About Us

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.

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

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, just a couple of months before the 25th anniversary of the bookshop.

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 Serrallier. 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 Betty Gilderdale Award for Service to Children's Literature in 2011, the first time the award has been made to booksellers.

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 filmmaker 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 surveillance 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.





Jem Hewett joined us in 2018. She is usually found hidden amongst piles of boxes, loading exciting new books into stock.

Jem studied Screen-Writing at Whitireia New Zealand, and Children's Fiction Writing at Victoria University. She is a writer and illustrator, and can frequently be located at the Wellington zine fests.

She loves all things fantasy, with a deep love for anything Chris Riddell and Shaun Tan.