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.)
Growing up I was a bookaholic. I was the kid that had a flashlight hiding under my covers to sneak in a few more chapters after mom called "lights out" and read series after series, unable to wait to be able to read more. My husband is the opposite. He disliked school and read as little as absolutely possible. Two kids later and we have one that has a passion for reading like I do, and one that doesn't hate it, but would rather listen to an audiobook over having to decode the words himself. After discovering "beTWEEN the Bookends,"my youngest son has grown a little more excited about reading, because now fun prizes are involved. Not only have the books been perfectly suited to his ability, but the stories themselves have been engaging and fun. Because this is a subscription geared towards girls, we have received a few lifestyle items that he didn't want, but that just means I get to keep them for myself or bring them to school to put in the prize bin for someone else. Either way, all of the contents have been truly enjoyed and appreciated. After enjoying last month's "Summertime Fun" theme, we couldn't wait to see what was packed in this month's "Back to School" box. 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. Adorbs!
Here's What's Inside
This month's welcome note includes the theme title "Back to School" 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.
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Too Much Good Luck by Ellen Potter - Retail Value $16.53
As far as Piper Green is concerned, the day started out lucky: • Lucky thing #1: Her mom is painting Piper’s bedroom her favorite color. • Lucky thing #2: Piper found a perfect strawberry at breakfast. • Lucky thing #3: Piper lost a tooth. And as everyone knows, tooth + tooth fairy = ka-ching! There’s just one problem. According to her friend Jacob, too much good luck can sometimes equal bad luck. And when Piper gets to school that day, Bad Luck is waiting for her. Will the Fairy Tree in Piper’s front yard be enough to break her unlucky streak?
Recently Charlie discovered the Junie B. Jones series via audiobook, and he love, love, loved it! Every time we got in the car, we had to read another Junie. I'm saying this because the "Piper Green and the Fairy Tree" book is written in a similar tone, and Charlie was all for it. Piper is kind of a hoot, and this easy-to-read chapter book made Charlie feel very accomplished at reading. Discovering this was the 2nd book of the series, you can bet what his on his next book request list!
Classroom 13! 3 Books in 1 by Honest Lee and Matthew Gilbert - Retail Value $8.99
The Classroom 13 series is about the students of a very unlucky classroom. The first title starts when unlucky teacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse wins the lottery and shares her winnings with her class -- giving each student over a BILLION DOLLARS! You might think this was nice, but it was not. It was a nasty idea. As the students of Classroom 13 are about to learn, winning the lottery is not always lucky, and will lead to many disastrous moments in the future. The easy-to-read chapters are full of humor, action, secret codes, and fun -- and will prompt hours of conversation among friends, families, and classmates. The final chapter encourages young readers to write their own chapter and send it in to the author, Honest Lee. This book includes The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13, The Disastrous Magical Wishes of Classroom 13, and The Fantastic and Terrible Fame of Classroom 13.
I'll admit, when Charlie first took a look at this book he whined "this one is too big!!" When I shared with him it was actually three stories in one, he felt a little better, but was still a bit overwhelmed. With a little bit smaller print and bigger words than the Piper book, we have started reading this one out loud together. Hilarious and quirky, this book was perfect for my goofy little boy, and we can't wait to check out the other two stories.
Ripple Art Book by Tim Bugbird - Retail Value $9.99
Get creative with this gorgeous book for inspired kids. With helpful starter points and plenty of space to carry on your own designs, this book is sure to keep kids busy. Each page has a few cool shapes to give a good starting point for your doodling. All you have to do is continue the pictures in ripples across the page, and watch your patterns intersect with each other until you have a masterpiece. With a fabulous four-color pen included, you can choose how to direct your doodles, and the patterns created can be decorated however you like.
As an art fanatic and because I am a pre-teen girl at heart, I loved this Ripple Art book. Coming with a set of 5 connectable markers, this is basically a really well thought out doodle pad. Getting you started with cutesy clipart and designs, let your imagination run wild and add to these neat pages. While Charlie appreciated some of the pages more than others, we kept this at home to work on together after a long day at school. This sort of unstructured art does wonders for getting a kid to talk about their day!
Freshie Sachet - Emma Jean's Creations
Charlie was definitely intrigued when he saw this yellow satchel full of gel beads and was hoping it was some sort of bath product. Not meant for the bath, this sachet was sent to be placed in your backpack to help decrease odors. Now, as a mother of 2 boys and an educator of students K-12, I can tell you backpacks (and kids) stink! Scented like "Fruit Stripes" these beads seriously smell like that of the "Fruit Stripes" gum I grew up chewing. It is very potent at first, and Charlie thought it was a little overbearing for his backpack, so we stuck it on the top of my bookshelf in my classroom until it airs out a bit. Clever inclusion, though!
The next item we received in this month's box was a yellow school themed lanyard. With adorable clip art, and a detachable keychain, Charlie hung his name tag on it for the first day back.
Reusable Snack Pouch
Last year Charlie ate hot lunch at school because it was convenient, and it was free to all students. This year he requested cold lunch, and I obliged under the conditions that he has to help me make the lunches, which of course he was on board for. With plastic sandwich baggies on my shopping list, I was able to cross it off and use this cute C. S. Lewis quote filled reusable bag. While it isn't lined on the inside, it is perfect for dry snacks that won't ooze through the fabric. Cute and functional- a great addition to a great box.
Dog Man Flash Card Game
Charlie is heading into second grade and loves Dog Man. He was very pumped to see these flash cards with the characters he knows and loves. While he knew all of the sight words, him and Hank played the "Rock, Paper, Scissors" game, and then we brought them to my classroom so all kids can use them.
Charlie isn't much into unicorns, so this pen was a mom gift. With inspirational quotes, you click the pen to write, and click it again to change the quote. While most 34-year-old women may shy away from such a loud pen, you can bet I used it all week and enjoyed every second of it!
Pencil Shaped Lip Gloss - Thyme at the Farm
How stinking cute is this?! Pencil shaped lip gloss?! Are you kidding?! Charlie was jealous, as he was hoping this would be ChapStick, and that would be something he would use, but lip gloss was a no go for him. Guess what? Mom has a new lip gloss and like the pen, I have brought it to school and have gotten so many compliments on the packaging. This sub box has me covered!
Monthly Sticker Pack - Salem Bows and More
Pretty consistently we receive a monthly sticker pack with this subscription, and this month's stickers featured dressed up frogs ready to go to school. Colorful and quirky, we have set them aside for now, but I'm sure they will be stuck to something very soon....
Matching the stickers, we also received a monthly pin with a baby frog holding what looks to be a little lunchbox or backpack. Simple and sweet, this little guy makes me smile just looking at him. Typically, I stick these little pins on my jean jacket to coordinate with certain outfits, but I might just add a magnet on the back so I can display them all on my white board at school. What do you think?
Power Up Highlighter
The last item we received this month was very unique. Designed to look like a gaming control, this heavy little piece actually turns out to be a highlighter! When you break it apart, the cap comes off and voila, there is the pink highlighter. Surprisingly Charlie's favorite color is pink, but he didn't really have a use for a highlighter, so I sat it on my desk for when I am creating lists and honestly as a conversation piece!
Every month the full-size beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader box brings its "A" game, and this month was no exception. With entertaining books and delightful lifestyle items, it's not only fun for Charlie to open and enjoy, but for me as well. I am continually impressed with the interesting themes and curations and get almost giddy when I see it sitting on my doorstep. Reading can be a challenge, and this box helps make it fun. While I don't want to rush through September, I'm already looking forward to seeing just what they have in store for the "Bookish Halloween" box! What do you think they 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 $4.16 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?