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Best book stores in NYC for kids

Little bookworms will love browsing the shelves and popping in for storytime at these kid-friendly book stores in NYC

Photograph: Etienne Frossard
Greenlight Bookstore

Reading with your little ones doesn't have to wait until bedtime! There are so many amazing book stores in NYC with shelves of carefully curated books for kids to devour. Besides being a great place to build your family's library, these shops offer lots of free things to do with kids, including storytimes and sing-a-longs. Story time events like Greenlight Saturday Storytime wrangle some incredible local authors and illustrators for guests appearances, which might even inspire your youngster to pen a tale of their own.

Book stores in NYC for kids

Bank Street Bookstore

The uptown shop features a broad selection of tomes for young readers, in addition to a vast assortment of games, toys and CDs. Its warm, knowledgeable staff is equally treasured, going the extra mile to russle up real gems instead of directing customers straight to the best-sellers. Kids can catch in-store puppet shows, musical story hours and more on select days.

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Upper West Side


Located just a few blocks from Atlantic Avenue, BookCourt is a long-standing independent seller with a great children's book selection (comprising about a third of the store) and lots of space for families to plop down and read. Pop in for BookCourt Kids storytimes with accomplished authors and illustrators.

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Boerum Hill

Book Culture

This community bookstore goes above and beyond to make itself a destination for reading and playing alike. In addition to its inviting children's room, packed with puzzles, art supplies and toys, the UWS store attracts mini literati in droves with its weekend storytelling sessions, often featuring guest appearances by kid-lit authors. On Saturdays, this particular location hosts Persian (2:30pm) and English (3:30pm) storytimes for little ones to enjoy.

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Morningside Heights

Books of Wonder

One of the city's largest and most beloved independent children's bookstores, Books of Wonder features titles both new and old (rare and out-of-print editions), plus foreign-language and reference titles, and a special collection of Oz books. Used as inspiration for the children's bookstore in the film You've Got Mail, the quaint and cozy shop boasts a spacious retail floor, a gallery and café space. Youngster are treated to weekly storytimes on Saturdays (11am) and Sundays (11:30am)—including a bilingual edition each month—when top-notch authors and illustrators come by to share their tomes. Book launch events, picture book bonanzas and teen book clubs also frequent the space.

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Greenlight Bookstore

With numerous NYC stores shutting their doors, we couldn't be more thrilled to see this little indie-store-that-could still going strong. The locally owned haven for lit lovers boasts 300 square feet of picture books, chapter books, and YA selections for children and tweens, as well as an assortment of educational games and toys. Catch storytime with the latest and greatest children's authors every Saturday (11am), plus singalongs on the third Friday and first Sunday of each month (11am).

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Fort Greene

La Casa Azul Bookstore

Opened in 2012, this Latin-lit bookstore is stocked with works for kids and adults, and also hosts periodic classes, including a children's art series. The murals and brightly colored walls—inspired in part by Frida Kahlo's home in Mexico—make a great backdrop for its book-club meetings, children's events and readings from culturally diverse authors.

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East Harlem

McNally Jackson Books

McNally Jackson features a good variety of nonfiction, novels and magazines, as well as an expertly curated selection of children's classics and perennial favorites. Young readers can also swing by for weekly sing-a-long tales for babies on Fridays (4pm) or story and crafts sessions, which take on a different theme each Saturday at 11:30am.

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powerHouse on 8th

Dumbo stalwart powerHouse Books has opened a second shop in Park Slope to sate the voracious needs of the family-oriented nabe. The sweet, exposed-brick spot has a special nook for kids stocked with children's books, stuffed animals and other covetable kid goods alongside fare for YA readers and adults. Author appearances, storytimes and other family events are de rigueur.

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The powerHouse Arena

PowerHouse publishes beautiful photo books, but the company's loft-like space and gallery in DUMBO hosts all kinds of events, including book launches from some of the hottest authors and illustrators in kid-lit.

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P.S. Bookshop

Kids can sprawl out on the furry carpet and check out fun toys in the big cardboard box at owner Yuval Gans's regular storytime and sing-along (Thursdays 4–5pm, $5 per family). Beginning in April, several musical offerings will frequent the space, including Music Together (Tuesdays at 10am, 11am and 4pm), Kids Music Underground (Mondays at 4pm) and Music for Aardvarks classes led by kindie songstress Audra Rox (Fridays at 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am; Sat at 10am). In addition to playthings, the eclectic store offers a quality selection of children's books, including hard-to-come-by foreign language reads.

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Posman Books

Not only does this mom-and-pop-ish bookshop contain an impressive collection of children's reads but it's also got a mean collection of NYC-centric books for kids, to get them in the New York state of mind early. A comfy event space hosts cool kid events, such as puppet shows and yoga.

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Adult bibliophiles might be interested to know that Henry Miller grew up not too far from this quaint literary emporium, and though this independent bookstore carries classics on par with Tropic of Cancer, the quaint shop also proffers more up-to-date titles. Weekly literary events are frequent, as are children's book readings.

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