Our 11 Baby and Toddler Book Subscription Picks for Families That Love To Read

Reading to your baby encourages bonding, vocabulary building, and a lifelong love of learning.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

a young girl is reading book with her teddy bear in a tent at home

d3sign / Getty Images

It’s never too early to start reading to your baby. Sure, a newborn may not listen to the story the same way an older child might, but when you’re reading to your little ones, you’re giving them your undivided attention, which is an awesome way to promote bonding with your infant. Plus, you’re exposing them to engaging shapes, colors, images, and new words each time you turn the page. One study found that reading to your child every day exposes them to around 78,000 words each year—or 1.4 million words by the time they turn 5. This can support your baby’s cognitive development, laying all the early groundwork to help them learn to listen and build their vocabulary and pre-literacy skills over time.

But one survey found that even though more than half (59%) of parents believed that reading to their child would benefit them, less than half were actually doing it—and less than 10% said they had been reading to their kids for more than 15 minutes since birth. And while time was one reason the parents listed as to why, so too was not knowing how to pick the right book for their child. So to help make that part a little easier for you, we evaluated over 20 different baby and toddler book subscriptions, looking for companies that worked with child development experts, librarians, teachers, and parents to pick books that were affordable, developmentally appropriate, educational, and fun to read. Here are the ones we recommend. 

Our 11 Picks for Baby Book Subscriptions 

01 of 11

For Special Editions: Bookaroo

Bookroo logo


Key Specs

  • Pricing: Starts at $20-$26 a box, plus shipping
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 4
  • Ages Served: 0-12 years

Pros & Cons

  • Four “book clubs” so subscription ages with your baby

  • Special publication so book bindings match and look good on the shelf

  • You can keep all the books you are sent

  • Can purchase individual book boxes

  • Gift subscriptions available

  • Collections of 24 to 36 books available as baby shower gifts

  • Exposes you to new authors and lesser-known titles

  • Gift memberships don’t auto-renew

  • Cannot skip monthly book box

  • Shipping is not free

  • Cannot be shipped internationally

  • No customization

Why We Chose It

Let’s be honest: if we’re going to buy a book, we not only want to read it, but we also want it to look nice on the shelf—especially if it is about to become one you read over and over and over to your little one once it becomes their new favorite. And that’s part of what made Bookaroo stand out to us: Every single book it sends is a custom edition, and every book in the collection—or “club” in Bookaroo terms—is of uniform height and features a colorful, custom binding so that it looks nice on your baby’s bookshelf. And if you subscribe for at least a year, you’ll end up with a solid collection of books that form a rainbow of colors with their bindings.

Of course, we like Bookaroo for more than how the books look too—each book is a fun read that your growing baby is sure to love. Bookaroo’s subscriptions age with your child too. The company offers four clubs, each aimed at children of different ages from birth to age 12, so you can start young and keep receiving books until your child is well into middle school. 

The most relevant club for babies is the board book club, which is aimed at babies from birth to age 3. This club starts at $20 a box (if you commit to a 12-month subscription) and includes three board books a month, curated by publishers to engage your baby with colorful, vibrant illustrations and stories. Each book is eight to 14 pages long and made of durable, tear-resistant pages. Past titles sent include Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet, This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer, and How Do You Say I Love You?.

Once your child turns 3, you can keep going with the Picture Book Club (for ages 3-6), Junior Chapter Book Club (for ages 7-10), and Middle-Grade Book Club (ages 9-12). 

That said, it is worth noting that the subscriptions aimed at older kids cost at least $2 more a month and only come with two—not three—books of progressively longer page counts. However, one nice touch is that if you have multiple children at home but don’t want to sign up for two subscriptions, Bookaroo also allows you to sign up for two clubs at once and alternate which box you receive every month. 

If you’re not sure you want to commit to a subscription, you have single purchase options too. You can purchase (or gift) a full collection, which might be pricey but sends you a whole curated series of baby books that are engaging and look adorable in your baby’s nursery. For example, the board book collection, aimed at babies up until their third birthday, starts at $300 and comes with 36 of Bookaroo’s most popular reads, which—while this price tag may seem steep—is actually a discount on the average retailer price for this many books. Like Bookaroo’s subscription, all the books are special edition publishes so they’re all the same height and display a rainbow-colored binding so they look good on the shelf. You can also purchase one-off “mini clubs” for $55 to $60 and receive a smaller curated collection of special edition books.

Bookaroo also stood out to us because it makes it easy to gift a subscription without worrying about having to come back and cancel. You can purchase a set period subscription (for three, six, or 12 months) and your gift won’t auto-renew, so you won’t have to remember to cancel. The website also allows you to build a book registry for your baby if you want, which is handy for holidays and birthdays, or buy one-off discounted books at a more affordable price than most online booksellers.

