We've been happy customers for over a year. We started with the Sunshine Box and are moving up to the Rainbow Box for our 3 year old. OurShelves does a wonderful job at picking out diverse, age-appropriate books. The board books have been great quality and really interesting reads. The book subjects vary - some are bilingual (we've received several books in Spanish and some Native American languages), some focus on body positivity, some showcase other cultures, some feature different types of families - but all are easy, fun reads.
I was looking for a way to add diversity to my children's home library and this curated subscription fit the bill. I love that my children read stories that just happen to have two dads, or that explore mom's closet filled with khimars. I also love that my dollars are going towards supporting authors and publishers of these stories, proving that there IS an audience. The gift subscriptions and customer service responsiveness are also fantastic.
Jennifer, thanks so much for being part of our community from the start as both an OurShelves books recipient yourself and as a giftor to others! Thanks for sharing that you're enjoying our stories, and thanks for honoring our larger mission too -- of supporting traditionally under-represented authors and illustrators whose voices need to be shared and for proving to publishers the significant, though currently underestimated, audience for diverse kids' books. Together, as an OurShelves community, we are advancing and advocating for a world in which all children and all families have a place on OurShelves -- and are affirmed in being who they are. Thank you again for your wonderful support!
I got to know OurShelves at the bookriot website with a long list of very good book subscription for kids. OurShelves caught my attention through their statement of purpose and originality. I first signed up for Rainbow/3 books/quarter payment just to try it out. I LOVED IT! My daughter picked up the books they sent every.single.night for a month (yes, we do have plenty of other options). I am an anthropologist, immigrant, and Latina, and presenting diversity to my daughter at a very early age is really important to me as I believe that this is one of the ways to social justice! Due to the pandemic, we had to cancel our subscription and Alli sent a personalized message addressing that issue and trying to help. The message was so moving that we re-evaluated our budget and decided for the yearly subscription. They have the best customer service ever. I cannot wait for the next box!
Thank you for this very special review. We are so thrilled to hear that you and your daughter are loving your OurShelves books as much as we love them. Thank you for also sharing why diverse books matter to you, why you signed up for OurShelves, and why you're continuing with OurShelves even during this very challenging time. Your support means a great deal to us. We hope to continue to serve you well. Thanks again to you for your incredible support of OurShelves, diverse children's books, and raising a generation with ever-opening minds and hearts. Onward and upward we advance together.
I've been a member of Ourshelves from the first box and I think they have only grown in strength. This recent summer box was fantastic. We loved every book. We got Jabari Jumps first and I think the kids had it read to them 6x in the first 24hours. The other books that followed have been read many, many times so far. Each has been a joy and we even bought "A Crow of his own" after getting "A Kid of their own". I am sure coordinating all of this in the time of covid is exceptionally hard and I wanted to let you know how much we appreciate Ourshelves.
Grace, thank you so much for growing with us over this last year and a half! We are so glad that you are loving your books and reading them again and again. Thank you also for your support during these challenging times. Mostly, thanks for your commitment to ensuring all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves. Together, we hope we can prove to publishers just how many people are craving more of these books so they produce the many more diverse books still needed. Thank you again for being with us from the start and your continued support!
Sometimes books that focus on representation lose a little in dimension and writing style (Anyone else remember the super dry mental health/counseling affirmation books or the "all these different kids" books that still didn't have queer kids in them?). The books curated for us were interesting, multidimensional, and we saw our family and community members reflected in them. "When Aidan Became A Brother" was the first book I have read featuring a trans kid and the story was not 100% about transitioning. It gives context and then moves on to Aidan becoming a big brother, and his complex emotions about it. Our other books were also well written and interesting. Absolutely recommend. Good quality, and truly thoughtful curation.
Thank you, Sarah, for this review. Our Curation Team -- sharing their expertise from academia, psychology, the library, the classroom, early childhood development, early childhood development of bias, and 100% of whom have the lived experience of seeking more, higher quality and "multi-dimensional" (as you say) representation of themselves, their children and others in kids' books -- works very hard at curating our books. Thank you for affirming this work. The Curation Team, and all of us, are also deeply committed to advocating for the many diverse children's books of the quality you describe that do not yet exist, but are greatly needed. We're grateful that you're part of our community as we prove to publishers the significant audience for these books so that they...
