Children's Bookseller of the Year

Overview

Despite the rise of digital content and distractions from a host of other media and devices, children’s print book sales have held up remarkably well in recent years - not least because of the work of the eight retailers on this shortlist. The six independents and two chains share an enormous passion for getting children to read, an indefatigable energy for events and promotions, and a welcome commitment to making the world of books more diverse and inclusive. 

Our Shortlist

  • Blackwell's
    Blackwell’s has made a concerted push into children’s books in recent years, and there were notable jumps in sales in the pre-school and graphic novel sectors in 2019.
  • Griffin Books
    Griffin Books in Penarth, near Cardiff, packs a lot of children’s books and activities into its modest 45 sq m space. There are weekly storytimes for pre-school children, author events with schools, and its own book festival.
  • Moon Lane
    Moon Lane won this award in 2017, and has since grown into a network of three bookshops, an education business and a not-for-profit initiative. There was a double-digit jump in turnover, but it was in the community.
  • Sevenoaks Bookshop
    Sevenoaks Bookshop in Kent is the longest-standing of the six indies on this list. Powered by a dedicated children’s book buyer and two booksellers, it puts young readers at the heart of everything.
  • The Blessington Bookstore
    The Blessington Book Store in County Wicklow, Ireland, is another indie to have made itself a hub for local families. Children’s books account for a third of sales, and schools trade is a strength. It does great work reaching reluctant or light readers.
  • The Edinburgh Bookshop
    The Edinburgh Bookshop won this award back in 2014 and has been shortlisted in every year since. It has grown sales each year too—all of them at full price—and has built a reputation for encouraging hesitant readers.
  • The Little Ripon Bookshop
    The Little Ripon Bookshop in Yorkshire grew its children’s book sales by a third, after an expansion gave it a bright, airy new kids’ space. The shop is renowned for its window displays, and activities in 2019 included The Great Big Book Hullabaloo.
  • Waterstones
    Waterstones won this award last year, and had further growth in children’s in 2019. Beyond the sales numbers, it clocked up more than 4,000 kids’ events, and introduced the Waterstones Children’s Laureate: Cressida Cowell.