17 of the best indie bookshops for kids

It’s Independent Bookshop Week from 17th to 24th June so head to one of these kid-friendly independent bookshops to celebrate!

A photo of the outside of the bookshop Tales on Moon Lane
Image: Tales on Moon Lane

These kid-friendly independent bookshops are the perfect place to inspire and amuse young readers; they’re jam-packed with brilliant characters, tall tales and wonderful stories. The perfect places to get lost in a book together.

The gorgeous Tales on Moon Lane is a dedicated children’s bookshop with staff who just love kids' books. The store runs regular events, including immersive storytime and phonics sessions, which are interactive and multi-sensory – so little readers will soak them up! Sitting in the heart of Herne Hill, the shop is bright, fun, and instantly welcoming – they even have a storytelling cabin, the perfect place to get lost in any new finds.

Instagram: @talesonmoonlane

Located in a charming 16th-century building, Bags of Books looks like it’s straight from a classic story – it’s an adventure inside and out. This is an independent bookshop that specialises in children’s books and sets out to appeal to those inquisitive young minds. There are bright displays to help you choose your next read, from cloth books for babies to thrillers for teens. There’s something for everyone in this community-driven store. Plus, you may bum into Alan, supervisor and bookshop cat!

Instagram: @bagsofbookslewes

A photo of the inside of The Edinburgh Bookshop, there is a big mural of Elmer the elephant on the back wall
Image: The Edinburgh Bookshop

Shortlisted for the Best Children’s Bookshop at the British Book Awards, The Edinburgh Bookshop is full of lovely reading nooks and spaces to immerse visitors in their newly chosen reads. They have weekly storytime sessions, a fun ladder signed by visiting authors, and a dedicated corner for children to grab a spot on the sofa – this is a child-friendly bookshop that families will just love.

The multi-award-winning Simply Books is located in the Cheshire market town of Bramhall. The shop hosts great kid’s events and regular groups, including a monthly baby book club and lots of book clubs for children and young readers. The enchanting cafe is Alice in Wonderland themed with special touches, serving delicious tea party-style cakes. As an added bonus there are plenty of kid-friendly activities too, which are bound to keep any fidgety little hands busy.

Instagram: @simplybooksno1

A photo of the inside of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights - there is a colourful mural in the corner featuring a cat, two bears, a bat and the moon
Image: Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights

Mr B’s Emporium is home to some of the most brilliant bookish decor ever seen – even the bathrooms are book-themed! The well-stocked children’s section lists its books by theme, so it’s easy to navigate and there’s plenty of space to browse. Twice named Independent Bookshop of the Year, they run loads of events for children and adults which feature brilliant authors and illustrators, such as past Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.

Instagram: @mrbsemporium

Norfolk Children’s Book Centre is entirely dedicated to children’s books, with all the best books stocked in their spacious but cosy premises. Located in rural Norfolk, this is not your average high street store. There’s a vibrant gallery wall full of fun scribbles by well-known authors, a live-in cat (known as Daisy), and plenty of space for kids to sit and delve into new books – it’s well worth the trip.

Instagram: @norfolkcbc

A photo of the inside of the Chicken & Frog Bookshop - there is a young boy sitting on a raindow sofa reading a book
Image: Chicken & Frog Bookshop

The multi-coloured Chicken & Frog is Brentwood’s only independent children’s bookshop. The family-run business only stocks books for kids and is passionate about being a part of the local community. They run fun rhythm and rhyme sessions for tots and have events with authors all year round, all of which are free. Kids will love exploring the shelves and hand-picking a new favourite in this friendly store.

Instagram: @chickenandfrog

The two Chiltern Bookshops – in Chorleywood, Herts and Gerrard’s Cross, Bucks – are both packed to the rafters with great books including a wonderful children’s selection. But it’s their events that are the real selling point – Chorleywood Bookshop was instrumental in setting up the community’s now annual Children’s Literary Festival, and both bookshops host regular storytime events.

