Best Book Subscriptions for Kids

Literati Kids offers the best book subscription for kids

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A book subscription for kids provides new books at regular intervals, often focusing on specific, age-appropriate themes. Typically, these subscriptions include multiple items, whether that means several books per delivery or bonus goodies along with the month’s book pick, all designed to support an ongoing and interactive love for reading.

It’s important for kids to develop age-appropriate literacy skills as they grow from infancy, to toddler to primary school age. Studies show that children whose parents talk and read to them often know more words by age 2 and develop reading skills at the right age. What’s more, a recent study revealed that, by reading just one picture book a day with their parents, kids hear around 1.4 million more words before Kindergarten than children who are not read to and with.

Book subscriptions offer parents and caregivers an easy way to provide age-appropriate reading material by offering multiple books and/or coordinating items that create a full and fun reading experience.The following best book subscriptions for kids roundup covers a well-curated selection of titles offering various subscriptions for different age groups, interests, or other criteria. Best Book Subscriptions for Kids of 2022

Best Book Subscriptions for Kids of 2022

Best Overall : Literati Kids


Literati Kids

Literati Kids

Why We Chose It

For sheer simplicity and variety, it doesn’t get much better than Literati Kids, which sends a variety of books every month and offers individual “clubs” for six age groups.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $10 per month membership plus the cost of books (varies)
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 6

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Multiple books per month

  • Only pay for books you want to keep

  • More and smaller age ranges

Cons
  • Fee on top of the book costs


    Short deadline for returns


    One of the most expensive due to extra fees in addition to subscriptions


Overview

Literati Kids offers as variety of options, fun bonuses, and a try-before-you-buy approach. The subscription arrives on a monthly basis (although subscribers can skip months at any time), with five books around a theme, plus bonus goodies like bookplates, magnets, and more. Six different “clubs” are offered based on age and reading level: Neo (newborn to 3 years); Sprout (ages 3 to 5); Nova (ages 5 to 7); Sage (ages 7 to 9); Phoenix (ages 9 to 12); and Titan (ages 13 and up).

Each club features a set of five books every month curated to suit the needs of kids at that reading level. The boxes also come with surprise bonus goodies including award-winning illustrations, bookmarks, magnets, and more.

Families have a week to go through all the books, decide which to keep or ship back; you’re only charged for the membership plus the cost of the books you keep. It’s a great way to try a variety of books, and the wide range of clubs makes it easy to keep up as your children progress.

Best for Kids 3 and under : Bookroo


Bookroo

Bookroo

Why We Chose It

With a book plan designed specifically for young kids, Bookroo specializes in picking the best books for early childhood.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $22 per month; or $18 per month for an annual plan
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 16

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Board books designed for small hands

  • Options to “upgrade” as kids grow up

  • Includes inserts with bonus material

Cons
  • No options to return books you don’t like

  • No way to prevent duplicates

  • Shipping not included in membership

Overview

Bookroo is a fantastic option for your child’s first book subscription box. Each board book club box comes with three carefully curated books suitable for reading with infants and toddlers. The books are made from sturdy “board” pages tailored specifically for children who are still learning motor skills such as handling book pages. 

Pricing starts at about $22 per month, but there’s a discount available for purchasing multi-month subscriptions. A three-month subscription is roughly $21 per box, a six-month subscription is about $20 per box, and a year-long plan is approximately $18 per box. Shipping and handling are not included. 

Although there aren’t any goodies with these boxes, each one includes special inserts with the books, giving bonus material, insights from authors and illustrators, and more.

Best for kids 4 to 7 : LillyPost


LillyPost

LillyPost

Why We Chose It

Among LillyPost’s multiple offerings is a set of plans specifically geared at 4- to 7-year-olds, with well-curated picture books and a way to give back built right in.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Starts at $20 per month; discounts that lower price to $17 per month
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 12
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Age-appropriate curated books

  • One book donated for every box sent

  • Varied pool of books each month

Cons
  • No bonus items or interactive goodies

  • No options to age up

  • Can’t return books that are duplicates

Overview

Not only does LillyPost curate a selection of books perfectly geared toward younger readers, it has an emphasis on literacy that includes giving back.

The company offers three different boxes: a Board Book Box for infants and toddlers, with a Picture Book Box for kids aged 4 to 7, and a mixed-age box for families. Each monthly box comes with four plan options: about $20 per month for one month, roughly $19 per month for three, approximately $18 per month for six, or around $17 per month for a year. Shipping costs around $5 per box.

Books are curated by parents, for parents and kids, so the selections are vetted by people with hands-on experience. Each box includes three age-appropriate selections chosen at random. Different boxes even in the same month may have a unique combination of titles. Literacy is the focus of these boxes, which don’t include any bonus goodies, but do come with a real-world impact: For every box shipped, LillyPost donates a book to a literacy charity.

