I have just completed a mini #JokeBookShopTour to publicise The Daily Joker (co-written with Rachel Delahaye & illustrated by Nigel Parkinson). The tour, which I set up myself, took in three excellent Children’s Bookshops.
There really is something glorious about Children’s Bookshops. There are so many books in the world and yet, if you look at any supermarket book section (or, indeed, a good many general bookshops) you would think the choice is extremely limited – and increasingly homogenous. These specialist shops are the beating hearts of a vibrant & diverse book market and of their local communities.
My mini book tour kicked off with my old friends at Book Nook, which is a real treasure trove of a shop in Hove. Often frequented by former Laureate Chris Riddell, it is well worth exploring if you’re ever around the Brighton area. Next year they’ll be celebrating ten years in the business, which is quite some achievement. They often have events & activities so check their website or facebook page for details.
On Friday I went to my nearest (and newest) shop, Moon Lane Books, which is a not-for-profit community interest company dedicated to raising equality in children’s books. We had a lovely event and I would highly recommend any schools in the area to get in touch with them.
Finally, I popped in on Brentwood’s finest, Jim and Natasha (pictured below) otherwise known as Chicken & Frog Bookshop . You won’t find any books by David Walliams (they no longer stock them) but they do have a wide selection of fabulous books as well as lots of activities and events throughout the year, including the creative writing group who I visited on Saturday afternoon.
Whether you’re looking for something to do or advice about what your child should read next, I recommend you find your local children’s bookseller and exploit the wealth of specialist knowledge that lies therein.
Whether you are a parent, grandparent, child, guardian, teacher, author or anyone else with an interest in children’s books, I would urge you to walk straight past your local supermarket’s shelf of mostly celebrity-written books and seek out someone who knows what they’re talking about.
And if you are a local book shop and would like to arrange a visit then please email me at email@example.com. All of my events are interactive, musical and silly, although be warned, the Joke Book events do contain a wide selection of (often terrible) jokes.
The Daily Joker (£4.99, published by Piccadilly Press) contains a joke for every day of the year alongside weekly joke challenges.