A quick fly over Hadrian’s Wall brought him to Stockton-on-Tees, where he landed outside DRAKE The Bookshop.
There were some café tables on the pavement outside the shop, but although they were very nice café tables, they hadn’t been designed to take the weight of a whole flying pony, especially not one as roly poly as Kevin...
Oh no! Luckily Margot the bookshop beagle was on hand to help him clear up the mess, and as soon as the tables were upright again she took Kevin inside to meet bookseller Melanie Greenwood.
Kevin: What is the best thing about being a bookseller?
Melanie: It's definitely the excitement on a customer's face when they come in to tell you how much they loved the book you put in their hands - perhaps something they would never normally have chosen, and when this is a young reader it's a double bonus as you can literally see their reading horizons getting wider and wider! It's also a real treat to be part of a young reader's journey, where 2-3 years ago their parents would come in to pick out picture books for them and now here they are picking their own first chapter books - it's such a pleasure to watch that reading habit grow.
Kevin: What’s one way you’ve tackled a problem that your bookshop has faced during the pandemic?
Melanie: Lockdown Pharmacy Bear was a great promo tool (and equally great for book lovers) that allowed us to get books into people's hands. People told the bear what ailed them and bear found the perfect book which was then delivered across the north east. Beautifully wrapped and hand delivered, possibly the best type of book!
Kevin: What are three books you absolutely love hand-selling to customers?
Melanie: Leonard & Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession; The Great Chocoplot by Chris Callaghan; Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin. [Click on links to buy the books from Drake!]
Kevin: Who is your favourite children’s book illustrator? (Other than Reeve & McIntyre…)
Melanie: John Klassen.
Kevin: What is your favourite biscuit?
Melanie: Custard Cream!
Kevin: YESSSSS! Those are the BEST biscuits! Do you have a shop pet?
Melanie: Margot the Bookshop Beagle.
Kevin: What is the best way for people to buy books from you if they can’t visit the shop in person?
Melanie: Phone us on 01642 909 970.
You can visit Drake's website and follow on Twitter - @drakebookshop - Instagram - drakethebookshop - and Facebook - DRAKEbookshop. Support an independent bookshop, buy a book!
You can buy Kevin's Roly-Poly Flying Pony books from DRAKE right here!