Melbourne boasts the world’s oldest children’s bookstore in The Little Bookroom, which opened in 1960. The Carlton store also holds lots of author events and activities.
The Little Bookroom, 759 Nicholson St, Carlton North (03) 9387 9837
A second hand bookstore with a strong line in children’s literature. Books are brought in daily so you never know what you’ll find.
Brown & Bunting Booksellers, 237 High St, Northcote (03) 9481 3388
It’s a squashy little bookshop and not very convenient for pram access – but The Younger Sun benefits from having the Yarraville Pop Up Park at its doorstep, the Sun Theatre across the road for a pre or post-cinema browse as well as knowledgeable and friendly staff. They also hold monthly book clubs for children.
The Younger Sun, 26 Murray Street Yarraville 03 9689 0661
Independent book store and toy store in Port Melbourne. They runs several weekly and annual kids reading events, including 6 book clubs for various ages from Prep to adult, storytime twice a week, the reading hour and National Simultaneous Storytime.
Three Four Knock on the Door 2/188 Bay Street, Port Melbourne (03) 9645 2058
A hop skip and a jump from the bustle of South Melbourne Market is the relaxing Coventry Bookstore . I love the soothing wooden decor and there’s a beautiful space at the back of the store set up as a special children’s area (thought it’s a bit tight for prams).
Coventry Bookstore, 265 Coventry St, South Melbourne (03) 9686 8200
An independent bookshop located in the heart of Coburg’s shopping strip, specialising in Children’s Picture Books, Junior Readers, Young Adult Fiction and Graphic Novels.
Pictures and Pages, 400 Sydney Road, Coburg, Victoria (03) 9041 6398
An excellent, well set out children’s section with the added benefit of kid-friendly cafe Bread and Jam for Frances (by Dench Bakers) adjoining it. Readings St Kilda is also a favourite thanks to a spacious children’s area and proximity to cafes and the beach.
Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn (03) 9819 1917
Often times independent bookstores are so jammed with books that it’s hard to move around (especially with kids). I really like the spacious layout at Ulysses Bookstore, with lots of light and a great children’s section – and one of the few bookstores run solely by a woman! They often have children’s events, especially school holidays.
Ulysses Bookstore, 1/33-35 Melrose St, Sandringham (03) 9521 8020
A nicely laid out children’s section though up a set of small stairs. There’s a little table/chair combo in the corner but the best thing of all is their dedicated children’s literature specialist.
Avenue Bookstore 127 Dundas Pl, Albert Park 03 9690 2227
10. Hill of Content
A soothing space with a well-stocked children’s section at the back which is spacious enough for kids and prams. They just need to add some child-sized seating or beanbags and it’d be perfect.
Hill of Content, 86 Bourke St, Melbourne (03) 9662 9472
11. Embiggen Books
The carpet and dark wood of Embiggen Books gives it a cerebral feel and it’s more known for its intellectual collection of science, philosophy and art tomes. It does have a small children’s collection but the main drawcard for families is that it’s behind the State Library of Victoria (and the excellent Play Pod) and the Wheeler’s Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.
Embiggen Books, 203 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (03) 9662 2062
12. Tim’s Bookshop
A family owned bookshop that specialises in children’s books. The store in Canterbury is nicer and more spacious and they hold a story time session in the Canterbury shop on the first Thursday of every month.
Tim’s Bookshop, 129 High Street, Kew, Victoria (03) 9853 5634 and 143 Maling Road, Canterbury (03) 9836 3007
13. Readings Kids
Next to Reading’s flagship Carlton store is a light-filled, roomy children’s specialist branch, Readings Kids. It has a play area at the back and features a stunning mural from Melbourne artist Marc Martin.
Readings Kids, 315 Lygon St, Carlton
- My Bookshop 513 Malvern Rd, Toorak (03) 9824 2990
- JP Junior Everlasting Books, 355 Somerville Rd, Yarraville (03) 9314 6767
Last but not least is The Kids Bookshop, a solely online operation which is based in Melbourne and co-owned by the General Sales Manager for children’s books at Penguin Books. The website is easy to navigate, with lots of search options for picking the perfect book. My favourite feature is their Monthly Book Pack Subscription the perfect gift for a book-loving child or a new baby gift for parents who already own all the ‘practical’ stuff.