Saturday, December 21, 2013

Zoobean - Last-Minute Gifting Problem-Solver

Hey peeps! It's been a bit quiet here on the blog this week as Hubs & I have been scrambling to get our holiday shopping done. Usually I'm way ahead of the curve, but this year, between vacation, work and a germ-infested kiddo, we've fallen behind. I'm sure more than a few of you can relate.

If you know me IRL, you probably know that I spent several years working in retail, bookstores to be exact. This was always the point in the holiday season when my coworkers and I started to feel the pinch -- it's too late to order anything, the shelves are starting to get bare, yet shoppers still cling to the desperate notion that they'll find *exactly* what they want. It's tough.I can totally understand what those frantic folks are feeling, because no one wants to admit that it's too late to find that perfect present. But sometimes you have to realize that the ship has sailed, and make the best of the situation.

Many people in that situation succumb to the ease of the gift card. And while that's a fine solution, I have another idea for you this year. Zoobean is a subscription-based book service that's a definite win-win. Each book in their library is curated by parents who also happen to be kidlit experts -- yours truly being one of the folks honored to be a Zoobean curator. I can honestly say that their library is the best of the best. All the picture books I curate are field-tested first by Sprout and myself, and I only share with Zoobean the ones that pass his stringent test. (You'll recognize several from our reviews here on the blog.) Zoobean curators know how to sift through the dross to find the best books out there, the ones your kids will return to again and again.

I was drawn to Zoobean because of their focus on multicultural and diverse titles. And I'm thrilled to see how their library has grown, and how many truly amazing multicultural books they've featured. New subscribers fill out a profile that helps Zoobean customize a subscription just for the child in question. Let me tell you, these folks work HARD to ensure that the books they pick meet each child's needs and interests. I've had the opportunity to help select a few books for personalized subscriptions, and it's very gratifying to hear later that the titles we chose lit up a child's eyes!

You're in the drivers' seat when it comes to a Zoobean subscription. Choose your binding (hardcover or paperback), as well as how often you'd like the books to arrive -- from a one-time gift to a years' worth of yummy literary goodness. Featured books are also accompanied by a reading guide packed with awesome. And Zoobean also recently launched their apps feature, so parents can get help picking out the best of the best in the app world as well.

The Zoobean folks have graciously offered a special discount for Sprout's Bookshelf readers. Make a purchase at Zoobean through 12/31/13 and take $5 off your purchase -- just use code MaryKHoliday to redeem. Give the gift of reading to a kid in your life and save money too?? What's better than that?!

Regular readers will know that I won't recommend anything to you that I don't believe in myself, and Zoobean is a great example of that. For all those who've realized they forgot stocking stuffers, or would just rather stay home in their pjs than head to the mall this weekend -- Zoobean can be the perfect solution to your last-minute gifting crisis. And it's a great way to extend the holiday fun well beyond when the last gift is unwrapped!

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