The White Rabbit at the bookshop's entrance is just the beginning of a special adventure as bookworms step into The Mad Hatters Bookshop at Manly.
Young visitors are instantly drawn to the back of the store, where their own special wonderland is waiting to be discovered. A large fairytale mural on the back wall promises to take them on a journey to another place - a place where delightful books and vivid imaginations come to life.
A beautiful selection of children's books is on display - this is the kind of place that will encourage young ones to delve into the world of the written word. Whilst the kids crawl in and out of the teepee and get comfy on cushions shaped to imitate forest logs and mushrooms, grown ups have the opportunity to select a new bedtime story for the children and something to capture their own imagination.
While Alice in Wonderland features on gift cards, in colouring in books, story books, diaries and more, adults are also well catered for with a range of genres for sale including: young adult, science fiction, crime, fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, recommended reads and general reading. Local authors and illustrators are well supported here, both in the children's section and the adult reads. Stunning coffee table books also tempt shoppers with their glossy covers and stunning photography.
Owner, Ann-Marie Finn, is realizing her long held dream of owning a bookstore. Her background as an illustrator has seen her venture into illustration of children's books, and more recently into writing books for children. Starting with a book she wrote for her son, titled "A Trip to the Moon", she went on to write several other books including: “I Despair of My Hair”, “Each the Same” and more recently “Gus the Asparagus” which delivers the message that "it's okay to be different". Ann-Marie's illustrations are delightful and appeal to all ages. She also painted the whimsical mural in the bookshop and is available for private commissions for those wishing to add a storybook setting to their own home.
The Mad Hatters Bookshops runs a range of in-store events, including art and craft classes for all ages from toddlers to adults, regular book signings, a book club (held the first Tuesday of every month), free kids' story time on Mondays and Thursdays at 10am, after school art classes and school holiday programs. Check the website and blog for further details or enquire at the shop.
Also found in-store is a range of gift ideas, diaries, journals and gift cards. This little bookshop is well worth the drive and will captivate the young and evoke fond memories in the not-so young. Step through the looking glass and fall under the spell of The Mad Hatters Bookshop.
Need to know: The Mad Hatters Bookshop has a blog for book reviews. Future plans include running children's birthday parties in-store.