I was feeling rather nostalgic when I took to Twitter last week to ask
"Do you have a good, independent children's bookshop near you? (Or at least, an independent bookshop with a good children's section). I'd love to create a list for our readers."
The truth is, my local bookshop in Oxford has recently closed. Though as a city, we are blessed with several bookshops, including Waterstones, Blackwells, a well-stocked Oxfam bookshop and many charity shops selling second-hand books, I missed popping into our local independent bookshop to browse the children's department. And before people start jumping up and down saying we have to support our local stores or we lose them, I really tried to do just that. I haven't bought from Amazon for more than 5 years and I intend to keep it that way.
With all the news about our high streets being under threat, what I hadn't expected was so many joyous recommendations of bookshops for kids, recommended by parents, authors, teachers and more. Oh happy days! My joy was somewhat shortlived, however, as the recommendations poured in. How on earth, I thought, am I going to curate this into a manageable list! Thankfully, there are others who have started this process earlier. My list below is by no means complete and I'm only sorry I couldn't include more. But there are other places where you can search for your nearest children's bookshop. To search by a specific location or by bookshop name, I'd recommend visiting The Bookseller's Association Bookshop Search. Or The Independent Bookshops website has a handy A-Z list and an interactive map (though I understand that they have a list of over 1000 still to be added to the list - how exciting, 1000 MORE places to buy books!).
So this list is by no means exhaustive but just in case you decide to go on a Children's Bookshop tour, these are a list of favourites, as recommended by readers.