02 of 11

For Flexibility: Literati



Key Specs

  • Pricing: $10 for membership + cost of books (about $7 each)
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 14
  • Ages Served: 0-14 years

Pros & Cons

  • Keep or return as many books as you want each month

  • Four different boxes aimed at babies

  • For babies and kids through 8th grade

  • Tailored to kids’ and parents’ varied interests

  • No chance of duplicates because you return what you don’t want

  • Very specific book curation by age range

  • Can donate gently worn books

  • Gift subscriptions available

  • Membership fee doesn’t include any books to keep

  • Must pay per book you keep

  • Deadline to mail books back to avoid a charge

  • Pricing is confusing before sign-up

  • Not a lot of detail about how books are curated

Why We Chose It

If you like the idea of a book subscription for your baby, but you’re wary of signing up for one out of fear that you’ll get a duplicate copy of something already on your baby’s shelf, Literati might be the best option for you. Each month, it’s up to you how many books you keep or send back, allowing you the flexibility to decide how much you spend and what you fill up your bookshelf with each month.

Unlike the other subscriptions on our list, with Literati you pay $10 a month and then per book you decide to keep from your monthly box. Past titles have included The Curious Little Star and Twinkle Twinkle Little Shark. If you don’t want to keep any books, that’s OK too—you simply mail them back to Literati. Shipping to you and returns are free (though we’d be remiss not to point out: is shipping really free if you’re paying a $10 membership fee to receive a collection of books to look over? We weren’t totally convinced). Still, we felt like the selection of books was worth this little marketing trick.

Admittedly, returning books each month might be a bit of a pain, but if you want to read to your child regularly but don’t necessarily have infinite space to create a baby library, Literati offers the best deal. You can read all the books you get as many times as you want before you return them, after all, and if there are a couple that your little one can’t bear to part with, that’s OK too.

We also appreciated that Literati offers way more book subscription options—14, to be exact—than most other companies we reviewed. Where other companies might group large age groups together in three-year increments, Literati seems to understand that newborns and toddlers need different things from the books you read to them. That’s why of the 14 plans for kids up to age 14, there are four plans listed as specialized to babies and toddlers, including:

If you’re not sure what box to get your baby because of the overlapping age ranges, don’t fret. Not only can you change boxes anytime, but the company also makes personalized recommendations when you sign up based on your baby’s age and your and your child’s interests. In fact, during sign-up, you’ll be asked to pick from 23 topics—including "spooky," emotional, fantasy, dinosaurs, nature, and more—and you can pick as many as you like to get a subscription recommendation. 

You can also gift a book subscription—and here, unlike with the main subscription, all books are sent to keep. Your giftee does not need to worry about returning anything. Literati also donates books to underserved communities—and accepts donations of gently used books that you want to donate as well. 

The biggest issue with Literati is that the company is not super upfront about the pricing. Instead, the website quotes the average price to keep three books; we had to begin the sign-up process to get quotes about the price to keep all books ($60, plus the membership fee), and the price of the membership without keeping any books.

03 of 11

With Diverse Characters: OurShelves



Key Specs

  • Pricing: $15-$51 per quarter
  • Delivery Schedule: Quarterly
  • Number of Plans: 3
  • Ages Served: 0-8 years

Pros & Cons

  • Books curated by a panel of child development and education experts

  • Books feature diverse characters and underrepresented identities

  • Option to receive one book or three per quarter

  • More affordable than many competitors

  • Multi-age box option for siblings

  • Free shipping available

  • Gift memberships available

  • Keep all the books you’re sent each month

  • One-time purchase book collections available

  • No option to receive books every month

  • Only for younger children

  • No customization

Why We Chose It

When the Cooperative Children’s Book Center surveyed 3,716 books for a 2020 report, it found that only 11.9% featured Black or African main characters, 8.7% Asian or Asian American main characters, 5.3% Latinx main characters, 1% First or Native Nations main characters, and 0.05% Pacific Islander main characters. Conversely, 41.8% had white main characters and 29.2% had animals as main characters.

Enter: OurShelves. It may not have control over what books get published in the U.S., but it is trying to diversify our children’s bookshelves through a quarterly or annual subscription that sends books featuring diverse characters that are racially or ethnically diverse, feminist, identify as LGBTQ+, disabled, or are otherwise underrepresented in children’s books. 

