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For the Love of Reading

Bookshop in the Park Inspires the Community

Reading helps spark children’s imagination and opens up whole new worlds. It also builds vocabulary and comprehension and is a part of every subject, from math to science. It’s a skill that people use throughout their lifetimes. 

To help inspire a love of reading, Shery Cotton and her sons and daughters-in-law, Sean and Nancy and Mike and Lisa, founded Coreander’s Children’s Bookshoppe in Grosse Pointe Park in September of 2021. Within its walls, they have created a magical place where children (and adults) can find and read beloved classics and the latest releases. The store’s name actually comes from a character in The NeverEnding Story.

When adults first come in, they often remark on how they would have loved to have had a place like this when they were children. When kids come in, says Jennifer Kendall, the shop’s manager and buyer, their jaws drop in wonder. 

“There are beautiful hand-painted murals that depict artistic versions of storybook characters from the Seven Dwarfs and Winnie the Pooh to characters from Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Peter Pan,” she says.  

In its café, where they serve many local products such as fresh-pressed apple juice, coffees and cappuccinos, soft drinks, and ice cream, are smaller individual paintings of whimsical insects, which transform the cafe into a lively and fun space. 

“It just feels very cozy,” says Jennifer. “We have quiet little sitting areas, benches in the front and upstairs, plus a very unique spot under the staircase where the littlest visitors can go to hide out and read. There’s a window in that space, and even though it doesn’t open, they believe there must be something behind it, which is really neat.”

When deciding what books to buy for the shop, she relies on her teacher and school administrator background. “Reading is the foundation for everything, and it’s critical to their education. Children need to expand their horizons and find a balance between the more traditional classics and current releases.”

For young children, she says the Little Blue Truck board books are very popular, along with the Elephant & Piggie series. “Bigger kids have a beautiful section upstairs where emergent and chapter readers will find their world. They still pick up Judy Bloom and Clementine and Amelia Bedelia

She also reflects on the books she loved as a child, such as Make Way for Ducklings and anything by Jan Brett. “What always attracted me was that all the artwork was so beautiful. I’m also a classics girl, so I love The Trumpet of the SwanCharlotte’s Web, and Little House on the Prairie, which we carry.”

Her late mother, Jackie Johann, a teacher, helped inspire Jennifer and her sisters’ love of reading. And when Jennifer’s own children were little, she loved cuddling up with them in bed and reading. “It’s the passing of that generational love of reading from my mom to us, and from us to our kids that’s so special.” 

Despite all the other distractions, kids are reading. “Our big kids go tearing upstairs because they want to see what’s new or they want a specific book,” she says. “With little kids, it’s the art, the cover, and the texture of the pages - you don’t get that on a device.” 

In addition to children and young adult books, Coreander’s also carries a nice selection of adult books. “We have a strong science fiction section next to the young adult books. Many adults are reading young adult books, as well as Stephen King and George R.R. Martin. We have also expanded to offer many more cookbooks and coffee table books.” If they don’t have a book in stock, they’ll be happy to special order it for customers. 

Customers can also find jigsaw puzzles, stuffed animals, and greeting cards. Every Thursday they have story time in the Coreander’s Bookshoppe theater.  Reserved seats are available on Eventbrite. 

“We are building relationships with families, which is huge,” she says. “By doing this, we’re changing people’s relationship with books and adding to their love of reading. You don’t find that online, and it’s also hard to find at larger chain bookstores.”

For more, follow on Instagram @Coreandersbookshappe, online at, or call 313-514-7999.  Coreander's Children's Bookshoppe is located in Grosse Pointe Park at 15118 Kercheval Avenue.