beTWEEN the Bookends is the first monthly book and lifestyle box created for kids by a teen herself! Boxes follow a monthly theme and contain age-appropriate books and lifestyle items that have been read and hand tested by Jillian, the 14-year-old creator. Full size boxes contain 2-3 books and 6-8 lifestyle items, while mini boxes include 1 book and 3-5 lifestyle items. The new gender-neutral boxes will contain the same 2-3 books in the full boxes but will have only 3-5 gender neutral lifestyle items.
The Cost: $50.00 per month for the full-size box + free US shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
Note: beTWEEN the Bookends is launching a new website and raising prices for new customers on June 1. Existing customers will continue to get the current rate.
This review is of the beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Full Size box.
This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
If you don't already know, I have worked in a public school for going on 4 years, so reading and learning is an absolute passion of mine. While I definitely passed on reading as a hobby to my oldest son, my 7-year-old isn't quite as excited about it. This spring, I discovered the subscription "beTWEEN the Bookends" and it has really made an impact. Because it comes with age-appropriate books and lifestyle items, we have turned this experience into a bit of a reward system. Each month's theme is perfectly curated and though some of the items in the full-sized box are extra girly, that just means I get to either keep them for myself or bring to school for my prize bin. Either way, they are being appreciated and enjoyed. After adoring last month's box, we couldn't wait to dive in and see what goodies this month's box contained. Read below to find out what we discovered.
As the full-size box is curated with girls in mind, this version comes wrapped in bright pink tissue paper featuring a pigtail-donning cartoon sticker. So cute!
Here's What's Inside
This month's welcome note includes the theme title "Summertime Fun" and included three book titles, and all of the extra goodies, designating if they are from small shops or not. Along with this month's contents, also listed is the theme for next month's box, and the beTWEEN the Bookends social media info.
Amelia Bedelia Sets Sail by Herman Parish - Retail Value $4.99 (found here for $4.24)
Amelia Bedelia and her mother share a summer vacation home at the shore with her aunt Mary (her mother's sister) and her cousin Jason, who has a wicked sense of adventure and a nose for trouble. With a local girl named Pearl as guide, the cousins build sandcastles, swim and body surf, and learn how to sail. As much fun as their nautical adventures are, the lives of this trio get way more exciting when they stumble upon pirates! Short, fast-paced chapters, tons of friends and funny situations, and black-and-white illustrations on every page make the Amelia Bedelia chapter books an ideal choice for readers of the Ivy + Bean, Magic Tree House, and Judy Moody books. The Amelia Bedelia books have sold more than 35 million copies!
Best suited for students 6-10 years old, the Amelia Bedelia series is a classic. Charlie is obsessed with the Magic Tree House series, and recently finished up the Junie B. Jones series, so he had been looking for something a bit along those lines to read next, as he really enjoyed them. Amelia Bedelia hadn't really been on our radar, so we were excited to check it out. Noticing they also have a bunch of these books available via audiobook through our local library, you can bet our daily carpool will be very well-versed with Amelia by the end of the school year. A great way to introduce a new fun series, Charlie and I enjoyed reading this softcover copy!
You Are Magic - A Guided Journal - Retail Value $12.99 (found here for $6.50)
Are you a unicorn, llamacorn, or narwhal at heart? Get to know yourself—and your friends—with this two-color, glittery guided journal based on the personality traits of three super-popular creatures! Are you on a creative quest to stand out like a unicorn? Are you a born leader who’s loyal to the herd like a llamacorn? Or are you chill and go-with-the-flow like a narwhal? Take the quiz at the beginning of this book to find out! Then follow the prompts to write, doodle, and create while you explore your strengths and discover how truly magical you are. Full of prompts to spark imagination, mindfulness, and confidence, this journal will help you live your best life and be your best self—no matter what your personal strengths may be!
As a 34-year-old woman, I love this guided journal. Though I didn't write the answers down in the book, I did take the quiz to find out I am a mix between a llamacorn and narwhal. The characteristics were pretty darn spot on, and I am loving the customized approach it offers to actually filling out the journal. Because this is a more girly item in this month's box, Charlie passed it on to me pretty quickly. I found this journal really self-reflective and helpful for the age group it is suggested for (7-12), and as much as I wanted to start filling it out for myself, I have a student in mind who will go nuts for this copy. A great inclusion, and one that will be helpful and uplifting to our preteen girls!
