We speak to Sara Young, proprietress of Hong Kong online bookstore Bookwise.
Bookwise is a family business catering for children from babies to 11 years. I took on the business from a friend who was returning to the UK. Since then we have changed the name and expanded to cater for older children. We also source books for school and kindergarten libraries.
I hand-select all the books myself. From picture books for babies, activity books, sticker books, early readers, fiction and non-fiction, I try to cover all bases.
We have all the favourites, like Julia Donaldson, Peppa Pig, the Tom Gates’ series and the Dork Diaries. I’m also trying to expand our non-fiction selection. We currently have encyclopaedias, cook books, science books and the Usborne range. We also stock Christmas annuals and are just waiting for the 2017 publications to come in.
My own children love Roald Dahl. They love books with great illustrations We have just finished George’s Marvellous Medicine together which they found hysterical, especially when the grandmother grows through the ceiling. Sophie (aged 8) also enjoys Tom Gates’ books and Jessica (5) likes Topsy & Tim.
I am passionate about helping children develop a love of reading. Introducing books at an early age stimulates their imaginations, curiosity and play and is an opportunity to bond with your child. Reading helps children with writing, spelling and developing their vocabulary. It fills a child’s mind with knowledge and inspiration.
When I was young I loved Enid Blyton, particularly the Malory Towers series following the adventures of a group of girls at an English boarding school. They were written in the late 1940s but are just as enjoyable today.
Right now I’m reading the hilarious Mr Stink by the wonderful David Walliams – customers are always asking for recommendation so I like to read my stock. Walliams has a brilliant cast of characters; my favourite is Raj, the greatest shopkeeper ever.
This autumn we have loads of new science books and coding books for kids aged five and up. New fiction releases include Diary of a Wimpy Kid “Double Down” by Jeff Kinney, Fantastic Beasts by J K Rowling and the 75th Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. There’s lots to look forward to.