We believe there is a book out there for every child!

Reading is how you discover your world

Zana Fraillon, The Ones that Disappeared

The Book Nook is an award winning independent children’s bookshop in Hove, East Sussex with a breadth of knowledge regarding children’s books. 

We stock an amazing range of inspirational, inclusive and quality children’s books for all ages which we sell to schools and families across the world. 

With our child-friendly café, regular story times, amazing author events and a pirate ship to play in, we’re the perfect place to visit. Come and see for yourselves!

Voted Children’s Bookseller of the Year in 2012, 2015 and 2018 at The Bookseller Industry Awards, The Book Nook was established in 2009 by Julie Ward and Vanessa Lewis, who are both passionate about reading.

With knowledgeable staff who have a passion for promoting books and reading, The Book Nook runs frequent special events (see our latest events) throughout the year including;

  • Author/Illustrator visits that have included Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell, Julia Donaldson, Anthony Browne, Lauren Child and Liz Pichon, David Walliams, Nick Sharratt, Robert Muchamore, Emily Gravett, Guy Parker-Rees, Cressida Cowell, Steven Lenton, Steven Butler and lots more…
  • Book and Character days that have included The Gruffalo, Horrid Henry, Hugless Douglas, Spot the Dog, Pirates and Princesses and many more
  • Book Launches, Poetry, Book Review Competitions, Face Painting and The Book Nook Book Trail
  • Regular story time and craft sessions

We are the bookseller for the Brighton Dome and Festival, Southern School Book Awards and the Amazing Book Awards. We also work closely with schools and theatres in the area regarding author events, book fairs, libraries and anything bookish. We just love books!

Meet the team

Vanessa Lewis:

Vanessa is an avid reader and an ex-English and Drama Secondary School Teacher. Her ambition is to get the best books into the hands of all children! She is a member of the BA Children’s Bookselling Group and was a member of the Children’s Laureate steering group for several years. Vanessa has also been on a number of judging panels. She specialises in libraries, book corners and topic book boxes.

Lara Ward-Lewis:

The youngest member of the team, born in 2012, crazy about books and can often be seen sitting on the reading chair with her favourite book of the moment. Her current favourites are the ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ series and ‘How to Be True’ by Daisy May Johnson. Lara would love to live in Paris and run along the rooftops.

Julie Ward:

Julie’s background is in publishing and marketing. She is passionate about spreading the love of reading and loves dystopian fiction and books that make her laugh. She specialises in organising author events and can often be seen engaging and inspiring children at one of our very popular Book Fairs.

Ali Ross:

Ali was a primary school teacher for over 20 years in the U.K. and abroad. She loves story time, crafts, picture books and non fiction. Ali loves the challenge of finding the perfect rich text for school topics. She is often very giddy meeting authors and illustrators in the shop and can always be found wearing a scarf!

Lucy Unwin:

The newest member of the team, Lucy runs our website and social media. She’s a soon-to-be children’s author and ex-music journalist, and loves any books with heart. Never happier than when sharing Twitter joy about phenomenal new books and authors!

The Little Nook Cafe

The Little Nook Cafe is the perfect place to come and relax with your children, meet friends and family and enjoy yourself whilst buying books or after an event. The cafe has a pirate ship full of books for children to play with as well as large changing facilities (even a double buggy can fit in it!). We also have colourful seating outside for those sunny days!


Amazing homemade cakes, including triple chocolate brownies and vegan flapjacks.

Delicious caffeinated and de-caffeinated coffee from  Drury, a range of teas to suit all tastes and hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream! We also have a refreshing range of cold drinks.

Feeling peckish? Try one of our freshly made paninis.

For the children we offer milkshakes, smoothies, Nookacinos, mini hot chocolates and juice. Try our fun lunchboxes or choose from our range of snacks including Bear Paws and yo-yos.

What our customers say

We are constantly reminded by friends how lucky we are to have the Book Nook on our doorstep. It’s much more than just a great shop and cafe, it’s a place where our son can play, imagine and be encouraged to read. The Book Nook has helped create a community of young book lovers, it is also a great resource for, and supporter of, local schools.

Marina Norris

We are SO lucky to have the wonderful Book Nook in Brighton. Julie and Vanessa work tirelessly to promote children’s literature in all kinds of exciting ways. From their fabulous shop to the many links they have built up in the local community and schools. I’ve had the pleasure of doing lots of fun events with them over the last few years and look forward to doing more in the future. The Book Nook is a GEM!

Author review by the amazing award winning author Liz Pichon, author of Tom Gates

The staff have got to know my children so well they even order new books in anticipation of their preferences and tastes in reading and they always get it right! They have encouraged my children to try new authors and new genres.


My children are dyslexic and The Book Nook is their favourite shop


Watch us in action

Watch our emotional and funny interview with @jenvcampbell after winning Children’s Bookseller of the Year 2018 at the British Book Awards here.