I was asked by my friend Kristen to review a book crate from her new company VIBookCrate. I happily agreed to do so with the understanding that I could write whatever I felt necessary.
I am honoured that she asked me and here are my honest thoughts.
I received the book crate for my seven-year-old daughter. While these book crates are geared for ages eight to 12 year olds, I was hoping it would be fine as she is a pretty strong reader. I didn’t really know what to expect, so was interested to see what was in them.
I liked the concept of them, but was skeptical of how it would come together.
The idea behind the book crates is to help inspire a love of reading in kids early on. In each crate you receive a book and three to five items that go with the theme of the book.
You don’t know what the book is until it arrives. You have the options to buy a one-time crate, a three-month subscription, or a monthly subscription.
We came home from work/school one day to find a plain white box on our front step addressed to my daughter. She never gets mail, so this was super exciting! I hadn’t told her she was getting one. I explained the concept to her she was intrigued.
She ran inside and immediately opened the box. Everything was wrapped nicely with tissue paper including a beautifully displayed book with a bunch of items surrounding it.
The book was a hardcover, which I was really surprised about. She received Rump (the story of how Rumpelstiltskin came to be). Along with it she received a gold excavation kit, a gold bath bomb from a local company, some gummy worms and a bookmark.
It also came with a card explaining what was in the box as well as a card for the parent with suggestions of questions to ask your child about the story.
My daughter was thrilled with it. She delved into the box and into the book. She read the whole book within a couple of weeks and was dying for another box. She thought the story was fantastic and was able to relate all of the items that came in the box to the book.
My sister-in-law, who is a teacher, found her reading her book multiple times at lunch or recess. I also love that it was a book that I never would have picked out for her on my own, so it exposed her to a different style and different ideas.
The items that went along with the book were very thoughtful. They were applicable, age-appropriate, and honestly much better quality than I expected. The bath bomb smelled amazing!
I loved that it came with a parent card to help lead discussion. It allowed us to have great conversations and also ensure that she was able to comprehend the story. I also appreciated that there were items local to the Cowichan Valley.
The book was a little challenging for Isla as it had a few words she didn’t know the meaning of, so it was a great learning opportunity. I feel the age range of eight to 12 was right on target.
I also appreciated the option when ordering to address it to the child themselves.
We enjoyed our book crate experience so much that my husband and I bought a three-month subscription. She has already received her first box from that and I was equally impressed. She was equally enthused about it! She read this book so feverishly that she finished it in a week.
I do wish that there was an option for other ages. My younger daughter, who is five and just showing interest, would love to have a crate to help learn to read. And it would be great to have an option for ages greater than 12 as well.
An added bonus… they do have adult book crates!
The website was straight-forward and easy to navigate. The crates are very well-priced, especially for the quality of the book and contents. A crate is $25 a month and ships anywhere in Canada for $15. If you are local to the Cowichan Valley, she has a deal and a drop-off/pick-up option using the code: cowichanvalley. If you are local and would like to do the 3-month subscription, the code is: local3month.
Watch out for deals, especially with Christmas coming up.
I highly recommend VIBookCrate to anyone who wants to help foster a love of reading in their child. I plan on buying these for the kids friends for birthdays as well as for Christmas gifts.
Isla was already a strong reader, but these book crates have ignited a passion for reading that I did not expect, to the point where she is opting to read books over screen time. For us, that’s a big win!