If you had to ask me to choose one thing that I consider to be the perfect gift, it would be books – ALL the books! As an adult, that is nearly impossible to manage, because we are all so very specific about what we love, what genres we love, what style of writing we love, what authors we love. This is the magic of buying books for children, they are still on that journey… They have favourites (I hear the understanding groans of the toddler mom who has read Toddle Waddle every day for the last year), but they still have that wonder of reading every new book; discovering the endless gifts that stories have to give. Being a book obsessed mama, I have found the very best book suppliers and services there are, and that is what I am going to share with you today. So my title may be a little misleading, because All I want for Christmas is ALL the books… for ALL the kids!
The Book Owl
If you have been following my blog recently, you will know that I discovered The Book Owl not too long ago and persuaded the amazing Kirsten to do a giveaway with me so that EVERYBODY I know could know about her and her amazing service. I am in LOVE with this service and I think it is the PERFECT gift for every occasion and no occasion at all.
Kirsten’s two mini-humans were also prone to the storybook on repeat curse, and she found herself constantly searching for new books to engage and entertain her kids for the age group they were in. I have never been so grateful for the desperation of a mother to find a solution to their struggles as I am for this. Kirsten discovered the NEED for a monthly subscription book service where you are sent two brand new high quality story picture books and one activity book delivered to your home for any child up to the age of 6, in a 1, 3 or 6 month package. As soon as the review was over, I signed up for the 6 month package and I look forward to that monthly package arrival as if every month was Christmas.
I LOVE that the service is so personal. You make notes of which books you have (for example Charly adores Julia Donaldson, so we have quite a collection), and then Kirsten works around that, ensuring you don’t end up with duplicates and finding the ones you are missing helping you to keep building your collection. She also took note that Charly adores dogs and tries to include a dog book in every delivery. And then Charly went though a stage where she was obsessed with Llamas, and can you even believe it, Kirsten saw that on my social media and went on a mission and actually FOUND Charly a Llama story. There is something incredibly special about that if you ask me.
And you can get vouchers for gifts, that allow the parents of your gift recipient to add their own notes to make sure the books the children get are exactly what they want and love. I have gifted special children I know subscriptions and the children and parents absolutely love it. It is a once off payment and then the books keep coming for as long as you selected; so literally the gift that keeps on giving! And Kirsten has a special Christmas voucher (example below but of course you will have a very special code all of your own) all ready to go, so all you have to do is send her a message on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website and you will be the BEST mom/dad/aunt/uncle/granparent EVER! (PS My friend Cassey is actually GIVING AWAY a Book Owl package this week, so head over and stand a chance to win
I wish they had some kind of referral program where I could make money every time I mentioned their name – I would be SO rich! For real though, and this you might not know, they have the most amazing specials on books. They make me so poor that even though I have 2 different subscription book services, when their specials pop up in my mailbox every day and there are books on it, you can almost guarantee I have ordered them immediately.
I have bought sets of books worth over R1000 for 60% off, and bundles… sigh, bundles are my undoing. And they have LOADS around Christmas time, so you just have to be on their mailing list or be on their site when they load the Daily Deals (first thing in the morning), because when the book packages sell near instantly. I have bought Brett sets of books like the Game of Thrones series and he bought me the Harry Potter series, for half price! And the kids books; packs of Priddy books (which are incredible for little ones), the “Guess how much I love you” bundle, 10 Julia Donaldson books for DEAD CHEAP, books and CDs, books and toys, educational books, sticker books…
Although the Daily Deals is the best place to find the real bargains, you can also go here at any time and find all the children’s books on special.
I love all things educational for kids, and this special mama has created a whole buisness around just that. After working in the corporate world for a few years, Rayanta embarked on the adventure of starting her own family. Like so many of us, she couldn’t face leaving her baby girl with strangers, so she decided to stay home and start her own educational resources business. 6 years later her little girl is 7 years old and she has a 2 year old little boy as well.
Eduwiz stocks durable school-quality educational resources for all ages, for home and school use; from puzzles, to games, workbooks, wooden educational toys, Usborne books and even text books. My particular favourites are the Usborne books, which are high quality educational books for kids from the UK, and they have some awesome Christmas books from activity books to magical Christmas stories about Santa and Snowmen and adorably even a Farmyard Christmas story from as little as R45.
Charly went through a stage where she was afraid of Santa and her gorgeous Usborne Santa flap book turned that around completely and she now gets super excited at anything Santa related.
Kids Book Club
I’ve mentioned Kids Book Club before, but for those who missed it, it is another subscription book service! I really do get ALL THE BOOKS for Charly every month (they even send a couple of glossy mags for meee). Kids Book Club is for all children up to 9 years old. Each month, each age group receives 2 books; from touch and feel for babies and toddlers through to activity and reading books for older children. You also get access to 20 free worksheets and colouring sheets, which I love. The books arrive in a monthly themed carry bag, and every month so far has been great, but THIS MONTH!!! Yesterday we got our Christmas bag and we just love it – how gorgeous?!
There have been some lovely books over the past few months and Charly has really really enjoyed so many of them!
This is a really affordable subscription option for your little ones, and it automatically renews each month but allows you to cancel anytime on their really easy to navigate website. So it is definitely workable as a gift for kids of family and friends.
The Red Door Book ends (because I can and HOW CUTE?!)
I generally have a thing about not giving vouchers alone as a gift; though in the case of The Book Owl I have already made an exception a few times and the children have LOVED their gifts anyway. BUT, if you really want to make it special, I think the perfect gift to give WITH a voucher is a set of adorable brightly coloured bookends.
For those who only joined us more recently, I shared all about The Red Door and Kirsten and her beautiful hand painted wooden items in “All I want for Christmas is to decorate“. She personally puts all her beautiful things together by hand and paints every dot, spot or chevron herself. I really think children will particularly love her style of layering and bright bold colours and designs. You need to hurry to get your orders in (check out her stunning Christmas decor range as well) because you have just under 2 weeks before orders close on 30 November!
I could probably have kept looking forever and found a million more book related things to share with you; but I think I have the best across the board here.
Don’t miss out on tomorrow’s giveaway, and if you are missing all the winning, you can head over to my Tums 2 Tots Online magazine and enter all of those competitions so long 😉
Sending all the love xx
*Nobody paid to be included in these lists; I have experienced the service and / or products personally and I loved them or they wouldn’t be here