Best for kids under 12 : OwlCrate Jr.


OwlCrate Jr.

OwlCrate Jr.

Why We Chose It

Geared specifically toward middle-to-advanced middle-grade readers, OwlCrate Jr. provides all the magic and variety of the classic OwlCrate, but tailored to the needs and interests of readers between 8 and 12 years old. 

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $30 for one month, discounts for multi-month prepay
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 3

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Multiple bonus items

  • Creative and fun themes

  • Exclusive editions of new releases

Cons
  • No return policy for duplicates

  • Shipping not included

  • May not be ideal for lower reading levels

Overview

OwlCrate is a mainstay in the YA world for its cleverly themed, elaborate boxes that often feature much-anticipated new releases. The company has translated that same approach to the OwlCrate Jr. box, which features exclusive editions of books that are less than two months old, plus supporting material and goodies. It’s ideal for the growing creativity and transitional reading experience of middle-grade readers. 

A typical monthly box costs about $30 plus $9 for shipping, but discounts are available for multi-month subscriptions. A three-month plan costs about $87, and a six-month subscription costs roughly $168. The books do tend to be geared towards kids at a higher reading level, but lower-level readers can still enjoy them with a little support.

All the books include exclusive extras from the author, like signed bookplates. Every box comes with small goodies, a bonus book or game, and a collectible monthly magazine. It’s a more elaborate experience for this age group of readers as they advance to more independent and complex reading.

Best for Science : Crate Expectations


Crate Expectations

Crate Expectations

Why We Chose It

Crate Expectations ties reading and science together with a variety of age-appropriate books paired with STEM activities designed to pique your little ones' curiosity.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $35 for a monthly plan; multi-month discounts
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 4
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Designed with book clubs in mind

  • STEM-themed interactive bonuses

  • Includes recommended “similar” reading lists

Cons
  • Shipping not included

  • Only one book per month

  • Narrow age range

Overview

Encouraging reading together as much as reading independently, Crate Expectations targets kids in the transitional 8 to 12 age group. Boxes are designed with interactivity and exploration in mind, with STEM activities in every box to encourage the connection between literacy and science. Plus, each one includes a list of recommended reading; so if your child loves a particular book, it’s easy to find similar titles to read next, helping them take charge of their reading as they grow up.

Each month’s box features a book of the month, plus an “Adventure Guide” that includes author interviews, discussion questions, a STEM-themed activity complete with materials, a snack, a themed recipe, and other coordinating toys or games. 

A monthly subscription costs about $35, but there’s a small discount for a three-month prepay (roughly $99 total) or a six-month prepay (around $186). Shipping costs roughly an additional $9. 

Best For Animal Lovers : My Zoo Box


My Zoo Box

My Zoo Box

Why We Chose It

Combining the best of book subscriptions with animal-themed exploration activities, My Zoo Box gives kids the chance to learn about their favorite animals while also practicing their reading skills. 

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Starts at $25 per month
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 5

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Free shipping in the US

  • In-depth educational materials

  • Hands-on activities included

Cons
  • Only one book per box

  • Narrow age range

Overview

My Zoo Box blends together the book subscription model with a broader subscription-box style for a hands-on, multidimensional learning experience for young animal lovers.

Each monthly box centers on a particular animal, with a themed book, a plush animal, a postcard “from” the animal, an animal anatomy poster, a recipe, a complete kit for an art or science activity, and more. The Mini Zoo box is smaller, featuring just the book, stuffed animal, sticker, and postcard.

Geared toward the 4 to 8 age group, the box definitely has a limited age range, but that specificity also makes it an ideal choice for families with young kids. The coordinating activities allow kids to brush up their reading skills, learn something new about a favorite animal, and get hands-on with multiple activities. 

The Mini Zoo option is the cheapest, at about $24 per month. For the full-size box, a monthly subscription costs roughly $38 per month, with discounts for a 6- or 12-month commitment. Shipping is free to U.S. addresses.

Best for Reading Comprehension : OurShelves


OurShelves

OurShelves

Why We Chose It

The team behind OurShelves is all about curating an excellent and diverse selection of books that encourage a love and understanding of reading from a young age.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Starts at $80 for the annual subscription that includes one book box per quarter; varies based on a subscription plan
  • Delivery: Every 3 months
  • Number of Plans: 14

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Expert curation team

  • Focus on diverse and underrepresented voices

  • Free shipping

Cons
  • Limited age range

  • Quarterly instead of monthly boxes

  • No bonus materials

Overview

For young readers learning crucial reading comprehension skills, the expertly selected and intentionally diverse selections from OurShelves provide the chance to expand knowledge in every way. The emphasis here is on the books themselves, reading skills, and the stories being told. The curators have backgrounds in librarianship, child psychology, education, early childhood development, and more, all applying their expertise to ensure the youngest readers are learning every step of the way (and loving it).

