Once Upon A Time, our favorite bookstore

Mary Dawson

Did you know Once Upon A Time is the oldest children’s bookstore in the nation? That’s right and it’s one of the special independent businesses that define the Montrose Shopping Park. Once Upon A Time  (www.onceupona.com) was founded in 1966 by Jane Humphrey. In 2003 it was purchased by the Palacios family. I want to emphasize the word family because Once Upon A Time is indeed a family affair. Providing a warm, nurturing atmosphere of quality children’s and family books is the passion of owner Maureen, husband Jorge, and daughters Jessica and Amelia. Chances are one or all of them will be present when you visit.
There is always something exciting going on at Once Upon A Time. They go out of their way to bring creative book related events to Montrose and give us a reason to stop in. The next “mega-event” is Monday, Aug. 23 at 11:15 p.m. Yes, you read that correctly: 11:15 at night. This is the beginning of the midnight release party for “Mockingjay,” the latest book in the widely popular dystopian thriller, “Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
In order to enter the “tricked out training center” (aka the bookstore) that evening you must pre-pay for your book by Aug. 15. You will then receive 10% off the book and receive two tickets to the party. There will be music, food, trivia, games and prizes. The first 50 people to prepay will be entered into a drawing for a free, signed copy of “Mockingjay.” I say, what are you waiting for, get over there NOW. This is going to be major end of summer fun for you and the kids! Maureen and the girls are going all out for this event. The store has entered a nationwide window display contest. They will be featuring live models as part of their Mockingjay window. If they win the contest author Suzanne Collins will come to visit.
Once Upon has a fabulous location. They are at 2207 Honolulu Ave. between Zeke’s Barbeque and the Rocky Cola Café. Sounds like “dinner and a book” are a fun night to plan, or “breakfast and a story.” There are free story times for children 3 and over on Tuesday & Sunday at 10:30 a.m., also Sundays at 1:00 p.m. There is free “Book Bingo” for kids age 4-8 on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and PJ Storytime on Thursday at 7 p.m. If you have a well behaved pooch, you can bring him to “Dog Gone Good Book” on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.
Once Upon A Time is on Facebook. It’s a great way to keep on top of all they are doing. In the meantime do stop by and say hello to Maureen and “the fam.” It makes you feel good just to step inside this cozy store. Happy summer reading!

Visit Maureen and her lovely daughters at Once Upon A Time Bookstore. From left, Jessica 16, Amelia 15, and Maureen.

Mary Dawson owns
Revelation Tops with her
sister Carole, and serves as vice president of the Montrose Shopping Park.