A couple of months ago I was talking to someone about my aims for Awesome or Average (i.e.: help you find great stuff for your kids + give myself a project that is (slightly) removed from kid chaos) and I had a brainwave: subscription boxes are all the rage right now! Maybe I could create a New Zealand book subscription service! Maybe I could actually make money from this obsession!
So I came home and Googled it. Turns out someone had already had this idea, and what’s more, that someone is way more qualified than I am… So I immediately ordered a subscription. 😉 (for you guys, of course, because I’m so selfless)
Little Bird Readers
Value for money
This children's book subscription service not only provides beautiful, high quality books for your little ones, but also provides tip cards that will help make storytime more enjoyable and improve literacy skills. A truly wonderful gift - or an extra-fun way of expanding your child's bookshelf.
Little Bird Readers is the brainchild of Dr Amy Scott, who is a Speech-Language Therapist with a PhD in education. Each month, she selects books for four different age groups (babies, toddlers, preschoolers and early readers) and sends them out, accompanied by tip cards.
We got the three-month family subscription, which provides books for two different age groups. Our Night Owl got the baby books, and the Little Monkey got toddler ones (though I cheekily asked for a preschooler one too so I could see the range — I’m nosy like that).
Amy’s philosophy on books is like ours, in that we aim high and go for books that will give pleasure for a long time. The tip cards help target the book to your child, so even if you’re unfamiliar with the book type for your child (e.g. long books for babies) you can make the reading an enjoyable experience for everyone.
The books come lovingly wrapped, and our Little Monkey is very appreciative of a good parcel-opening ceremony, so getting them out of the package and then unwrapping the book itself is pretty exciting. And then there’s the reading to enjoy.
Our first toddler offering was a lively book called Oi Frog. It’s a sweet story that makes silly (but clever) use of rhyme, and is a great way of introducing the concept to little ones. The accompanying tip card (which come as either a physical card or via email) has suggestions of how to enhance learning around categorisation in fun, do-able ways.
Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book was one of our baby offerings, and despite being a fairly long story (see the point above about books that’ll last for ages) the beautiful illustrations — many of which “peek through” cutouts in the pages — hold our Night Owl’s attention. Or maybe it’s the fact that an owl is a central character? Either way, it’s a lovely book, and again the tips are a valuable addition.
The other two books we’ve received so far (we’ve still got one month to go) have been great too, and none have been books that I had heard of, which is perfect (though Rosie Revere, Engineer was a previous month’s offering, which told me that Amy has great taste). But if you’re worried about duplication, Little Bird will switch out books for you up to twice a year.
As well as the tip cards there are exclusive articles for subscribers to help enhance storytime. I’ve found these really helpful too. The fact that they relate to one of the current month’s books helps make them immediately applicable — a definite win for my tired mind.
So yeah, I think Dr Amy’s PhD in education — and flawless execution of a great concept — trumps my (irrelevant) BCom when it comes to choosing great books for kids. I’m glad she beat me to it!
(And because this is such a rave review I want to point out that Little Bird Readers has nothing to do with this post — I just think what they’re doing is amazing. I paid full price for my subscription and think it was worth every cent)
Awesome or Average: Awesome
Buy from Little Bird Readers