(Photo from www.365twincitiesmn.com)
The first thing you notice about Wild Rumpus is the door – or doors, rather. An independent children’s bookstore in Minneapolis’ Linden Hills neighborhood, Wild Rumpus is entered two ways. The adults go in through the regular black door; the children go in through the smaller purple door-within-a door.
This theme of dualities of existence in ordinary life runs throughout the store. According to their website, "Wild Rumpus has had a sort of conversation with the book The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer. In 1992, we first used this story as a kind of blueprint for building the store. And today it continues to teach us about books and young people, and about adults who love them.”
Wild Rumpus has a narrow storefront, but is deep. As you walk past the counter, you start to feel like you’re going outside. There's a tree, a canoe on the ceiling, a garden shed, and animals. Lots of animals! The fulltime inhabitants of Wild Rumpus include chickens, Manx cats, rats, birds, toads, chinchillas, ferrets.
(photo from minnesota.cbslocal.com. Credit: Amy Rea)
Wild Rumpus was a lifesaver for me when my kids were small. We’d go on wintery days to the “library/petting zoo” to read in comfy chairs or make a ruckus (encouraged!). We went to Tail Time on Mondays for stories and music. Later, my kids visited Wild Rumpus on school field trips. We’ve been to author readings. Next month’s author is Kate DiCamillo, a local (like me, she lives just minutes from Wild Rumpus) and independent favorite.
I heard recently that the ferrets have been causing trouble. They lodged 19 stuffed animals behind a bookshelf and hid the owner’s wallet. Wild Rumpus may have been inspired by a book, but it is also definitely the kind of bookstore that could inspire a story. Hmmmm ... Let the Wild Rumpus start!
(photo from minneapolis.about.com)
Ethel and Carl (photo from www.wildrumpusbooks.com)