One of my favourite childhood memories is going to the local bookshop after school and picking out a new book to read.
There is nothing like the magic of storytelling and reading, which is why I was delighted to discover Melbourne’s newest family-owned and independent speciality Children’s bookshop: Pickwick & Sprout Children’s Booksellers.
Hidden away in quiet and leafy Hurstbridge, this bookshop is truly the place of dreams! Brimming with a carefully curated range of titles, the booksellers at Pickwick & Sprout are on hand to help you inspire a love of reading and life-long learning in your little ones. Pickwick & Sprout offer everything from popular board books, paperback and hardback picture storybooks, young adult fiction and classic children’s literature.
We had the pleasure of chatting to the owner Amy about her passion for children's literature and unique store experience.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your background – what led you to open Pickwick Sprout.
We are a family owned and run businesses! My name is Amy, my Husband is Kane and our baby boy Emmett is 2 years old. We live and work in Hurstbridge Melbourne and LOVE IT! I have been in retail for over 10 years and my husband was a secondary school teacher before he started a career in youth homelessness. We created this place from so much love and put our heart and soul into it every single day.
Your store is absolutely beautiful. Where did the inspiration come from for the store design?
We have always loved books, but didn’t realise the vast amount of incredible children’s books out there until we had our son Emmett 2 years ago. We wanted to fill his room with ALL OF THE BOOKS but as we live in the outer suburbs of Melbourne there wasn’t many places where you could go to find the really unique and different children's titles, without travelling 40mins into the city. We could buy online, but there is nothing like finding that special book with your babe, together and in person. We wanted to create a place where families could come and find hidden gems in a beautiful, relaxed and fun environment.
What can people expect when they walk into your store?
An experience! A place where your little ones can browse to books, test out the toys and have a play. A place where you can shop without stress and find unique and beautiful treasures! A place where you can get informed recommendations and good chat, and a place full of workshops and events that will entertain and help develop your mini!
When it comes to sourcing new products for the store, what do you look for? Do you have a process you go through in selecting new books and toys?
Instagram is EVERYTHING, I follow so many amazing teachers, educators, mums, dads, businesses that are all dedicated to finding beautiful and meaningful books and toys. I LOVE locally and ethically made and a lot of my products come from customers that have shown me the amazing things they can do! Anything that inspires meaningful play or joy is next on my list!
In recent times, we have seen iPads and tablets becoming more and more popular. Why do you believe traditional books are still so important for kids?
In recent years we have found that kids prefer reading a REAL books as opposed to the kindle or ipad. Choosing, touching, smelling and turning a page is an experience that every child should have. Sitting on cosy knee getting a cuddle and pouring over beautiful illustrations or listening the the pages rustle as you full asleep was the best part of bedtime for me, and I want every babe to experience it!
What are some of your fave books for kids at the moment?
I am really into any books that look into feelings! As my two year old grows, we are talking about feelings more and more. The more we learn about them, the less the tantrums seem to be! And that’s a bonus for any parent and babe. Our favourite at the moment is In My Heart a Book of Feelings by Jo Witek, a beautiful insight to feelings that is so relateable for any Mini. Published in a big board book with beautiful illustrations and die cut hearts, everything you need for a good read.
You offer some wonderful in-store workshops. Can you please share with us some information about ones coming up soon?
We LOVE our workshops! We always have so much fun! Coming up we have The Wattle Festival in Hurstbridge on Sunday 26th of August, we are running a CRAFTY DAY where Mini’s can come and make their own special pet rock! We have a Sensory Workshop on Saturday 23rd of September, your mini can come and experience a range of AMAZING sensory and messy play activities that you can set up at home! We also have a creative writing workshop on the 4th October with Young Adult Author Kate Mildenhall your budding writer can develop their writing skills in a 2 hour fun filled workshop full of mystery and intrigue! You can also join us for our Baby and Toddler Story Times running every second Friday.
What’s next for you and Pickwick & Sprout? Any exciting plans for the second half of this year?
We will be filling our months with plenty of workshops and activities for your mini’s so stay tuned!
We hope you enjoyed this store feature. If you are ready to start building your wishlist of products, then be sure and check out Pickwick & Sprout's product range.
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