What?: Compact yet encyclopaedic bookstore offering an overwhelming selection of titles in a calm and cosy setting. Books are arranged by age, from baby to young adult, with weekly story-time edits displayed by theme – e.g. Odd Dogs and Monkeys – to tie in with the store’s regular author/illustrator events. Story-time sessions for 2-6s are held four times a week, while events for older children include a junior comics club for 8-12s and a 9-11s bookclub.
And if its wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling array of books isn’t quite enough, this wonderfully welcoming shop also boasts a cosy sofa for quiet reading and a large activity table where kids of all ages can type out their (or someone else’s) selfless act of kindness or bravery on the old-fashioned typewriter. In return, their typewritten good deeds will adorn the walls of The Alligator’s Mouth as part of its ongoing Good Deeds Typewriter project, with the deed-doer rewarded with a goody-bag or a copy of Stories While They Wait by Luke Winter.
Where?: Church Court, just off George Street in Richmond town centre; a five-minute walk from Richmond station (mainline, Ginger).
Price Range: Affordable.
Best Bits: Friendly staff, a peaceful atmosphere, comfortable surroundings and a stay-as-long-as-you-like policy will make this little store a winner with book lovers of all ages.
Worst Bits: We had quite the battle trying to get Bab back in her buggy come home-time.
Did We Buy?: There was far too much to choose from and as a result we went slightly crazy, coming home with not one, not two but four new Bab books, including Have You Seen My Lunch Box by Steve Light and Playtime With Ted by Sophy Henn from Mummy, and Ant and Bee and the Doctor by Angela Banner and The Tale of the Castle Mice by Michael Bond (author of Paddington Bear) from Auntie Zaza.
Would We Come Back?: We got a loyalty card so now we have to. Oh no.
Bab is spoilt for choice at The Alligator’s Mouth, Richmond.