Mo Willems
Children's book author and illustrator

What are the best kids' bookstores?

In the two years since he left an Emmy Award–winning career in children's television, Mo Willems has written and illustrated 10 kids' books, including Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, which garnered a Caldecott Honor, and, just out, Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct. Author appearances have taken Willems from Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and five-year-old daughter, to bookstores around the country. Here, five that stand out:

Books of Wonder
18 W. 18th St., New York, N.Y.; 212/989-3270;

"The store and a branch of the Cupcake Café share one space—an excellent combo."

Wild Rumpus Books
2720 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis; 612/920-5005;

"This cozy children's store has all sorts of animals running around, including a chicken who might lay an egg on your lap."

Books & Books
265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, Fla.; 305/442-4408;

"A general bookstore with volumes stacked to the ceiling and a courtyard—an ideal place for a lazy read."

Chris' Corner
1940 Pine St., Philadelphia; 215/790-1727;

"Very small, very funky, very neighborhoody—it's just off Rittenhouse Square."

Hicklebee's Childrens Books
1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, Calif.; 408/292-8880;

"Go to the bathroom—every visiting author is encouraged to graffiti the walls."