The box were so wonderful. My granddaughter loves them and reads them every night. They are beautifully written and illustrated and she enjoys seeing pictures of familiar faces. Great customer service and emails were answered promptly. Keep up the great work. Again, thanks
Jeanne, thanks so much for taking the time to share how you're finding your OurShelves books and broader OurShelves experience. We're so glad to hear your grand-daughter is loving your OurShelves books and reading them regularly! Quality of text and illustrations/photography is very important to our Curation Team so I'm glad you're enjoying the quality of the books we choose for our boxes. Thanks again for being part of our community -- and most importantly for your commitment to ensuring all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
We could not be more thrilled with this subscription. Customer service responded to us right away : we have kids aged 1-9 in our house and they quickly built us a custom box with books for all three age groups. Our first box included a bilingual book, several books featuring main characters who are black or children of color, a book featuring a LGTB family and a board book about PRIDE. Our kids LOVED the books and wanted to read them over and over. They are already asking when the next box will arrive. We wish there was a monthly option : we would sign up right away !
We are so thrilled that you and your children loved our book selections! We also love to hear that you'd like to receive our boxes even more frequently -- an option we are considering offering in the future! Thanks for being such a special member of the OurShelves community committed to ensuring ALL kids and ALL families have a place on OurShelves!
The books we have received from OurShelves have become some of my toddler's favorites, and some of my favorites too. It is so important that all children see characters from a diversity of backgrounds and identities in their books, and OurShelves is a powerful tool for making that happen. The books they send increase representation of underrepresented and oppressed groups, fight stereotypes of oppressed groups, and celebrate identities that are so often portrayed negatively by the media and our nation's dominant narrative. An OurShelves subscription is one small thing parents can do to help raise anti-racist kids who are ready to fight oppressions of all kinds.
Murray, thank you so much for these wonderful words! We are so glad that our books support the values you're cultivating with your toddler -- and that they're some of your toddler's favorites! We are so grateful that you're a member of the OurShelves community -- both receiving our books and being counted as we prove to publishers the large audience seeking these books! Thank you again for your support!
If you have a kiddo in your life, please consider gifting them an OurShelves book subscription. Our son has a subscription and has loved every book he's gotten. As a mixed race kid (who loves books!) with a Black daddy and queer mama, we try to be intentional that he is seeing not only characters and families like his, but also a variety of identities and experiences beyond his--racially and ethnically diverse characters, LGBTQ+, diverse religions and abilities, etc. The curation team is majority people of color and majority LGBTQ+ and they prioritize #OwnVoices stories (meaning stories that center characters with identities that the author/illustrator also share) when possible.
#recommendation #representationmatters #childrensliterature
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful feedback! We're glad that you and your son are enjoying our books as much as we love them. Thank you for also mentioning our Curation Team who thoughtfully review our books -- they are a very special group and bring both professional and personal expertise and experience to the curation process. Mostly, thanks to you for being such a special Founding Member of OurShelves -- we're so glad you're part of our community and partnering with us to pursue our vision of ALL kids and ALL families having a place on OurShelves!
I've encouraged all my friends to order a subscription -- I love the dual mission, and the quality of the books is great!
We just got our first box of 3 yesterday, and our 6-year-old triplets were so excited to read! I always felt like I had to work too hard to FIND books like this -- showcasing the diversity of human experience -- and now someone is doing the work for me...one thing off my plate!
Thank you so much for these kind words about our dual mission and our book selections! We know how hard it can be to find high-quality children's books centering diverse characters. In fact, that's why we are here -- to share the expertise of our Curation Team with all of the incredibly busy grown-ups out there who are committed to cultivating inclusive values with the special children in their world. We want to make it easier to find these books. In turn, these books' sales will grow, which will encourage publishers to produce more and more of them. Thank you for your incredible support and being part of the OurShelves community!
Our family has been loving OurShelves book boxes! The selected books have been fun, engaging stories with diverse characters that have helped broaden my children's understanding of the world they live in and all the beautiful people and families that we share it with. I also love that OurShelves is working to make diverse books more accessible with their dual mission of working with publishing companies to advocate for these stories to be put out into the world. Thank you for all of your hard work!
Lily and Owen, we are so excited that you are loving your OurShelves books as much as we do! We also love that you appreciate -- and partner with us in -- our advocacy mission to advocate for the many more diverse kids' books still needed! Thanks again for being such special members of the OurShelves community!