Hello! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Charlotte and I live by the sea in Folkestone with my husband and two children Mabel (3) and Luna (1.5). I’ve recently opened a Children’s Boutique in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter called Moo Like a Monkey. We stock clothes, books and toys that are a unique, colourful unisex, eco-friendly and generally very cool. I quit my job in London earlier this year to run the shop full time. I work in the shop most days with my youngest, Luna. I spend my days in the shop cleaning up crumbs and changing nappies. In the evenings once the girls are in bed, I stay up looking for new stock and trying to figure out my accounts.
What are your children’s favourite books?
Mabel’s bedtime favourite at the moment is ‘A Bit Lost’ by Chris Haughton. She finds it hilarious that the baby owl falls out of the nest at the start of the book. The illustrations make me smile and with so few words the squirrel’s character comes across really clearly. You can’t help but put on a silly voice for the over-eager Squirrel who tries to help the owl find it’s Mummy. Such a sweet book that still makes me giggle. Mabel picks up on the fact it amuses me too, so reading it at bedtime it always nice as we have a laugh together. Hmmm maybe this is my favourite book, not hers… Another Favourite is ‘Press Here’ by Hervé Tullet, perfect for some quality one on one time with Mabel. Luna isn’t into that one yet, she’d rather chew it.
Which book do you most like reading to them and why?
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. Both of my girls are too young to understand most of the stories in this book but they love the pictures and love listening to me read it to them. They take it in turns to pick a picture they like and I’ll read the story that goes with it. Often Mabel will have questions and we have some nice chats about the women in the book. It’s fun for me too, I love the stories and learn something new myself from each one. I just keep reading the short stories one after the next until they both fall asleep. Again, I’ve managed to make this about me, my poor children… it’s so important for us to be engaged with what we are reading to our children though, it helps when you are asked to read the same book 400 times.
Who is your favourite illustrator?
What would you like to see more of in kids’ books today?
Diversity. Books that reflect the society we live in. It’s so important that all children see themselves represented in the stories they grow up with. Children of any colour, gender, ability, from any background, family should see a diverse selection of protagonists. We are getting there, children’s books are more inclusive than they have ever been, but we still have a long way to go.
Do you have a favourite children’s bookshop?
Can I say Moo Like a Monkey?! I may be bias as I pick all the books myself for our little book section. So technically in my opinion there could be no better collection of kids books! At the moment I’m trying to increase the amount we can stock. There are so many beautiful, fun, diverse and empowering books out there for kids, and we don’t stock all of them… yet!
About Moo Like A Monkey
Moo Like a Monkey is a children’s shop in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. We stock a handpicked collection of Scandinavian and British handmade clothes for children from new-born to 9 years old. The toys are wooden, eco friendly and gender neutral, some are locally hand crafted. The books are focused on inclusivity of all children, but also books that are fun and a little different. Our stock comes from all over the world and everything is chosen with little individuals in mind. Gender stereotypes and the mainstream kids’ market in general, are avoided. A place where you will always find something a little different. A shop for cool kids, with awesome parents.
You can find us or shop online at www.moolikeamonkey.com