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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Bookstore Tour -- Hicklebees - San Jose, California

Hicklebee's Bookstore

Hicklebee's Bookstore is legendary.  Well-known for its commitment to children's books, the store has thrived in San Jose, California since April of 1979.  The origins of the store involved four friends: Jan Gottlieb, Georgia Osborne, Vicki Villarreal, and Valerie Lewis.  While the books stayed some of the friends have moved on and only Valerie Lewis remains.  She now owns the store with her sister Monica Holmes.  The 3,400 square foot store is still home to thousands of books, and a wall of memorabilia from children's books -- the Hicklebee's Hall of Fame.  Authors and illustrators who visit the store often leave behind mementos from their books/characters.  Check out the contribution from Steven Kellogg -- the bag with Pinkerton, was created (with an illustration from Kellogg) by the Iowa Reading Association more than 20 years ago.  Finding that tote bag on the wall at Hicklebee's is a "it's a small world" moment. 

A Photowalk Through Hicklebee's

State: California
Written and photographed by Jenn Buliszak

My family and I recently visited California as part of our summer vacation. It’s always fun to plan a stop to local independent children’s bookstores when traveling. It was exciting to discover that we would drive past San Jose as we headed south toward Los Angeles; Hicklebee’s children’s bookshop is a landmark that I have long wanted to visit.
Hicklebee’s is located at 1378 Lincoln Avenue in San Jose, California. This nationally-known, award-winning independent children’s bookstore has been selling fantastic children’s, middle grade and young adult books for well over 30 years.

While perusing their books, the viewer notes the large volume of books stocked on their shelves. Hicklebee’s had a plethora of popular newly published titles as well as extensive backlist titles available.  They also had a large section devoted to popular books in Spanish and other world languages.


Hicklebee’s has a Wall ofFame on the left side of the store. Author and Illustrators have donated fun book memorabilia to the famous bookstore. Articles included a Hunger Games Mockingjay Pin from Susan Collins, Patricia Reilly Giff’s manuscript for Happy Birthday, Ronald Morgan and Rosemary Wells’ book mockup for Noisy Nora. 

A visit to the wonderful Hicklebee’s is a must if you find yourself in the San Jose area!


      Hicklebee’s online at 
Hicklebee’s Book of the Month Club

If you have a favorite bookstore you would like to highlight please e-mail us with your idea (and the name and a few words about the bookstore that you would be interested in highlighting).  Our goal is  to highlight at least one great bookstore in every state.

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