Hammer Museum Bookstore

Best Kids’ Section of a Museum Store, August 2008

Your feet hurt and the kids are cranky, but stop by the Hammer Museum Bookstore anyway after an afternoon in the galleries. While you lose yourself in volumes on contemporary art, youngsters can enter a quiet haven of their own. Unlike the afterthoughts for minors at other museums, the Hammer devotes an entire room to 600 titles and myriad colorful toys and knickknacks. In this dedicated space, under soft lighting, wooden shelves burst with classic tales, illustrated editions, and pop-up books. Kaleidoscopes, puzzles, paint kits, and games are displayed within reach of small hands. Two love seats invite browsers to linger over a Robert Sabuda pop-up version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.