You can either sign up for a subscription or gift one and there are three plans for children between the ages of 0 to 8, though the most relevant for babies is the Sunshine box, aimed at infants from birth through age 2. You can receive one or three books every three months—and you can pay either quarterly or annually. Prices range from $15 to $36, depending on how many books and how often you pay. You also have the option to sign up for a multi-age box for siblings too. 

OurShelves books are curated by a team of librarians, academics, child development experts, teachers, and child psychologists that work very hard to make sure the books they send are educational, diverse, and feature stories that highlight lived experiences that are underrepresented in children’s literature. The goal is to help children read more stories with characters like them and/or learn about differences in a way that encourages empathy, wonder, and curiosity about other cultures and lived experiences. Some of the books—like Bodies Are Cool—are specifically chosen to foster tolerance and acceptance, while others, like May We Have Enough to Share, teach lessons. Others are simply stories about diverse characters. 

If you’re looking for a one-time purchase, rather than a monthly subscription, that’s an option too. OurShelves offers a “Mega Box” tailored to different age groups in packages of 10, 20, or 30 books. All the books included in these sets are titles that were popular with parents in the monthly subscription. If you’re looking at the Sunshine Mega Box (aimed at babies 2 and under), prices range from $120 for 10 books to $330 for 30 books; shipping is free.

04 of 11

With Feminist and LGBTQ+ Characters: Little Feminist

Little Feminist logo

Little Feminist

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $19-$23 per box, plus shipping
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 4
  • Ages Served: 0-9 years

Pros & Cons

  • All plans priced the same

  • Discussion questions, play ideas, hands-on activities, and family letters included

  • Features titles that are rarer or harder to find

  • Books feature feminist, indigenous, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ characters and folks with disabilities

  • Exchange duplicate books for new ones

  • Reminders sent before auto-renewal date

  • Books chosen by a team of educators and parents

  • Gift subscriptions and gift cards available

  • Merchandise also available

  • Company self-publishes books around specific topics and lessons

  • Shipping costs extra

  • Number of books varies from month to month

  • No sibling plan

  • No customization

Why We Chose It

In 2019, only 3.1% of the books surveyed by the Cooperative Children Book Center featured characters from the LGBTQIA+ community, and only 3.4% featured characters with disabilities. (And that’s not to mention the stats we already listed around characters that were BIPOC.) The Little Feminist book subscription is trying to change that, at least on our shelves, by sending books that feature characters of all genders and orientations to encourage kids to grow up knowing it’s OK to be who you are—and to be empathetic towards others.

Little Feminist offers four subscription plans aimed at different age groups (from birth to age 9), but all of them are priced the same (even for older kiddos) based on how long of a commitment you’re willing to make: $23 per box if you pay month to month, but as little as $19 per box if you’re willing to pay for a whole year at a time. 

The 0-2 Baby Book Club includes two board books or one picture book each month, as well as play ideas (for newborns) or a hands-on activity (for toddlers). Each box also comes with some helpful resources for parents, like tips for reading to your newborn or discussion questions for toddlers to boost their engagement with the book. The curators also include a letter to parents to explain why they choose that month’s book or books. Past titles included in the baby subscription include I Believe In Me and Clive Is a Nurse.

We particularly appreciated that Little Feminist allows you to cancel your subscription anytime and even sends you email reminders before the auto-renewal date so you have plenty of time to decide if you want to keep up with the subscription. Also, while the curators strongly believe it is unlikely you’d ever receive a duplicate book since their titles tend to be a little more obscure, if you do receive a duplicate, you can mail it back and receive a new book instead. 

You can also purchase gift subscriptions, gift cards, Little Feminist published books (the company self-publishes books around specific topics), and other merchandise.

05 of 11

By Diverse Authors: Equal Opportunity Book Box

Equal Opportunity Book Box

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $25-$35 a month, plus shipping
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 2
  • Ages Served: 0-7 years

Pros & Cons

  • Books feature characters of diverse identities and backgrounds

  • Introduces babies, toddlers, and kids to Black and POC authors

  • Each box tackles a specific theme or issue

  • For each book bought with subscription, one is donated

  • Discounts are available if you pay months in advance

  • Family discussion questions included in each box

  • Books and packaging are recyclable

  • International shipping available

  • Gift subscriptions available

  • Monthly price is a little higher than other subscriptions

  • Shipping is not free

  • No customization

Why We Chose It

Studies show that when children are exposed to multicultural literature, it can help them develop more respect and tolerance for others that may not share the same race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or socio-economic background. But between 2020 and 2021, the percentage of bestselling kids' books that feature Black characters has decreased by 23%, while the percentage written by a Black author has decreased by 31% and the number written by white authors has increased by 17%.

