A new children's book store is making sure kids from all backgrounds and cultures can find books with characters that look and sound just like them.

Hipocampo Books in Rochester offers 3,500 books in more than a dozen languages— ranging from children’s and young adults to adults.

“Our vision really was to develop a space where children could come and read some great literature," said Pamela Bailie, co-owner of Hipocampo Books. “Their parents and guardians could come take them here and treat them to wonderful literature and for children to be able to see books that represented them— their culture and their lives— which is why we wanted to make sure to have as many languages as possible.”


Though book stores took a hit as technology evolved over the last decade, Bailie said independent stores have spiked back up in the last year.

“I think people really want to be reading to their children, holding something in their hands. Using electronic methods of reading have been wonderful in a lot of ways and opened up children to learning in a different way, but I think a lot of people are coming back to just having those books in their hands,” Bailie added.

“One of my incredible recollections as a youngster was walking into my public library and the smell of the paper and the books, I still can’t forget it,” said co-owner Henry Padrón. 

Hipocampo Books is located on South Avenue. It will be begin storytelling sessions in the next few weeks, as well as other programs this summer.