I’ve been to a lot of impressive bookstores. But this one. This one. This one is my new favorite. Located in Minneapolis, Wild Rumpus Books for Children is one of a kind and an absolute must-visit for everyone who finds themselves in the area.
I visited Wild Rumpus because I was in Minneapolis for NerdCon: Stories last month. I have a good friend who used to live in Minneapolis, so I asked her what the good bookstores were to hit up while I was there. She immediately recommended this place, told me it was a children’s bookstore, and did not go into further detail. I’m glad she didn’t.
If she would have told me any more, the delight and surprise I felt would not have been nearly as great. At first when I entered the store, it didn’t look like a particularly special place…but then I saw the chicken. A little, black, fluffy chicken was wandering around the store, and children were coming up to it to pet it and play with it! I was absolutely delighted. “Some bookstores have cats,” I thought, “but this one has a chicken! How awesome is that?” It gets better.
Then there was another chicken. Just, you know, wandering around the shelves of the bookstore, doing its chicken thing. I laughed and smiled and petted it and took a picture and moved on with life. But as I moved toward the back of the store, I realized: this place doesn’t just have chickens. This place is a menagerie. Among the shelves of books there are also shelves of cages. Pigeons, colorful birds, hamsters, mice, rats, ferrets, and curled up on a couch with a couple of children, the obligatory satisfied bookstore cat. I could not stop smiling and giggling and had absolutely no shame running around like the little kids looking at all the animals.
The décor of the store also holds true to its Maurice-Sendak-inspired name: it took me a while to look up and notice that on the ceiling was the boat that takes Max away to the land of the Wild Things, sailing as if the ceiling were an ocean and the bookstore were an upside-down world under the surface. There’s a little hut of books all overgrown with fake vegetation and littered with gnomes and other creatures. Not to mention it’s a really well-stocked children’s bookstore (from picture books to YA to a small adult section) and the staff is super nice and helpful. I bought a Moomin book and a YA book called The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet which I am excited to read.
It’s an incredible place and should be included on every booklover’s bookstore bucket list.