But with the Equal Opportunity Book Box, you can expose your baby (and older children, since the subscription serves kids up to age 7) to new Black and POC children’s authors. Plus, if you subscribe, you’ll also be helping children attending Title 1 schools in the greater Chicago area, because the Equal Opportunity Book Box has a partnership with the nonprofit Bernie’s Book Bank. For each book you buy as part of your subscription, one book is donated to Bernie’s Book Bank. The books (and packaging they’re sent in) are also made of recyclable materials. 

The company offers two subscription plans: a board book subscription for newborns and toddlers up to age 2, and a picture book subscription for kids between the ages of 3 and 7. The board book plan includes three books that are usually between eight and 14 pages long, as well as family discussion questions around the theme of the box and information about book donations. Past titles included in the Equal Opportunity’s Book Box plan for babies have included Feminist Baby: He’s a Feminist Too, They Say Blue, and Don’t Touch My Hair

You can pay for your subscription monthly (the baby box costs $30; the older kid box, $35) or, like many of the other subscriptions on this list, you can get some discounts on your per-month price if you pay in advance. The Equal Opportunity Book Box offers plans that bill every three, six, and 12 months. Book boxes ship on the 20th of each month regardless of what plan you choose.

06 of 11

For Personalization: Reading Bug Box

reading bug box

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $18-$30 a month, plus shipping
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 4
  • Ages Served: 0-13 years

Pros & Cons

  • Curated and personalized subscription options available

  • Books hand-picked by child’s interest in personalized plans

  • Each box comes with extras and gifts

  • Reading Box for 2 available for less than the price of two separate subscriptions

  • Books chosen by experts that meet with authors and work with local schools

  • Company also has a podcast for kids of all ages

  • Can buy books from the store outside of subscription

  • Shipping is not free

  • Box doesn’t ship on the same date each month

Why We Chose It 

If part of your hesitation in signing your child up for a book subscription comes from a fear that you or your child might hate the books that are included, we get it. We’ve definitely felt some of the same apprehensions as parents too. But that’s also why the Reading Bug Box stood out to us: You can choose to sign up for its curated plan (which is only available for newborns and babies up to 30 months and features pre-selected books) or you can sign up for its personalized plans. 

Parents with babies will like the “Read to Me” plan, which is aimed at kids from birth up to age 4. When you sign up for this plan, you tell the company about your child and what makes them unique, then experts hand-pick some books based on your child's age and, more importantly, their interests. 

During sign-up, you tell the company how old your baby is, and you can also select different interests from a list (i.e. animals, cars, planes and trains, music, science, etc.) or write in some information about your baby that you think the people picking the books should know. In other words, it is a subscription that’s kind of akin to asking a librarian for help picking out a good book for your baby. Each month, you’ll not only receive your three to four hand-picked books but also gifts and extras to fit the theme of the box, such as stickers, art supplies, small toys, or more. 

You can also add to your first box after sign-up by selecting extra books (we were offered the opportunity to add Big Tree), a “reading bug” plush toy, or a bag to carry around your books. In addition, you can pay an extra $12 for your first box to get fast shipping—otherwise, your box will ship between the 10th and 20th of each month.

If you have two kids at home, you can also sign up for the Reading Bug Box for 2, which contains five to six books (rather than three to four) that are a mix of books aimed at both kids plus one to share. This plan saves 10% on the price of two boxes (and saves on shipping costs). The company also operates an independent online and in-person bookstore.

07 of 11

With Free Trial: Tiny Humans Read

tiny humans read logo

tiny humans read

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $18-$30
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 3
  • Ages Served: 0-8 years

Pros & Cons

  • One-month free trial at sign-up

  • Three durable board books in each box

  • Books arrived wrapped to increase the fun for toddlers

  • Gift subscription available

  • Shipping is free

  • Can get a credit if you get a duplicate book

  • Affordable sibling box plan available

  • No interest form during sign-up to learn more about your child

  • Books tend to be more popular/trending titles

  • No customization

Why We Chose It

If you’re on the fence about signing up for a book subscription for your baby, we get it—and so does Tiny Humans Read. When you subscribe to this service, you’ll get your first box completely for free and won’t be billed until the very end of the month (for your subsequent box). In other words: you can figure out if you like it or not before you have to spend a dollar.

The Board Book Box is a plan for babies and toddlers. It ships on the 18th of the month and comes with four board books appropriate for young children, as well as tips and activities for you to try with your baby and bonus printables by email. Past board books have included Hello Knights, Here George, and Hello World! My Body. The box costs $27 as a one-time purchase, but $26 a month if you subscribe for a monthly plan. You can also prepay for three or six months and pay $25 a month (which honestly, isn’t that great of a savings compared to other subscriptions on this list, so may not be worth the upfront expense).

