Monday, October 1, 2012

dream with us: the reading reptile

have you ever wanted to be a kid again?  sometimes i think about what age i would be if i had the chance to stay in one place for the rest of my life.  twenty-nine was pretty good, but then again, six had its perks too.

there are certain places and memories that come to mind when i think about my childhood.  places i visited, friends i knew, books i remember reading.  if you think back, you can easily be reminded of the simple joys and wonders of being a kid.  for me, the reading reptile in brookside is the kind of place that always takes me back to simpler and more carefree times.

meet deb pettid.  deb, along with husband pete, owns and operates the reading reptile - the kind of place dreams are made matter what age you are or wish to be.

one step inside this whimsical world of wonder and you are immediately transported back to your youth.  gazing in awe at the familiar faces and memories of your childhood, you may feel a capricious desire to twirl around and dance.

every nook, every corner, every inch of ceiling real estate and all surfaces in between, lease space to tenants of curiosity and creatures of creativity.  all the characters of children's books and friends you've never even met before, join forces to watch over you as you take a look around. 

tiny and often forgotten objects become some of the most coveted treasures imaginable, piquing the interest of even the tallest of guests... 

and aside from the vast collection of children's books, you'll get lost in the small wonders that envelop you.  come to grips with the realization that almost every piece of art in the shop - which essentially is the entire shop - was created by deb, and your appreciation for this literary gem shines even brighter.

and with the incorporation of la petite rougue, guests can enjoy a favorite read and a favorite treat.
delicious cupcakes greet you as you enter the shop and can be wrapped up to enjoy later at home.
bon appétit!

for the tiniest guests, pick up something new to pacify their interest while leaving something else behind.  deb's giving tree is the perfect spot for the binky-clad cliental to transition into a more sophisticated (and binki-less) existence.  brilliant.

and because the entire locality is centered upon the celebration of youth, i can't think of a better place for birthdays.  deb's incredible attention to detail and exceptional imagination knows no bounds.  she custom creates each celebration so it is unique to every birthday king and queen.

with endless supplies of treasures at the birthday guests disposal, you can't help but be engulfed in the wonder this entire experience creates.  not a single resource goes un-recycled.  not an ounce of originality overlooked.

when you are in the reading reptile, you are truly in the presence of greatness.  watching deb interact with the kids and put her creative mark on every inch of space, is the stuff that childhood dreams are made of.  just stepping inside has the ability to take you back to that place you once resided; that moment in time when anything you thought of was possible and your wildest dreams could absolutely come true.

and of course as a parent, finding a place where your kids can marvel at eclectic art and celebrate their love of literature, is more in line with the dreams i have these days.

and because you know we like to support local businesses as much as possible, it's now time to get to know your local biz owner with three questions starring deb pettid of the reading reptile.  

1.  How did you end up here? What was the career path that lead you to this moment in time?

I read, read, read.  I also started making toys for my kids when they were young, which led to more opportunities for creativity.  I just like what I do. 

2.  What do you really love about your job? 

Being able to combine family, art, reading, work, art and family.  Being inspired by kids and families to create an exciting, creative environment revolving around books.  

3.  You would tell anyone living in Kansas City, that they absolutely must _____? 

Go to a KCBread Dinner.  (For more info: 

thanks to deb & pete for letting us peek inside your wonderful, whimsical world for a day!

visit the reading reptile:
328 W. 63rd Street
Kansas CityMO 64113
phone: (816) 753-0441

interested in having your business featured on 26 east?  contact us for details.  


  1. What an incredible treasure! Stores like this should be in every neighborhood. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. We love the Reading Reptile. It's pretty much the only gift (gift certificate or book) we give to our friends' kids for their birthdays. My daughter is only 16-months old, but I'm already looking forward to celebrating her birthday there someday! Thanks for sharing about this great place.


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