The Alligator's Mouth
2a Church Court
Surrey TW9 1JL
Tel: 0208 9486775
(self-published authors please read the guidance at bottom of this page)
Bank Holidays: 11am-4pm
PLEASE NOTE we are currently closed to customers in the shop due to the COVID-19 situation. For more info, please see here.
How to get here
From Richmond rail/underground:
Turn left out of the station entrance. Walk down George Street until you pass Tesco Metro; we are on Church Court, an alley running alongside, down towards the church yard of St Mary Magdalene Church.
We are within close walking distance from any bus stop that serves George Street (turn down Church Court by Tescos) or Richmond Bus Station (turn left and walk on towards Church Terrace until you pass the church).
Find us on the My Richmond app:
For Self-Published Authors and Small Publishing Presses
We regret we cannot accept submissions from self-published authors or small presses, and we cannot be held responsible for books left in our care.There are a few reasons for this, and we assure you it's not for lack of support of independent publishing.
We're pretty good booksellers, but none of us are qualified as agents or editors. We source our books through meetings with sales representatives, and browsing catalogues from major publishing houses (Bloomsbury, Macmillan...) and distributors (Gardners, TBS...) This makes the ordering process simple for us and we are able to keep informed of new publications well in advance.
Due to our limited space, we have to shift our stock quickly and there is pressure for every book on the shelves to sell, and this too makes showcasing self-published books difficult. There are online platforms or other, larger shops more suited to this purpose, but we are unfortunately not in an ideal position to support self-published authors.
Our advice for those entering the children's book market is to buy and read lots of children's books (here we can help!) and to take advantage of the many resources available to new authors. The Children's Writer's & Artists Yearbook is full of useful information and contacts and is one of many great places to start.
About The Alligator's Mouth
The Alligator’s Mouth is an independent children’s bookshop in Richmond, stocking books from baby to late teen, as well as a small selection of cards and board games. We often work with local schools, providing events or stocking libraries. Regular events in the shop include a storytime, bookclub, comics club and more to encourage all forms of creativity. There are frequent author and illustrator visits to look out for. In the past we have welcomed Jacqueline Wilson, Chris Riddell, Cressida Cowell, Oliver Jeffers and Axel Scheffler. We were shortlisted for The British Book Awards Children's Bookseller of the Year 2017. The Alligator's Mouth is a bookshop at the heart of the local community with a mission to reach all readers: the confident, the beginner, and the reading-resistant.
Tony has ten years experience in primary education as a qualified teacher, where he worked to improve the reading of many children with learning difficulties and confidence issues. His experience in schools means he is ideally qualified to identify the books teachers need. He has worked in the book trade for over twenty years and parents will testify that during that time he has helped many children become readers. In 2018 he was nominated for the British Book Industry Awards Individual Bookseller of the Year.
Margaret studied Children's Literature at Roehampton University and has an interest in classic and contemporary fiction and poetry. She believes children need to be exposed to challenging, well written material. She has worked as a bookseller for fifteen years and believes profoundly that reading changes lives for the better.
Mark is an illustration postgraduate with a lifelong passion for beautiful books. He worked previously at Nomad Books in Fulham, and before that Oxfam Books in Brighton. Mark loves graphic novels, picturebooks, and any book with a strong visual element. He hosts our monthly Comics Club and does a lot of work on the website and social media.
Helen is expert on all things YA but also has a broad and eclectic taste in books across all ages and received the James Patterson Young Bookseller Special Achievement Award 2019. She is a voracious reader and a keen reviewer and blogger. Find her on various social media platforms at @watchingsparks.
Anna is an illustrator whose artistic talents often feature on our a-boards. She enjoys beautifully illustrated picturebooks as well as graphic novels and YA books with a touch of the macabre. Find her illustration work at
Ollie is a knowledgeable politics student with an eye for thought-provoking children's books. He has varied experience in customer service roles, including Hotel Chocolat.
Liz is our bookkeeper, a highly-valued member of the team who also worked with Tony and Margaret at The Lion & Unicorn bookshop. She'll never say no to a cup of tea.
Tony, Margaret & Mark with Michael Rosen.
Chris Riddell cuts the ribbon for the shop opening in March 2015.
Team Alligator's Mouth: Mark, Tony, Helen, Anna, Charlotte, Margaret, and Ollie.
Gift Vouchers & Loyalty Cards
Gift vouchers make a wonderful present and are a great way to support the shop. Our gift vouchers can be loaded with any value, redeemable for any of our books, stationery or toys. Please ask in the shop or contact us to order. Full terms & conditions below.
You can pick up a loyalty card free in the shop. This is our way of saying thank you and giving you well-earned rewards. You earn a stamp for every £10 spent. A full card with ten stamps can be redeemed for £5 off a purchase. Full terms & conditions below.
The Alligator's Mouth Gift Voucher terms & conditions
The Alligator’s Mouth Gift Vouchers may be exchanged for any product at the Alligator’s Mouth shop.
Vouchers will be marked, by a member of the Alligator's Mouth staff, with the value payed by the customer.
The Alligator’s Mouth Gift Vouchers cannot be exchanged for cash and are non-refundable.
The Alligator’s Mouth Gift Vouchers may be exchanged for purchases of a higher value, on payment of the difference. If the goods being purchased are less than the value of the Alligator's Mouth Gift Voucher, it will be replaced by a new voucher of the remaining balance. If the remaining balance is less than £1, the balance will be given in cash.
There is no expiry date by when the Alligator's Mouth Gift Voucher must be used.
The Alligator's Mouth Loyalty Card terms & conditions
To earn reward points, you must present the card to the cashier at the time of purchase. Transactions made without the card cannot be recorded.
Points are allocated for each whole ten pounds spent and have no monetary value until converted.
Cardholders cannot claim points on purchases made before they joined the scheme.
Points will be awarded on, and can be redeemed against, all merchandise sold in the Alligator's Mouth, with the exception of gift vouchers, Book Tokens and postage.
A fully stamped card entitles you to five pounds off your next purchase.
The Alligator's Mouth cannot be held liable for lost, stolen or damaged Cards.
The scheme can be used in conjunction with other discounts or promotions.
The scheme is for personal use, not business account holders. For discounts for schools and teachers please see the For Teachers page.