“This purple girl should have a name. What name could rhyme with purple? I must dream up a proper name. I’ve got it! Mable Murple!”
I’m pretty sure I have recited these words approximately 600 times over the years. Mabel Murple, written by beloved local author, Sheree Fitch was one of our family’s all-time favourite books, and this summer we got to visit Mabel Murple’s Book Shoppe and Dreamery in River John – an absolutely magical moment for us!
As you head off the beaten path in River John, you will turn a corner to where the world seems a little warmer, a touch kinder and a whole lot happier. You have reached your destination – Mabel Murple’s Book Shoppe and Dreamery! Sheree Fitch and her husband Gilles Plante created this ‘labour of love’ through her passion for books and education and his love of building. Together they created a magical experience and a peek into the life of Miss Mabel Murple – one of Sheree’s (and many children’s) most loved characters.
You will find Mabel’s World on the beautiful North Shore of Nova Scotia, approximately 45 minutes past Truro. It consists of not only a Book Shoppe but also a Dreamery and the Happy Doodle Do Hobby Farm. We got to meet the resident horses, donkey, cat, and dog and Gilles kindly let us observe the hens laying eggs!
As we approached Mable Murple’s Purple Peek-A-Boo House, eyes lit up as the magic of storytelling came to life. It was evident how much influence Sheree’s books can have on young readers as they get to imagine a favourite character as a real-life friend!
The Book Shoppe is located in the restored granary – part of the original farmhouse. In here you will find Sheree’s books along with other wonderful titles by primarily local Atlantic Canadian authors. These are some of Sheree’s favourite books and most days, she will be in and around the bookshop, on hand to sign books, share a story, and a memory. In the book shop, you will find adult books as well as children’s storybooks and poems.
Finally, as you come out of the shop, you will find the Dreamery – a special place to dream, imagine, write, listen, smile and share. The pasture will lead you to picnic tables, reading nooks, a story wagon, and a fairy garden. Have a conversation… write a story… chat with friends… bring a picnic… and most importantly – make memories!
Many parents who attended school in Nova Scotia in the 80’s and 90’s were fortunate enough to have Sheree come to their school to read her books and share her story of becoming an author. I was one of those lucky students. She made us feel like anything was possible and said “as long as we have stories, we will never be alone”. Now we can share this magical world with our own children and grandchildren – and yes, dreams do come true!
Mabel Murple’s Book Shoppe and Dreamery
When: Thursdays – Sundays throughout the summer months
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where: 286 Allen Road, River John