If you’re shopping for more than just your baby, there is a plan for older kids and a Sibling Box, which, while a little more money ($31 with a subscription), is more affordable than the price of two subscriptions (and beats the price of most other sibling subscriptions on this list). It comes with two board books and two picture books. 

Whatever subscription you choose, your books will arrive wrapped—which only boosts the excitement for little ones that love unwrapping things. 

The biggest downside of Tiny Humans Read is that it is not super upfront about the qualifications of the team that chooses the books. It also tends to ship more books you have likely heard of or seen in bookstore windows—its choices are not as rare or lesser-known than some of the other subscriptions on our list. That said, the prices are better than what you’ll find in store, since many of the books included in the subscription actually come from publishers’ excess inventory. And if you do get a book you already have, you can send the company a picture of both books together and get a credit towards a new book the following month. 

08 of 11

For Newer Releases: Elephant Books

Elephant Books logo

Elephant Books 

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $30 per box
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 2
  • Ages Served: 0-6

Pros & Cons

  • Each box includes three books

  • Books curated by a panel of experts

  • Books arrived wrapped in kid-friendly packaging

  • Company will replace a book you already have

  • Same price for both plans

  • Specializes in sending recently published books

  • Discounts are available if you prepay

  • Upgrade available for gift subscriptions

  • Free shipping in the U.S.

  • Pricier than some subscriptions

  • No sibling plan

  • Book titles are not as rare as competitors

  • No customization

Why We Chose It

Let’s clear something up: Just because a book is popular, trending, or bestselling doesn’t mean it’s not good. Quite the opposite, in fact! It’s popular for a reason (aka it’s fun to read) so you don’t have to look for rarer titles to be a good parent. If you’re looking for a subscription that will help you stay in the loop with recently published kids' books, Elephant Books is the subscription for you. 

The company specializes in sending new publishes—the very ones you’ll see at the “New Releases” table in bookstores—right to your home every month. For example, past books included Goodnight Max the Brave, The Very Very Very Long Dog, and Shark Bite. There are two subscription plans offered: One with three board books (aimed at newborns to 2-year-olds) and one with two picture books (for ages 2 to 6). You can also prepay in three-, six-, or 12-month increments and pay less per box if you like.

The books are curated by the Elephant Books team from lists of all recently published children's books and then narrowed down based on input the editors collect from parents, teachers, authors, and kids. Each box is curated to include variety, as well as encourage kids' learning and new interests. 

Elephant Books also makes for a great baby shower gift (or birthday gift) because you can upgrade a gift subscription for $35 at checkout and receive a first box that is ready to give in person. This upgrade includes an elephant plush toy, the books you’d receive with the subscription, a personalized gift message, and helpful reading tips for parents—all in a custom presentation box.

09 of 11

For Bilingual Families: Sol Book Box

Sol Book Box

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $18-$40 per box, plus shipping
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 3
  • Ages Served: 0-8 years

Pros & Cons

  • All subscription plans include books that can be read to babies

  • Choose one, two, or three books a month

  • Includes both Spanish and bilingual titles

  • Books come from a mix of Latin American, Spanish, and U.S. publishers

  • Titles are more likely to be rarer or lesser-known

  • Includes companion materials for parents in English

  • Bonus book included if you pay for multiple months at once

  • Sign-up includes a place to list reading topic preferences

  • Shipping is not free

  • No customization

Why We Chose It

In the United States, nearly 68 million people speak a language other than English at home—and of all the non-English languages spoken, Spanish is the most widely used (around 13% of the total U.S. population speaks it at home.) So whether your family speaks Spanish at home or you want to make sure your child learns it at an early age (when kids learn languages faster), a book subscription that includes bilingual books is a great option. Sol Book Box does just that.

Once you subscribe, you’ll receive one to three Spanish or bilingual books (depending on which plan you choose). Unlike other subscriptions on this list, the company says all three plans are good options for babies and toddlers, though the board book box (which includes two) is aimed specifically at kids under 3, while the others are aimed at kids and families with kids between ages 0 and 8. Pricing ranges from $18 to $40 a month, depending on your plan and whether you pay for multiple months at a time. If you do prepay for three and six months, though, you’ll receive one bonus book with your order. Past titles included Esto No Es Una Selva, Animales, and Por Vosotros.

The company’s editors review hundreds of new Spanish and bilingual books, working with leading publishers in not only the U.S. but also Latin America and Spain. This means that if you subscribe, you’re likely to get more unique or lesser-known titles than you might find at your local bookstore. The books arrive wrapped like presents and the company does guarantee that if you or your child don’t like a book, they’ll help make it right—though the details of how they do this aren’t super clear from the website. 