Instagram: @cwgxbookshop

A photo of the inside of The Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop - there are books on all the shelves and bunting hung from above
Image: The Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop

The petite Alligator’s Mouth is an independent with a treasure trove of kid's books. Located amongst the quirky alleyways of Richmond in London, this boutique has every genre of books to inspire children to dive into a story.  They have a rich heritage of brilliant children’s authors who have visited, included the renowned Jacqueline Wilson. The in-the-know booksellers here are just waiting to recommend you the perfect story.

Instagram: @alligatorsmouth

If you’re near Bradford and fancy a day out with some retail therapy thrown in, then Salts Mill is the place – and its bookshop is ideal for young readers. Salts Mill is an impressive slice of Victorian architecture now home to a variety of local businesses, including The Salts Mill Bookshop. The children’s section is beautifully decorated and warmly welcoming, not to mention absolutely huge, so plenty of room for buggies (and less chance of knocking over a carefully constructed display!).

Instagram: @saltsmillofficial

A photo of the outside of the shop Pickled Pepper Books - there is a cartoon cut out of a girl in the window alongside a selection of books
Image: Pickled Pepper Books

Set in charming Crouch End, Pickled Pepper Books is another specialist in kid’s books, with attached café and events space. The picturesque shop hosts a sackful of events for kids big and small, but the icing on the cake is their children’s parties, all themed with little readers in mind. Choose from Cowboys and Cowgirls, Pirates and Fairies, or under the sea – and embark on your very own story-filled adventure.

Instagram: @pickledpepperbooks

An award-winning independent, the Booka Bookshop is wonderfully spacious and has a huge selection of children’s books. There are regular book clubs, including two for children, one for teens, and another for those who love YA. Booka also runs lots of fantastic kid's events geared towards encouraging a love of reading, so is perfect for any readers just finding their feet.

Instagram: @bookabookshop

A photo of the inside of the bookshop Storytellers Inc. There are books and bunting everywhere
Image: Storytellers Inc.

Run by a passionate mother and daughter duo in the beautiful seaside town of St. Annes, Storytellers Inc. was recently shortlisted for The Children’s Bookseller of the Year Award. With a dedicated children's room and a reading den for little readers to relax in, it is a wonderland for children. And with book club opportunities for all ages, from tots right through to tweens, it’s the perfect day-tripper destination.

Instagram: @storytellers.inc

With its collection of eclectic independent shops, cafes, and bars, St Mary’s Street – home to The Chepstow Bookshop – is rumoured to have provided J. K. Rowling with the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. The Chepstow Bookshop has lots to offer young book readers, with its wide range of children’s book events and its cosy reading area, complete with beanbags and an excellent variety of books.

Facebook: @ChepstowBookshop

A photo of the outside of Octavia's Bookshop in Gloucestershire
Image: Octavia's Bookshop

A previous winner of the Best Independent Children’s Bookseller Award, Octavia’s Bookshop is the result of the owner’s passion for books – something she is keen to pass on to young readers. With a huge variety of children’s books, plenty of comfortable chairs to browse on, and staff with a wealth of knowledge, this is a great place to nurture a love of books in even the most reluctant reader.

Instagram: @octavias_bookshop

The wonderful seaside town of Hove hosts the perfectly formed The Book Nook, an indie children’s bookshop that has won local awards. They have story time every day at 4pm and have lots of other events to get involved in such as regular book review competitions, author visits, and face painting. It’s perfect for a leisurely weekend amble; why not go for a browse and then pick up some local rock afterwards?

Instagram: @booknookhove

With over 20,000 books in this well-stocked shop, The Children’s Bookshop is what it says on the tin – a bookshop entirely for kids! This magical emporium is full of second-hand wares, vintage finds, and treasures just waiting to be discovered. It’s perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in some classics and well-loved tales – at a purse-friendly price!

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