“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket
Like me, my oldest was an early reader. We spend a lot of time fostering his love of literature and trying to find age-appropriate books with positive messages that also pique his interest. Nicole Amann, the knowledgeable curator behind small shop Well Versed Kids, helps with this endeavor.
Well Versed Kids is a subscription book box service that delivers several themed books each month tailored to your child’s age and reading level. “Well Versed Kids grew out of an adult book club we had on Facebook. We read and discussed socially conscious and diverse books. We often shared children’s books or were looking for suggestions for children’s books. It evolved from there,” Amann recalled. “I wanted a shop name that was not just for a book club, but rather, a lifestyle. To be well versed is to be knowledgeable. I love learning something new every day and I encourage my children to do the same.” Since Amann launched last year, she has tackled a variety of humanitarian topics like freedom of the press, Earth Day and caring for the environment, and women’s history month. “I find monthly inspiration from current events and holidays in that particular month. For instance, you typically associate the month of July with Independence Day. Given the current climate, I chose books related to immigration and refugees,” she said. “I try to include as many authentic voices as possible, which is difficult when 90% of children’s books are written by white authors. The November book list was particularly difficult. The theme was Native American books. So few books with wide availability are written by Native authors.”
Each box comes with two books carefully selected by reading level, coloring pages, bookmarks, stickers and pre-stamped postcards for the little readers to provide Well Versed Kids with feedback about the books. “It’s fun! It combines all of the things I love. Books, crafts, paper goods, and mail,” Amann laughed. Plus, what kid doesn’t love receiving mail? Well Versed Kids also offers a reduced online subscription that includes digital copies of the themed books, a newsletter and printable bookmarks and activity sheets. Through either subscription format, the small shop focuses on bringing awareness to culturally sensitive issues through books for children. “Books are not really something people look for in the small shop community. Most people buy off Amazon or grab some from the library, but it is important to me that all children see themselves represented in the books they read and that is not the case for everyone,” she shared.
Amann, who loves The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (me too!), also recently started the Well Versed Kids Lending Library. “You will be able to borrow up to four books a month from my library of books. New books will added every month.” Find the next great read and sign up for an upcoming Well Versed Kids book box on the shop’s website or Facebook group here.