We love chatting about children’s books in general, and our subscriptions in particular. Attending events is a great chance for us to meet parents, teachers and anyone else with an interest in children’s books and reading habits. They’re a great chance for us to listen to what people are saying about reading and our product, but we also learn a lot from the questions that people ask us. Here are five of the ones we hear most often (and our answers!):
So, how does it work?
We’re a children’s book subscription service. Every month our subscribers receive a parcel through the post containing a chapter book to keep and an activity pack that we’ve designed to accompany it, inspired by the content of that book. Our subscriptions are suitable for children roughly 5 to 11-years-old and within that there are two different reading groups to choose from: Parakeets are roughly 5 to 8 and Cockatoos 8 to 11, though it all depends on reading ability and confidence. Everyone in each category receives the same book, so there’s great scope for groups of friends to discuss what they’ve read or do the activities together.
Do you read the books?
Absolutely, and it’s one of the best parts of the job! Every book we send has been read by both of us at least once, along with a lot of other books that aren’t selected for whatever reason. We would never send a title that we wouldn’t happily read with, or give to, our own children.
How do you choose the books?
We are constantly on the hunt for new and exciting books that are, for whatever reason, flying under the radar. We scour the trade press and have built great relationships with a wide range of publishers, including a lot of tiny independents. Having compiled our longlist of titles we then read as many as we can and come up with a list of books for each reading group that will give a good variety month to month. For more on the criteria we use to select our books, check out our recent post here.
Are you teachers?
No, we aren’t, though we work with an advisory board made up of teachers and an educational psychologist. Sarah is a publisher and, prior to having children, Emily worked in events. Though we know our books and activity packs are being used in schools, we didn’t set out to make an educational product. In fact, we’re keen that the experience of being in our book club doesn’t feel like school! We make it clear that the book club-style questions we include with each pack don’t have any right or wrong answers, and steer clear of activities that feel similar to homework. It’s all about having fun and getting children talking and thinking about different books.
How much is it?
The million-dollar question! We offer 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions and if you opt in for a year the price starts at just £12 per month, which includes UK shipping. Find out more about what we do here.