Regular readers will know that most of our family has a bit of a thing for books so when we had the opportunity to review The Reading Bug Box, we jumped at the chance. Not only was it an opportunity to try something new but it might be just the thing to interest Evey in reading finally.
The Reading Bug Box is somewhat different from other subscription services that might send the chosen items of the month to everyone. Instead, what makes The Reading Bug Box special is the fact you complete a form telling them about your child’s reading level, interests and any other relevant information (for example I shared that Gabe has autism). The staff at the bookstore then handpick the books you will be sent, according to what you have told them about your child.
When the box arrived, the kiddos were, of course, desperate to open up and discover what was inside. I must admit, I usually like to take my photos as I open something up, but the kids dived in straight away, and I had to reassemble the package so I would have this image to show you, of how the inside is presented.
We’ll get to the books in a moment. First, the items that came with the books. The littles had a packet of high-quality Faber-Castell coloring pencils each. There was also a plain notepad which was immediately nabbed by Gabe for drawing penguins, and an “I survived Historians Club” notebook. If you are not familiar with the “I Survived” series, they are books that examine a famous historical event from the perspective of a fictional character. For example “I Survived: The American Revolution,” “I Survived: The September 11th Attacks”, and “I Survived: The Destruction of Pompeii.”
It was immediately clear that the Reading Bug Box team take the curation of the book boxes to heart. I had indicated that although Gabe is 10, his reading level is around that of a 4 or 5-year-old, but he is too old to enjoy ‘baby books.’ The team checked in with me by email about Gabe’s autism to ensure they did not include anything in the box that might be unsuitable for him and when we opened the box, there was the perfect book for him. “Little Penguin Gets The Hiccups” is a story that was grown up enough for Gabe to enjoy, with some repetitive phrases to help reinforce his reading skills and the central character is a penguin, Gabes most favorite animal in the world.
As you can see, Gabe was excited to share his new book with his threadbare but constant companion “Peso the Penguin.” I think it says a lot about the experience and care of The Reading Bug Box team that without ever meeting Gbe, they could take the information I gave them and select the perfect book for him.
Meanwhile, over on the chair in the corner was Evey. The only reluctant reader in the house and the child who made the shocking declaration”If we had to leave in a hurry ’cause there was an emergency we could leave all of the books behind ’cause they’re not important.” If she weren’t a physically exact copy of me and a mental & emotional exact copy of he dad I would sometimes wonder if she was really our child at all!
So I prodded, nagged and cajoled her into sitting down and looking at one of the books. I picked “Unlikely Friendships” out of the box and asked her to at least have a look. Upon opening the book, she smiled, then laughed because they was a photo of a kitten and an iguana together and that really ticked her funny bone.
Then, she actually wanted to find out about what was going on in the photo, so she read the story that accompanied the image. Then, shock horror, she started at the beginning of the book so she could read the other stories because “They look funny too.” If you look carefully at the photograph above, you can see the bookmark to the right of her leg. Evey had grabbed one off of the bookshelves so she wouldn’t lose her place.
Ever the slightly suspicious mom when it comes to an inexplicable change of behavior I asked Evey to tell me about the story she read, expecting her to give me a word or two. Instead, I was blown away because she gave me a proper rundown of what she had read and said: “I read all of the words and I didn’t just skim it like I normally do when you ask me to read.”
While I am under no illusions that this is the start of Evey’s grand love affair with books, I am ecstatic that she has finally found one that draws her in and makes her want to continue reading and discover the worlds between the covers.
Reading Bug Box have achieved what I was beginning to think was impossible and for that, I cannot praise them highly enough.
If you would like to discover how Reading Bug Box can find the perfect books for your child there are three purchasing options:
Reading Bug Box for one will give you 2-4 books & extra gifts, hand picked by a book curator using information from your child’s profile. Cost – From $27 per month.
The Reading Bug Box for two is a personalized box where each item is carefully chosen just for your two children, at the same address, according to their profiles. Extra gifts in the box tie in with the books provided and the books can be for kids aged 0-13. Cost – From $45 per month.
Baby Bug Box provides you with a monthly selection of board books for your 0-3-year-old which is excellent for growing a new library. Cost – From $18 per month.
They also have book boxes for teachers and homeschoolers.
From The Reading Bug Box Website
The Reading Bug Box is a subscription box that matches the best in children’s literature and other educational extras to your child’s age, gender, interests and reading level – ensuring that each delivery gets children and their parents excited about reading, learning and discussing new topics. From read-aloud books for the whole family to enjoy to early-reader and chapter series for new readers, the Reading Bug Box will grow with your child, adjusting and improving as they acquire new skills and interests.
If you are looking for extra gifts for book lovers, there are plenty of amazing ideas in our ultimate guide to gifts for book lovers, updated for 2019.