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Reading Bug Subscription Box Review + Coupon – February 2016

Anna Rodriguez
ByAnna RodriguezFeb 19, 2016 | 11 comments


Reading Bug Box
4 overall rating
2 Ratings | 1 Reviews

Reading Bug Box is a subscription book service for children (including infants!) that sends books and gifts every month that have been hand-picked for the child! The service is based out of a physical bookstore in San Carlos, CA. My sons are both little reading bugs, so we were very happy to give Reading Bug a try!

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription Box: Reading Bug Box

The Cost: $29.99 per month + $3 shipping = $33 / month for one child or $49.99 per month + $3 shipping = $53 per month for two children with discounts for longer commitments on either

COUPON: Save 25% off your first box with code BUGBOX25


Save 25% off your first box for 2 with code BIGBUGBOX25!

The Products: Books plus extra gift items macthed to the age(s) and interests of the child(ren)

Ships to: USA

Check out the Kids Subscription Box Directory for more activity and reading boxes!


Our package was selected for my sons (ages 8 and 9), so this is a review of the package for two children. In addition to their ages and gender, there were a variety of interests we could choose from as pictured above. I think they chose everything but Princesses & Fairies!


This is the info card that came with our package. While the books are not all centered on one specific theme, there is an emphasis this month on art, which of course we love. This card does not list the contents of the box, but it does offer a variety of discounts on add-ons you can purchase. Add-ons are shipped for free with your next month’s box!


These are the gifts and extras that were sent this month. In keeping with the art focus, we received pastels, gel sticks, and a really impressive pencil / crayon sharpener! Extras included two wooden bookmarks and a pencil. This will all go to good use.


The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson – Value $9.65 on Amazon

This was the first of five books we pulled from our package. We just got this box last week, so obviously the boys haven’t had time to read everything yet, but my older son started on this one and he seems pretty engrossed. He read a biography of Jackie Robinson last summer, so he’s a bit of a hero to my son already! I was looking for a rating on Amazon, but this title was just released in January of this year, which is pretty cool. From Amazon:

Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson.

Steven Satlow is an eight-year-old boy living in Brooklyn, New York, which means he only cares about one thing-the Dodgers. Steve and his father spend hours reading the sports pages and listening to games on the radio. Aside from an occasional run-in with his teacher, life is pretty simple for Steve.

But then Steve hears a rumor that an African American family is moving to his all-Jewish neighborhood. It’s 1948 and some of his neighbors are against it. His hero, Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball the year before.

Then it happens–Steve’s new neighbor is none other than Jackie Robinson! Steve is beyond excited about living two doors down from the Robinson family. He can’t wait to meet Jackie. This is going to be the best baseball season yet! How many kids ever get to become friends with their hero?


The Miniature World of Marvin & James by Kelly Murphy – Value $5.99 on Amazon

My younger son is obsessed with all things tiny, so this was an instant win for him! This got 4 stars on Amazon, and their description reads:

In this Masterpiece Adventure, the first in a companion series for younger readers from bestselling author Elise Broach, James is going on vacation for a week. His best friend, Marvin the beetle, has to stay at home. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to play with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Marvin and Elaine quickly find themselves getting into all sorts of trouble?even getting trapped inside a pencil sharpener! Marvin misses James and starts to worry about their friendship. Will James still be Marvin’s friend when he gets home or will James have found a new best friend?


From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Koningsburg – Value $5.72 on Amazon

This book is a Newbery Medal winner, and it looks like something either of the boys might be interested in reading. It got 4.5 stars on Amazon, so it must be pretty good! From Amazon:

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere–to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.


Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 1 by Eric Colossal – Value $9.95 on Amazon

This book looks hilarious and perfect for my younger son. I am also happy to hear of a new series to get him interested in. My older son was really into all the usual ones you hear about, and I’m pretty tired of those! This book got 4.5 stars on Amazon, which reads:

In a world where there are dragons, wyverns, and haunted squash, youíd figure someone would have recipes for them, right?

