BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKSTORE - 2002
In 1992 the Mall of America opened in Bloomington. That same year, in another Twin Cities corner, a different kind of retail revolution began when this Linden Hills shop welcomed children into an unusually stimulating environment filled not just with books, but with free-roaming animals. Though the Mall of America has offered to build a customized space if Wild Rumpus would open a branch there, the owners have long refused, opting to focus on a single operation. And thank goodness. It's precisely that unique, personal touch that makes this little nook so special, for kids and adults alike. Whether your yen is for classics or advanced books or local authors or African folktales, Wild Rumpus will satiate you. The friendly and knowledgeable staffers will search the shelves for both childhood favorites and the hottest new thing, like Ian Falconer's popular Olivia Saves the Circus or Doreen Cronin's hilarious Click Clack Moo. And as you stroll through the aisles, you can meet the store's menagerie of critters. There's Ramona the ferret, napping in her hammock. And Dolly the chicken, flapping around the store. And four ring-neck doves--Baby, Zofia, Olive, and Paz--cooing in their corner cage. There are also three cats, three rats, two tarantulas, five finches, two parakeets, three cockatiels, a lovebird, a salamander, some fish, and--on special occasions--Liberty Rose, a miniature horse.