If you’re in New York City and are eager to jumpstart your child’s love of reading, take her to storytelling hours at these literary hotspots. Readers make the written word come alive for your child as she sits on your lap to listen to an age-appropriate tale — while you relax and enjoy the cuddle.
Story Museum at Historic Richmond Town
Families can literally step back in time at Historic Richmond Town, home to buildings that date back to the early 1600s. A weekly Story Museum storytime stars a reader dressed in historic clothing, who treats your child to classic tales about magical creatures and engages kids in sing-a-longs and crafting projects. Afterward, families can explore the town museum’s interactive TOYS exhibit, which features more than 200 toys from the 1840s such as Legos, trains and Lincoln Logs. It’s a great mix of education and fun.
718-351-1611, ext. 280
441 Clark Avenue
The Scholastic Store
Home to Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Magic School Bus and an 11-foot dinosaur, this bookstore is 6,200 square feet of fun and a mecca for families who want to stock up on books, toys, games and DVDs. Kids are invited to sit and read on the “reading dinosaur,” watch science videos in the bookstore’s Magic School bus, or play games at its interactive 39 Clues console. Of course, there are also storytimes, author visits, concert specials and science demonstrations. The storytime staff helps kids get excited about reading with themed storytimes around holidays and author meet-n-greets.
557 Broadway (between Prince and Spring Streets), New York, NY 10012
Books of Wonder
This quaint Chelsea bookstore is packed with wall-to-wall bookcases, loveseats, comfy benches and reading cubes sprinkled throughout — perfect for impromptu reading opportunities. Families can indulge in storytimes aimed at getting kids to love and enjoy books and reading. Storytellers encourage kids to share their opinions about the books and ask as many questions as they’d like. Parents can enjoy the store’s collection of rare books (including an entire bookcase devoted to L. Frank Baum’s Oz works), a rotating 50 percent off section, an onsite art gallery with original print art by famed authors such as Maurice Sendak, and of course, the Cupcake Café.
18 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011
Everything Goes Book Café
This funky used bookstore is a member of the Everything Goes family of “recycle, reuse and reduce our ecological footprint”-themed stores that have been part of the downtown Staten Island landscape for more than 20 years. Kids can browse through classic fairytales, obscure book titles and local artists’ paintings, and enjoy muffins and steamers — hot milk with flavored syrup.
208 Bay Street, Staten Island, NY 10301
Bank Street Bookstore
This multi-level bookstore carries a wide assortment of kid’s board books, DVDs, classic literary selections, puzzles, games and educational toys. A neighborhood bookstore staple for the past 38 years, it offers storytime events and a chance for kids to get up close and personal with the authors they love. Best of all, they’re treated to an old-fashioned storytime reading.
Broadway and 112th St., New York, NY 10025