The story behind east Oxford’s new bookshop Caper

 In Inspiration
Caper bookshop Oxford

There’s a new space in east Oxford dedicated to children – it’s a family bookshop, as well as an events and activity space.

Caper is open six days a week and offers a variety of hands-on fun for kids and their grown-ups.

I spoke to Xander and Tereza to find out how Caper came about, what the shop is up to during the Easter holiday break, and what books are top of the list at the moment.

“Oxford has a proud tradition of great bookshops, and we’re excited to bring this tradition to the east of the city, where we haven’t had a bookshop for many years. The Magdalen Road is becoming an increasingly vibrant destination in Oxford, with loads of brilliant independent businesses, from coffee shops to theatres, pubs to retailers, so we’re doubly excited to be able to make our home here.”

Caper the greatest show on earth mini grey

The Greatest Show on Earth!

(Ages 5- 11) Tuesday, 2nd April, 14.30pm

Join award-winning author and illustrator, Mini Grey, as she takes you on a whistle-stop tour through the story of life on Earth- all 4.6 billion years of it!

Caper I want my hat back

Making Shadow Puppets

(Ages 5-11) Thursday, 4th April, 14.30pm

Art workshop based on Jon Klassen’s classic picture book ‘I Want My Hat Back’. Make a shadow puppet (or 2) then re-enact the story with your friends.

Caper arts and crafts

Mini Monsters 

(Ages 2-5) Monday, 8th April, 10:30am

An art session for toddlers and parents designed to encourage creativity. Explore pattern, collage and mark-making to create mini standing monsters.

Caper kids cookery

Kids’ Cookery Class 

(Ages 2-5) Thursday, 11th April, 10:30am

Fun and informative cooking activities for young children. Get creative learning about cooking and food.

“Caper is an independent family bookshop, activity and event space in East Oxford. We’ve tried to make it a fun place to visit, with quirky features and things to play with, wonderful books for children, a curated selection of books for grown-ups and a range of beautiful cookbooks. We also offer things to make and do and a series of events for both kids and adults. We believe that the power of narrative changes the world. The stories we tell (and the books we read) feed minds, inspire change and sometimes move mountains. We hope we can be a small part of this  – to continue to foster a love of reading and curiosity in all ages.”


Caper minotaur

Meet the Minotaur- Storytelling Session 

(Ages 8-14) Sunday, 14th April, 14:30pm

Join children’s author Henry Brook as he explores the secrets and twists of the Minotaur’s Labyrinth and other Greek myths from the Cretan cycle.

Most inspiring books on offer, right now:

Caper book selection

‘Quiet’ by Tom Percival and Richard Jones

‘A story of how a small voice can make a huge difference, beautifully illustrated by Richard Jones.’‘The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish’ by Chloe Savage

‘A wonderful picture book about a scientist setting out to achieve her dream of finding the Giant Arctic Jellyfish, and the endurance and self-belief needed to embark on this quest.’

‘Little Chick’ and ‘Little Bunny’ by Petr Horáček 

‘Two Spring-themed board books with playful holes on each page and brightly coloured and joyful illustrations. A perfect Easter gift for toddlers.’

‘The Promise’ by Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin 

‘A tale of beauty and hope, Nichola Davies writes of a vision for a world where people and nature live in harmony.’

Why is the shop called Caper?

“Caper as in an adventurous plot for a book (the bookshop), caper as in “dance or fool about” (perhaps in the activity space) and caper as in the ingredient (we’ve a decently sized cookbook selection).”
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