The Rabbit Hole is the brainchild of Pete Cowdin and Debbie Pettid, artists and owners of the Reading Reptile, a celebrated children’s bookstore and cultural center of 27 years. Through its innovative programming, partnerships, and relentless advocacy, the Reptile has become a literary institution for families and educators throughout the region and one of the most frequently honored children’s bookstores in America.
It is from this vantage that Pete and Debbie developed this breathtaking vision of what is needed to support a vibrant culture of children’s literacy-- along with the recognition that their business model as independent booksellers was ill-equipped to seize it. This venerable team possesses the knowledge, the publishing world’s trust, and most importantly, the clarity of vision to create this center and its ever-changing wonderlands that young and old will want to visit again and again.
Reading is a civil right. Greater access leads to greater equality. The Rabbit Hole is a visionary nonprofit center for the children’s book chartered to create a new and extraordinary experience around books that will change lives and change the way we think about literacy. By creating greater access to literature and a culture of books that embraces both readers and non-readers alike, The Rabbit Hole will give rise to new and better readers, and help build a future committed to equality. Every child deserves the cognitive and developmental benefits that a deep connection to literature delivers-- enhanced language, critical thinking, empathy and imagination. Unfortunately, read-aloud rates among parents (a primary predictor of success in school and life) haven’t risen in a generation. Only around 50% of parents read aloud to their kids on a regular basis. Literacy levels also remain flat as more temporal media become an increasing distraction. It’s time to invite readers of all ages and all abilities to engage with the book and long-form narrative in playful, artistic new ways. It’s time to honor and celebrate the role of children’s literature in American culture and how it stimulates a powerful intergenerational bond. It’s time to model a culture of shared literacy and help young and old rediscover the magic of literature-- together. It’s time for The Rabbit Hole, the world’s first ExploraStorium!
:: Enter the world of Jon Agee's The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau through an interactive, immersive gallery. This workshop model (pictured above) will eventually be constructed at full scale in approximately 2,000 sq/ft of space. Visitors will engage the world of Felix Clousseau in an unforgettable, three-dimensional telling of the book. The two immersive gallery spaces at The Rabbit Hole will host new installations every three months, providing extensive opportunities for ongoing educational programming while giving individual visitors reason to return to the center over and over again to discover new worlds and meet new storybook friends.