It’s no surprise that, because I love book subscription boxes for myself, that when Riley started to get a bit older I began my search for the best book subscription boxes for kids so that Riley could get fun book mail and get new books, too.
It’s our fun little treat since we do a lot of our picture book reading from the library (and then I buy the ones we like the most) and we’ve gotten a bunch as gifts since I ask for them often.
Why do I love book subscriptions boxes so much?
- I love that these boxes are curated by people who KNOW and love children’s books. The selections in these boxes are always surprising me with books I wouldn’t have otherwise heard of and I say that as someone who is immersed in the book world. They take such care in picking out great books for the age groups.
- It’s a time saver: I love looking for new books for Riley and I to read together but sometimes it takes so much time and energy to wade through every book on there and find new ones to get and I love that new books show up without me having to think about them and make YET ONE MORE DECISION IN LIFE. I love browsing a bookstore but sometimes I just want the convenience one of these monthly kids book boxes provide.
- Fun book mail tradition each month: Riley learned pretty quickly what these boxes meant when they showed up. We had such fun opening the mail and being excited about the new books and reading them together immediately. Riley’s a voracious book lover already but I think this kind of excitement could help reluctant readers feel like it’s a special thing to be excited about…a new tradition each month of getting these new and exciting books.
- They allow me to get books for a little bit cheaper: Books can be expensive (and can add up quickly for avid readers!) and I like the value these boxes provide vs if I bought these outright.
- I also find that these children’s book subscription boxes are the PERFECT (and unique) gift ideas for kids who have a ton of toys and I always put a new one on our Christmas and birthday list every year so we can try them all out. So when I say we’ve tried a lot of book of the month subscription boxes for kids….we’ve tried A LOT OF THEM.
Obviously my experience with them has just been for babies and toddlers…and now preschool age since Riley turned 3. So primarily I’m going to be talking about the picture book boxes for little kids and just know that I’m going to be speaking from the lens of little readers from baby to preschool. I can’t comment on the older age range.
I’m going to just be speaking on the five that I think were the best in my experience of all the ones we tried.
What makes a good subscription box for me personally (and what you’ll find my best curated by):
- reasonably priced
- diversity and inclusion in books picked is very important to me
- feeling like we often find new favorites or quality books we are happy are in our collection
- feeling like they are age and developmentally appropriate for the early years is important to me
- good customer service and overall experience
I’ve seen a lot of other lists out there, when I started my deep dive into finding these, where they share like 15 or 20 “best book subscription boxes for kids” and it always overwhelmed and frustrated me a little to wade through them all so I’ve done that for you with ONLY my top 5 favorites.
Sure, there’s a lot out there I could tell you about….but where to even begin with a list of 20??? I don’t have time for that. I don’t need every picture book box that is in existence. I just wanted someone’s absolute top favorites narrowed down to start with.
So I’m doing that for you. I’ll list some other options at the end so you know you have options but I don’t want to overwhelm you and I just want to share the ones that we loved over and over again… from one mom to another.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.
Best Children’s Book Subscription Boxes
As I said above my focus is on book subscription boxes for little kids (baby, toddler, preschool). There are other great subscription boxes out there for big kid readers but this is the scope of my opinion.
Bookroo is the one I found & subscribed to first and we are still so in love with this one. It’s been a staple since she was a a baby and I’ve been impressed as we’ve moved up boxes as she’s gotten older.
Age Range: 0-3 years, 3-6 years, 7-12 years
What You Get: 3 board books or 2 hardcover books or 2 chapter books
Price: As low as $16.95 per month
What stands out to me: It truly is a well-oiled machine at this point — they KNOW what they are doing. And their picks are fantastic — one of the best in terms of sending really great books that we don’t own or are new-to-us. Truly one of the top book subscription boxes for babies and toddlers in my experience for someone, like us, who own a lot of picture books and are really looking for a children’s book club box that gets an A+ from me on discoverability of new and fresh choices. Check out my full review of Bookroo (look for an update on this soon because we are trying out the early chapter books since my daughter is in to them lately!)
New: Bookroo now has their own Bookroo custom editions of the books they send out and we just received some of them in our last box and they are really nice! I like that they are uniform so aesthetically, when grouped on a shelf, they line up nicely and they made them with the spines facing out in mind so you’ll get a variety of beautiful colors.
It’s a nice touch to have these unique and custom book redesigns– adds a special touch to having the subscription rather than having the book you can buy elsewhere. As far as I’ve seen so far the actual cover art is the same, it’s more the spine and sizing that changes.
I’m not sure how long these custom editions will be happening for but I know it’s for the foreseeable future as they designed them as a set in mind for the next year.
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This is a brand new addition to this post and I’m going to be shouting it from the rooftops!
One of my favorite book box subscriptions for kids to recommend was Lillypost and I was gutted when they shut down this year. Imagine my delight when I found a worthy replacement that — honestly? — I love even more.
Age Range: 0-3 years (WobbleCaptain club), 4-7 years (CuriousCaptain Club)
What You Get: 3 board books or 2-3 picture books (plus an activity guide and sometimes other things like a bookmark or stickers)
Price: Starts at $19.95 per month
What stands out to me: Two things — the fact each month is themed + their mission/view on “books as windows/portals to the world”
The first thing that struck me about this one when I was introduced to them is their mission because it aligns so much with how I’ve approached cultivating Riley’s love for books/reading and how I use books as a tool for so much more in my parenting journey.
