Friday, April 7, 2017

Usborne Books - My Experience and a Giveaway!

I've been a homeschooling mom for a long time. Books have played a large part in our days and more than once I've found treasures at library book sales. Usborne books have often been those treasures. Recently I placed my first order of Usborne books through my friend Anna Case. She's been helpful through the process - and is offering a giveaway to one of my readers. I'll get to those details in a moment. First let me share a bit about my experience and the books I chose.

The Usborne website is full of so many books: fiction, nonfiction, activity books, wipe off books, chapter books. It can be a bit overwhelming keeping track of books that catch my eye. Anna reminded me that the wishlist feature can keep track of things for me. I spent time browsing Usborne categories over several weeks while I was thinking about my children's interests. When I came across a title that sounded promising I added it to my wishlist.

The Usborne website doesn't offer a detailed look into their books. There is a description and sometimes an extra picture or two. Once again, she was a great source of help - she pointed me to YouTube. Many Usborne books have been reviewed by people on YouTube. These video reviews share footage from the inside of books, comments about the book from someone holding it in their hands, and sometimes comparisons of Usborne books on similar topics to explain what age each book would fit best. I took my wishlist and spent a week checking YouTube for videos to see inside each book I was considering. That helped me narrow down my list to a more manageable size. I had a specific amount of money budgeted for Usborne books and stayed within that amount. Are you curious about what books I purchased? I'll go over them in groups!

Board Books

My youngest children are 1 and 3 years old. While the 3 year old can be trusted with paper pages, the 1 year old is not gentle enough yet. Both boys are enjoying these books. My 3 year old has some speech delays that we are working on. These board books are sturdy enough for my 1 year old but my 3 year old and I are using them as part of his speech therapy practice. The first book has many familiar things for him to identify or answer questions about. The second book has lifelike pictures of 1000 animals divided into broad categories. There are even some animals I've never heard of!

Activity Books

I chose two color by number books. One is aimed at younger children with bigger pieces of the picture to color in at a time, some portions already printed in color, and younger-child friendly themes. The other color by number has more detailed pictures to color. The smaller books are also activity books. The crossword book begins with simple crosswords of 6 words that grow larger over the course of the book. One hint I have for doing crossword puzzles with non-spellers - have them figure out the answer and you write it in. Simple and fun! The 100 Logic Puzzles has spent more time in my children's hands than on the shelf so far - it has a variety of colorful puzzles and mind-benders to solve.

I have lots of kids who love art and drawing. I have recently introduced some of my middle readers to children's manga books and they are fascinated by the comic book format. This book walks you through comic book creation with doable activities. Fingerprint art will be a fun addition for my littles who love messy art.

We love story telling games and I couldn't resist a storytelling book. You choose a character at the very beginning and on every page you are prompted to choose a path and add to your story. There are boxes prompting you with things to describe or decide. The illustrations are colorful and interesting. We used it as a group our first time through. Each person turned a page and made the decisions for the story, told us what happened next, and then passed the book to the next person, who turned the page and kept things rolling.

Learning Books

The Academy series is part activity book, part unit study. Kids are introduced to many topics related to the career theme. I LOVE these books because they pull together so much information on topics for me. I've taken some pictures from the Architect book to show you what I mean:
  • Top Left: How to Build a Model House - Yes, it shows them how to plot out a house model on grid paper and cut it out to build. 
  • Top Right: Climate - This is talking about how to make a house fit for the elements it will be in. This page includes some science investigations about insulating materials.
  • Bottom Left: Offices - this explains many of the things an architect must keep in mind when designing a functional office complex. It also introduces kids to the Pentagon. (Earlier in the book children are introduced to other famous structures in relation to architecture. 
  • Bottom Right: Area and Perimeter - Putting math to use in a real, applicable way.

Above and Below is a beautiful book about a variety of biomes and habitats. The bottom half of each page has a section that turns over to reveal the below the surface environment and creatures.

I like this book and card set to add some fine arts to our days. Lots of information in the book and on the back of the art cards. We will probably use these in our Morning Basket in the fall.


Who doesn't love a giveaway? My friend Anna has generously offered to allow one winner a $25 shopping spree in Usborne books, which she will ship directly to the winner. There are lots of ways to enter, so use the Rafflecopter below.
This giveaway will end on April 15, 2017. Books will only be shipped within the continental US(sorry, this is not for international friends).

Ready to make an order already? I would love it if you shopped through this link - I'm hosting a party through Anna right now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. We've always enjoyed Usborne books at our house. Their history books are some of our favorites, and my little boys love, love, love the 1,000 things to spot series.

  2. The Classical Music Reference looks great! I have the Art Cards! I love them but the addition of the music book would be neat. But, it's hard to decide because I have really like all Usborne books I have crossed paths with. My girls really like the sticker books.

  3. Usborne books have been a great addition to our homeschool!

  4. We love Usborne! I'd love to get the art cards.

  5. I can't wait to look through the website! You have so many great books and I can't wait to add some to our library!

  6. I'm a big Usborne lover and continue to learn more things. Especially excited about that Story Path book, never heard of it before and it's going on my wishlist RIGHT NOW!

  7. I want the informational books! My daughter is entering her perimeters and area unit

  8. I'd probably like to add drawing books or one of the career/unit study books.


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