Disclosure: This The Story Box review has been sponsored by The Story Box company. I was provided one or more items to review for this post. All opinions are my own, and I only agree to review products that I have a genuine interest in exploring.
Books, books, books. If you come to our house, you will see books all over the place. Scooter Britches has always been a bookworm. In fact, remember the bookworm birthday party we had for her when she turned two? At 14 months, Little One is only just now getting into books. That has worried me a little since SB was into books at an earlier age. Of course, SB and LO are polar opposites in just about every way, so I guess this should come as no surprise.
Last week, the girls received a surprise package in the mail from The Story Box. The Story Box is a subscription-based service which ships curated books to your doorstep on a monthly basis. It works much like Barkbox, Blue Apron, and any of the other subscription services that you may have heard of as of late.
SB was excited to open the box. She is at the age where she understand the excitement behind surprises. It was fun watching her reaction when she realized there were two books in the box. Of course, she wanted to read them immediately.
I knew the company would be sending two books, but I did not know what the titles would be or what the topics would cover. One of the books was Deirdre Gill’s Outside, a book about a young boy during a big snowstorm. The book arrived the same week many U.S. states – including ours – had been affected by a large snowstorm. I thought the timing was perfect. Because SB built two snowmen and one “tower” the day before during our day-long snowmageddon, she was quick to point out the snow sculptures in the book.
“Look! He build a tower!”
By the second time we read the book, she made more comments throughout the book.
“He make a snow friend! And another snow friend!”
The company is founded by, Holly, a nationally certified speech-language pathologist and her husband, Clint. According to the website, Holly is experienced with helping toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary students – including those with literacy and communication disorders – with language development. Holly curates the books for The Story Box and chooses books that are colorful, with ample illustrations and vocabulary, rhyming, alliteration, and other literary devices.
One struggle for us is that SB, at three, is interested in longer, more detailed books and LO, being only one, has a much shorter attention span with books. Trying to do a joint story time is sometimes tricky. The Story Box provided us with a guide sheet of what type of literacy skills to expect by age level as well as a sheet of activity suggestions for each book (broken down by age). I found those guides to be really helpful in using the same book with each girl but using different talking points and techniques with each of them. And the ideas for activities to coordinate with the stories do seem to be age appropriate.
So far, I knew that I was impressed with the timely delivery of the books, the suggestions for activities and expectations by age, and the way the books fit with a current real-life experience. Although I am a teacher, I am not experienced with early childhood literacy development so I wanted to get some opinions from someone familiar with early childhood literacy. I took the books to the speech-language pathologist who works at the school where I teach. She said that reading plays a vital role not only in helping children develop vocabulary and teaching morals but also to increase attention span and create a bond with the parent or caregiver. I had never thought of the attention span aspect, but I can see where reading would certainly help with that.
She said she felt both books we had received from The Story Box were great choices. She pointed out the spatial concepts (outside, inside, up, over, and above) which were used in Outside.
She also felt kids would benefit from the rhyming used in Go to Sleep, Little Farm by Mary Lyn Ray. This book is filled with vocabulary about animals and their environments. My coworker said she also likes the author’s use of descriptors – “brown rabbits snuggle in a sleepy rabbit heap” and “little fish lie still in a brook.”
You can learn more about the pricing and details for The Story Box by visiting the website link at the top of this post. If you decide to subscribe, you can use coupon code TAKESIX to take $6 off of your first order. Note the coupon is a one-time offer and cannot be combined with other offers.
What are/were your favorite story books in your home?
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