There is something about a children’s bookstore that just makes you smile. As a former teacher, my heart tends to skip a beat when I’m in a room with so many stories and characters — and my children seem to be the same way. Bookstores and libraries are favorites of ours, and I have had a flyer from Blue Marble Books hanging on my refrigerator for quite some time. We were definitely overdue for a visit to this hidden gem.
Blue Marble Books is located in Ft. Thomas, just blocks from the center of the city. It’s nestled in one of the beautiful houses the area is known for, right across the street from the Campbell County YMCA. We were able to park on the street (there is no parking lot, but plenty of street parking), and the walk to the store alone was enjoyable. American flags hung from the houses, bright flowers lined the sidewalk, and remnants of chalk drawings were scattered outside the door. It felt like a movie set! My kids loved the trolley out front and ran right up the steps, anxious to check out this “new” bookstore.
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We were immediately greeted by one of the owners, Peter, and the kids quickly made themselves at home. There were trains EVERYWHERE; my son didn’t know where to look first. There is a train table (always a hit) and even a train that circles the top of the bookshelves. My daughter fell in love with every book she saw, and proved it by taking each one off of the shelf. Peter let us know how the store was laid out and made sure we knew about the “Great Green Room” and the garden out back. After some train playing and book reading, we headed upstairs to see a room from one of our favorite books.
Goodnight Moon is a classic and to see the room come to life was magical. The hand-painted curtains, little mouse and bowl full of mush were all there and it was so neat to see my little ones inside a story. If you love this book, it’s definitely a must-see. Peter also guided us around the back to the garden. This was my daughter’s favorite part. The rocking horse, fishpond and path to walk to see Winnie the Pooh and Tigger were all perfect touches. Where else can you find a garden at a bookstore?!
Beyond the adorable store itself, the vast selection of books and the unique touches, my favorite part of the experience was that it was such a comfortable place to be. There’s a reason this local treasure has been around for 37 years. The space inspires creativity and encourages a love for reading. The owners are obviously passionate about what they do and they want to share that with the community. I want to support those ideals; I want more of those ideals in today’s world. We will definitely be back.
Blue Marble Books is located at 1356 South Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas, KY 41075. It’s open on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
A native Cincinnatian, Andrea has experienced life in all four corners of this city. After growing up on the west side, she headed north to attend Miami University, then moved east to Hyde Park and now lives in Northern Kentucky with her family.
When she’s not playing trains and doing the “hot dog dance” as a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers, Andrea is busy writing for Cincinnati publications and sites. With a newfound passion for fitness and overall health, she spends a lot of time at her family gym and loves to play outside.
Andrea worked in education for several years and has a special love for children’s literature. She loves showing her children all our city has to offer and enjoys sharing her finds with other parents. Her favorite spots include the Cincinnati Zoo (although she steers clear of the bird house), her local library and any playground.