You do get the chance to indicate if there are specific topics that interest you and your child, though, such as animals, families, food, humor, historical figures, Latin America, and more. You can also indicate at sign-up if you’re interested in books from a particular region or have some favorite publishers and authors.

We also appreciated that this subscription is aware that not all parents signing up for these subscriptions will be fluent in Spanish themselves, which is why it selects books that will be fun to read whether you and your baby are just learning Spanish or you’re already a native speaker. You’ll also receive companion materials in English and where titles are bilingual, you can select which language you want to receive the book in. You can also purchase individual books through the website.

10 of 11

For Toddlers: StoryCaptain

story captain logo

story captain

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $20-$25 per box, plus shipping
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 2
  • Ages Served: 0 - 7 years

Pros & Cons

  • Boxes themed to encourage exploration and curiosity

  • Books curated by a librarian and children’s author

  • All books chosen to engage with toddlers’ natural curiosity

  • If you get a duplicate book, they’ll send you a coupon for your next renewal

  • Gift subscriptions are available

  • You can switch clubs at any time

  • Does not ship internationally

  • Shipping is not free

  • Must email the company to cancel or pause your subscription

  • Website is not very informative

  • Only two plans available

  • Not customizable

Why We Chose It 

If the endless “why?” questions your toddler no doubt asks time and time again aren’t a clue, toddlers tend to be very curious as they start to learn about the world and people around them—and that’s why we recommend the StoryCaptain book subscription. Both subscription plans choose books aimed at toddlers that are curious about the world, different cultures, and how things work. 

The company was founded by two immigrant parents who both remember how much curiosity they had about people, places, and various cultures when they were young and who wanted to encourage that in their daughter through books. As a result, the company takes great care to select books, with the help of a children’s librarian and children’s author, that help little ones explore the world through different cultures, traditions, foods, and places. The company offers two plans: the “WobbleCaptain Club,” which sends three board books for younger babies and toddlers, and the “CuriousCaptain Club,” which sends two or three picture books for kids ages 4 through 7. 

Each box is themed—past themes have included India, outer space, and Vikings—and includes two to three books, a monthly digest, play-along activity guides, and some on-theme freebies or giveaway toys and items. Past books have included 8 Little Planets and Festival of Color, though the website states that the company does not publicize its books in advance, nor does the site feature a list of past books as some of the other subscriptions on our list do.

11 of 11

With Parent Guides: The StoryBox

the story box logo

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $15-$30 per box
  • Delivery Schedule: Monthly
  • Number of Plans: 2
  • Ages Served: 0-8 years

Pros & Cons

  • Curated by a speech language pathologist

  • Comes with two books in each box

  • Board book plan is more affordable

  • Each box includes a guide for parents to help make the most of reading time

  • All books are fun and educational

  • No discount if you prepay for three or six months

  • Shipping is not free

  • Website is not very intuitive to navigate

  • No FAQs on the website

Why We Chose It

If you have decided you want to read more to your baby or toddler but aren’t sure where to begin, The StoryBox makes it a little easier.

When you subscribe, you will choose to either receive board books (for $15 a month) or picture books (for $30 a month). In both plans, the books are curated by a child speech pathologist to be fun, educational, and encourage pre-literacy skills, and both are good picks for toddlers, though the board books might be better for babies under a year (especially since board books are more durable). Past titles include Goodnight Yoga, Adventures of Honey & Leon, and Calvin, Look Out.

What made this subscription stand out from its competitors most is how it helps parents get better at reading to their babies and toddlers. It includes expertly written guides from a speech-language pathologist in every shipment. With the board books, you’ll be sent a monthly challenge to help encourage your little one to learn pre-literacy skills, and with the picture books, you’ll get a double-sided guide that helps you and your little one get the most out of the books.

Each guide will include activities to try with your kid to explore the concepts and themes of the books, as well as ideas for how to make family memories and encourage bonding. The guide is also double-sided: On one side it will include tips for parents of toddlers and preschoolers, and on the other, it will include tips for reading with your early elementary school-aged child. This is helpful because it will assist you in getting the most out of your book right now, but also for years to come as your children grow. 

It is worth noting that while the $15 board book plan is very affordable, especially compared to competitors, the picture book plan is on the higher side. In addition, there is no discount if you prepay for three or six months of your subscription as there is with most other companies.

