Dear Friends of The Children’s Bookshop

After almost 29 years dedicated to providing the widest range of children’s and young adult literature,  I have decided it is time to sell The Children’s Bookshop and pass the late John McIntyre’s legacy on to a new owner. The bookshop goes on sale today (Monday, May 10th 2021).

It was John’s dream to do something exciting and positive with the new lease of life he received from a kidney transplant in 1992 and we opened the doors on August 31st that year.  We decided to give the business two years, but after just a few months John realised that this was the only job he would ever want to do. For the first seven years he ran the bookshop aided by one, then two, part-time staff while I continued working as an editor at the now-defunct NZ Press Association. Then I joined him in 1999 and the bookshop became our life.

It has been an incredible 29 years. We have met scores of talented writers and illustrators from around New Zealand and overseas, hosted hundreds of book launches for aspiring and established authors and found ourselves in most unexpected places, such as the Prime Minister’s Awards and helping out on the NZ stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair. John was a regular children’s book reviewer on Radio New Zealand’s Nine-to-Noon show for 15 years until just before his death in June 2017 and he also loved speaking to new parents’ education classes about the importance and joy of creating a reading environment with your children.

We worked as a team. John was the front man, the “face” of The Children’s Bookshop, the bookseller who had plenty of opinions about what publishers should be publishing and what children, especially boys, should be reading. He often said it was his ambition to encourage everyone to read the book that hooked him into reading as a young teenager – The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier. I was his “right hand”, responsible for newsletters and promotions, buying the new titles each month, but not without my own opinions.

We were both judges and convenors of the NZ Children’s Book Awards and in 2011 we were presented with the Betty Gilderdale Award for services to children’s literature. In 2017 John (posthumously) and I were presented with the NZ book industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award from our peers.

Since June 2017 when John died, I have been flying solo, running this busy bookshop with excellent backup from our loyal and dedicated staff, particularly Lucy Bailey, Sasha Martin and Jem Hewett. But after four years I have decided that it’s time to move on, take a break and spend more time with family and friends.

It’s a tough decision to let go but equally the bookshop deserves the chance to continue flying with a new owner who can make sure this wonderful community bookshop we have created continues and introduce other exciting and innovative ideas.

Many of you have become good friends during those 29 years and we have enjoyed chats with you about every subject from new books – and old favourites – to the state of the world. We were delighted by your support during the challenging times, such as the Harry Potter price wars, the digital revolution and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.  We have been blessed to have such a large number of loyal customers who love to support their local bookstore and want to see it survive.

I will still be around for several weeks, possibly even months, and I expect I will be seeing many of you.

Thank you for helping to make those 29 years such a memorable part of our lives.



Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update from all of us at The Children's Bookshop on Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Tēnā koutou katoa,

We're back to Covid level 1 again and are open for customers to visit in-store.

It is still essential to record your visit and we have the Government's Covid-19 QR code for you at the door to record your movements. If you are unable to use that tracing app, please leave your name and phone number with us at the counter for contact tracing purposes only.

Here's a reminder of what this looks like in the bookshop:

* Physical distancing is recommended to be 2 metres apart from other customers. We may limit the number of customers in-store at one time in order to comply with distance regulations.

* Children must be under adult supervision so that other customers feel comfortable.

* Hand sanitiser is available at the door and at the counter.

* If you are unwell, please stay at home.

We'll update you if there are any further developments.

There are still delays of at least four weeks for many titles to arrive because those publishers are having to freight by ship instead of air. Be prepared for the fact that we may not have the book you want, but we are always happy to suggest alternative titles and/or take orders.

If you prefer not to visit in person, we are still open for contactless online, email and telephone orders. We are also perfectly set up for pick-ups, with easy drive-in access to the plaza (Google 10 Rongotai Rd) and plenty of carparks outside the shop. Just order online or by phone, pay and we will have your parcel at the counter ready for you to collect.

If you wish to have your parcel despatched by courier, allow time from despatch (we will provide a tracking number) until you receive your purchase. Courier companies are running more-or-less to schedule but there could be occasional delays.

We will be taking every precaution to remain safe. This means sanitizing counter areas regularly and we have hand sanitizer on hand for you to use if you wish to.

Thank you all for your wonderful support and patience over the past few months during this surreal time.

All the best,

Ruth, Lucy Bailey, Sasha, Jem, Lucy Black, Becks, Bella and Elisabeth



Dear customers: please note the number of items we have on the website when placing your orders. If the number is 0, we do not currently have that item in stock, but you are welcome to still place an order. If the item proves to no longer be available, or will take a significant amount of time to arrive, we will contact you.

Children's Bookshop

Visit us at our Kilbirnie shop or place your order on-line using the search function above.

