I've been looking forward to the opening of The Alligator's Mouth in Richmond for ages, so I was thrilled when my friend Jen at Tales on Moon Lane told me last weekend that it was opening mid-week. I got there on Saturday and was stunned by just how gorgeous it was! Also, the first person I saw there was superstar literary agent Molly Ker Hawn, of the brilliant Bent Agency, who introduced me to Tony and Margaret, who own and run the shop and formerly worked together at The Lion & Unicorn. Tony immediately became one of my favourite booksellers when the first book he recommended was The Sin Eater's Daughter by my friend Mel Salisbury, praising its superb world-building and the great characters. I was there well over an hour, browsing, talking to Molly, Tony, and Margaret, and finally buying a few books. It was a lovely place to spend the afternoon and will join Tales On Moon Lane and The Big Green Bookshop as one of my favourite London bookshops!
I would definitely recommend heading down soon - it's only 5 minutes or so away from Richmond station - and checking it out. Take a look below for some pictures!
Lovers of fairy tales and myths, this section is awesome!
Oops - just realised I cut the title off from this beautiful Penguin edition of Cold Comfort Farm as I was too busy trying to make sure I got a non-blurry picture of Roz Chast's wonderful cover illustrations. It's the first time I've seen this one on the shelves!
I was really delighted that that they have an entire shelf of Chris Riddell's books! (And below, you can just see the head of #ukmgchat favourite SF Said's Varjak Paw.)
I loved the Mother's Day display, with fabulous choices - particularly Where The Wild Mums Are!
And there are some brilliant activity/sticker books!
I don't think I've ever seen the Charlie Bone series (one of my favourites!) together before - I've owned them all at various times but love them so much that I keep passing them on to others. I need to track down the rest of the series so I can see the full picture of their gorgeous spines!
This picture book display is another favourite - awesome to see the wonderful Oi Frog! by Kes Gray and Jim Field there.
I was hugely impressed by the range of non-fiction they had in stock - here's just a small sample!
And check out some of the fabulous maths and science books they have.
These are two of several shelves that people taking part in The Pretty Books's #2015ClassicsChallenge will love - so many gorgeous editions!
Speaking of classics, Margaret was incredibly excited to get a copy of Carbonel in. This is one that I've been wanting to read since Robin Stevens recommended it here a few months ago, and this is an especially nice edition - as are the gorgeous Arthur Ransome hardbacks!
If you want something a bit different, there's also some Classics Unfolded, showing just over a dozen scenes from books!
And, there's lots of puzzles, and some gorgeous toys - who wouldn't want their own Gruffalo, or the Tiger Who Came To Tea?
Of course, I couldn't leave without buying some books! The Gillian Philip is one I've been wanting since someone mentioned it in a Twitter chat on #MGmysteries, while the other two were recommendations from Tony.
It's amazing to see a new bookshop - especially a children's one - open after so many wonderful shops have closed in recent years; please help support The Alligator's Mouth! If you're close enough to visit you definitely won't regret it; I'm confident it'll quickly become one of your favourite shops. If you live further away but want to help spread the word, sharing this post and/or their Twitter account @alligatorsmouth would be awesome.