Spend a little bit of time immersed in current web culture and you'll find no shortage of speculation on the future of books. Most of that speculation (and data collection, and business planning, and recommendation services, and nearly everything else) focus on the future of books as it applies to the adult reader. But, as they say, what about the children?
It's not revelatory to acknowledge that reading to your kids is critical to their well-being. How are parents to find a book that will entertain and engage their child?
This is a problem I've personally faced of late. I'm a book lover, but how do I transfer that love of books to my child? To date, the only way I know how to do that is to sift throught the vaults of past memories to find the books that touched me as a child. My daughter, though, has different tastes than I did at her age. I can recommend Pippi Longstocking, and The Secret Garden, and The Giving Tree, and those are books that she should know, but how do I help her find her treasures, develop her taste?
Zoobean would like to help. Zoobean is a subscription service ($14.95 per month as I write this) which, once a month, sends subscribers a children's book handpicked by expert curators. The selections are tailored to a specific age group, so 7-year-olds will get a different book than 9-year-olds. Zoobean also sends a reading guide via email to accompany the book. The guide may contain simple literacy tips, or may include activities pertaining to that month's selection.
Even if you don't subscribe, Zoobean is an incredibly useful tool to find your child's next book. You can browse books directly from the homepage, and even filter selections by age, type, genre, and more (filtering requires signing up for a free account).
Once you find something that looks interesting, check out the book's page and simply click on the Amazon link to purchase.
The key to Zoobean lies not in the algorithms, but in the curators: living, breathing people who make heartfelt recommendations.
Who are these curators? People just like you and me:
Our curators are a group of parents and librarians just like you. They live all across the country, their occupations vary, and they have various levels of education and experience. But one thing they all have in common—they are all passionate about finding good books to read to their children.
If the service sounds like an impressive venture, that's because the founders are, to say the least, well-qualified to launch and run such a service. Felix Brandon Lloyd ("Chief Dad and CEO") is a former DC Teacher of the Year. His wife Jordan Lloyd Bookey ("Chief Mom and Creative Officer") is Google's former head of K-12 education.
There's much more to discover about Zoobean, and there's so much to love about this service.
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