Local Nods: Island Tales Bookshop

One of my all time favorite movies is “You’ve Got Mail.” Not just because I love Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks or even the beautiful chemistry they have in the story, but mostly because of Kathleen Kelly’s beautiful love of children’s literature. It’s one of those movies you can see time and time again and feel as though you’re watching it unfold for the very first time. The little shop around the corner and Kathleen Kelly stole my heart as I’m sure it did many of yours as well. While that might’ve all taken place in a movie, there’s a new shop “around the corner” that just opened in Balboa Island, founded by two of the most wonderful women I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.

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Our daughter’s Transitional Kindergarten teacher from last year, who retired at the end of last year and her Kindergarten teacher, who is retiring from teaching at the end of this school year, have found a new dream and passion and it’s been so incredible to watch their new chapter unfold. While we will greatly miss hugging them in the halls, we’re thrilled for this new adventure and that we get to visit them often in their new home, Island Tales Bookshop.


From the light, airy open space to wonder and dream to the shelves filled with new books that will make us laugh, cry, think and create, Island Tales Bookshop, I’m positive, will become a second home for many of us local to Southern California. After all, who can resist a great story time? Although my favorite part of their new bookshop might be the back room they created just for crafting and parties. I know we can’t wait to host Katelyn’s 7th birthday party there.

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve given nod to a local spot that you shouldn’t miss out on visiting, but Island Tales Bookshop is a must visit to add to your list. I mean, isn’t it not the most adorable bookshop you’ve seen?! Not to mention, you can grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks on the corner or a chocolate covered frozen banana just a couple doors down after you enjoy a visit with Donna Mantei and Susan Nielson, the amazing ladies behind this beautiful venture.

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Be sure to go visit, stay a while, curl up with a great book and dream. Spend time with your little ones creating memories they won’t forget and meeting new friends at the new “shop around the corner” that, without a doubt, you’ll fall head over heels in love with. Island Tales Bookshop, and the ladies who opened it’s doors, are soon going to hold a huge place in our hearts.

On a special note: Donna and Susan, we’re so excited for this new adventure you’ve embarked on. Thank you for allowing us to be apart of the journey with you and thank you for loving on our kids in the classroom and guiding us, as parents, through the crazy first few years of elementary school. I am forever indebted to you both for the role you’ve played in both Katelyn and Brayden’s lives and for being part of helping them dream Big! We can’t wait to visit you often on Balboa Island.

Island Tales Bookshop just opened on Saturday, April 4th and is open from Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sundays 12pm – 5pm. Don’t be a stranger, go pop in and say Hi! Be sure to go “like” them on Facebook too!

Hope to run into you there!

xo, Alissa