Hello fellow Reviewers...I read ALL the reviews I can before I make a purchase, even innocuous ones, so I must pay it forward. You must subscribe to Ourshelves if you want your children to be exposed to literature you may not find in mainstream stores! So far my family has received 3 boxes and we are very satisfied. My 8 month old daughter has now been exposed to LGBTQIA, Native American, and Spanish language books. In addition to that, she is able to see herself in the characters in books we have received. We are Black and we are not often represented in books that fly off the shelf. Ourshelves makes my family and I feel mainstream. Do your family a favor and subscribe to this affordable book subscription service!!!!
I’m a huge fan. We bought a subscription for my daughter’s tutor who now teaches Kindergarten at an elementary school. She shared a picture from her classroom with us last week and I noticed 2 books from Ourshelves on “her shelves.” I’m excited to get subscriptions on my list to give as Christmas presents for nieces and nephews. Keep up the great work!
OurShelves books have opened my 69 year old eyes to the beauty and challenges of the world's diversity. It never occurred to me when I was raising my children that almost every book we read had the same family characteristics - same ethnicity and same two male and female parents. Folktales offered the only diversity. Much has changed in the world, and much hasn't changed but is now out in the open. The books offered by OurShelves give my daughter, son-in-law, and me the opportunity to share a far richer view of the world around us with my 2 1/2 year old grandson. Our first year subscription just ended. When I asked my daughter if I should renew she said' "Absolutely!" You are reading this review because you want to know if OurShelves is worth it. I say, unequivocally, "Absolutely!"
Ourshelves sends wonderful, engaging, diverse books in each box that my three children consistently love and come back to again and again. As a parent, I appreciate the thoughtfully curated mix of books and fantastic customer service. (Have a special request? They’re on it. For example, I have twins, and the founder, Alli, suggested a sweet book that features twins). As an educator (literacy specialist) I love the focus on getting books into kids hands that represent a wide range of identities and life experiences. Kids need both “windows” and “mirrors” in their reading, and OurShelves helps me to provide both for my kids. Especially during Covid, when I’m not doing any in-person bookstore browsing, this is an amazing resource. I highly recommend OurShelves!
I just want to say well done! I've subscribed to many children's book services and this one is by far the best. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into the selection of books. I am beyond satisfied and I hope that Ourshelves continues to deliver such great messages to our children in the form of insightful and relevant literature.
Thank you so much for these very kind words! Yes, we are very grateful for our excellent Curation Team that so thoughtfully reviews the books that are selected for our book boxes. Thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
I love that when I look at my daughters growing library, I get a visual that I never had as a little girl. My bookshelf was filled with white princess and animals. Looking at my daughters, I see proper representation. I see stories about multicultural norms, different races, vivid colors and stories about lives that are different than hers. Each box we received was better than the one before. This woman owned company delivers magic every time and you won’t be disappointed!
Tristen, thank you for this beautiful way of describing what we, as an OurShelves community, are trying to do as we work to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves. As the founder, I agree -- we are trying to offer books, and a vision for the world, that I also didn't have as a child. Thank you for your incredibly kind words and for being part of our community!
We have been receiving this box for over a year now. The books are incredibly high quality, amazing titles. My son has loved every one! The customer service from this company is also incredible. I cannot recommend OurShelves more highly!
Hannah, thank you so much for sharing these kind words! We're so glad you're loving your OurShelves books and especially that you son is loving them -- that's our highest compliment! We're so grateful that you're part of our community! Thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
Alli and Doug are so helpful and kind! Their dedication to their work and to helping their customers is what keeps us coming back. They're doing the kind of work that makes an impact on the world, and they're doing it so well!
It makes my day when an OurShelves shipment arrives. The books are awesome because they not only expose my kids to different family structures, ethnicities, races, and religions from their own, but they're also just really good stories. Before bedtime, my older son always asks me to read books OurShelves has sent to us, and he's a tough critic!
Melissa, thank you so much for these kind words capturing what our wonderful OurShelves Curation Team is trying to do with our book selections. We're honored that your oldest son requests our books--that's our highest honor! Thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
This service made it easier for me to be a good parent - started conversations I would have otherwise put off or honor out into a context my kid could understand. Plus they’re good books! So thankful for this service and glad to have books like this that I can share with family and friends and my kids school. Can’t wait for the chapter book version!
We love this subscription! The books are age appropriate and so unique! Excellent customer service, too.
Lauren, thank you so much for being such a special part of the OurShelves community! Thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
My children and I receive so much joy from our OurShelves subscription, discovering artists and stories we might not otherwise have found. My children ask to read these titles over and over again. OurShelves has given us hope and connection during a difficult, isolated year. The owners and customer service team provide kind, personal service. They really care about their readers and the artists behind each book, which sets OurShelves apart from other subscription services we've tried. Just phenomenal.