Compare the Best Baby Book Subscriptions

Company Ages Served Number of Books Included Price Per Box Delivery Schedule Number of Plans Free Shipping?
Bookaroo For Special Editions 0-12 3 board books or 2 hardcover books $20-$26 Monthly 4 No
Literati For Flexibility 0-14 5 $10 per month plus cost of books kept Monthly 14 Yes
OurShelves With Diverse Characters 0-8 1-3 $15-$51 Quarterly 3 Yes
Little Feminist With Feminist and LGBTQ+ Characters 0-9 1 picture book or 2 board books/paperback books $19-$23 Monthly 4 No
Equal Opportunity Book Box By BIPOC Authors 0-7 3 $25-$35 Monthly 2 No
Reading Bug Box For Personalization 0-13 3-4 books $19-$30 Monthly 5 No
Tiny Humans Read With Free Trial 0-8 4 board books or 3 picture books $18-$30 Monthly 3 Yes
Elephant Books For Newer Releases 0-6 3 board books or 2 picture books $30 Monthly 2 Yes
Sol Book Box For Bilingual Families 0-8 1-3 $18-$40 Monthly 3 No
StoryCaptain For Toddlers 0-7 2-3 $20-$25 Monthly 2 No
The StoryBox With Parent Guides 0-8 2 $15-$30 Monthly 2 No

How to Choose a Baby Book Subscription for Your Family

When you’re choosing a baby book subscription for your little one, there are a few factors that you can consider, including:

  • Ages served: There are lots of kid subscriptions out there, but not all of them will be good for babies or toddlers. So as a first step, take a look not only at the ages served by the company but whether it seems to really do research to make sure the books are developmentally appropriate for babies and toddlers. 
  • Number of plans: One way some companies try to make sure their books are developmentally appropriate and interesting to is by offering specific plans grouped by age. After all, kids are not alike—and their interests can vary pretty quickly between age 1 and age 4. So if you’re concerned about this, look for companies that target smaller age groups or offer more plans with narrower focuses.
  • How books are curated: Not all companies are upfront about how they choose their books and while this doesn’t mean the books you’ll receive are bad, it could mean that the company is just sending you whichever books a publisher pitched them (or sent them surplus stock of). So if possible, look for companies that share who makes the reading selections. The best baby book subscriptions are curated by educators, child development experts, librarians, children’s authors, or even parents that have first-hand experience.
  • Price: Most book subscriptions will bill you monthly for the books included and they will offer you some kind of discount on the retail price of the book. However, with Amazon often cornering the market on discount books, it is not a bad idea to look up past titles a subscription has offered to make sure that you are actually getting a good deal on the kinds of books you might receive. Some companies will also list lower prices, but you can only actually get that monthly price if you prepay. Since that might not be something your family can afford, make sure you know the actual price of the plan before making your choice.
  • How many books you receive: Some subscriptions have monthly themes and send you a variety of books, which is a great way to build your library quickly. Others are more selective and send you only one book at a time—or only send books every three months. This might be preferred if you’re worried about space. Books can quickly take up all your available shelving if you receive three or more a month!
  • Customization: Some companies allow you to answer some questions about your interests, your child’s interests, and your goals for reading time. They then use this form to help hand-pick books based on your answers. 
  • What types of books are included: Most companies will allow you to choose between board and picture books, but others specialize in other ways. Some prioritize books that feature diverse characters, books by BIPOC authors, or books from publishers outside the U.S. Some feature books in different languages, while others specialize in new releases. This allows you to make sure you sign up for the type of books you want to expose your baby or toddler to.

Key Considerations for Baby Book Subscriptions

What Do You Get With Baby and Toddler Book Subscriptions?

Baby and toddler book subscriptions will generally send you a set number of books (usually between one and four) every month or quarter. These books are generally board books for babies and toddlers, but some subscriptions might also include hardcover picture books with vibrant illustrations or age-appropriate stories. 

A few subscriptions wrap the books so your baby has something to tear open and get excited about, while others include extras like toys, art supplies, stickers, or other bonus items. Some also include resources for parents, like activity ideas, conversation starters about the message of the book, or tips for helping make the most out of reading time. 

Are Baby Book Subscriptions Worth It?

Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on your family's needs, but yes, for many parents, book subscriptions are worth it—especially when your child is young.

Not only can these subscriptions offer discounts on the retail price of a book, but they can also be convenient: You no long have to strap your baby into your carrier or stroller and head out to the store to wander the shelves and try to pick a book (or worry about your baby having a meltdown or blow-out diaper while you're at it).

The monthly subscription can also be a gentle reminder to read to your baby more often. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of being a parent and, despite our best intentions, forget to make time for things like reading. This is especially true when your baby is little and requires regular feedings, diaper changes, and a pretty strict nap schedule. But getting a box of books once a month might just encourage you to take the time to open it up and read your new titles—at least on delivery day, if not more frequently.

