OwlCrate Jr Book Box Review + Coupon – March 2021
FYI, COVID-19 Updates: You can find OwlCrate shipping updates right here.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About OwlCrate Jr
The Subscription Box: OwlCrate Jr
The Cost: $29.99 per month + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
COUPON: Use code JRMSA2021 to save 10% off your first order.
The Products: You will receive one hardcover middle-grade book plus assorted gender-neutral book-related items.
Ships to: The U.S. for $8.99, Canada for $14.99, and varying international rates
OwlCrate Jr March 2021 “Elephants on Parade” Review
This month our theme is “Elephants on Parade” and seeing as elephants are my favorite animal, I was so excited for this theme! This little magazine highlights all of the items included in our box and includes an interview with the author, some information on their monthly photo challenge, and a “creativity corner.”
The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan – Retail Value $17.99
How beautiful is this cover? I love the colors and the gorgeous silhouettes! It’s a work of art!
It’s been almost a year since Sila’s mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States.
The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.
I absolutely loved this sweet book and I found it to be a very quick and easy read. Sila is dealing with the fact that her mother who was supposed to be gone just a few days has now been gone for months due to an issue with her immigration documents. She has become withdrawn and lonely, not showing much interest in anything until she forms a friendship with an older man, Gio, who happens to be the widow of her second-grade teacher. The two form a quick bond while her father works on Gio’s truck and soon their friendship becomes a partnership when Gio purchases an elephant and Sila and a boy with autism whom she has been paired with at school, take on the big job of helping to dispose of Veda the elephant’s large droppings. The way the characters interact with one another and with the animals shows care, understanding, and compassion and the ending made my eyes tear up. The real magic of this book is how these relationships evolve and the linear, yet organic way the characters all come together as if everything is meant to be and it is pure kismet. I loved it!
This book does touch on some more heavy topics like immigration and autism, but it’s done in a matter-of-fact way that doesn’t talk down to the readers, but instead brings awareness to these issues and opens it up to explore further if you wanted to. They do not shy away from handling these more adult themes, but they present them objectively and in a way that may make readers curious, but doesn’t require them to research it to understand the gist of what is going on.
Our letter from the author is especially gorgeous this month with a beautiful drawing from the author’s husband on the back. We also received a signed bookplate.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate – Retail Value $8.99
I was so excited to receive this book! I’ve heard such good things about it, but haven’t gotten around to actually ordering it or reading it yet. I’m glad that I have another elephant-themed book to read now that I’ve just finished the first one!
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.
OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Bookmark & Donation
This bookmark, in addition to being beautifully designed by @daughter_earth_illustrations, also mentions that a donation was made by Penguin Random House Canada to the elephant advocacy group, Elephanatics.org. I love this idea, especially considering the important theme our story had with regards to how animals are cared for!
Aurora Mini Flopsie Stuffed Elephant – Retail Value $10.99
This cute elephant stuffie measures about 8 inches and is so soft and cuddly! Her name is Ellie and she has already been adopted (stolen!) by my daughter. This adorable elephant should make anyone smile, and even though we can’t have a real elephant like the one in our story, I think this will make a great backup…and one with a lot less clean up!
OOLY Eraser Zoo Elephant – Retail Value $2.99
This giant elephant eraser is so cool! I definitely will be putting it up for display instead of using it. But I can already see the way my sons are eyeing it. I’ll have to protect him from those dangerous little poachers!
Elephant Gel Pen
This simple gel pen has the cutest little cap with an elephant head on it. It writes smoothly and will be so cute sitting in my pencil cup!
OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Sticker
Each box includes a collectible sticker that fits with the monthly theme. This happy elephant was designed by @daughter_earth_illustrations, who also designed our bookmark.
Verdict: I was so excited for this month’s OwlCrate Jr theme knowing elephants were involved and I love that they sent two great elephant-themed books! In addition to the two books, we also received a stuffed elephant, an eraser, a pen, a collectible sticker, and a bookmark, which comes to a total of $40.96 for the items I could get retail values on (less with sale prices). While I did really love the book and especially this whole theme, I found myself wishing there was just one more cute elephant item in this box! Although, I think it is easy to forget that a donation was made to Elephanatics.org, so I know that adds some value to this $38.98 ($29.99 + $8.99 shipping) box!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you’ll get the April box—and there’s no waitlist at the time of publication!
COUPON: Use code JRMSA2021 to save 10% off your first order.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $29.99 + $8.99 shipping. We received 7 items, meaning each item has an average value of about $5.57.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of OwlCrate Jr?