Children's Book World on Pico Blvd. has been a Rancho Park fixture for almost a quarter century. From its beginings when owner Sharon Hearn sold books out of a garage, the store has grown in size several times over the years, making it possibly the largest children's book store on the West Coast. Yet is has never strayed from its core audience, newborns to eighteen-year-olds.
Visit on any given day (not Sundays, they are closed) and you'll likely see Rancho Park locals as well as patrons from all over LA County, visitors from New York and others who know about - and will travel for - the store's selection and the staff's expertise in helping find just the right book for the right occasion and reader.
"We don't just sell books, we read them," said store manager Anothy Rester, who estimates he goes through two chapter books and 15 picture books a week.
Rester, along with other staffers, posts descriptions of his favorite picks throughout the store. "That way if a particular staff member is not in on a given day, our customers can still get their recommendations," he said.
Need a book about elephants and friendship, Inuit folk tales, Gustav Klimt's cat, they've got it. The stocked-to-the ceiling shelves are filled with bestsellers, hard-to-find titles and everything in between.
In addition to the great book selection, the store sells CD's, DVDs, craft kits, puzzles, puppets and also offers free gift wrapping and is now creating custom gift baskets due to customer demand.
Check their website and our events section for frequent author visits and children's story hours. Look for me at the upcoming Fancy Nancy celebration with illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser on May 7. As Fancy Nancy herself would say...
"It is going to be stupendous."