Bolen designates one of the largest sections of its almost 20,000 square feet to kids. Here, they’ll not only find their favourite books, but also a grand assortment of puzzles, games, toys and other gift products for people of all ages. Parents will want to check out readings with renowned authors, who in the past have included Margaret Atwood and Timothy Findley.
#111-1644 Hillside Ave., Hillside Mall, Victoria
Galiano Island Books
This cozy bookshop celebrates local children’s authors by carrying as many of their titles as possible. Of course, it also stocks other favourites, such as Mélanie Watt (Scaredy Squirrel) and Mo Willems (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!). Books are complemented with an assortment of children’s puzzles, puppets and games.
76 Madrona Dr., Galiano Island
Jolly Olde Bookstore/Stillman Books
Jolly Olde features a children’s book section of more than 2,000 titles of used books, many of which are out-of-print and hard-to-find classics. Owner Terry Stillman says that while the small space can’t accommodate author events, it’s not unusual to see spontaneous readings happening on the rug when a mother sits down to read with her kids. His online property , Stillman Books, offers an extension of his current lineup with a healthy stock of children’s collectibles and illustrated stories, from ABC books to Rupert Bear annuals and puppet storybooks.
2419A Clarke St., Port Moody
Online store: StillmanBooks.com
Because every child is different, finding just the right book can be tricky. Kidsbooks assists with a couple of search tools to get the job done — you can browse online by subject or by age, as opposed to just title. They’ll also customize orders, whether you’re looking for a particular theme or age-appropriate books, and ship them to you. Each of the locations regularly hosts kids’ authors and events, and their staff is known to be super helpful and knowledgeable.
Three locations throughout BC
It’s been called one of the most magnificent bookstores in North America, but that’s not what grabs little ones’ attentions. The children’s section is a cozy and bright space with a book-themed mural bordering the ceiling. The book selection is robust, too, with the largest supply of kid’s foreign-language books in town. And when it’s mom and dad’s turn to pick a book, little ones can grab a toy to play with in the store or pore over their own book at a tots’ table.
1108 Government St., Victoria
Polar Peek Books & Treasures
This shop marries a love of the great outdoors with reading. Here you’ll find a host of outdoor-themed books (science and nature, mountain culture, local animals) on the shelves. Polar Peek also ooffers a special-order service; they’ll do their best to track down any hard-to-find books and ship them to you within two weeks. Aside from author readings, the store also hosts a kids’ treasure hunt, face painting, prizes and more as part of Independent Book Sellers Day celebrations in October.
592 2nd Ave., Fernie