It was Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan who convinced Colin and Caroline
Stewart to leave their careers and start their dream business.
The Burbank couple, inspired by the movie “You’ve Got Mail,”
starring Hanks and Ryan, on June 1 opened Storytime Books & Parties,
a children’s bookstore.
Colin Stewart previously worked as a computer consultant in the
entertainment industry while his wife was a manager for an insurance
Caroline Stewart adored the mom-and-pop children’s bookstore owned
by Ryan in the movie, and convinced her husband to model their
store’s uniqueness after the screen version -- but with a twist.
"[Our store focuses] on being more educational and not so
cookie-cutter,” Colin Stewart said. “And Caroline works closely with
what parents want, so all the parties we do are unique.”
Caroline said the idea for the store -- which includes a backroom
for parties and activities -- came from what she sees as a dearth of
children’s fun in Burbank.
“We would always go to different birthday parties with our
daughter, and we always went to the same place again and again,” she
said. “Parents always seemed unhappy because they didn’t have enough
Starting at $250 per party -- the themes of which are suggested by
the owners but can be decided on by parents -- the store can
accommodate 30 children and their parents. The store carries more
than 600 titles, ranging from children’s classics to teen fiction and
includes a section dedicated to parenting. Story readings and classes
are also offered throughout the week.
“It’s great for kids to be able to have stories read to them and
to be able to mingle with other children,” said Anita Bitts, a
Glendale resident who took her 18-month-old granddaughter, Suzy, to a
story reading on Monday. “It’s better than being at home all