About us

Why Portrait Bookshop?

We have found that children are more engaged in their reading if they feel represented on the shelf and in the books that they read. We carefully source a wide variety of books to inspire and captivate children's imaginations from ages 0-16+ years.
It's really important that the books we stock are told from an authentic viewpoint. Inclusion is a difficult space to navigate and to get right. All the books we stock or recommend are vetted before they are put on the shelves to make sure the characters are genuinely inclusive and not falling into stereotypical traps. If anything comes to light afterwards, the offending book is immediately removed. Quality control is paramount.
Types of books stocked include: dyslexic, early readers, braille, sign, special interest books, autistic authors, black voices, black history, LGBTQ+, mental health topics, neurodivergent representation and much more.

Ordering service
Order with us now in time for Christmas.
We can find you books on specialist topics - adoption, trans, bullying, friendship, autism, black voices etc and we actively request that you come to us and ask. If we don't stock it we can normally find it for you!
Books can be ordered directly through the bookshop by phoning 07572 872 104 or messaging us on social media @portraitbookshop.
We also offer a full adult ordering service, just drop us a message or pop in to place your order.
Gift Vouchers are also available on request.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the perfect books for your loved ones.


What else are we doing?

Book clubs

Monthly adult book club - held at the bookshop on the 3rd Saturday of the Month. Every month is based on a theme and will feature diverse fictional characters. The book is normally available on audible if you would prefer to listen rather than read the physical book. Our meet-up is informal and you can participate if you want to or just come to listen to what others have to say, there is no pressure to "perform'.

The children's book clubs will start next month and will all feature age appropriate inclusive books to challenge and encourage empathy and acceptance for our community and wider communities.

In-house book clubs will also start next month and can be in-person or virtually. The aim for these are to get your members of staff together for a look at the books recommended for that month. Each month is themed and there is an accompanying newsletter for guidance. We can then discuss the key themes and the ways in which these books could be integrated into classrooms/ offices etc. Collaboration is key and all members are encouraged to recommend books relating to the theme that they love too.

Contact us for Book club discounts.


Author/ Illustrator Events

Our first illustrator event was held at the bookshop on 23rd Saturday at 2pm and we had a great turn out. This was a free event with wonderful illustrator Garry Parsons who was in attendance to draw some illustrations from his new book "The Who's Whonicorn of Unicorns" written by Kes Gray. Garry has been a great advocate of our little bookshop's vision from the outset and we are incredibly grateful to him for giving us his time to kick off our events in style.


Our wonderful Drag Queen, Mama G hosts story-time sessions, focusing on Pride books. The last even was on Saturday 13th November at 2pm.  Again Mama G has supported us from the outset and we are so pleased to be able to have her at our bookshop for regular story time sessions. Tickets for the sessions cost £5 per family (we have to fund her beautiful dresses somehow).

To book your space please email us at portraitbookshop@gmail.com. To ensure our events are inclusive for all we also have limited free tickets. If you would like one of these for your child to attend or if you would like to gift a ticket to someone please just email us and we can arrange this.


Going forward our events will include Author/ Illustrator/ Publisher visits in-house to schools, our local libraries and local community spaces. We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline so please follow us or sign up to our mailing list to keep up-to-date.

Library and Classroom Revamps

We have worked with a couple of local schools now to provide inclusive books for their classroom and library spaces. Bespoke recommended lists can be provided to accommodate your schools individual needs.
We also offer a competitive schools discount rate for orders, please contact us to discuss.

Community links

Raw Bar, Herne Bay

We are based inside the Raw Bar Cafe in Herne Bay which is fully vegan and paving the way for eco refills and a more sustainable way of living. The team are also big advocates for inclusion and we are more than at home working alongside them. Owner Jenny, operates an Autism friendly hour every Saturday 9-10am where the lights are dimmed, music is off and the space is generally calmer. We also run the same Autism hour every Saturday in the bookshop.

They are also just starting up a neurodivergent coffee meet-up on the last Saturday of the month 9-10am. They held the first one this month and it was a great success. Again there is no pressure on these meet-ups to "perform". Its just a space that allows you to be yourself and find your tribe.
Umbrella Cafe

We have also partnered up with the Umbrella Cafe in Whitstable to offer free books for their customers to access. The Umbrella Cafe is a CIC and works with lot's of children's charities including SNAAP. It also runs a volunteer led community food pantry and operates on a pay what you can afford basis.




We had the pleasure of attending our first Pride event in the summer at London's Stanley Arts Theatre, hosted by the wonderful Mama G. Going forward we will be attending more Pride events and showcasing our extensive collection of LGBTQ+ books for all ages. We actively promote and support ALL children and parents on their journey and are happy to help with book recommendations. Again, just pop in for a chat or email us and we can help.

Access to Books Appeal

We know how important access to books are and that not all children and parents can afford to purchase the books from us. If you are in a position to gift a book for a child then please let us know. We also have strong links with our local library and can help get the books to the children that need them through these links as well.


Our Values
We take our position seriously and intend to use our platform to promote inclusion and good only. We therefore will not stock any authors/ illustrators that use their platform for any hate (of any kind) regardless of how successful they are. We also actively promote indie publishing houses who are also trying to get their stories out there for us to listen too. Inclusion is so important for our communities and we love working with people that truly understand and champion this. In the end, we only have each other. We intend to promote love and acceptance for all, one book
at a time.