I received my third shipment from The Little Book Club Saturday. It was technically the May box, but it arrived in June because shipping for this company is extremely slow since they ship Media Mail.
The Little Book Club is a new monthly book club that delivers three brand new books chosen based on your child's age. As your child grows older, the books they send become more advanced. For instance, babies receive sturdy, colorful board books while five-year-olds receive books that will help them develop their reading skills. It costs $24.95 a month and is directed at children from birth to age 6. The books are chosen based on popularity and also the recommendations of education and literary experts. They pull selections from The New York Times bestsellers lists, winners of the Caldecott Medal, and recommendations from the American Library Association and the National Education Association.
The company is still in its infancy so they seem to be working out the kinks and have changed some things since they first started. Some differences I've noted recently is that they used to promise at least one hardcover book, but now their website just states that you will get a combination of hardcover, softcover, or board books. (Kind-of a big deal since this affects the retail value of your books which can be lower than the price you spent if you get all softcovers.) And they used to credit you $12.50 if you already owned a book they sent you, but now that is down to $10 (no big deal since that's still more than a third of the price you pay).
I still love the fact that the box comes addressed to my child. I think this personalization is so special and I bet an older kid would love to receive their own package addressed to them in the mail.
Each month, the different age groups receive a different theme that ties their books together. Our theme this month (for a 25-month-old) was "Food!" Another theme I have seen this month is have Dogs and Cats.
We received three paperback books:
"The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear" (retail value $7.19 on Amazon): This softcover book was first published in 1984 and is the story of a mouse who is trying to protect his red, ripe strawberry from the hungry bear. It's a very cute little book with sweet illustrations.
"Jamberry": (retail value $7.99): We received the 25th anniversary edition of this book. It is the story of a boy and a bear romping through a land of berries. ($7.63 on Amazon)
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." (retails for $6.99): Everyone knows this story, which has sold over four million copies. I think it is a little advanced for Owen because there are a lot of words on the page and he gets a bit impatient sitting through them. But it is a great book for older kids and he will get there someday. ($6.29 on Amazon)
The retail value of the books is $22.17 ($21.11 on Amazon), which is about $2 or $3 less than what I paid. Last time I reviewed this subscription, my books had a retail value slightly higher than what I paid. I was disappointed this month that I received less value.
While I really love the concept of this company, I have since canceled my subscription and will only receive one more box. I know I'm not getting my money's worth and I prefer to pick out books for Owen myself. I also don't like that based on my billing cycle, I am charged twice before I even get one box. Hopefully this company can get better organized and get into a rhythm because I think a book subscription box is such a good idea for young children. Reading is so important and I know that Owen loves it.
If you want more information, you can visit The Little Book Club HERE. Just be aware that this book club isn't about getting more value for less money. It's about convenience and exposure to new books you might have never heard about before.