Crate Expectations Review + Coupon – March 2021 SHELF CONTROL

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Crate Expectations is a monthly kids’ book subscription box that sends a quality book paired with one-of-a-kind Adventure Guide and toys or games. Plans start at $32.99 each month, plus shipping and tax, and they also offer 3-month and 6-month subscriptions. Each box contains their book club pick of the month, 2-4 specially curated toys or games, a book-related STEM activity and supplies, an exclusive author interview, a book-inspired recipe and menu ideas, book club discussion questions, and recommendations for further reading. The box is suited for 8-12 year old kids and a favorite subscription box for tweens and pre-teens!

The Crate Expectations middle grade readers box made our 2021 readers’ choice list of best subscription boxes for kids!

DEAL: Get 10% off your first purchase! Use coupon code HELLO10.

The items arrived in a simple brown box.

They were protected by white paper squiggles as well. A message in a bottle!

The theme for March 2021 is Shelf Control!

The flip side of the info card lists all the contents of the box.

Everything in the box!

The box also includes an adventure guide.

I am telling you that woman is a problem. And so are her books.

There’s an interview included in the guide. This month, it features Kate Klise, the author of Don’t Check Out This Book.

Next up is a suggested activity for kids! It’s called INKredible ink, and it teaches kids about the science of chromatography.

The box also provided supplies for the activity and they were packed in plastic.

It includes a pen, a marker, and coffee filters.

It was a fun and quick chromatography experiment!

This part of the booklet is called the Bookaneer Log and it is where the kids can write about their crew and put some pictures!

Another activity for the kids is about writing a letter to the school or town librarian. On the next page is a recipe for Apple “Ton of Yum” muffins.

Next is the Captain’s Log, where they suggested some food and activities for your book club meeting, as well as book talk discussion questions. Wouldn’t this be a great box to pick up for summer camp at home?

Of course, the booklet also shared a list of other books that kids can enjoy if they like the featured book. It includes Regarding the Fountain, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Frindle, Property of the Rebel Librarian and The Name of This Book is Secret.

Also included in the box is a book card with its own envelope that you can stick to the book’s endpaper.

Like the crew of a ship, the box included a message inside a corked bottle.

My kids popped the bottle open and took the rolled paper from inside. It has a message that welcomes them to the subscription.

It also listed some activities for book club meetings!

Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise ($11.59)

From the creators of the award-winning Three-Ring Rascals and 43 Old Cemetery Road series!

Is the sweet town of Appleton ripe for scandal?

Consider the facts:

  •        Appleton Elementary School has a new librarian named Rita B. Danjerous. (Say it fast.)
  •        Principal Noah Memree barely remembers hiring her.
  •       Ten-year-old Reid Durr is staying up way too late reading a book from Ms. Danjerous’s controversial “green dot” collection.
  •        The new school board president has mandated a student dress code that includes white gloves and bow ties available only at her shop.

Sound strange? Fret not. Appleton’s fifth-grade sleuths are following the money, embracing the punny, and determined to the get to the funniest, most rotten core of their town’s juiciest scandal. Don’t miss this seedy saga!

The front cover illustration features a bookception, while the back cover gives the readers a glimpse of the story with the school paper inspired layout.

The story synopsis is printed on the inner flap of the dust jacket. It also has an endpaper filled with book illustrations!

This book is pretty interesting because the author told the story through different forms of media instead of the traditional all-text books. For an instance, this page features email conversations, as if you’re reading them first hand.

Aside from emails, there are also handwritten letters and text messages.

This is a light, fast-paced read for kids! The names of the characters are also a fun wordplay, like Cy Durr (Cider) and Reid Durr (reader).

Fly Paper Assorted Vintage Library Card 30 Sheet Memo Pad ($21) This memo pad is so cute! It has a classic library card layout, which goes well with the theme of this month’s book.

The pages also came in different colors. This is a fun take on notepads and I love it!

Giant Gummy Bears Gummy Pickle ($12.99) They also sent a giant gummy pickle! It’s dill-pickle flavored and I like that it is approximately the same size and shape as a regular pickle. It’s pretty wild!

After a hesitant start, my 10 year old ended up LOVING this! It did turn his teeth green!

Fun Puns Talk Laugh Learn ($14.95) Since the book is filled with puns, they also included this punny card game!

The box has the instructions on how to play with these cards.

Gather friends and family and pull a card. Read the question out loud. The person to guess the answer first, wins the card and reads the next question. If no one answers correctly, the reader keeps the card and reads a new one until someone gets the right answer. The person with the most cards wins the game.

My kids loved it and they had a really good laugh guessing all the answers! This is a great card game to play in family parties or even when you just want to get off of your gadgets.

This information card has a sneak peek for the next box’s theme!


Determined to stay together, three orphans join the London evacuation to find a new family.

My kids love this box because it has the feel of belonging to a book club! This month, the featured book touches on topics like censorship, bullies, politics and corruption, and even investigative journalism in a way that kids will understand. The format also helps keep the kids engaged. Among the non-book items, my kids’ favorite is the card game. They had a good laugh because of the puns, and it’s also fun to play with the whole family or with friends. Another thing we love about this subscription is the booklet. Aside from the suggested activities, it always includes discussion questions that helps kids understand the book further. This is such a well-curated box overall. If you’re looking for a good subscription to nurture kids’ love for reading, this one is topping our list!

What do you think of the Crate Expectations box?

Visit Crate Expectations to subscribe or find out more!


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