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Over twenty years ago, Kidsbooks started as a small idea and has grown over the past decades to be a thriving, exciting environment for children and adults who love reading and great books.

In 1983 Phyllis Simon decided that she would take her love of children’s literature and her librarian’s skills to branch out into the world of business and open a children’s bookstore in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver. 1983 was not a propitious year to start a new business; British Columbia was in a recession and the climate for survival in small business did not look promising. Nevertheless, Phyllis went ahead and hoped that her enthusiasm and strong belief in her product would overcome the odds. So Kidsbooks started small and grew slowly to take on more challenges as the bookstore grew. What remained consistent throughout the decades was Phyllis’ belief that not only do books have a certain inexplicable magic but that the format would overcome all the gloomy predictions that words on bound paper were doomed!


In 1990 Kelly McKinnon joined Kidsbooks and her vision was just what was needed to continue the growth of the bookstore. The first change she made was to computerize the store – that was a big job! Kelly and Phyllis along with their wonderful team have worked hard to make Kidsbooks an exciting and important part of their community. From the original location on Fourth Avenue, Kidsbooks has expanded to West Broadway and a second location in Edgemont Village in North Vancouver. In March of 2016, Kidsbooks moved the West Broadway store to a beautiful new space, four blocks east along Broadway. Amongst many recognitions, Kidsbooks has received the Specialty Bookseller of the Year Award from the Canadian Booksellers Association three times. Phyllis received a BC Community Achievement Award in 2007. And we can proudly boast that we were the first store in Canada to sell the Harry Potter series way back in 1998! People still speak fondly of our “Hogwarts” storefront façade that was part of our celebration for the release of the fourth HP book.

We are proud to be considered a partner of educators, librarians, parents and children as we work together to put the best books into the hands of booklovers in our communities.