Dara Jackson dreamed of owning a children’s bookstore, and like the plot in most fairy tales, her dreams came true.
The shelves of Fables and Fairy Tales are filled with children’s and young adult books by C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling, E.B. White and others.
Small teepees are set up in the store where youngsters can lose themselves in the pages of those books.
Jackson and her children all love to read. Her daughter has won celebrated reader awards at both school and the library.
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“We have always felt like this warm and fuzzy feeling when we go into bookstores,” she said.
“It’s someplace where I could feel happy every day and my kids could feel happy and they could have a job. Their first jobs will be to work here.”
Jackson, of Martinsville, had been working at the Little Bloomers children’s boutique in Nashville, but then the store owners decided to move to the Heritage Mall, causing Jackson to be out of work while renovations and the move were made.
“My husband (Barry) and I talked about it. We said, ‘Well, is this maybe an opportunity for us to go ahead and open up the bookstore?’ Everything just fell into place,” she said.
One of the pieces that fell into place was a shop space becoming available in the Firefox building on East Main Street. On June 15, Dara and Barry Jackson opened Fables and Fairy Tales.
“There only seems to be a couple of stores in Brown County for children,” she said.
“I knew that Fallen Leaf already had the adult demographic there, so I wanted to do something unique and make sure I wasn’t stepping on anybody’s toes.”
She said customers are happy to see that the store is selling the classics.
“Celery Stalks At Midnight,” “The Phantom Toll Booth,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Hiding Place” and “The Little Prince” are just some of those titles — and Jackson’s favorites — that line the shelves.
“The Little Prince” is also available in French, which Jackson carries in honor of her French teacher. She read “The Little Prince” in French her senior year of high school.
Coming soon will be “The Boxcar Children,” which she ordered after receiving requests from customers.
“Of course, all of the fables and fairy tales that you can possibly think of, we carry almost all of those,” she said.
She said she also tries to sell “appropriate” books only.
“I have three teenagers. If I don’t want my teenagers reading it, I don’t want to sell it to somebody else’s teenager,” she said.
The Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Percy Jackson series are some of the bookstore’s top sellers.
“We love teens coming in here. We have free Wi-Fi for them if they want to come and hang out. This is a great, safe place for them to come,” she said.
The youngest readers can attend story time every Saturday at 11 a.m.
Homeschool families are also welcome to come and browse Jackson’s homeschool curriculum options.
Normally, homeschool families can order teaching materials online or by going to conventions, she said. But ordering online doesn’t offer families a chance to look through the curriculum to see if it would be a good fit, and conventions can be stressful because there are so many options, she said.
“I wanted to provide some place where they could take their time,” she said.
One of Jackson’s daughters is autistic, and Jackson homeschooled her. She also briefly homeschooled her other two children, but they currently attend public school.
“I got to know the homeschooling community. I got to know what works, what didn’t really work,” she said.
Jackson said Brown County has been welcoming to her family and she enjoys working here.
“I just hope that I can serve the community well,” she said.
Location: 59 E. Main St., lower level of the Firefox building.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; closed Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 3 p.m. Sunday
Find Fables and Fairy Tales on Facebook and Instagram. Visit their website at www.fablesandfairytales.com.