Monday 11 September 2017

Pictures and Pages children's bookshop, Coburg

Imagine a bookshop.  Bunting hangs above colourful displays.  Friendly smiles welcome you in.  Browse the shelves.  A tyranny of choice.  Take a recommendation or two.  Seat yourself in a comfortable chair.  Buy more books than you intended.  Be excited when they move.  Love the launch!

Anyone familiar with Coburg's Pictures and Pages children's bookstore will know what a welcoming and magical space it is.  It is like immersing yourself in the whimsical world of childhood.  Just reading the titles of kids books is fun.  Lots of nostalgia.  Heaps of fun.  As I walk through the shop books catch my eye and slow me down. 

Lee and Sharon opened in a long narrow shop on Sydney Road at the end of 2014.  It was just what Coburg needed.  There are only so many kebab and coffee shops that a suburb can absorb.  I often turn to Pictures and Pages when I need to buy gifts.  And a few books for myself too.  After all, they have a loyalty program.

The Young Adult selection is full of great reads and there is even a slim shelf of adult books for the parents to browse while their kids are captivated all the world of books.  But adults don't really need grown up books.  This shop appeals to the child inside all of us.  Just look at these cute little toys below.

After almost 3 years at 400 Sydney Road, Lee and Sharon have moved to a new address up the road at Shop 5 in Foleys Mall, 441 Sydney Road.  Just north of the Victoria Street Mall.  The new shop is not quite so narrow.  That means more space for prams to maneouvre around the shelves.  On the weekend they held a launch of the new shop.  You couldn't keep us away!

The launch was great fun.  Authors, music, story time, balloons, craft and a chance to check out the new digs.  When we arrived, Elise Hurst was drawing owls inside the front window of the shop.  She is a talented illustrator and author and so sweet and lovely to chat to.

Lee and Sharon were there with their welcoming smiles.  Aren't they lovely!  They are always ready to stop for a chat and help look for a book or make recommendations.  As stated in my disclaimer below, they are friends of mine but even if they weren't, they are easy to approach.  This is their counter where they work.  And when you buy a book they are always ready to giftwrap it.

Inside was story time on the mat.  Above it you can see the four Hogwarts houses from Harry Potter.  No children's bookshop is complete without the many editions of Harry Potter these days.  A few months back, Pictures and Pages were overwhelmed by the response to a Harry Potter day.  We were unable to go but heard there were long queues to get money from Gringotts bank to buy a wand from Olivanders etc etc.  A gold coin donation was requested to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. 

I took Sylvia to meet the authors.  (And only managed to ask one author to sign someone else's book - oops!)  After chatting to Elise Hurst who signed our copy of Imagine a City, we took one of Sylvia's favourite Christmas books What do you wish for  (written by Jane Gordon) to illustrator Anna Walker (in the grey coat above, talking to Jen Storer).  Then we talked about cats with Judith Rossell (below) while she signed Sylvia's new copy of Withering by Sea.

All the authors were so friendly and ready to chat to the kids.  Sylvia was quite fascinated.  It is great for kids to see authors in their own world and know that anyone can make that leap into the world of their imagination.  We also met up with some friends there, who were also impressed by the shop.

Lastly I purchased a print from Elise Hurst's Imagine a City.  It is such a book lover's picture with so much wonderful whimsical details that I can't wait to have it on the wall.

If you are in Coburg, I highly recommend a visit to Pictures and Pages.  It is fantastic to see a local bookshop doing well and I am always pleased to be able to support them.

Disclaimer: I know Lee and Sharon who run Pictures and Pages but I was not asked to write this blog post or given any financial compensation.  I wrote the post because I am a regular at the shop and really love it.

Pictures and Pages
Shop 5 Foleys Mall
441 Sydney Rd, Coburg Victoria 3058


  1. How fantastic. This is how bookshops should be! Much as I love Waterstones in the UK, and Foyles in London, I wish we had more independent stores like this. It is sad that so many have lost out to online ordering - may Pictures and Pages long prosper.

  2. That's a gorgeous print! I love that it's so detailed. Like the artist really imagined or saw all of the little things as well as the big.

  3. My wife used to be a children's book seller in an independent bookshop in Sheffield, UK. Magical places.

  4. How wonderful! I love a good bookshop.

  5. I have to go and check it out, what a beautiful store. I have Imagine A City too and have bought Elise Hurst prints as gifts, I loved them so much when I saw them at a market stall with a friend and we spent a good half hour there browsing (I bought a card for my daughter and we have it pinned up). My son also did a class Elise ran at ArtPlay some years back.

    p.s. I guess you know Coburg Carnivale is coming up and there's another farmers market in North Coburg somewhere that I have already forgotten the name of :/


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