Books / Kid's Activities

Powell’s BOOX Review: Subscription Book Box for Kids

Last Updated: September 16, 2020

This is a review or “unboxing” of the Powell’s BOOX box for kids. A bit of a tongue twister! BOOX is Powell’s subscription picture book club. It says every eight weeks, but it looks like they’re currently sending monthly? Maybe we got in on the tail-end of the last box though. So it’s a monthly-ish subscription box for $36. From looking at past boxes, it looks like you typically get two books and a couple of toys or art goodies. Each box has a theme book that you do know you’re getting, and everything else is a surprise.

Powell's BOOX review - A subscription book box for kids

There are apparently a ton of book box subscriptions for kids now! We tried Literati a couple years ago, and now Amazon, Powell’s a bunch of other brands have jumped on-board. Literati was a cheaper up-front monthly cost, but more like StitchFix but for books. Meaning you pay a monthly fee and then you pay more for what you want to keep and send the rest back. We ended up putting ours on hold, because it was hard to keep up with with traveling and summer time business etc. I guess Powell’s has been doing their box for 20 months at least, as we received box #20! I hadn’t heard of it until recently. And since we’re obsessed with books and Powells, we decided to give it try! On to the review…

Here’s my unboxing and Powell’s BOOX review video:

BOOX Box #20 – Outside In included:

  • Outside In hardcover book – $18 Powells, $14.50 Amazon
  • The Littlest Family’s Big Day hardcover book – $8 used Powells, $14 Amazon
  • Sunprint Kit 4×4” 12ct – $7.50 Powells, $9 Amazon
  • Insect Lore Wind-up Butterfly toy – not listed Powells, $3 Amazon

To buy these items individually from Powell’s would have been about $36.50 – granted one of those books listed on Powell’s is used. And the whole kit from Amazon would be $40.20. So overall, the Powell’s BOOX subscription price of $35.95 is less than both those. And I list these prices not to say getting this subscription box is based on price alone! But just to get an idea of the monetary value of the items in the box.

They don’t list a target age range for the BOOX boxes, but based on this box, I would say ages 2-7. Obviously this depends on your child, and probably most interested would be ages 3-6.


Subscription book box: BOOX from Powells

My overall thought is that I would like for the box to be about $5 cheaper – so closer to $30 for a monthly box or to see a bit more added into the box for the $36 price. However, I do love that it’s supporting an independent bookstore. Powells Books is one of our favorite places to take our two year old (and his cousins when they come visit). We have a lot of great memories of him crawling down the aisles and picking out books when he couldn’t even walk yet. And Powell’s is a Portland company and retail place that we hope and pray will make it through this COVID era.

The book selection seems very thoughtful and intentional for the theme. One book, Outside In, will likely interest slightly older children. The other book, The Littlest Family, will catch younger kids attention more and has a lot to look at, with familiar animals and objects. My almost three year old was immediately taken with this book! I think it will take him a bit longer to get interested in the Outside In book. The extras also seem for diverse ages, the butterfly caught his interest right away, but he will also enjoy the art project. Where an older child would probably be drawn to the art project. So I appreciate that it covers an age range while still be interesting and accessible!

We’ll definitely be trying the BOOX box another time or so. Since we’re not starting preschool in the fall, we have a bit of budget to experiment with some subscription and activity boxes. I’m still not clear on how frequent the BOOX box ships. The website says every eight weeks. However, we just received this box and it looks like the next one is shipping soon, which would be about four weeks. So we might hold some of the books back from opening this summer to work on in the fall. We’re also trying the Kiwi/Koala crate again soon.

Note: Whenever possible try to order books through Powells or another independent book store. And pro tip, you can actually get a lot of books for cheaper from Powells because they also sell used books online. So check them out. And if a book isn’t available at Powells I usually check Target online. And last spot for me is Amazon, as they’re already a monopoly for so many things.

Have you tried the BOOX Box or another kids subscription box?

NOTE: I purchased this BOOX subscription box and was not compensated for this review.

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