Rutabaga and his magic cooking pot, Pot, join young adventurers Winnifred, Manny, and Beef on a quest to defeat a dragon, discover new ingredients, find monsters to have for and/or to dinner, and to save the day through cooking. Rutabaga will dare any danger to uncover new tastes, and thereís a whole world full of food to tryófrom roasted mud leech to spider soup to peanut butter on crackers. His heroic recipes combine real ingredients, fantasy ingredients, and real ingredients that sound fantastical. Rutabaga the Adventure Chef is the perfect adventure for any kid grossed out when something weird shows up on the dinner table.


100 Paper Dragons to Fold & Fly – Value $6.74 on Amazon

This looks super fun and perfect for spring! Which I hope is coming soon! The sheets are to be torn out and folded origami-style to create flying paper dragons! This book also supports the art focus of this package, and I think both the boys will enjoy it. From Amazon:

100 full-colour, tear-out sheets featuring stylish dragon artwork – simply tear a page out and follow the simple folding instructions (featured on gatefolds at the front and back of the book) to create one of four different decorative origami dragons.

Verdict: This was a really great first package from Reading Bug! The kids love it! And of course I love anything that encourages them to read as much as possible. The value of the books comes to about $38, and even with the included art supplies, I think the value falls a little short of the $53 purchase price. I have to mention, however, that I’ve noticed that the value is not usually very high with childrens’ book subscription, and this subscription is actually better in terms of value than others I have reviewed.

So, as it often does, the decision to subscribe to this box comes down to the value it has to you and your family personally. Was it well curated? Were the books chosen appropriate for your children and their reading levels? Do you have time to book shop and keep on top of new / best releases? Do you always remember to put new books in your childrens’ hands every month? The answers to those questions will ultimately be what informs your decision to subscribe or not. I think it’s worth it.

The Reading Bug Box is a one-of-a-kind subscription box for your one-of-a-kind child. Our children's literature experts match the very best in children's books and gifts to your child's age, interests and reading level, which ensures that each delivery gets children and their parents excited about r... read more.
Anna Rodriguez
Anna Rodriguez
Anna has been a fan of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013, but didn't become a true addict until discovering subscriptions she could share with her children. Her favorites include Kiwi Crate and Fab Kids.

Anna Rodriguez
Anna Rodriguez
Anna has been a fan of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013, but didn't become a true addict until discovering subscriptions she could share with her children. Her favorites include Kiwi Crate and Fab Kids.
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I love the idea of this sub. But I have an advanced reader so I’m thinking the books they might send based on age would be to below her and she would find them boring. Do they ask anything about reading level?


When you sign up, there’s a “notes” section that allows you to put in any extra information (reading level, recently read books, favorite series, etc).


I walk by this store all the time!!! I had no idea they had a sub box. I don’t have kids but I totally adore this store. It is the cutest thing ever and on the weekend they are always having events and I see tons of family going in and out while i have brunch across the street. I have always loved to read and love that this store is getting kids interested so you.


Wow, that’s really good to hear Regan! Thanks!




Double posting but I will say, if you’re looking for quality book recommendations but can’t afford a subscription like this, the Reading Olympics has excellent, age-appropriate picks for books for kids and their lists are available for free online. I read “From the Mixed-Up Files” for Reading Olympics and a lot of my other favorite childhood books were on those lists too. Just an FYI since children reading is so important.


Thank you Sue! That’s really good information.


‘From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’ was one of my favorite books as a child. Plus my copy used to belong to my grandmother. I got the book out for my boys during a snow storm a few weeks ago. They loved it.


So cool!


I loved this book too and just found out a bunch of my friends loved it when they were kids too. My one friend actually went on to work at a museum, she loved it so much.


I remember that book from when I was a kid, too. Read it at least a couple of times.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.