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Children’s Book Blog: Independent Booksellers Week

Rebecca Davies

broadway bookshop 232x300 Children’s Book Blog: Independent Booksellers WeekTo mark Independent Booksellers Week I asked Jane Howe, the owner of my local The Broadway Bookshop to answer a few questions about the importance of independent bookshops to young readers.

What can independent bookstores offer readers that big chains can’t?

Carefully selected titles that take into account our particular customers as well as our own tastes.

How important do you think it is for children to have a local bookstore while they are growing up?

We obviously think it’s very important and we believe that parents and children think so too.  We have many children that came here as babes-in-arms when the shop first opened and are now running in with their pocket money to choose books themselves. We tend to specialise in lovely editions of old favourites and the parents are delighted to pass on children’s books that they enjoyed when they were young.

What types of children’s books are proving most popular in your shop at the moment?

Children love series – Diary of a Wimpy Kid has its keen followers – arguing vociferously to have the latest one in hardback instead of waiting for the paperback. For older children, the Malorie Blackman Noughts and Crosses books and Michael Grant’s Gone series.  Sticker books – if they qualify!

Do you have any top tips for parents who are struggling to get their kids into reading?

I would say don’t struggle. Use reverse psychology maybe? Actually many parents have said the Wimpy Kid books have done the trick. Also children want to be doing what their mates are doing and Diary of a Wimpy Kid was a pretty cool book to be seen with, I believe.

What was your favourite book as a child?

Orlando the Marmalade Cat written and illustrated by Kathleen Hale. First published in 1938, the Orlando books spanned several decades, the last one coming out in 1972. We had most of them at home and I just loved the pictures and the names of the cats: Orlando, his dear wife Grace and their kittens Blanche, Pansy and Tinkle. It is wonderful that there are two titles now in print that we stock here: Orlando the Marmalade Cat: A Camping Holiday and Orlando The Marmalade Cat: A Seaside Holiday. I wish there were more.

Rebecca Davies is a journalist and children’s author and completed her middle-grade novel, Shirley Smart and the Nix’s Curse earlier this year. You can read more of her children’s book blogs here

Follow Rebecca on Twitter @TheStoryMonster

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