House debates

Monday, 21 October 2019

Statements by Members

Berowra Electorate: The Children's Bookshop

1:34 pm

Photo of Julian LeeserJulian Leeser (Berowra, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The Children's Bookshop in Beecroft is soon to close its doors, after almost 50 years of serving the Berowra community. It's the oldest specialist children's bookshop in New South Wales. The third owner, Paul MacDonald, is the current owner, having taken over from Hellene and Nick Boon, who bought the bookshop from its founder, Dr Robin Morrow, who still comes in every single day.

Robin Morrow and her mother, Beryl Matthews, established the Children's Bookshop in 1971, when Robin's own children were very young. A local book-lover, Rosalind Benson, designed the logo. From the earliest days, the store has been far more than simply a place that sells books. It has been an iconic part of the children's literature landscape in Australia, providing training to teachers and librarians; and holding story-times, workshops and around 50 book launches every year. When Jill McGilvray was the store's manager, 'book breakfasts' at a local cafe gave children a chance to meet authors and illustrators. Countless children have discovered a love of reading through the store.

Undoubtedly, the challenges that affect retail have hit it hard. The business will continue supplying books to schools, but the store will close. The response from the community, though, has been overwhelming. One local student wrote a card, saying, 'Dear Paul, I'm really sorry you're leaving Beecroft. Every day, I have brekkie at Long Shot and I always come to the bookshop. Love, Roxy Kerr.' Another child offered $240, everything she had in her savings, to keep the bookshop open.

The Children's Bookshop has made an incredible contribution to our community. It's hard to imagine Beecroft without it. Thank you to all of those who have given so much through the store over the years, and I wish Paul and his family good luck.