mother and child reading at a bookstore or library (children's bookstores Boston)For my kids, a trip to a good bookshop can be more fun than visiting a toy store! They may be initially drawn in by puzzles or games, but they inevitably park themselves in an aisle and get lost in a good book. And we always manage to leave with a cool new book in hand! The following bookstores in the Boston area are high on our list for their kid-friendly selections, special storytimes, children’s author book signing events, whimsical locations — or all of the above.

Blue Bunny Books and Cafe

577 High Street, Dedham

This special bookstore just south of Boston is dedicated solely to children’s books. The owner is none other than Peter Reynolds, famous local author of “The Dot” and a multitude of other wonderful children’s books. Naturally, you can find his autographed books here.

The Blue Bunny currently offers a weekly “early risers” storytime on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m., which is a wonderful option for parents looking to entertain their early birds. There is also a small cafe inside for hungry patrons where you can grab your morning coffee.

The store often hosts book signings and events as well. I recently brought my kids to a book launch event that was partnered with the Dedham Community Theatre across the street — we got to see the world preview of two of Peter Reynold’s newest books that have been turned into short films: “The Reflection in Me” and “Go Left.” We had a wonderful time!

Inside of Blue Bunny bookstore. Shelves lined with books.
Photo courtesy of Blue Bunny Books and Cafe

Hummingbird Books

55 Boylston Street, Suite 5510, Chestnut Hill

This beautiful bookstore features a dedicated children’s area, which houses the Great Oak Tree, a cozy space where kids can crawl in and curl up with a good book. There is a weekly storytime for children on Sundays at 11 a.m. There are often book signings held here with children’s authors as well as fun events like singalongs. You can even book a birthday party at this location!

Their selection is fantastic. I have often been able to discover a new book series here to hook my developing reader. They have an excellent graphic novel section as well. The gift selection here is great, too — plenty of thematic puzzles and games. Bonus: There are usually a few small unboxed toys around that toddlers can play with while you shop.

Another fun fact: Hummingbird books works actively to combat book bans in other states. You can donate banned books, and they will ship them off to little readers in other parts of the country!

Inside of Hummingbird bookstore. Shelves lined with books and a tree in the background.
Photo courtesy of Hummingbird Books

An Unlikely Story

111 South Street, Plainville

Tucked away in Plainville, this spot is a great “destination” bookstore for children in Boston and further north. And for those “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” fans (and their parents!), it’s so worth it! This bookstore was created by Julie and Jeff Kinney — the “Wimpy Kid” author himself — as a community gathering place where visitors can meet amazing authors, enjoy breakfast or lunch, and relax with a new book.

Frugal Bookstore

57 Warren Street, Roxbury

This Black-owned bookstore is a local favorite. If you are looking to diversify your bookshelves, this place is brimming with a wonderful and varied selection for young readers. Black narratives are front and center at this store, and they are known for their great customer service, so if you can’t find a book they can order it for you. The store hosts events and book signings for young readers as well. Plus, it’s accessible by T!

I AM Books

124 Salem Street, Boston (North End)

My daughter’s class took a field trip to this bookstore, and she fell in love with it. It’s surrounded by the quaint streets of the North End and the delicious smells wafting from all the surrounding bakeries — what’s not to love? The owner told them all about his dream to open a bookstore that served as a hub to share his Italian heritage. The store features many bilingual titles as well as books purely in Italian. In addition to the many children’s books, this shop also sells Italian-inspired toys, gifts, and games. It’s also accessible by T.

Beacon Hill Books and Cafe

71 Charles Street, Boston (Beacon Hill)

This is the whimsical bookstore you keep seeing all over Instagram — the one with an entryway that can only be described as something out of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. It is absolutely worth a visit the next time you bring the kids downtown. In fact, why not make a day of it by following their charming “A Day in Beacon Hill” itinerary?

There is an entire floor here dedicated to children’s books, which features a sweet toy train that runs along the top of the wall with a push of a button. Kids adore this cool space.

For meals, there is a classy onsite cafe. It’s extremely popular, so reservations are strongly encouraged. This shop is accessible by T.

Inside of Beacon Hills Books and Cafe. Bookstore with white walls and floor and a couch.
Photo courtesy of Beacon Hill Books and Cafe

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

338 Newbury Street, Boston (Back Bay)

We love this beloved Newbury Street haunt. Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by books while enjoying a tasty weekend brunch? You can walk in or make a reservation at their cafe, and the featured breakfast food — which is served all day — is great! You are sure to find something the kids will enjoy on this menu. Their second floor of this Boston bookstore has a solid collection of children’s books, from board books and early readers to graphic novels and everything in between. It’s a great place to stop by on your next stroll down Newbury Street, and it’s accessible by T.

Brookline Booksmith

279 Harvard Street, Brookline

Nestled in the heart of bustling Coolidge corner, this bookstore has been around since the 1960s. They offer a vast collection of children’s books and host a multitude of story hours, book launches, and events. Suggested itinerary: Bring the kids to browse the bookstore after visiting the charming Coolidge Corner Theatre and grabbing a tasty crepe at Paris Creperie right across the street. This bookstore is accessible by T. 

Harvard COOP

1400 Mass Ave., Cambridge

The COOP is a longstanding staple of Harvard Square, and it houses a robust selection of children’s books. Kids can easily spend hours browsing, and there is a convenient cafe area where you can sip coffee while the kids have a snack. The store also hosts storytimes on weekends and other special events for kids. It is accessible by T.

Papercuts Bookshop

60 South Street, Boston (Jamaica Plain)

This award-winning woman-owned bookstore is hard to miss when strolling down Centre Street in JP. It has an adorable children’s section as well as art supplies, puzzles, and stickers galore. Definitely check out this kid-friendly spot next time you are in the area, and drop by Fiore’s bakery right across the street for a sweet treat on your way home. This shop is accessible by T.

Rozzie Bound Co-op

739 South Street, Roslindale

This small but mighty bookstore is a true neighborhood co-op. For a one-time fee of $100, residents can become consumer-owners, vote on the board, and receive in-store discounts. They have a small children’s book selection curated by community members, which is pretty special. This bookshop has been a wonderful addition to the Rozzie community, which largely consists of families. It is accessible by T.

Maria Zolotarev
Originally from Moscow, Maria has lived in the Boston area since grade school. She attended Boston Latin, where she met her husband, and then graduated from Northeastern University. Maria now lives in the vibrant neighborhood of Roslindale with her husband and two kids (born in 2015 and 2020). She works as clinical pharmacist by day and runs the Roslindale Littles Facebook group in her free time. Prompted by the pandemic, she dove headfirst into finding her “Unicorn Space” outside of working and momming. She rediscovered her love of writing and one day she hopes to publish a children’s book that showcases her family's culture. Most days you can find her chasing her super active kids around the garden while she listens to a never ending TBR list of audiobooks. Likes: tea, cats, yoga, hiking, her Peloton, exploring, reading, gardening and meeting new people. :)


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