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The Children's Bookshoppe

November 11, 1989|Clipboard researched by Susan Davis Greene and Dallas M. Jackson / Los Angeles Times, Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

From the moment you walk through the flowered entrance of the Children's Bookshoppe, an aura of literary wealth surrounds the visitor. The big red door with its painted drummer boy and genuine straw hat is an entree to floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookshelves, spilling over with every type of children's book imaginable.

One small section, toward the rear of the shop, has a make-believe fireplace draped on the wall with downsized furniture, including a bench, rocking chairs with pillows and small tables. In the same area are nifty little specialty gifts. The reasonable prices permit children to shop, using, perhaps, their allowance.

Another separate small room is well-stocked with paperbacks, cassettes and videos only. A neighboring room, very narrow, is used for gift-wrapping and mailings. The shop will special order and mail books anywhere, on request.

A special service this store renders is its children's book club membership. You explain the child's interests and hobbies and provide an age. Then each month an appropriate selection will be made by the shop and mailed to the child. Fees change from month to month, depending on the book involved.

The Children's Bookshoppe offers stories throughout the day arranged by age groups and seasonal Winnie-the-Pooh-type parties (and other children's book-related parties) complete with party favors. Preregistration is required for the Saturday story-hour programs.

Sara Brant opened the shop 19 years ago after many years as a school reading specialist. All of her part-time assistants are former librarians and teachers and are well-equipped to work with children.

"I love the children, the books and I love the people here. I have formed many friendships with authors, illustrators and parents during the years," Brant says. "It's been quite a rewarding experience for me."

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday

Address: 1831 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach

Telephone: (714) 675-1424

Miscellaneous information: Located in the Westcliff Court

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