Sunday, 8 November 2020

Bookshop Blurbs by Rich Charlesworth

Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate and support independent children's bookshops. Rich Charlesworth, teacher, English Lead, children's book aficionado, UKLA regional representative, Empathy Lab judge and all-round inspiration has written about three of his favourites, explaining what they have to offer and why they're important to him. He can usually be found with a tea and a biscuit in one of the bookshops below, or on Twitter at @rcharlesworth.

The Alligator's Mouth Bookshop

The Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop in Richmond, SW London, is a welcoming sanctuary for children’s book fans. The name comes from a quote by Lemony Snicket:“A book is like an alligator's mouth – if you see one open you often end up disappearing inside”. Tony, Margaret and the team are children’s book enthusiasts through and through: they live and breathe books. I’m reminded of the bookseller in Shinsuke Yoshitake’s ‘The iWonder Bookstore’ in their ability to match the right book for the right customer. Full of recommendations which cover the whole gamut of text types (from non-fiction, poetry and picturebooks to graphic novels, Young Adult fiction and beyond), there’s always something to tempt you in.

Website: thealligatorsmouth.co.uk

Twitter: @alligatorsmouth


Round Table Books

Located in the beating heart of Brixton, this is a bookshop that prides itself on reflecting and inspiring the community that it’s based within. Round Table Books unequivocally celebrates underrepresented children’s books, writers and illustrators. The shop was originally set up as a one-week-only pop-up shop to mark publisher ‘Knights Of’ turning one. Thank goodness it decided to stick around! After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the store is here permanently and is the go-to place to pick up texts that showcase the wide range of experiences, emotions and lives of children around the UK and beyond. You may be lucky enough to find some signed copies and even spot a visiting author as Knights Of HQ is within the store.

Website: roundtablebooks.co.uk

Twitter: @BooksRound

Gosh! Comics
However tempting it is to begin this recommendation to visit this bookstore with an ‘OMG‘, I’m going to refrain from doing so. Visiting Gosh! is like someone turned your most frequently perused Comic and Graphic Novel bookshelves and fashioned them into a shop. Split over two floors in trendy Soho, Gosh! really has a huge variety of texts. They cater for every type of visual reader with stylish children’s books, graphic fiction and translated texts, alongside well-established runs / series. With staff recommendations adorning the window displays and tailor-made advice indoors, you can’t help but gush about Gosh!

Website: goshlondon.com

Twitter: @GoshComics


Three fantastic recommendations Rich, thank you so much! Even though the shops aren't currently open for customers to visit, they all offer a home delivery service via their websites so do please consider using them.

It would be great to hear about people's favourite children's bookshops across the UK so if you'd like to let us know why your local ones are so special, please get in touch.

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