From the Shop Floor: The Twizel Bookshop

We are pleased to present a regular series highlighting the work, expertise and enthusiasm of some of the greatest children’s booksellers of New Zealand. Here’s The Twizel Bookshop.

The Twizel Bookshop is a very very small (12 square metres) shop in a very small town (Twizel), very far from everything, but very close to the mountains, lakes and glaciers of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. We opened in the winter of 2017 and never looked back!

We are nestled in the wonderful Hydro Cafe, which means you can get some of New Zealand’s best coffee and then lose yourself in a book. Although the community here is small, it is very supportive and I’m so proud that for the kids growing up here, it is ‘normal’ for a small town to have a bookshop now, alongside the petrol station, pharmacy, hardware store and supermarket.

What are you recommending this month?

This month we can’t help but recommend Gavin Bishop’s Wildlife of Aotearoa. Aotearoa is still a firm favourite in the bookshop and we have lots of nature lovers in town.

We also love the Planetarium junior edition by Big Picture Press and anything related to the night sky – Twizel is in an International Dark Sky reserve and we have front row seats to an amazing show every night: auroras, shooting stars, planets.

What new releases are you looking forward to over the next few months?

We can’t wait for The Smelly Giant and Santa’s Worst Christmas from Huia Publishers. Their stories and illustrations are just perfect – surprising and delightful for the kids and the adults. We also can’t wait for Tell Me from Gecko Press.

What do you wish was selling better?

Sherryl Jordan’s Winter of Fire. We wish everyone would read it! It was so important to us as teenagers and just feels even more powerful and relevant now. Anything Jordan puts down we pick up: she is a world class YA writer and it’s a real shame so many of her books are out of print. We also loved The Wednesday Wizard and The Secret Sacrament.

Share a nice story you have about matching a book to a customer/reader!

Last school holidays a couple of boys came in with their mum and were looking at books. I naturally just sat down with them and had a chat about books and didn’t think anything more of it. But a week later the mum left a lovely review on Facebook which is always lovely to read. But then recently, after I liked the photo again, she sent me a lovely message. The best follow up ever!

What do you wish publishers would publish?

We would love to see more representation of other cultures in stories, and more use of feelings or emotions in picture stories.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

Upcoming this month we have the gorgeous Harriet Bremner and her dog Pops coming to visit the bookshop, read books and judge a colouring competition on New Zealand Bookshop Day. Bremner has written great stories for kids about farm safety which really resonate in our small community. We also sell secondhand books in our shop, and when secondhand books are donated, we pass the store credit onto the local Kindergarten and Early Learning Centre.

The Twizel Bookshop

25 Market Place


Tel: 0274 645 062

Renee Rowland