Annual subscriptions for quarterly boxes start at about $80 for a one-book box ($20 per book), while a three-book box starts at roughly $180 annually ($15 per book). These price points are for subscriptions that are prepaid for a year; it costs approximately $3 more per book to pay quarterly. Shipping within the USis included.

Subscribers can choose between three age levels: the Sunshine Box for ages 0 to 2; the Rainbow Box for ages 2 to 5, and the Treehouse Box for ages 5 to 8. Multi-aged boxes are also available. All books are selected to spark imagination and conversation, feature underrepresented voices and identities, and help young readers build their reading skills. The subscription is a great choice to give kids a solid foundation in reading comprehension that they can build on as they learn.

Best for Imagination : Owl Post Books


Owl Post Books

Owl Post Books

Why We Chose It

Owl Post Books curates boxes that make reading an interactive, imaginative experience, with personalized book recommendations and interactive bonus materials for kids to expand their creativity.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Starts at $15 per month and goes up to $34 per month
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 10

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Plenty of options for age ranges

  • Focus on interactivity

  • Free shipping

Cons
  • Less genre variety

  • Lower quality crafts

Overview

The biggest clue that Owl Post Books is our top pick for expanding kids’ imaginations is right in the title of its subscriptions. The categories it offers are Reader’s Imagination Box (about $34 per month), Reader’s Imagination Mini, (around $15 per month), and YA Fantasy Imagination Box (roughly $30 per month). Each of the Reader’s Imagination plans is then divided into further subcategories: ages 0 to 3, 4 to 7, 8 to 11, and 11 to 13. YA readers can also subscribe to the mini box, or, for a full-sized box, move up to the YA Fantasy subscription.

The signature offering, the Reader’s Imagination Box, includes three age-appropriate books each month, along with an interactive box, a theme card, and coordinating crafts. Shipping is free within the US.

Between the well-curated, often fantastical books and the cute (if not especially fancy) crafts, boxes from Owl Post Books invite kids to interact with stories and add their own personal touches. It’s a great way to give them a chance to learn about the magic of storytelling.

Best for Discovering New Authors : Elephant Books


Elephant Books logo

Elephant Books 

Why We Chose It

Elephant Books is a Parents' Choice Foundation award winner for providing high-quality children's books from both established and up-and-coming authors, and offering them at a 15% to 20% discount off retail.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Starts at $19/month and goes up to $23/month
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 8

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Less expensive than buying retail

  • Reading tips for parents in each box

  • Original titles from new authors

Cons
  • Only two age ranges

  • No extras

Overview

Elephant Books introduces children to contemporary authors both established and undiscovered. The subscription service prides itself on offering books that you might not find at your local bookstore or library. Plus, you can get them for 15% to 20% off retail price.

By introducing children to new authors, Elephant Books encourages them to explore new topics and interests. Books are carefully chosen with input from teachers, authors, parents, and kids. And an enclosed "Reading tips" guide helps parents turn each reading session into a well-rounded learning experience.

There are two subscription boxes to choose from: a box with three board books a month for ages 0 to 2, and one with two hardcover picture books a month for children ages 2 to 6. There are four different pricing tiers that vary based on how long you're willing to commit to the subscription. A monthly subscription costs about $23 a month; a three-month subscription runs $22 a month; a six-month subscription is roughly $21 a month; and a yearly subscription costs about $19 per month. Shipping is an additional $5.

Final Verdict

There are many great options for book subscription boxes for kids. Some companies, like Bookroo and LillyPost, have especially great selections for the very youngest readers, while families with older readers will appreciate the imaginatively curated boxes from subscriptions such as OwlCrate Jr. or Owl Post Books. Overall, though, the best book subscription box for kids is Literati Kids.

Literati Kids offers books for several different age ranges, from infants and toddlers up through teenagers. Each monthly box contains multiple books to spark interest in every reader, and subscribers only have to pay for the books they want to keep. 

