I draw so much inspiration from picture books. Even before I started illustrating picture books myself, I turned to my favourite children’s illustrators to inspire my textile art. I now have a rather large collection of beautiful and treasured picture books - I call it professional development!
So it’s not surprise that bookshops are my favourite types of shops. Especially a book shop with a good selection of children’s books. Fortunately I’ve managed to pass my love of books on to my children, who will choose a bookshop treat over a lollyshop treat. Something we love to do occasionally is visit a good bookshop so that we can all choose a new book (this is always quite a process, with six children!) and follow it up with a hot chocolate at a nearby cafe. I think that part of the allure is that we live 35 minutes away from the nearest good bookshop, so we don’t get there very often. I thought it would be fun to share my favourite book stops here in Perth, with accompanying nearby drink stops!
My first recommendation is Paperbird Books in Fremantle. This bookshop specialises in children’s books, and has a huge range of picture books. Paperbird is very supportive of Western Australian authors and illustrators and runs regular book related events in their shop.
Paperbird is located next to Moore & Moore, which has a fantastic cafe nestled in it’s corridor and courtyard. Or wander a few streets further to Duck Duck Bruce. My four year old had ‘the best hot chocolate in the world’ there when we visited (complete with a cute little duck chocolate in addition to the marshmallows)!
Millpoint Caffe Bookshop
Millpoint Caffe Bookshop in South Perth is my next recommendation, because how can you go past a bookshop that is also a cafe? It’s a favourite place to sit and enjoy a coffee and maybe do some drawing, especially at one of the indoor tables in amongst the books. I didn’t get any pictures of the cafe tables, as the place was bustling with people when we were there, but the decor feels exactly how a bookshop cafe should feel, with an eclectic mix of vintage tables and chairs. If you feel like some fresh air afterwards, the kids will love the short walk to the nearby playground by the river at the end of Coode St.
At the moment, Crow Books in Victoria Park is our most popular bookshop stop. It’s the closest to where we live (albeit a 35 minute drive away) and has a great range of picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, non fiction for kids, as well as plenty of art and design books for me to browse.
We visited earlier this week as my boys all wanted to buy a book with their pocket money, and they specifically asked to go to this shop. It’s always an exercise in negotiation to help each child find a suitable book that they are excited about reading. (Each boy goes through a phase of setting there hearts on Minecraft books, and I refuse to spend money on (or let my children spend there pocket money on) Minecraft books).
There is a lovely flower/plant shop across the road and up a little bit further called Greenbunch, which happens to include a delightful cafe. The indoor shop/cafe is such a lovely place to be in, and there is also a great outdoor seating area out the back, perfect for bringing little children. Oh, and if you are luck, they have Mary St Bakery donuts in stock!
Do you have any other suggestions for our list? We’d love to hear them!