We are taking a trip to South London for our Bookstore of the Month this March: three cheers for Tales on Moon Lane!
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.
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.’
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!
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.
You will find Tales on Moon Lane at: 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9JU