They understand the value of “books as a portal to understand our amazing world” which is huge to me as someone who has also used books to help Riley view the world, learn things and have conversations about all sorts of things like emotions, current events and more.
Their selections reinforce this mission/value so incredibly well — diverse, interesting topics explored, adventurous. Things I don’t always see in other book boxes for kids as well as selections that are new & exciting for even super readers like us.
The other thing that stands out to me is that every month there is a theme to explore. It could be exploring a a new place (the Japan box was fantastic!) or some sort of concept in an interesting way (sports & rain were two I can think of this year!).
This is different than all the other book boxes for kids out there and it’s a huge selling point to me. You could incorporate this book box into homeschooling or just any sort of themed month of play/learning/exploring.
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I absolutely love this one — a little feminist book club for littles of any gender to help raise a kind and inclusive kid one book at a time. It is on the pricier end of what I will pay for what you get (unless you are on the yearly plan) but I just appreciate what they are doing here and their thoughtful selections that allow for great discussion and exposure to an inclusive world.
Age Range: 0-3 years old, 3-7 years old, 7-9 years old
What You Get: 2 board books or 1 picture book, 2 paperback books or 1 hardcover book. They all come with an activity, discussion card/reading tips and a parent card to explain why they chose it.
Price: As low as $19.75
What stands out to me: The picks are FABULOUS as well as inclusive and diverse. I was really happy with them and I love how thoughtful all the materials that accompany the books were. We’ve gotten so many books that have and will be able to start so many important conversations.
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Looking for a kids book subscription box whose focus IS on diversity and inclusive stories? This one is a fantastic one!
Age Range: 0-2 years, 2-5 years, 5-8 years
What You Get: Depends on which box you pick — 1 book box, 3 book box, 5 book box
Price: Starting as low as $12.99
What stands out to me: I love how diverse and inclusive this box is. That’s really important to me in building Riley’s library personally. Not only that but this is a quarterly box instead of monthly which I think is a great option if the monthly book clubs are too much for you!
I love that the Reading Bug Box (adorable branding IMO) is a book subscription box BY an independent bookstore called The Reading Bug that’s out of California. They KNOW their picture books!
Age Range: 0-30 months (curated), 0-4 years (personalized), 5-8 years (personalized) and 8-13 years (personalized)
What You Get: 3- 4 books typically depending on your chosen package
Price: Starting at $18 month for the curated box and starting at $27 for the personalized
What stands out to me: Besides the fact it is owned by and supports an independent bookstore, this one is a little bit more personalized to your child. They are handpicked! You fill out a form and there is an open paragraph so you can note things like if diversity is important to you or you can share titles they really love, etc. This is why I was willing to pay a little bit more for this one! Right now they also have one off grab bag care packages which I think is a fun gift idea!
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I really, really try not to use Amazon as much as possible when it comes to books because I try to support independent bookstores and I prefer to support small businesses but the Amazon Kids Book Box is one I did check out because I was curious and I DID find it to be really good. They tend to pick books that are a little more popular which I think is good if you don’t already have quite a vast library with well known titles but I was impressed with what books they did.
What stood out to me: Besides solid choices, I also really appreciated that they showed you, as the parent, what the book selections would be each month so you can swap them. The first month I signed up we already had both selections but I swapped both of them easily and got 2 books we didn’t own.
Price: $16.99 for your first box, renews at $19.99
What you get: either 2 hardcover books or 4 board books (I thought this was an amazing value for the board book box especially)
Ages: Baby to 2 years, 3 – 5 years, 6-8 years, 9-12 years
Frequency: once a month option, every 2 months, every 3 months (I loved this ability to easily change the frequency)
Best for: people who want something seamless and easy with their Prime account, people who want to be able to see the picks ahead of time and swap out
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Others that are good options:
- Owl Post Books: I only did the book box but they have a cool box where there’s a themed toy and a more interactive box plus the books.
- My Book Box: This is a fun box if you want to get a book for yourself and a book for your kid! Much more custom than most! I just found I preferred my other boxes for myself and wanted just a kid’s one but this is a good box.
- Elephant Books: A good one for littles ages 0 to 6.
- Literati: This one is cool but just wasn’t my thing. It’s like the Stitchfix model where you try it before you buy it and send back what you don’t want.
Ones I’m wanting to try:
- WAM Book Bundle: This one is another that is dedicated to sending diverse and inclusive titles and is a Black-owned kid’s book subscription box.
- Kid Curated Books: A more personalized one!
- Jambo Book Box: Another Black-owned diversity focused monthly book club I really wanna try!
- Bookarey Box: Books + baking. I’m waiting til Riley is a little older to check this one out.
- Tiny Humans Read: A whimsical book box that gives back to the community with every purchase!
Check out all the awesome book subscription boxes on Cratejoy!
What are your favorite book subscription boxes for children? Any new ones that should be on my radar?
Pin these subscription boxes for little readers for later
P.S. Looking for a grownup book subscription box? Check out Book of the Month!