Once Upon a Childhood
The charm and whimsy of Historic Downtown Monroe’s amazing Story Shop will leave young and old grinning like a Cheshire Cat 

Written By: Julie Hostetter

There is something truly magical happening on North Broad Street in the picturesque Southern town of Monroe, Georgia. A children’s book shop that creates such a feast for the imagination that it beckons you inside like the pied piper of old. Only this time, children are treated to the wealth of books that spark enough imagination to battle fire-breathing dragons, explore cozy Hobbit Holes and venture into old, fur-filled wardrobes to discover another world waiting on the other side.

Yes, The Story Shop is a five-star children’s bookshop, worth the drive for its amazing story times and cornucopia of books and other surprises. And when you step inside, you remember why local main street businesses are truly the heart and soul of a community.

In every nook and cranny, there is a treasured nod to the beloved storybook characters of our youth. Here you can explore a bona-fide “Hobbit Hole” complete with a round door, roaring “fire,” and cozy sofa, or pop a squat “Where the Wild Things Are” and thumb through the pages of a picture book. Next, turn the corner and look up to see a furry black spider and her magical web, emblazoned with the iconic words “Some Pig” for all to see. And then look down and see a small princess bed, stacked with layers and layers of tiny mattresses. And should you be so inclined to peek under them? Yes, a “pea” will be nestled softly underneath to ruffle the dress of a persnickety princess.

But wait, I saved the best for last. At story time, children can actually open a mysterious wardrobe, push back the fur coats, and step inside the hidden “Storytime” room and truly be swept away by the power of reading. [For a video tour of The Story Shop, please visit North Georgia Living’s YouTube channel.] And the children’s parties they throw here are magical affairs too, with guest lists that invite Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, fairies, unicorns, promising all sorts of magical memories. The staff, made mostly of past educators, are thrilled to recommend books that will ignite your child’s imagination, and even your own.It’s the special touches from local designer Stephanie Cannon and owner Melissa Music, who opened the shop in 2016, that bring the pages of the book to life for all children who enter here. They truly earn the title of “Wonder Women” of Monroe. While Music is busy developing other businesses, The Story Shop’s Creative Director Lisa Dibble is currently busy at work as the store whipping up magic for budding readers.

“The Story Shop is a special addition to the Monroe community as we promote literacy through whimsy, where adults and children can walk through a magical wardrobe to Narnia, follow the yellow brick road, or pop into a Hobbit’s hole. Here, magic is real,” said Dibble. “Our entire community benefits when children are reading beautiful books.”Ready your brooms for a visit in March, as the book shop will be unveiling a new “Harry Potter” room that wizards and witches far and wide will cherish. And young and old will want to mark their calendars for a magical day in Monroe: National Unicorn Day, which Story Shop hopes to celebrate on Friday, April 5th. (Yes, Georgia, there really is a National Unicorn Day).

“This is an absolutely incredible day in downtown Monroe, Georgia,” exclaimed Dibble. “All businesses participate by selling unicorn items, passing out unicorn stickers, or making tasty unicorn treats. The Story Shop brought this day to downtown Monroe and we go all out!”Remember, you are never too old to play in the land of make-believe. And unicorns are always invited to The Story Shop, of course.   

The Story Shop
124 N. Broad St.Monroe,
Hours: Mondays – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Story Time: Friday and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.


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