Children’s Bookshop run by British Indian book lover sweeps awards

Children’s Bookshop run by British Indian book lover sweeps awards

The Children’s Bookshop, owned and operated by book lover Sanchita Basu De Sarkar in north London, won the Children’s Bookseller of the Year and Best Book Retailer of the Year at the prestigious British Book Awards this week.

First opened in 1974, the double wins marked a great milestone in the independent bookshop’s history in its 50th anniversary year.

Sanchita Basu De Sarkar said: “Children’s books can be a refuge in this world. It is a joy and a privilege knowing our bookshop can be a safe haven for children and their adults.”

Her shop was recognised as one “that never seems to age with a youthful energy for reading" and for supporting numerous charities and community projects, besides generating a 35 per cent increase in sales last year.

“It’s everything a children’s bookshop should be,” declared the judges, who were impressed by the establishment’s outreach work within the community in Muswell Hill and beyond.

“Owner Sanchita Basu De Sarkar and the indefatigable team of five do far more than run the tills. There was great schools' outreach work and some joyful World Book Day activity, while new for 2023 were two additions to the range of book clubs – which have years-long waiting lists to join – and a creative writing course,” they noted.

The shop also regularly organises signings with A-list children’s authors like Julia Donaldson, David Walliams and Michael Rosen, often resulting in queues around the block.


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“The Children’s Bookshop has always supported new as well as big names and it’s put diversity and inclusion at the core of its offering in recent years… they are so much more than a bookseller,” noted the judges.

The popular bookshop runs a bespoke subscription service for book lovers of all ages and gift collections to mark all occasions. It also offers a comprehensive service for schools and teachers, including school library supply, book fairs, author visits and open evenings.

In the words of the judge: "It's a simply amazing shop and team... you just can't fault it."

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