The Children's Bookshop is a privately owned independent specialist bookstore dedicated to providing the widest range of children's and young adult literature from New Zealand and around the world. Established in 1992 by John and Ruth McIntyre, we have celebrated 28 years in business.

The staff are passionate about reading and are always willing to share their knowledge with their customers.

We are experts at matching children with books, and get the greatest pleasure at finding reading for children who aren't traditionally readers.

In 2013 The Children's Bookshop won the North Island Regional Bookshop of the Year award. In 2003 we were named New Zealand's Independent Bookshop of the year, the first time it had been awarded to a specialist bookstore, and were runner-up to Unity Books of Wellington for the same award in 2008.

In 2011, John and Ruth were presented with the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for services to children's literature. The award was established in 1990 to commemorate the work of author Betty Gilderdale and to honour distinguished service to the development of children's literature and literacy. It is administered by the Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust.

Sadly, John died on June 10, 2017 after a brave fight with chonic illness. He was at work most days right up until the end and has left us a wonderful legacy which we are carrying on in his memory.

In 2017, John (posthumously) and Ruth were presented with the New Zealand Book Industry's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Keep up with all our exciting news and events by following us on Facebook! 


Shop Hours


Monday to Friday   9am to 5.30pm

Saturday                9am to 4pm

Sunday                  10am to 4pm

Our online shop is open 24/7

We are closed on Public Holidays (January 1 and 2; Wellington Anniversary Day; Waitangi Day [Feb 6]; Good Friday; Easter Monday; Anzac Day; Queen's Birthday; Labour Day (October 26th); Christmas Day [December 25] and Boxing Day [December 26].



Storytime runs throughout the school holidays.

Storytime runs from 10.30am to 11am and pre-schoolers and their caregivers are all welcome. There is a draw to win one of the books Helen reads and a coupon for a discounted coffee or tea kindly provided by our good friends at Plaza Pizzeria opposite our bookshop.


Try Our Gift Selection Services!

For those with out-of-town or international friends and family (or live just around the corner), try our gift selection services for that upcoming special occasion.

Choose from one of two options:

1. Talk to one of our friendly, experienced staff members about our selection of books that would suit that special someone. We can give your gift a dash of colour with some complimentary gift wrapping and, if it is to be posted, we can offer the most economic postal quote.

2. Purchase a Children's Bookshop gift voucher for our store in Kilbirnie or a national Booksellers token (redeemable at more than 350 bookstores round the country). For those who have so many books it's hard to keep track, include a card for the occasion and it can be sorted as easily as dialing our contact number.

Enter a message for the recipient for that extra personal touch. We will then courier or post your parcel to the required address.



"Thanks for the super FAST service" - Daniela, Queenstown

"It’s such a pleasure dealing with everyone in your bookshop. It reminds of past times..." - Voula, Wellington

"Just want to say how impressed I am at the online service you guys provide. Outstanding!" - Gina, Paraparaumu

"Wonderful service, beautiful book and the packaging was excellent." - Jane, Gisborne


Special Orders

As well as carrying a huge range of contemporary literature we also stock childhood favourites from the past, and excel at sourcing hard-to-find books from around the world. Even if you have been told a title is out of print, please let us try to find it for you.

Please Note: Books found on our website do not necessarily reflect our current stock in the store. However, we are happy to order any book for you as long as it is in print.

When ordering through our website, we have the PayPal option or you can do a direct deposit into our bank account. Alternatively, you can contact us by phone with your Visa or Mastercard details. The Account payment option is only for schools and businesses that have set up an invoicing account.

Every effort is made to ensure the price is correct on out-of-stock items, but we reserve the right to make alterations in the event of publishers' price fluctuations.



We started a new e-newsletter in February 2017 to keep you up to date with news of book events and reviews of the latest titles available. This replaced the print newsletter that we had been producing for more than 20 years. If you would like to receive our e-newsletter by email please fill in your details in the boxes below and send them to us.

Subscribe to our newsletter



School Newsletters

We have a considerable number of schools and public libraries who are regular customers, for whom we produce a collection of newsletters once a term. In them we review new books that we believe are must-haves - fiction and non-fiction - and we are happy to add you to our mailing list.

The Children's Bookshop Addicts' Club

Join our Addicts' Club - our special way of saying thank you to all our customer "addicts" who have been wonderfully loyal in the 28 years since we started the store.

Spend a minimum $600 (that's a rough average of about 30 books!) on any non-sale or non-discounted items - books and toys (except Booksellers' New Zealand book tokens) - in the store between mid-November and mid-November the next year and we will then send you a voucher worth 10% of your total purchases to spend at any time.

We will also invite you to an Addicts' Club pre-Christmas shopping night where you may spend your voucher, enjoy the Christmas spirit with a drink and nibbles, listen to a guest speaker and be in the draw to win parcels of superb books.

Ask to join next time you visit.