Best Book Subscriptions for Kids

Literati Kids offers the best book subscription for kids

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

At any age, it’s important for kids to develop age-appropriate literacy skills. This starts in infancy, with parents reading to their children. 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. The gap is even measurable: A 2019 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.

The importance of reading continues through ongoing developmental stages, with children gaining increased independence and developing their own tastes. A study published in 2019 surveyed adults from 31 nations and discovered long-term positive effects for those who grew up with larger home libraries and more reading.

The best book subscriptions for kids will offer a well-curated selection of titles, either by keeping a narrow focus, or offering different subscriptions for different age groups, interests, or other criteria. These subscriptions will usually go beyond just a book-of-the-month-style subscription, featuring multiple books and/or coordinating items that create a full and fun reading experience.

Best Book Subscriptions for Kids of 2021

Best Overall : Literati Kids


Literati Kids

Literati Kids

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

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

Overview

Literati Kids is our best overall pick for its variety of options, fun bonuses, and 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 Ages 0 to 3 : Bookroo


Bookroo

Bookroo

Key Specs
  • Pricing: $20 per month; discounts as low as $17 per month for an annual plan
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 16
Why We Chose It

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

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 and its Board Book Club is a fantastic option for your child’s first book subscription box. Each 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 $20 per month, but there’s a discount available for purchasing multi-month subscriptions. A three-month subscription is roughly $19 per box, a six-month subscription is about $18 per box, and a year-long plan is approximately $17 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. If you find yourself with a book that you already have, you can donate it to a local library, send Bookroo the proof, and you’ll get a $5 off coupon for your next order.

Best for Ages 4 to 7 : LillyPost


LillyPost

LillyPost

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $20 per month; discounts that lower price to $17 per month
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 12
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.

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, but it has an emphasis on literacy that includes giving back.

The company offers three different boxes: a Board Book Box for infants and toddlers; 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 different 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 Ages 8 to 12 : OwlCrate Jr.


OwlCrate Jr.

OwlCrate Jr.

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

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 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 at kids at a higher reading level, but lower-level readers can still enjoy them with a little support.

All the books are exclusive editions, often with bonuses like signed bookplates, and every box includes 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

Key Specs
  • Pricing: $33 for a monthly plan; multi-month discounts
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 3
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.

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. Each month’s box includes 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 $33, but there’s a small discount for a three-month prepay (roughly $96 total) or a six-month prepay (around $186). Shipping costs roughly an additional $9. 

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.

Best For Animal Lovers : My Zoo Box


My Zoo Box

My Zoo Box

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $20 per month
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 6
Why We Chose It

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

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free shipping

  • 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 $20 per month. For the full-size box, a monthly subscription costs roughly $35 per month. Shipping is free to U.S. addresses.

Best for Reading Comprehension : OurShelves


OurShelves

OurShelves

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $14 for one book; varies based on a subscription plan
  • Delivery: Quarterly
  • Number of Plans: 9
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. It’s backed by serious expertise, with curators who 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).

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.

Quarterly boxes start at about $20 for a one-book box, while a three-book box starts at roughly $45, and a five-book subscription starts at around $70. These price points are for subscriptions that are prepaid for a year; it costs approximately $2 more per book to pay quarterly. Shipping is 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. 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

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $15 per month and goes up to $33 per month
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 10
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.

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 $33 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 and typically pretty reliable and on-time, with boxes shipping between the 1st and 4th of each month. 

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 learns about the magic of storytelling.

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

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 best suited for the subscription? 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

Are Book Subscriptions for Kids Suitable for Toddlers?

There are book subscriptions—or plan options—that cater specifically to books for early childhood, with board books designed for parents and caregivers to read together with these very early readers.  

Are Book Subscriptions for Kids Worth It?

Absolutely. A book subscription for kids means 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, along with added bonus materials, making them both a cost-effective and time-effective option for book-loving families. 

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 lock in a multi-month subscription. 

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.

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3 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. Lewis, PhD, Kandia N. "Reading Books to Babies."

  2. *College of Education and Human Ecology. (n.d.). "When children are not read to at home: The million Word gap : Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics."

  3. Jacobs, Tom. "Home Libraries Confer Long-Term Benefits." Pacific Standard. (2018, Oct. 8)