With it apparent that independent children's bookshops are facing an extremely tough time at the moment, it's vital that we support them as much as we can. Josh Seigal, the poet, performer and educator, has written about two of his favourite stores and explains why they're important to him.
I started writing poetry for children in around 2010. In 2012, as a complete unknown, I decided that I wanted to perform in front of live audiences. I had heard of Pickled Pepper Books from my friend, fellow poet and Crouch End resident Lewis Buxton. And so it came to pass that, one day, I walked into the shop and asked if I could perform my poems to some of their customers. They took a real punt on me, and said yes. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity, and I feel that it kick started what has since become a career in performance. This is a really lovely bookshop, with a fantastic boutique theatre space attached. Everything about the shop smacks of pure class, and I can highly recommend spending a few hours perusing the shelves.
Not far from Crouch End is this similarly fantastic bookshop. They stock an ample range of poetry, which is always a plus, and they are forever obliging and friendly when I go in there and somewhat cheekily ask to sign my books (which they stock - again a plus). They regularly feature visits from Michael Rosen, who lives nearby, and really can be relied upon for all your children’s literature needs.
Thank you Josh - they sound wonderful. Both also offer a delivery service which can be accessed via their websites. To find out more about Josh and what he can offer, visit his website or contact him on Twitter at @joshuaseigal. I've been fortunate enough to see him perform his poetry a couple of times and highly recommend booking him for a school visit.
It would be great to hear about favourite children's bookshops all over the UK, so if you'd like to let people know why your local ones are so special, please get in touch.