The Children's Bookshop is an independent specialist bookshop established in Kilbirnie, Wellington in 1992 by John and Ruth McIntyre.

We have moved three times since, in the same mall, doubling our size each time.

In 2003 we were voted The NZ Independent Bookshop of the Year and in 2008 we were runner-up to Unity Bookshop, Wellington.

In 2013 we won an award for North Island Regional Bookshop of the Year.

Who we are:

John McIntyre (pictured with his wife Ruth) began The Children's Bookshop in August 1992. A former primary school teacher in New Zealand and the UK, he saw the need for a dedicated children's bookshop in Wellington.

Sadly, John died on June 10th, 2017, after a brave fight with chronic illness - just a couple of months before the 25th anniversary of the bookshop. John was at work most days right up until the end and has left us a wonderful legacy, which we will carry on in his memory.

John traced his love of children's literature back to the library at Waimea College in Nelson and the discovery of the book The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier. He also became extremely aware of the value of reading to children from his teaching career and was a champion of promoting the cause of boys and reading.

He was a judge of the NZ Post Children's Book Awards in 1998 and convenor of judges in 1999.

He was the reviewer of children's books every fortnight on Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ from 2003 until May 2017.

John served for six years on the board of Booksellers NZ and was a Justice of the Peace.

John and Ruth were awarded the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for Service to Children's Literature in 2011, the first time the award has been made to booksellers.

In 2017 Ruth and John (posthumously) received the Lifetime Achievement Award from colleagues in the book trade industry.

You can read John's obituary in the Dominion Post here.

Ruth McIntyre is a former journalist who has worked for a number of publications, including the English Woman's Weekly magazine, and spent 17 years with the New Zealand Press Association.

Ruth joined the business full time in 1999 and is responsible for producing our newsletters.

She was a judge for the NZ Post Children's Book Awards in 2010 and was the convenor of the judging panel for the 2011 awards.

As a child, Ruth was the child with her head in a book; her favourite author was Noel Streatfeild, and her favourite New Zealand book was The Runaway Settlers by Elsie Locke.

She is a voracious reader of fiction, with a particular interest in YA literature. She also enjoys younger children's novels that feature great characters and quirky plots.

LucyKo Taranaki te maunga
Ko Waitara te awa
Ko Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Mutunga me Taranaki nga iwi
Ko Otaraua te hapū
Ko Owae te marae
Ko Lucy Bailey ahau

Lucy Bailey joined us in June 2015 as our Senior Bookseller, she is responsible for buying the educational toys and games, greeting cards, and all the fun stuff in our store.

Lucy is an archaeologist, a baker, a teacher/cat-herder, a cheesemaker, a film maker and a builder of stories. For almost a decade, she has offered relief to over-worked and long-suffering primary and intermediate teachers in Wellington and the Hutt Valley.

In 2014, she took a break from teaching and spent a year building (and repeatedly demolishing) the first draft of an allegorical children's novel about surveilance as her thesis for the MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters.

After all this word-wrangling, Lucy lost her appetite for the written word. However she is once again devouring books and finds classic picture books, middle fiction and non-fiction particularly delicious.


SashaSasha Martin joined us in October 2008, having worked in bookshops for the previous four years. Bookselling is in her blood, as her uncle is also a bookseller.

In her "Front of House" capacity she is probably the first person you'll talk to when you call us and is responsible for sourcing and sending out the burgeoning number of internet orders we receive.   

Sasha has a keen interest in children's book illustration. Her favourite illustrators include Chris Riddell, Tony DiTerlizzi, Niroot Puttapipat and Arthur Rackham.




Jem Hewett joined us in 2018. They can often be seen hidden amongst a stack of boxes down the back, unpacking exciting new books. Jem studied writing at both Whitirea (screenwriting) and Victoria University (children's fiction writing).

In their spare time they can be found scribbling in a notebook, drawing, or chasing after their very naughty cat.

Their favourite books include Mackenzi Lee's The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Barry Jonsberg's A Song Only I Can Hear, and anything by Shaun Tan.






TiffanyTiffany Matsis, from customer to friend to bookseller.
Tiffany joined us in February 2015 as a part-time bookseller and accounts guru.

Tiffany was born in Auckland and educated there and in Fiji.
She is a passionate reader, the mother of two, a member of the board of Lyall Bay School, and a former environmental lawyer.

Her favourite authors are those her children are currently reading - R A Spratt, Richard Newsome, J K Rowling of course and, by the look of the picture, she has a soft spot for the genius of Mo Willems.




Ruby Christoffel has grown up surrounded by books. She is the daughter of one of our favourite book reps, Tammy Ruffell of Harper Collins, and our tech man Michael Christoffel. She is at Victoria University, working towards a BA in Film and Politics and a BDI in Communication Design.

She loves picture books, especially naughty and rude ones, with quirky homour such as Oliver Jeffers, Kes Gray, Aaron Blabey and Jon Klassen







Freya Daly Sadgrove joined us in April 2017. She is a writer, an actor and a born and bred Wellingtonian. She has a BA in English Literature and French and an MA in Creative Writing, both from Victoria University. In the village that is Wellington she completed her MA at The International Institute of Modern Letters in the same year as Lucy and she is a friend of Briana's from their shared interest in theatre.

Her favourite reading material is children's and young adult fantasy - Diana Wynne Jones, Jaclyn Moriarty and Philip Pullman in particular.





Pirate Pink DogPirate Pink Dog (aka Felicity the Storyteller)

Join Pink Dog, our new storyteller, for stories and songs every Friday from 10.30am until 11am. Originally known as Felicity, Pink Dog was born into an infamous and disreputable pirate family, but she has one weakness - books, especially picture books!