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Top Children’s Bookstores In Connecticut

May 19, 2014 8:00 AM

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(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Connecticut is very encouraging of writers and readers. There are charming, cozy, welcoming corners for children in many bookstores, and many of those stores specialize in books for young readers. Many of these stores offer regular story times, invite children’s book authors and host events aimed at attracting and encouraging kids to read. Here are just five of the top children’s bookstores in Connecticut.

Linda’s Story Time
447 Monroe Turnpike
Monroe, CT 06468
(203) 459-1579
www.lindasstorytime.com

Children’s story time just got “brighter” and “shinier” at Linda’s Story Time bookstore in Monroe, or so the banners on its website and Facebook pages boast. Linda’s is a full-service, independent bookstore with lots to attract readers of all ages, but it also specializes in books for children, including books for babies and toddlers right up through young adult titles. The children’s area of the store is especially bright and welcoming, and there are always special events for young readers. In April, for example, local children’s author Susan Striker presented the latest in her internationally popular line of “Anti-Coloring Books.”

Related: Top Spots To Read Your Book With Coffee In Connecticut

Byrd’s Books
126 Greenwood Ave.
Bethel, CT 06801
(203) 730-2973
www.byrdsbooks.com/childrens

Anyone in the Bethel-Danbury area looking for books for children should stop in at Byrd’s Books on Greenwood Avenue. At least 25 percent of the store is devoted just to children. It has a huge selection of books for young readers and for those reading to the young. Byrd’s stocks the classics and the best-sellers, the “indies” and the big name authors and has a children’s story time every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. Owner Alice Hutchinson has a long history in the bookstore business, as she not only managed her family’s store in Westport before opening her own in Bethel, but also holds a master’s degree in teaching, with a focus on young adult literature.

Bank Street Book Nook
50 Bank St.
New Milford, CT 06776
(860) 354-3865
www.facebook.com/Bank-St-Book-Nook

Vanessa Gronbach has saved the much beloved Bank St. Book Nook from going the way of so many brick and mortar bookstores – and the children of New Milford (and their parents) are mightily relieved. The building that houses the store went on the market in January, but property owner Janet Olsen Ryan quite happily announced in February that she had a buyer and that the buyer would keep the popular store open. Not only is she keeping the rocking chair for the reader and the pillows for children to cozy up with during the storytelling hour, but Ms. Gronbach is also keeping most of the original staff.  She is expanding those parts of the store devoted to local writers and Connecticut, but is also inviting authors to read at the store.

Diane’s Books
8A Grigg St.
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 869-1515
www.dianesbooks.com

Diane’s Books doesn’t only have gift baskets, it has “gift wagons.” Owner Diane Garrett sells little red wagons with the store’s name emblazoned upon their sides, and will also stack them with books, wrap them all up, wagon and all, and tie it up with a pretty bow. The wagons come in two sizes, and many shoppers who start with the small wagon quickly upgrade to the big one as they find more and more books to fill it up. That is not surprising, as Diane says she has four times as many family and children’s books as the average book “superstore,” and both she and her staff pride themselves on knowing what is not only appropriate for children, but what they will like. Diane’s also sells books for big people and regularly invites well-known authors for readings and signings. But her heart belongs to the children, as evidenced by her signature little red book wagons.

Hickory Stick Bookshop
2 Green Hill Road
Washington Depot, CT 06794
(860) 868-0525
www.hickorystickbookshop.com

If children don’t read books, bookstores will eventually disappear. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will not allow that to happen, especially not in the little hamlet of Washington Depot where it has been a fixture for six decades. The Hickory Stick offers books suitable for all ages, but also is one of those rare bookstores that invites children’s authors to come in for a reading and a book signing.

Related: Best Comic Book Shops In Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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