Melissa, thank you for these incredibly kind words! We love hearing about the joy, hope and connection these books have brought to your family. We also love to hear that your children ask to read the books again and again! Thank you also for your kind words about our team and our mission. We're so grateful to have members like you who join us in working toward a world in which all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
Outstanding subscription service for children's books. All new titles that our library doesn't have (yet), and nearly every one of them a winner :) Our kid comes back to these books again and again. Very fairly priced, as well. We bought a gift subscription for a friend and we expect we'll buy more soon.
Madeleine, thank you so much for your kind words! We are thrilled to learn your child comes back to your OurShelves books again and again! And thank you so much for sharing our curated books with both your child as well as friends through gifting! Mostly, thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
My son has been receiving OurShelves boxes for a year now, and we both absolutely love them. I really appreciate how much care the curation team puts into choosing books that not only feature diverse characters and inclusive stories, but that are also always really GOOD books. We've tried other book boxes, but the hit rate for this one is so much higher, and I have really loved the conversations that we have about the books we read. With this last box, I switched from a 3-book box to a 5-book box because we have loved everything we've received so far, and we were not disappointed. My son has insisted on reading all 5 books every night since we got them. The other day he came home from school with a creation he had made that he said was "the wrap that Sis wears in "Bedtime Bonnet."" He insisted on wearing it while we got ready for bed. And every time we read "I Am Every Good Thing" he asks me to tell him what "worthy to be loved" means. Even if your child, like mine, has no problem finding books with characters that look like him or families that look like his in them, there is enormous value in this subscription. It is helping prompt the kinds of conversations that I want to have with my child but don't always know how to start, and helping him grow into a thoughtful, curious, and...
Wow, thank you so much for sharing the role OurShelves books have played in your family and why diverse books matter to you and your son! We love hearing how these books are resonating with your son. We are grateful to have such a dedicated and thoughtful Curation Team who review and select the books for our boxes. And we're so glad to hear you're loving our book selections as much as we do! Thank you so much for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves! We're so glad you're part of our community!
I never find the time to post reviews, frankly. It's a rare product that will make me excited or disappointed enough to motivate me to actually do it. But OurShelves is more than awesome enough to motivate me.
Families are so much more diverse in real life than in the (current) world of children's literature. Kids deserve to grow up seeing themselves and their loving families reflected in the stories they love. Conversely, the more a story reflects the diverse world they really live in, the more likely they are to love it, and learn great lessons from it. Moreover, I want my kids to grow up *expecting* their world to always be a diverse, loving place. This OurShelves subscription is going to make that job so much easier.
We've received one box, and my kids are already in love with the books (ny youngest even tells me, in a somewhat surprised tone, that I do a good voice for the penguins who feature in one of our stories). One of the titles was such a joy to read I got a little choked up reading it the first time (I was glad I read it once by myself so I didn't cry during bedtime!) What's so very clear is that the staff who run OurShelves are very, very in tune with their customers. When you sign up, you're encouraged to reach out and let them know if there's anything in particular you'd like to share about your family, so...
Wow, thank you so much for sharing why you signed up for OurShelves and how your OurShelves books -- and the conversations and possibilities they bring -- matter to you and your children. We would also love to hear your penguin voice:). Thank you so much for sharing so beautifully why we all do this work together. Thank you for being part of our community -- we're so glad you're here. And thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!
We love OurShelves so much that it’s become our go-to gift for anyone with kids. Thoughtfully curated books, with a wide cast of characters and varying levels of identity as the main theme, that are MY favorite to read as well as the kids.’
My rhyme & fact-obsessed 7yo loves My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me. My anxious 8yo must have requested Saturday every night for at least two months, and it totally helped him process things not going to expectation, and my 5yo still sleeps with The Bread Pet. And of course we had to resume keeping a sourdough starter and baking bread on the regular.
We’ll be customers until we age out—but we hope you keep adding levels so that never happens!
Amanda, thank you for this incredibly special feedback! There's nothing better than thinking about each of your kids enjoying their OurShelves books in their own very special ways. Thank you so much for sharing OurShelves-curated books with your own children and other children through gifting as well. And yes, we do hope to grow our book offerings to reach older aged children as well - stay tuned! Mostly, thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves! We're so grateful you're part of our community!
Please discontinue sending books, no longer interested.
