First Impressions is a series that introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers' requests for an insider's first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you'd like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.
Hullabaloo Book Co. is a women-owned children's book shop that sources the best-quality picture books that you can shop, gift, or receive on a monthly basis. All the books you'll find at Hullabaloo have been sourced with consideration to these attributes: Kindness, Curiosity, Intelligence, Imagination, Bravery, and Empathy. They also have a focus on inclusive narratives and characters, and lifting others up. This subscription is meant for kids ages 0-8.
For $1.95 you can add a customized book plate (a sticker that indicates it's yours), whether you're shopping, gifting, or subscribing to Hullabaloo.
Today I'll be unboxing the Club Hullabaloo subscription box featuring TWO books, for $25.95 per month. Note that the two books will always include a picture book and a board book. So while this subscription is meant for children ages 0-8, parents might want to consider subscribing to the one-book tier if they have child age 5-8 and the two-book tier if they have both a baby 0-4 and an older child.
The Cost: $19.95 per month for ONE book, $25.95 per month for TWO books. US shipping calculated based on weight.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
What's Inside The Hullabaloo Book Co. Subscription Box?
One thing can be said for sure about Club Hullabaloo: everything about this box feels like a celebration. Every corner of this experience, from the box itself to the treasures within are bursting with fun illustrations, colors, and messaging. When you open your box, you'll be greeted by a colorful card welcoming you to the experience. On the flip side is some info about what you'll find, including titles and descriptions for each of the books and a little about the activities that accompany them.
If It's Gifted
If you plan to send this subscription as a gift, here's a sample of what your recipient will receive. The card itself appears to be letterpress, which is pretty cool. Open it up (it's blank inside) and you'll find a colorable post card and a sheet of fun, bright stickers inside. The "thank you" post card would be so cute to mail to whomever sent your child the box—what a clever touch.
Underneath all the "paperwork" is the fun stuff. Let's dig in.
First, The Fun Extras
First-time subscribers and gift recipients will receive this natural cotton tote bag. It's printed with navy blue ink on both sides. On one side, there's space to write in your kid's name with Sharpie; on the other side is a cloud of illustrations to span interests.
Coloring Pages, Activity Cards, and Craft
Before you even get to the books, there's so much fun stuff to do. First up is this colorable poster that also serves as a fill-in-the-blank summertime bucket list. I am so enthusiastic about this multi-faceted activity! You can color it, you can brainstorm ways to beat boredom, and you can then go on and check each item off your family's to-do list. The paper is durable, but it's not shiny, so any coloring implement (markers, colored pencils, or crayons) would work with it.
Next up is a stack of cards that they call an "activity pack." Of course there's a place to write in your child's name! The corner of each of the six cards is punched so that you can use string, a zip-tie, or ribbon—maybe even the one that was wrapped around everything in the box—to bind them. Each card as a call-to-action like "make something," "do something nice," or "learn something." And on the back is a game, recipe, or activity. Each monthly box comes with an Activity Pack (note that the 2-book box only has one Activity Pack), so your child's booklet of ideas will keep growing. Where was this when I was a kid? I often felt under-stimulated on summer break, until I found The Daring Book for Girls, which is basically a book version of this pack.
Alongside the Activity Pack come two printed pages that pair with some of the cards. One has a summer seek-and-find game. You may be sensing the theme that this page is colorable. I think that's really smart—coloring is a great activity for kids to do solo or with an adult, and plus, coloring is only one facet of each page. Another contains lemonade-themed tic-tac-toe squares that can be cut out and used with a card.
Finally we're sent this sunshine magnet craft. It's really simple and fit for all ages, especially the younger ones. The kid includes pre-cut foam and paper pieces, googly eyes, a magnet strip, and mess-free sticker squares to stick it all together. The smile is already printed onto one of the foam pieces to get you started. My older daughter is about to turn 4 and this is a great age-appropriate craft for her with my guidance. For a kid who's a couple years older, they could do it themselves.
Now For the Books
Hullabaloo provides us with so many cute activities I almost forgot this subscription is actually about books!
Hooray For Sunny Days! by Susan Kantor (Author) and Katya Longhi (Illustrator) — Retail Value $7.99
The first book sent in this month's two-book subscription is a board book that celebrates summertime. Each page shows vibrant illustrations of summer scenes with metallic touches, and a simple line offering something worth saying "hooray" about. My daughters are nearly 4 and just-turned-1, and honestly, both of them like this book. I couldn't have anticipated how long my older daughter would continue to appreciate board books. Whereas with a baby you might flip through the pages quickly to try to hold their interest, my toddler appreciates having a book's pictures spread out in front of her and exploring all the details. She found some of those details quite amusing; the book's text was just a bonus.
This subscription is meant for ages 0-8, but it does say on the Hullabaloo website that the two-book tier will always include a picture book and a board book. So, as I mentioned in the intro of this review, I would say adults who are signing up for an older child should go for the one-book tier. Parents and caregivers (and gift-givers) of multiple children including a younger child and an older child might enjoy the two-book tier reviewed here, as a board book might be underwhelming for an average eight-year-old.
It Began With Lemonade by Gideon Sterer (Author) and Lian Cho (Illustrator) — Retail Value $17.99 (on sale for $14.99)
The second book included—and the only book if you're subscribing to the one-book tier—is meant for the older end of the suggested age range. If the board book was bright and detailed, this one is that on turbo power. It features incredibly complex illustrations of great saturation, setting the perfect sun-soaked vibe for a storyline about a lemonade stand.
"One scorching hot summer day, a spunky young girl decides to sell lemonade . . . only to find there are too many other young entrepreneurs on her street with the same idea. So she sets off with her lemonade stand and ends up at the river's edge, where she discovers a most unexpected, quirky, and very thirsty clientele."
This book is wildly imaginative, starting us off anchored in reality and then slowly veering toward fantasy. I love reading stories like this to my daughter and keeping an eye on her face as she slowly realizes that the tale is transitioning into a dreamier realm. Kids love the absurd, as is evidenced by the ongoing popularity of Goodnight Moon, and this picture book leans right into that. It was a hit here.
Tucked inside the cover of this book was a small card describing the attribute that's most represented within. I find that to be such a well-thought-out touch by Hullabaloo; proof that they truly are considering these virtues that they claim as their core values.
And in the background of the photo above, you can see an example of what a customized book plate might look like. You'll notice that you can indicate the child's name, and if you wish, you can also include a note and a signature. This costs $1.95 and can be included in any purchase, be it from the shop, a gift subscription, or a regular subscription.
Value - Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost:$19.95 per month for ONE book, $25.95 per month for TWO books. US shipping calculated based on weight.
Club Hullabaloo is completely worth it! I would use more exclamation points if it were more widely accepted! Every detail of this subscription is thought through, not to mention the hard fact that the retail value is there. This review features the two-book subscription ($25.95/month)—the books themselves if purchased separately add up to $25.98, which breaks even with the cost of the box. If you purchase from Amazon, you'll save a few bucks, but if I were to pluck these titles off the book shelf at a local bookstore, would they come with a tote, an activity pack that my kids can keep revisiting, a coloring poster that doubles as a family activity, and a craft? Likely not. I should say: we do love supporting our local bookstore, and everyone should definitely do that—but I personally am not doing it with a toddling 1-year-old right now!
This subscription is quality, the activities are adorable, the value is there, and the convenience can't be beat. This is one literacy-centered, women-owned business I would gladly support on an ongoing basis.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes! As of publication, this box is still available. If you sign up now, you will be charged now for your first box and on the 1st of every month after.
What do you think of the Hullabaloo Book Club's offerings? Click below to write a review!
Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.