Drew Pendous: Travels to Ancient Egypt by David Lewman - Retail Value $6.95
When the Cool School takes a field trip to the art museum, they notice something strange: the Sphinx is missing his nose! Drew Pendous uses his Mighty Pen Ultimate to sketch a time machine, and he and Ella travel back to ancient Egypt to investigate. It turns out Drew’s evil twin Ray Blank has rewritten history by erasing the nose! Can Drew and Ella stop Ray and set the timeline straight? This very young graphic novel is lots of fun!
Like I mentioned above, sometimes it is a fight to get Charlie to read. Don't get me wrong, he will listen to audiobooks for hours on end, and will even look at picture books voluntarily, but to actually have him sit down and read out loud is a struggle. While we are familiar with graphic novels, we hadn't heard of the "Cool School" series, so this was another welcome surprise. Charlie has discovered a fascination of agates recently, so reading about the museum and Ancient Egypt had him hooked. Colorful, easy to read, and exciting this book reminded me a little bit of the Geronimo Stilton graphic novels, and we loved it!
Extendable Marshmallow Roaster
Charlie was thrilled when he opened up this box and discovered a customized marshmallow roasting stick! With the adorable quote "Read S'more Books" he couldn't wait to test this out around the campfire. Because he is s'more obsessed, he has dutifully tested this out multiple times.
As we all know, Charlie loves keychains, and this popsicle version was so realistic and cute! Being tiny in size, it was the perfect addition to his back-to-school backpack. Another perfect addition to this already great "summertime fun" themed box.
Mermaid Squish Pen
A squishy pen!! I can honestly say I have never seen a pen quite like this one in my 34 years. Large and in charge, this ombre-colored mermaid tail relieves stress while writing. The pen itself has the ability to be taken out once out of ink and exchanged with a new one. Because of its sheer size, I plan on having this beside my sign-in clipboard at open house, to keep my Bics safe from wandering off.
Hooray for bath items! Charlie loves bath items, and this layered sugar scrub was one of his favorite additions. Because he read 3 chapters of the "Drew Pendous: Travels to Ancient Egypt" book, I allowed him to pick an item from the box, and this was his choice. Layered with lemon, orange, and "monkey farts," we had a lot of giggles because of this scrub. Being very helpful in scrubbing the garden dirt off Charlie's feet, it was deliciously citrusy, and fun to use.
Monthly Sticker Pack
Sticking with the summertime theme, we also received a pack of bright and cheery stickers. I love the fact this subscription utilizes small shops, and love stickers. Hank and Charlie can't wait to add these to their school notebooks to brighten them up and make them their own.
Ice Cream Erasers
Going into second grade, Charlie burns through erasers like nobody's business. Almost every one of our pencils at home is eraser-less, so these came at the perfect time. Super cute and functional, the cone and top can be taken apart, and helps make writing (and making mistakes) more enjoyable. Charlie has already stashed the blue and green cone into his pencil box to bring with to school.
Summer is all about ice cream, isn't it? These plastic hooks are really cute, but I do wish they explained what types of surfaces the stickies can stick too. Because we hung new drywall in our house, we are very cautious about what we stick to it, so Charlie asked if he could bring this to school to stick in his locker instead.
Beaded Bracelet Set
Another win for mom! How cute are these simplistic beaded bracelets? I create a lot of jewelry via seed beads, so I appreciate all jewelry. These stretchy bands are quite large, with the white and gold string big enough for my ankle. I have worn these a couple of times and have already received compliments. While it wasn't Charlie's cup of tea, it sure was an exciting inclusion for mom!
Fun for both mom and son, the full-size beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader box is a great subscription to widen your reading horizons with the inclusion of fun themed lifestyle items. This month Charlie loved 2 out of the 3 books, and a few of the lifestyle items. While this month was a little heavier on the "girly" items than some months, that meant I was able to have a few things for myself – hellllllooo bracelets – and that I was also able to share them with others (I'm talking about you, journal)! I continue to be impressed with the relevant and fun themes this box offers, and though I don't want summer to end, am excited to see just what the "Back to School" themed box has in store. What do you think next month's box will include?
The beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Full-Sized box costs $50.00 per month, including shipping. Because most items were small shop created specifically for this box, I wasn't able to calculate an accurate value estimate, but dividing it by the items we received equals to about $4.54 a piece. Because of the thoughtful curation, fun theme, and enjoyable products, I feel the $50.00 price range is definitely fair for the quality of this box and the number of items.
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Other Things You Should Know
What did you think of the beTWEEN the Bookends full-sized box?