Updated after speaking with Allen:
We're so glad we were able to speak with you on the phone. Thank you for sharing that you had provided this 1-star rating as a way to ask for help in cancelling your subscription so you could support your local independent bookstore. As we discussed, we have cancelled your subscription and very much support you in supporting your local bookstore! As we discussed, please always feel free to reach out if we can help you find any particular kind of book with traditionally under-represented kids and families!
Thanks again for your support of diverse kids' books and OurShelves,
Of course we will cancel your subscription. We will also be emailing you and giving you a call right away to...
Our classroom set of books recently arrived and they are beautiful! I am just thrilled and can't wait to share these wonderful stories with my students this year. It is my goal that every child in my classroom can see themselves in the literature we read, while also seeing into the lives of those around them. The books that you picked for us will help me do just that.
Mary Trompeter, 1st Grade Teacher, The Bryn Mawr School
I love OurShelves. I work with elementary students and they have loved being able to find books where they are represented. It has helped me become more aware of my student's needs and how diverse the world truly is. I love being able to find books I can recommend to other counselors. There have been multiple times where I have bought copies of books after reading from my box to give as gifts.
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!
This subscription has been really great for our family. We have several favorites from prior months, and we love our new book Bedtime Bonnet! My 4 year old son has been trying desperately all week to recite the Grandpa’s joke about sticky hair and honeycomb :) It was a great story for our white two-mom family to talk about things that are the same and different between our family and routines, and those in the book. I’m really enjoying your book selections and the representation and conversations they bring into our home. Thank you!
Kristina, I love thinking of your four-year-old sharing the Grandpa's joke! This is such a fun book, isn't it? And stay tuned -- author Nancy Redd made a video for us that we'll be releasing soon! Thank you for these very kind words and this feedback that is exactly why we do what we do! Thank you for partnering with us to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves! We're so glad you're part of our community!
We love OurShelves! I have a 4yo and a 1yo and their customer service was so helpful when I reached out about combining books from the different age groups. They had a solution for me and both of my kids are able to get books that work for them.
Mikaela, we are so glad that both your one-year-old and four-year-old are enjoying their OurShelves books! We're also so glad to hear that you felt appreciated and cared for in your interactions with our company -- our members like you mean the world to us! Thanks for working with us to ensure all kinds and all families have a place on OurShelves!
We still really love our subscription--after years of receiving books! We talk about social justice issues a lot in house and your books give us great areas to explore further. But I also love that so many of the books you include are just beautiful stories with beautiful characters—that aren’t experiencing oppression rather just finding joy in the world. I think this does so much to really set the tone for the roles that BIPOC and LGBTQ folks play in the world now and in the future. I also love that the books you send aren’t just the well known best sellers—those are great too—but they are books I wouldn’t easily find on my own.
Sarah, thank you for describing so wonderfully how we try to feature all different kinds of kids and families in all different kinds of stories! We're so grateful you're a member of our community! Thank you for your wonderful support!
We love these books. In fact, this is the only subscription that I am keeping. Last year I signed up for you guys and then two other book subscriptions for my daughter and your subscription is the only one that every delivery has had high-quality books that she loves and I didn’t know about already.
I was a professional caregiver for over a decade before having my daughter so finding a children’s book subscription that is of such a good quality and are unique/novel has been really remarkable.
Thank you so much! These kind words mean so much coming from you as a parent and professional caregiver! We're so glad to have you in our community! Thanks for your wonderful support of diverse children's books!
My family has subscribed to OurShelves book boxes for more than a year, and we recommend this subscription to other families regularly. My mom got a subscription for my nephew for Christmas, and she too was very impressed! You won't be disappointed!
As a parent who seeks out diverse children's books on my own, I am consistently impressed by the range and quality of the books in my Our Shelves box each quarter. They are much better than what I find on my own (both high quality printing, but even more importantly for me, wonderfully targeted at my son's age and understanding). Even during the shipping chaos of 2020, Our Shelves stayed in communication with subscribers and delivered books throughout the year like normal.
I also appreciate supporting a subscription that helps to make the case to publishers that there are lots of families who want to see greater diversity in children's picture books. We really do exist, and Our Shelves helps to make the case that there is a market for racial, gender, sexual orientation, cultural, disability, and other forms of diversity.
Elizabeth, wow! Thank you so much for these incredibly kind words and for so beautifully describing what we're trying to do with our OurShelves dual mission. We both curate high-quality diverse children's books as well as advocate to the publishing industry for the many more diverse books needed -- including by proving just how many of us there are who are seeking these books! Thank you also for your kind words about 2020. Our members like you have been such incredible supporters during a very challenging year for all of us. We are so grateful to have someone like you in our community! Thanks for being an incredible partner working to ensure all kids and all families have a place on OurShelves!