Compare the Best Book Subscriptions for Kids

Company Pricing (+shipping) Delivery No. of Plans Ages
Literati Kids Best Overall $10 per month membership plus the cost of books (varies) Monthly 6 0-18
Bookroo Best for Ages 0 to 3 $20 per month; discounts as low as $17 per month Monthly 16 0-12
LillyPost Best for Ages 4 to 7 $20 per month; discounts as low as $17 per month Monthly 12 0-7
OwlCrate Jr. Best for Ages 8 to 12 $30 per month; discounts as low as $28 per month Monthly 3 8-12
Crate Expectations Best for Science $33 per month + $9 shipping; discounts as low as $31 per month Monthly 3 8-12
My Zoo Box Best for Animal Lovers Starts at $20 per month Monthly 6 2-8
OurShelves Best for Reading Comprehension Starts at $14 per one book Quarterly 9 0-8
Owl Post Books Best for Imagination Starts at $15 per month, goes up to $32 per month Monthly 10 0-18
Elephant Books Best for Discovering New Authors Starts at $19 a month, goes up to $23 a month Monthly 8 0-6

How to Choose the Best Book Subscriptions for Kids

When you’re looking for a book subscription for your kids, finding the right match comes down to age range, interests, and the type of experience you’re looking for. Consider these elements when choosing a kids’ book subscription box:

  • Age range: What ages or reading levels are your kids currently at? Many companies offer several different subscription plans for different ages, while others are narrower and more specialized.
  • Box contents: Do you prefer a box with multiple books or one with just one or two books plus bonus goodies? Different boxes offer different combinations of products.
  • Shipping costs: Is shipping included in the subscription fee?
  • Curation criteria: How are books selected and by whom? It’s always worth looking to see what criteria the company’s curation team uses to see if it lines up with what you are looking to get out of the subscription.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are Book Subscriptions for Kids Worth It?

    Absolutely. Reading is a way for children to grow their vocabulary, by being exposed to words they might not otherwise hear from their parents and teachers. Having a diverse selection of books at their disposal only enhances their language development.  A book subscription for kids equals time saved, instead of constant trips to the library and the bookstore. Plus, the cost of many book subscriptions works out to a discount on the list price for the books. That, along with added bonus materials, makes them both a cost-effective and time-effective option for book-loving families.

  • Is a Book Subscription Right for My Child?

    The benefits of reading are unquestionable. With each book you read together, you teach your child valuable communication and language skills, and set them up for success in school. You also foster a love of reading. 

    But not all kids share a love of books early in life. And book subscription services, while convenient, can also be pricey. Before you invest in a book subscription, consider your child's interest level. Do they look forward to reading time, or does it feel like a chore? Do they like to read a variety of stories, or the same book over and over again? If you have a child who isn't into reading or who prefers one book over all others, you might want to wait until they reach the next developmental stage to invest in a subscription.



  • Are Book Subscriptions for Kids Suitable for Toddlers?

    There are book subscriptions—or plan options—that cater specifically to books for early childhood, with books designed for parents and caregivers to read together with these very early readers. These plans should have a good selection of sturdy board or cloth books to stand up to curious little hands. Books with bright, colorful pictures appeal to this age group, and are good starting points for your child to ask questions about the stories. Children in this age range are just starting to discover their interests, so the ability to select your own books might be helpful.

  • Who Chooses the Books Included in the Subscription?

    Experts at the subscription service curate the book choices based on their research. Usually, they have some help from librarians, parents, teachers, authors—and sometimes kids.

  • What if I Have Kids of Different Ages?

    You'll probably have to order them separate subscriptions. Subscription services usually group their books into different age brackets: 0-2 years old, 2-4 years old, 4-7 years old, 7-9 years old, and 9-12 years old. A few of these services do offer sibling boxes with mixed-age books that are appropriate for each child in your family.

  • How Much Do Book Subscriptions for Kids Cost?

    Book subscriptions for kids vary widely in price, from plans between roughly $10 and $15 per month to more expensive and elaborate boxes that can run up to about $30 or more per month. Most companies do offer discounts of a few dollars per month for subscribers who choose to sign up for a multi-month subscription. Shipping isn't always included and it can add a few dollars to the cost. Subscription durations and cancellation policies vary, and it's possible to be locked into a service long after your child has lost interest.

Methodology

To curate this list of book subscriptions for kids, we looked at 12 companies to find the best options in terms of variety, affordability, and box curation criteria. We targeted options for specific age and interest groups, as well as broader selections, and aimed to provide a variety of suggestions for families to customize the reading experience for each child’s individual interests and reading style.

Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Nemours KidsHealth. Reading books to babies.

  2. J Dev Behavior Pediatr. When children are not read to at home: The million word gap.

Updated by Stephanie Watson
Edited by
April McCormick,
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting.com, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

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Ally Hirschlag,
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is an expert in health, science, sustainability, wellness, mental health, and parenting. She has written for publications including The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

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and
Simone Scully
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Simone is the health associate editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering pregnancy, parenting, health, medicine, science, and lifestyle topics.

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