Friday, July 17, 2020

Atlas Book Club: Unboxing & Full Review

Join me as I open our first Atlas Book Club box!

 Atlas Book Club is a monthly book subscription that focuses on traveling the world and exploring other cultures.  While many book boxes send you 3-4 books each month, the Atlas experience is much more immersive. 

The entire box is curated around a specific country. You get one carefully selected book, a corresponding activity, a souvenir from the country you're visiting, a postcard from the country to mail to a friend or family member, a sticker to mark where you've been on the map provided in your initial box purchase, and a card detailing fun facts about the country!

I'm usually pretty dubious when it comes to subscription boxes -- particularly book boxes -- because I like to pick my own stuff.  But when I saw Atlas Book Club's box, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to check it out!  When I was younger I loved "Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego?" and this reminds me so much of that!

If you love to travel and want to expose your littles to the vast world we live in (without actually leaving your house), Atlas Book Club is a really cool and fun way to do so!

There are four age ranges to choose from (I make a mistake in the video and say three, but there are actually four): Hatch, picture books for all ages; Nest Jr., picture books and early chapter books for ages 7-9; Nest, chapter books for ages 9-12; Soar, chapter books and graphic novels for ages 12+.  Atlas Book Club also offers a Classroom Kit if you're a teacher and prefer to take your whole class on a journey each month!

My gut feeling that I was going to love Atlas Book Club was spot-on.  Opening the box was exciting in itself, but the more we dove in and learned about the highlighted country, the more I enjoyed it.  I love that these curated collections help teach children cultural awareness and empathy, and this box in particular helped support Mayan weavers in Guatemala by including fair trade woven bracelets as the souvenir!

The book wasn't one I would have initially gravitated toward and purchased on my own, but it is a beautiful book that I really enjoyed and am so glad to have as part of our collection! 

Let's talk about the cost. Each box is $37.99. The value of the picture book itself is $15 (via Amazon). We'll say the post card is $1. The souvenir bracelet is $5. The activity for this one was a coloring page and paper doll, easily reproducible, and available for free online. However, the value of the activities and souvenirs for each box varies, so I'll say $4 for an activity.  That takes us to about $25. We still need to include the map, the bookmark, fact card and sticker, and I'd put all those things together at about $3. So the value in terms of STUFF sits right around $28, while the box costs $38.  You're paying $10 to cover packaging, shipping, curating, and doing ALL the up-front research and work for you. That seems like a reasonable amount to me! 

That being said, $37.99 can add up quickly month after month. I appreciate that Atlas Book Club offers individual box purchases in addition to 1, 3, or 6 month subscriptions. You don't have to commit to a never-ending stream of boxes. You can buy them as gifts or when you find it fits your budget better that month.

My plan is to look through past boxes and buy the ones that I think we will really enjoy. I am too picky about my books to fully accept paying for a surprise book, but I love the premise and execution of Atlas Book Club!

I'm glad to have Mackenzie as a young migrator, as they call their subscribers. Huge props to founder Bunmi Emenanjo for starting such a clever, fun, educational subscription box for our children!

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