Photo by Eliesa Johnson
Want your kids to love literature? A trip to Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis or Red Balloon in St. Paul will get even reluctant readers hooked. These children’s bookshops have great gimmicks—roaming live animals, free red balloons (can you guess which goes with which?)—and both are great at matching kids to books that will intrigue and inspire them.
If you go in and say, “My fourth-grade daughter likes baseball and plays the violin, but she’s not much of a reader,” you will soon have a title that fits the bill. Both shops also host plenty of events, including story times, author appearances and book clubs—such as Book Eaters for second- and third-graders at Wild Rumpus and Guys Read for fourth- through sixth-grade boys and their dads (or other male grownups) at Red Balloon.
For the littlest readers, there are story times. Red Balloon offers weekly baby, toddler, and preschool story times. Tail Times at Wild Rumpus is for babies through preschoolers and happens at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays. Be sure to say hi to the cats, ferret, chicken, and, of course, the tarantula named Thomas Jefferson while you’re there.