We at Tate House started reviewing bookstores because we can’t get enough of how they grow and enrich the communities around them, creating a love of reading and learning (not to mention how many of them support their local indie authors!!). Paper Bird–an independently owned and operated bookstore in Fremantle–has taken this theme to the next level, actively growing a creative space in the building around it to capture the attention of young minds and share the magic and adventure of books.
Kids and young adults are the focus for this store and even our quick visit behind the thick stone walls of the historic Moores Building shows that these guys know how to create a space ideal for growing a community of young minds, creative thinkers and game changers.
The range of books on offer meets all tastes, from the thick-paged chewable cardboard books for babies, right through to fantasy for young adults (and those of us in the adult age bracket who enjoy #ya), but what really sets it apart is the extensive list of extracurricular activities the store has initiated, supported and developed to enrich its community–starting with the Woylie festival hosted to promote Aboriginal Australian children’s literature, as well as kids art and writing classes, bookclubs, twice weekly story time and a never ending series of events (seriously, check out their Instagram or get on down there).
The team proudly showcases the works of Australian writers and their inclusiveness extends to a table of writing and drawing materials in the middle of the reading area for young customers to harness their creativity, initiating a transformation of new customers into the newest members of the Paper Bird Press squad. The possibilities seem endless in this wonderful space tucked away beneath large staircase and twinkling lights, and the bookstore isn’t just style. Its substance is clear in the fellowships it supports (select children’s authors and illustrators are given a dedicated workspace for a 3 month period) while the Paper Bird Press Fund supports more equitable access to children’s literature.
This store hasn’t just grown the community around it through its own passive presence, it has carefully cultivated and enriched the area around it with an enchanting and unique ‘imaginarium’ of unstoppable creativity, making books and the magical worlds within them accessible to all.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor from the east make sure you make the time to visit and see the difference this #indiebookstore has made for yourself.
Paper Bird Children’s Books & Art