Library Shops at the New York Public Library
476 Fifth Ave., at 42nd St.
455 Fifth Ave., at 40th St.
Classic storybook characters come to life in these whimsical
shops where Curious George alarm clocks, Wild Things dolls,
and Madeline bookends are tucked in among kids’ favorite
stories. One edition of Goodnight Moon even comes with
a pair of bunny slippers ($19.99).
1575 York Ave., near 84th St.
As the frequent comings and goings of writers Donna Tartt
and Susan Cheever attest, this bookstore offers lots of quirks
and perks. Children’s literature is one of two specialties
(the other being spirituality lit). Look for fun volumes like
the Magic Tree House series and the Hank Zipzer series. Participate
in story time (Mondays at 3 p.m. on the outdoor terrace),
and receive a 20 percent discount on any books you buy that
2486 Broadway, at 92nd St.
Young thrill-o-philes will find everything from the Edgar
Award–winning Sammy Keyes series to the Agatha Christie–esque
Sally Lockhart series at this murder-mystery mecca. Paperback
collectibles ($5–$30) and autographed hardbacks are
kept behind glass.
||Selection of First
16 W. 18th St., near Fifth Ave.
From a 1900 Wonderful Wizard of Oz ($9,500)
to a twenties Winnie-the-Pooh four-book set ($8,500),
Books of Wonder houses the city’s top collection
of first-edition classics. Owner Peter Glassman’s
friend Jo (that’s J. K. Rowling to the rest
of us) signed all five of her first editions, with
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
priced highest at $5,500.
31 W. 57th St., near Fifth Ave.
The third floor’s bright collection of kids’ books
includes pop-ups for toddlers, plus great finds for young
readers, like Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard
and Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord. There are
also high-school requisites like Dickens and Cervantes, as
well as Olivia, the Hardy Boys, Shel Silverstein, and Lewis
557 Broadway, near Prince St.
This overachiever’s haven has great resources, along
with a large table fit for studying. Downstairs, you’ll
find hundreds of kids’ books housed in creative alternatives
to ordinary bookshelves—like a huge installation of
Clifford’s doghouse. Story time is Tuesdays and Sundays
at 2 p.m.
7th Ave. Kid’s Books
202 Seventh Ave., near 2nd St., Park Slope, Brooklyn
Park Slope’s stroller masses and many local authors
and illustrators come to this offshoot of 7th Ave. Books for
a carefully edited selection that favors little-known titles
like Tiger on a Tree from India instead of Madonna’s
latest fare. The manager, Liz Gavril, is a former children’s
book editor, and the clerk, her brother David, just wrote
a kids’ book of his own. Story time is held twice a
week on beanbags in the back. Everything is sold at list price,
though there are certain discounts for members ($25 a year;
free for teachers) and for used books.
The popular indie chainlet has children and young-adult sections
in all its stores. They stock a fairly standard selection
of titles for babies on up, plus, naturally, the work of the
Bard–give your kids a head start and get to work on
828 Broadway, at 12th St.
Brave the narrow aisles and weekend mobs on the main floor
to hit the sprawling children’s section in the basement
(and watch for a move to the second floor with the section’s
expansion, coming next year). Prices dip at least 20 to 50
percent below retail on the latest titles, which include pop-up
books, biographies, cookbooks, and more. Hunt down editions
from your own childhood at the Strand’s rare book outpost
Teacher’s College Bookstore
1224 Amsterdam Ave., at 120th St.
You don’t have to be a teacher to browse through the
two floors of educational books at this Columbia University
store. Much of the stock is curriculum-based, but they also
carry learn-to-read picture books, best- sellers (from preschoolers
to young adult), and a large section on parenting.
Non-Imperialist Bargain Books
34 Carmine St., near Bleecker St.
Growing along with the owner’s 9-year-old daughter,
this shop sells fabulous books (Roald Dahl, Toni Morrison,
Lewis Carroll) at fabulously low prices. Regulars leave with
armloads of books. Staples include Little Lit by Art
Spiegelman ($11) and E. B. White boxed sets ($7 for two).
30 Rockefeller Plaza
5324 Kings Plaza, Mill Basin, Brooklyn
2655 Richmond Ave., Staten Island
The few Waldenbooks outlets in the city have well-stocked
children’s and young adult sections—and the Manhattan
branch has a great selection of harder-to-find New York-themed
titles like The Adventures of Taxi Dog, which the Rockefeller
Center tourists (and NBC employees) buy up in droves.