Island Tales Bookshop is a unique children’s book shop located on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, California. Our quaint little shop is filled with quality children’s literature both new titles and the classics. We also carry unique and wonderful gifts for those special times in a child’s life. Additionally, Island Tales offers children’s crafting in our fun arts and crafts room, story time in the book store and event hosting for birthday parties and other special events. We’ve created this special space to be a place the entire family can enjoy from your littlest ones to their grandmas and grandpas too!
Island Tales Bookshop was first imagined from the creative minds of Donna Mantei and Susan Nielson who met over 17 years ago during their careers as teachers in Newport Beach, CA. Susan and Donna taught across the hall from each other, and upon meeting they quickly became friends. Many times throughout their careers, they often talked about the future and how they could continue to have a positive impact on the lives of children and their families after their time in the classroom came to a close. With their mutual love for reading, as well as their passion and expertise in early childhood education, a children’s bookshop seemed like the perfect answer.
In October 2014 Susan spotted a business location for sale in the heart of Balboa Island. This quaint little building formerly housed Martha’s Book Store for many years on the Island. Susan called Donna to meet for breakfast soon after seeing the sign. Over the course of their meeting and discussion, ideas and enthusiasm became excitement. Not only would they be able to realize their dream of owning and operating a children’s bookshop, but they would be able to do it on Balboa Island! By the time they left breakfast, Island Tales Book Shop was born.
From that first meeting, everything began to move forward. The business plan was created, the space was rented, and the real work began. Remodeling, furnishing and stocking the bookshop would prove to be an exciting, fun and sometimes scary challenge. While both Susan and Donna carry degrees in education and long respected careers in teaching, neither of them had owned or operated a business like this before. However, with a well crafted business plan, budget, strategy, and a strong belief of the importance of being a life long learner they were able to turn their dream in to a reality in an incredibly short time. Island Tales Bookshop was open for business in Spring 2015.
Island Tales was created to be a support to the families and children of our community. We desire to create an environment that instills a love of reading and continued learning no matter what age.