support, getting involved with local schools, community centres and theatres. In November 2015 we were voted best Richmond shop in the Time Out Love London Awards. The name comes from a Lemony Snicket quote: ‘A book is like an alligator’s mouth — If you see one open you often end up disappearing inside.’

  1. Do you have a store pet?

No, we don’t have a pet. An argument has just broken out over whether our ideal bookstore pet would be a griffin or a moomin…

(The A&CB team voted; we think a griffin would be impressive, but a moomin would be less likely to damage the books and readers…)

Chris Ridell at The Alligator's Mouth

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

We all love Chris Riddell’s work. There are favourite books here for all ages that he has either written or illustrated or both (‘Ottoline’, ‘When I Met Dudley’ and ‘Alienography’ to name but a few). We were very lucky to have him draw our alligator logo, and it had to be Chris to cut the ribbon on the shop at our launch event.

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

    Margaret has picked Where’s Papa going with that ax?[sic], the unexpectedly sinister opening from E. B. White’sCharlotte’s Web’.

    The Alligator's Mouth

  1. What was the last book you read?

Tony: ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ by Alan Bradley
Margaret: ‘The Road to Ever After’ by Moira Young
Mark: ‘Podkin One Ear’ by Kieren Larwood

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

We all love ‘Ada Twist: Scientist’ by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts. We’d also like to mention ‘Flora and the Flamingo’ by Molly Idle and anything by Benjamin Chaud (‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School’, etc.) We find we can rely on A&CB for beautifully illustrated and designed books, often with thoughtful and original content.

  1. What is your favourite book?

One book that we all continue to enjoy as we recommend it to parents, teachers and cheeky children is ‘Battle Bunny’ by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett & Matthew Myers. A little boy has received a twee book called Birthday Bunny, but with the power of a marker pen he has transformed it into the awesome, action-packed tale of Battle Bunny! We’ve had at least two teachers take it away and base lesson plans around it. For booksellers it’s satisfying to help others unlock the potential in an unusual book like this.

10.

Share a #Shelfie with us!

A&CB Titles at The Alligator's Mouth

Here’s a table filled with some of our favourite A&CB books, new and old.

dots

You can find The Alligator’s Mouth at 2a Church Court, Richmond, TW9 1JL. If you  find yourself in Richmond make sure you pop-in and say hello.

Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Bookstore Of The Month | Ottie and the Bea

Bookstore of the Month

This October our Bookstore of the Month is the newly refurbished Ottie and the Bea! We couldn’t love this little gem of a children’s bookstore more, read on and discover its wonders yourself.

Ottie and the Bea

  1. Describe Ottie and the Bea in Three Words

    Purveyors of playfulness and creativity

OR

Playfulness, Creativity and Fun

  1. Where is your favourite spot in your store?

In the book corner sitting on the window box with my Donna Wilson Bla Bla blanket.

Ottie and the Bea

  1. Give us a brief history of Ottie and the Bea.

Ottie and the Bea opened 6 years ago. I’d worked as an actress previously and wanted to run my own business. I thought about what was important to me and what I loved. I new then that I had to open a children’s shop. Play is essential for our well being and is the best way to learn. Fundamental to being a human being is communication and sharing stories that feed our imagination. I spent a year researching products and then felt ready to open. Now we are 6. We run book clubs and have fun being an important part of our community. Now I know anything is possible.

Ottie and the Bea

  1. Has Ottie and the Bea got a store pet?

Nettie- she is a 14 1/2 year old French Basset who is banned from the shop at the moment because she has a habit of stealing our packed lunches and has an extraordinary ability to clear the office!

Nettie the Dog Nettie the Dog

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

    At the moment I am loving Brian Selznick’s books. They are beautiful books/ art forms and The Marvels takes you on an incredible journey

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ first line from I Capture The Castle…- just makes me smile

  1. What was the last book you read?

    Patrick Ness The Knife of Never Letting Go – Oh My Word- I found it difficult to read at bed time as it was just so engagingProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

I really love Bear Song – the illustrations from Benjamin Chaud are incredible and the story itself has such a lovely message – ‘..adventure is best enjoyed together’

  1. What is your favourite book?

Press Here is a book I turn to repeatedly for it’s playfulness

  1. Share a #Shelfie with us! 

Ottie & the Bea

You will find Ottie and the Bea at 12 Old Dover Road in Blackheath, South East London. If you ever find yourself in the area make sure you pop-in and say hello.

Monday to Saturday, 9:30-5:30pm.

T: 0208 465 5318.

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook + Instagram.

Ottie and the Bea

#BookstoreoftheWeek – The Book Nook

Let us introduce you to The Book Nook; Brighton and Hove’s award winning independent children’s bookshop complete with a café and a pirate ship! Named Children’s Bookseller of the Year 2015 this little shop is everything you want in an independent children’s bookshop.

shop

The Book Nook offers a wonderful range of books for children of all ages. From first words to uncovering the seven wonders of the world to poetry and the latest young adult sensation, the Book Nook is full of books that will excite and inspire children everywhere (including the big kid inside!). Their knowledgeable staff are on hand for recommendations and words of advice and their passion for promoting books and reading feeds directly into the store’s frequent special events.

They host authors and illustrators, book and character days, poetry and book review competitions and daily story times at 4pm Monday – Friday! You can find a full-list of events on their website.

booknook-101

Their child-friendly, stimulating environment also caters for the adult in tow. The Book Nook has excellent facilities with a café where parents can relax over coffee and homemade cakes whilst their children play safely in the incredible wooden pirate ship and enjoy their latest book.

The Book Nook are so much more than just(!) a fantastic bookshop they are part of the Brighton & Hove community. They work closely with local schools and nurseries and this engagement with the community shines through in their knowledge and popularity. We can see why they won Children’s Bookseller of the Yearfor the second time no less, their love affair with the written word and drive to get kids reading is an inspiration to the publishing industry. For this Book Nook, we are giving you another award this week, you are our #Bookstoreoftheweek.

Visit them at:

1 St Johns Place
First Avenue
Hove, East Sussex BN3 2FJ

Opening Times:
Mon – Fri: 9:00 – 17:30
Sat: 9:30 – 17:30

Find them on Facebook, Twitter and online at www.booknookuk.com/