Literati Club Sage Welcome Experience Box Review – February 2018

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Literati is a monthly book subscription box for children that works similar to Stitch Fix. For a monthly fee of $9.95 you’ll receive 5 books to try out for a week. You can purchase the ones you love and return the rest (in totally new condition) in the enclosed prepaid mailer (shipping is free in both directions).

You can get 5% off when you decide to keep all the books! There are also categories for each age bracket: Club Neo is for newborn to 1 year; Club Sprout is for children ages 2-3; Club Nova is for kids 4-6; and Club Sage is for those 7-8 years old.

This is a review of the Club Sage welcome box. Your first month is not a themed month but will consist of previous selections.

The items come neatly wrapped in tissue paper, with a sticker.

The box looks full!

The featured illustrator creates new artwork for the monthly themes. This month’s illustrator is Nina Laden.

There’s even a little Q&A with the featured illustrator at the back of the card.

The info card is a cool art print too! Unfortunately all the prints have months and other Literati references so I wouldn’t be particularly interested in hanging them up.

It lists the titles with a brief description for each.

They included a sheet to help us label the books, and make others know that it’s ours, when we decide to keep them.

There’s also a listing of the book prices. If you decide to keep everything, you’ll get 5% off. The subscription has a $9.95 non-refundable fee and that ito your purchases. According to Literati “it covers shipping both ways, allows the curators to invite a new world-renowned illustrator each month to draw personalized bookplates and a unique print for members, and covers other themed surprises that are included in the box.” Apparently, they offered a 10% off the purchase of one book, 15% off two books, 20% off three books, 25% off four books and 30% off five books, when they launched, but that may have been off the MSRP.

Aside from the books, they also included some fun stuff to get you started.

It’s a UV light along with a marker to read and write secret messages!

Using the UV light, we’re able to read their welcome note.

There’s also a padded mailer, if you want to return some of the books. You can also return your own gently read books (up to five total in the mailer) for donation.

To be completely honest I was totally horrified when I saw the padded mailer as the method to return books. It stressed me out just as much as returning a purse to Stitch Fix in a mailer. What’s wrong with a box?

Everything in the box!

The Girl Who Drank The Moon By Kelly Barnhill ($11.65)

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.

The inside flap of the hardbound book features the story’s synopsis. The book also has a ribbon bookmark.

The story of the the Girl Who Drank the Moon is as classy as Peter Pan or the Wizard of Oz.

The pages are all texts, with no accompanying illustrations.

This book exhibits quite a bit of shelf wear on the jacket.

The Tale Of Despereaux By Kate DiCamillo ($7.19)

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.
With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.

It’s a paperback and it also comes with a bookmark.

Unlike the first book, this one included illustrations to accompany the kids on their reading adventure. The story is cute and family-friendly too!

Arthur And The Golden Rope By Joe Todd-Stanton ($13.26)

Imagine a vault so cavernous that it could contain all the world’s greatest treasures and relics, from mummified remains of ancient monarchs to glistening swords brandished by legendary warriors. Who could be in charge of such a vault and how did he come into possession of such a unique collection? Who is…Professor Brownstone?

Joe Todd-Stanton grew up in Brighton and was taught to draw by his mother, who is also an illustrator. He studied at Bristol University, receiving a first class degree in Illustration.

We are actually expecting a lot from this book because the author is also a known illustrator.

When you open it up, you will see a creative presentation of the characters.

The illustrations didn’t disappoint. They were not just vivid but highly detailed too!

The texts are short, allowing the kids to enjoy the beauty of the illustrations while relating it to the story.

This is such a page turner. It’s something that my kids would love to read over and over!

Rain Forests Masks By Gavin Rutherford And Tanya Batrak ($10.28) This book features ten 3D masks!

Pop out, make, and play with ten strikingly beautiful illustrated paper masks of amazing rain forest creatures – a toucan, a jaguar, a frog, a butterfly, and more are waiting to be brought to life!

A note is included to inform the kids on how to make the masks. Apparently there was a misprint. So basically this book is a second.

The book comes with complete instructions with easy to follow illustrations.

Here’s one of the 3D masks you can make, a jaguar!

Each mask also includes fun facts about the featured animals!

This is entirely not what I expected out of this subscription, and to be totally honest again, I was completely uninterested in purchasing an activity book. I am pretty sure my kids are busy enough without dropping cash on a book of cut out masks. They are gorgeous and at least were accompanied by some text but I was looking for good juicy reads.

The last book we received wasn’t in a good condition, confirming every thought that ran through my head when I opened the box and saw a padded return mailer.

Ghosts By Sonia Goldie ($14.16)

A playful, delightfully illustrated book that sets the record straight about ghosts. Ghosts are not sheets with holes dragging around a ball and chain. Indeed, they’re just as colorful and diverse as humans. Here you’ll meet the ghost of the chimney, the TV, the kitchen, and the library, to mention just a few.

Marc Boutavant is a graphic artist, illustrator, and comic strip author. He was born in in Borgogne in 1970 and lives in Paris, France. He has illustrated many books and is especially well known for his book Around the World with Mouk.

Like most hardbound books with cover, the flap included a short synopsis. A ribbon bookmark is in place too.

It would’ve been a great find if not for the book’s bad condition. The pages are glossy and the illustrations are really good.

I really can’t understand how this subscription will make it. Unlike Stitch Fix as your fee isn’t applied to the cost of the books you keep. This subscription is like Amazon except you pay the shipping. I decided to keep the Arthur book and paid exactly what I would have on Amazon except an additional $9.95 for the benefit of having it shipped to me and having to return the books I didn’t want in the horrifying padded mailer. In comparison, I can get 5% off any title at Amazon simply by using my Amazon Visa.

Two of the books had shelf wear, the ghosts book was in particularly bad condition. Considering the price was the same at Amazon, it’s hard to see the value proposition for this subscription, besides finding delightful new reads, and really the only incentive to keep these books is the fact that you’ve paid a membership fee. The one “book” not fulfilled by Amazon was really more of an activity, and wasn’t what I was expecting from this subscription. And then I realized I could check out the books my daughter really wanted (The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Despereaux) on her Kindle from our local library.

I’ll let this subscription go for an additional month but I’m really skeptical about this one.

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