“Children are made readers in the laps of their parents” (Emilie Buchwald)

I don’t know about you, but if there is one thing I remember as a child, it was when my mother read bedtime stories for me! Even though I might prefer Tom Hardy reading stories for me now, (sorry, mum!), I hope, that Clara will enjoy me reading to her – as much as I appreciated my mother reading for me!

Hatchards bookshop in Piccadilly is one of my favourite places to take Clara, when we are on an exciting book-hunt! 

First of all, it is one the most beautiful book-shops, I have ever been to. Second, they have a large selection of children’s books for every age

You simply can’t help being drawn to this place! Hatchards truly is a book lover’s bookstore. Just look at that beautiful dark green exterior, curved bay windows and the wooden frames! (Bonus-info: Hatchards is actually London’s oldest bookshop – opened by John Hatchard in 1797. It has been here in Piccadilly for over 200 years. Another reason, why you must visit, when being around)

Hatchards stock fiction, non-fiction and also specialise in books about Winston Churchill, royalty, art, biography and gardening. Choose from literary classics or rare, signed special editions, and enjoy some of the many events that take place throughout the year

I love the staircase that leads you to so many adventures…

Even though this bookstore might seem a bit “ancient” with its old photos and memorabilia, Hatchards is certainly not stuck in the past. You will be able to find Audiobooks from authors like Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl, Stephen Fry and Helen Fielding. (Bonus-info: Roald Dahl features in both the kids and adults audiobook selections)

Shop like the Queen! Only the very best of British appear on the prestigious Royal Warrant list: Hatchards is one of them (Bonus-info: Royal Warrants demonstrate impeccable service and high standards, and are considered a highly covetable badge of honour for retailers)

Welcome to Clara’s favourite floor – the children’s department! 

This is such a classic! How I just love this book! Can’t wait to read it for Clara, when she gets older

I will be very surprised, if you can not find one of your childhood classics amongst these beautiful books!

Some think, that it is a bit early to introduce a very young baby to “real” books. I don’t agree! (I actually already bought books for Clara, when she was still in my belly – and I read them loud to her, so she could hear my voice)

Basically, baby books are important for babies development. It can however be difficult to decide which is the best book for your little one

“The very hungry Caterpillar”. This one was/is very popular in Scandinavia as well

You are more than welcome to sit and read stories for your little ones in this cosy sofa!

Tip: You can use a baby book for any downtime, during any time of the day. You can also use a book at bedtime to relax and to calm your baby

Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t pay attention to it. Her focus will build up with time, just keep reading and showing the pictures and with time your baby will be asking for book time. To begin with, all Clara wanted to do, was to turn the pages – but now she is actually also interested in colours, texture, the surprising lift-the-flap-books and the tone of my voice, when I am reading to her

Literary themed toys are available in the children’s department too

She might not be the most gracious of them all – but everybody loves Peppa Pig

 – Moomins wedged between Paddington and Peter Rabbit

So how to choose the right books?

In my experience it is important to keep in mind that a baby book needs to be relatable to your baby, so they can easily hold it and carry it around. I have made the mistake of buying very big books for Clara – and she simply can not handle them yet! Also, you need to like the illustrations as well, because you and your baby are going to spend lots of time looking at them! Some prefer sticking to one author or illustrator. I don’t – I think variety makes it more fun for both Clara and me!

These are the books I bought, the last time we were at Hatchards! There are a few classics and more “modern” ones as well! (At the moment, lift-the-flap books are a hit! )

As mentioned earlier, it is important to read to your baby because:

  •  It helps create a bedtime routine
  •  Your little one will settle with the sound of your voice, and will subconsciously pick up the rhythms, tones, and inflexions of your voice which can help when they learn to read later
  • It’s good for their eye-sight. Your baby is learning to focus her eyes on simple patterns. Most baby books will have bright illustrations, shapes, and letters to occupy her
  • Scientists have actually found, that children who have stories read to them regularly show more empathy, and find it easier to understand people! Love this!
  • As your little one gets older, at the end of story time try to stop and ask them “why do you think this character did that?”  This can help your child develop their understanding and vocabulary

“You can find magic, wherever you look! Sit back and relax, all you need is a book! (Dr. Seuss)

Happy Reading!

Louise x