Some parents also appreciate that the books are curated for them. It can be tough to know which books will be the most educational or beneficial to your little one's development as they grow. (And if you're in a hurry, you'll probably just judge a book by its cover and toss it in the cart.) Book subscriptions, meanwhile, are often curated by panels of librarians, child development experts, child psychologists, teachers, other parents, or even researchers to meet your baby where they're at, age-wise, and help you better expose them to new shapes, colors, words, and more.

Some of the best subscriptions will also help you teach your growing toddler about different cultures, languages, traditions, and ethnicities so they can learn about differences and develop empathy and acceptance from early childhood.

Many book subscriptions will also ease your fears of getting duplicate books by sending you replacement books if you do accidentally get a title you already have; which, let's be honest, is a better return policy than when your mother-in-law sends you a duplicate book.

Of course, no subscription is going to know you, your baby, and your family's needs perfectly. So some parents will ultimately find that book subscriptions are not worth it because they want to expose their little one to a different type of book—and that's OK too.

Some parents may also find book subscriptions are most useful when their kids are little but become less worth it as their child develops stronger interests in specific topics or authors. But the good news is, if that happens to your family, you can always cancel your subscription.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who Chooses the Books for Baby Book Subscriptions?

    This varies by company. Some companies have editors on staff that go over lists of new releases, talk with publishers, and read parent suggestions before picking books, while others will work with educators, librarians, child development experts, speech pathologists, psychologists, and other authors to curate the books each month. 

  • At What Age Should You Start Reading to Your Baby?

    You can start reading to your baby from birth. While your baby might not respond the same way an older child will, they will enjoy hearing your voice and looking at the vibrant images in the board book as you turn the pages. It will also promote bonding between you and your little one when you hold them and read. Listening to your words will also help give them the building blocks they need to learn to talk, as well as encourage them to interact with the book by pointing and touching the pages.  

  • How Much Do Baby Book Subscriptions Cost?

    Baby book subscriptions can range in price depending on how often they ship books to your home, how many books you receive, and whether you pay in advance. However, our research has found that most subscriptions cost between $15 and $40 a month.

  • How Do I Encourage My Baby or Toddler to Like Books?

    Kids tend to be more interested in books if they see you reading regularly—and not just when you're reading aloud to them. You can also help your child be more interested in reading if you're patient during story time: Let them ask questions, turn the pages, interact with the book, or even tell you they're done before the story is done. Making reading time fun can also help. Consider giving the characters voices, asking questions, or making it a family activity where everyone cuddles up to read together.


In order to compile this list of baby and toddler book subscriptions, we evaluated over 20 different companies. To begin with, we looked for companies that served children under 3, then we evaluated the companies based on their offerings. 

We looked for companies that worked with schools, librarians, teachers, child psychologists, speech therapists, child psychologists, and other experts to curate their books. We also prioritized companies that included books that featured diverse characters or that were written by diverse authors of different races, ethnicities, cultures, or international countries. We also liked when subscriptions offered something unique, whether it was unusual or hard-to-find books, new releases, or books in another language so that we could help assist parents looking for something specific. 

We also made sure to look at what books were included in past subscription boxes to make sure the books were not only age-appropriate, but also well-liked by parents, reviewers, and experts. We wanted our list to be made up only of subscriptions that offer babies and parents options for engaging, educational, and fun books to read because we know that making reading fun is a big part of turning it into a lifelong hobby. Finally, we considered pricing to make sure the cost of the subscription did offer some kind of relative benefit over ordering the books at an online retailer or buying them in person. 

Edited by Hannah Owens
Was this page helpful?
Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Parental book-reading to preterm born infants in NICU: The effects on language development in the first two years. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021.

  2. When children are not read to at home: The million word gap. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2019.

  3. Why is it important to read to your child? Child Mind Institute. 2023.

  4. National read aloud survey shows most parents are not reading enough to their children. Durham's Partnership for Children. 2016.

  5. Books by and/or about Black, Indigenous, and People of Color 2018-. Cooperative Children's Book Center. 2023.

  6. Why We Need Diverse Books. National Education Association, 2020.

  7. How Does Exposure to Multicultural Literature Benefit Children's Thought Processes About Race? Education Masters, 2012.

  8. 23% Decrease in Black Characters in Children's Bestsellers as BLM Bounce Fades. Wordsrated, 2022.

  9. Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in U.S. homes, even among non-Hispanics. Pew Research Center. 2013.

  10. Why do children learn languages more effortlessly than adults? United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe. 2022.

Related Articles