This bookstore isn’t quiet and its owners don’t want it to be. Dea and Marc Lavoie, the owners of one-year-old Second Star to the Right bookstore in Berkeley, is a literary refuge for the youngest readers—even if they don’t yet know their ABCs.

From the whimsical, chalk-art decorated front yard where summer story times commence, to the shelves stocked with colorful covers and enchanting titles, Second Star to the Right fills the need for a bookstore where kids can explore without constantly being shushed. “We wanted to created a fun and nurturing place to read,” Dea says. Kids can opt to snuggle into one of many pillow-laden nooks or just grab a book and sprawl out on the floor. “Kids are encouraged to walk around, take books out, and touch them. Parents can relax. We can put all of the books away later.”

Owning a children’s bookstore had stirred in the minds of Dea and Marc, both who have taught in the Jefferson County School District, for years before Dea left her third grade classroom and Marc opted to take a year sabbatical to open Second Star to the Right. In addition to selling new and gently used books, the teachers also tutor reading and math in the upstairs of the 102-year-old house.

While traditional story times are held daily—including a Saturday morning option following kids yoga at 10 a.m., Spanish story time, French story time, and books read by local police officers and dentists—often, one of Second Star to the Right’s employees will just plop down next to the junior patrons for an impromptu tale-telling. “We want to expose children to lots of different things through books,” Dea says. “All it took was for me to finally pickup A Wrinkle in Time as a child, and I thought ‘Now, I’m a reader.’” The Lavoie’s want each child to have that moment.

Meet An Author: On the first Friday of each month, Second Star to the Right hosts an author meet-and-greet for young readers. On Friday, December 4 at 6 p.m., Colorado author Claudia McAdam will share her new book, Kristoph and the First Christmas Tree.