Twin Cities Bookstore Critters
Pat the Bunny? It’s not just a book in Twin Cities bookstores. It’s an activity.
Several bookstores in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area are home to some happy critters. Meet some of them here.
Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis is perhaps the most magical, animal-filled bookstore ever created. Everywhere in the children’s book store, kids find not only their famous Manx (tailless) cats, but also chickens that roam freely, some frisky ferrets, cages with plump lizards, doves, cockatiels, aquariums of fish and even a tarantula. But, perhaps one of the most intriguing animal finds in the store: rats. The owners of Wild Rumpus pulled one of the old wooden floorboards up and replaced it with a think piece of glass. If you get down on your knees, you can see the rats’ playground under the floor. It’s magical.
Once Upon a Crime isn’t a store that caters to kids, but their dog, Shamus, makes us laugh like a kid. While perusing the mystery themed bookstore, we heard someone tearing into a box. And tearing into it. And tearing into it more. The noise of tearing cardboard was a little overboard. I mean, really, who needs to tear a box apart that much? Shamus does. Shamus, the white dog with one circled eye reminiscent of The Little Rascals’ dog, loves boxes. His owners, Pat and Gary, say he’s only ever damaged two books. Meet Shamus and see how he helps the mysterious little bookstore in Minneapolis shelve their books.
Birchbark Books might be named for the birch trees that decorate the store, but the “bark” is certainly from the pack of dogs that call the store home when their owners are working. The day we visited, Dharma, a soft black half lab, was sleeping in one of the bookstore chairs. She did raise her head, greet us with a wag of her tail, and gently let her head rest on the chair’s arm and fell back to sleep. Even a child coming into the bookstore with the birch tree house and hobbit hole didn’t wake her from her slumber. We’re not sure how the other dogs behave in the store, but Dharma was a doll. She even has her own webpage with book recommendations.