Tag: book bundles

Book Bundles: Colors

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Colors by DK Publishing ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin ($15.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning: Colorpillar Magnetic Maze ($19.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Learning Resources: Color Mixing Lenses ($7.99) — Learning Resources
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $80.88

For the book selection here, I went with a board book with bold colors (Colors), a new favorite of mine and many patrons (Monster Love Colors!), and a classic that has fallen out of major circulation here (Mouse Paint). This perfect mixture (haha! it’s a color pun!) really feels balanced to me and I’m happy to reintroduce an old favorite to the patrons again.

The Colorpillar maze is one of the harder manipulatives to play with and I have heard some feedback that it isn’t easy for a two-year-old. That being said, I’m okay with having a project that they can grow into in the Bundle. I’ve watched a preschooler concentrate on this toy for about an hour in the library and I think it’s perfect for that age group. I definitely recommend using this puzzle in the car because the pieces won’t go everywhere.

To introduce a little bit of science, I was super excited to include the Color Mixing Lenses. This is a great set to introduce “proof” that primary colors mixed together make secondary. I have noticed that it doesn’t work as well under fluorescents, but I encourage my families to try it in natural light on the activity guide.


It’s the beginning of May and the Colors Book Bundle has gone out 14 times since launching at the end of November! It is our most popular Bundle if you’re looking at circulation numbers alone.

Book Bundles: Animals

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell ($11.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Finger Puppets ($15.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: Picture-Word Rubbing Plates ($12.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Melissa & Doug Animal Puzzle Book ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $82.83

Both of my animal books are classics. And while we have a plethora of copies of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, we don’t own Dear Zoo in the collection because of the flaps/pop-ups. I was really excited to put it in a kit since it won’t be subjected to constant use in our front-facing shelves. I chose a book that covers mostly domestic/forest animals and a book that does jungle/zoo animals for variety.

We had a TON of puppets available in our previous kits. Like every single kit had puppets. So I knew that I needed to have puppets in one of my kits. I think animals made the most sense for me and I hope families are making up silly songs and talking lots with these manipulatives.

My favorite idea for working on write skills! We don’t provide crayons and paper, but I know these are being used with the amount of crayon wiping our volunteers have had to do on the plates themselves. I also really like that each plate also has the name of the animal printed on it which is great for print awareness.

One of the biggest brand names that I trust in the early childhood toy field is Melissa and Doug. This puzzle book is organized by where the animals live and I thought that was such a great way to do an animal book. I also like that the book is magnetic puzzle so it doesn’t involve lots of loose pieces in the Bundle. (Now, I wasn’t always able to avoid the loose pieces but I sure tried when I could!)


It’s the beginning of May and the Animals Book Bundle has gone out 13 times since launching at the end of November! With our two week circulation, that means it goes right back out the minute it hits the shelves — this is one of the Bundles that patrons often request for holds as well.

Book Bundles: ABCs

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Here Comes the ABCs by They Might Be Giants by They Might Be Giants ($11.99) — Amazon
  • Learning Resources: Letter Construction Activity Set ($39.99) — Learning Resources
  • Smarty Kid A-Z Flash Cards ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Mesh Laundry Bag ($3.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $107.84

This books for this Bundle were a hardcover of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and a board book copy of Eating the Alphabet. Obviously, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a classic choice and I wanted to include it for caregivers familiar with the book to realize that they are already helping their child learn their letters. And Eating the Alphabet was chosen primarily because of the large vocabulary included in the book. I often get asked how to increase vocab and unique alphabet books are a great way to do that.

“Here Comes the ABCs” is awesome because it’s not a typical alphabet CD/song like many of the offerings out there. It’s fun and upbeat and is the kind of music that caregivers can listen to without bemoaning children’s music.

The Letter Construction Activity Set was actually one of the very first items that I saw when looking to build the Book Bundles. And I knew that I had to have it. I love the opportunities it presents to talk about straight lines and curved lines and the different connections kids can be shown because of the color of the pieces. (The curve of a lowercase “b” is the same as a lowercase “d”! etc.) For less potential for loss, I made sure to only include enough pieces to make each lowercase and uppercase letter at the same time. The other pieces are being held for when pieces go missing.

Flash cards are an easy choice because this is a part of the kit that caregivers can throw in their diaper bag or purse/bag if they’re going to the grocery store. And there’s just something about having a small toy contained with a ring that really appeals to me — nothing to count and inventory for caregivers and our adult volunteers.


It’s the beginning of May and the ABCs Book Bundle has gone out 9 times (with two renewals) since launching at the end of November! I’m just as happy with renewals as check-outs. Maybe more so because the patrons want to keep the kit longer!

Book Bundles: 123s

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • 123 Peas by Keith Baker ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd ($16.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Here Comes the 123s by They Might Be Giants ($11.99) — Amazon
  • Snap-n-Learn Bugs ($19.99) — Learning Resources
  • Spot It! Numbers ($11.99) — Amazon
  • Mesh Laundry Bag ($3.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $81.89

For this Bundle, I have a hardcover and a board book of two of my favorite books about counting: Dog’s Colorful Day and 123 Peas. Dog’s Colorful Day talks only about numbers 1-10 while 123 Peas counts up to twenty and then does up to 100 by tens (thirty, forty, fifty, etc.). I wanted to give a variety of ways to count instead of just numbers 1-10.

“Here Comes the 123s” is my shout-out for kids who like to move while they learn. And also because I love the CD so very much and yet have trouble incorporating it into Shake, Shimmy, and Dance.

The Snap-n-Learn Bugs are wonderful for hands-on learning and matching. I love that in addition to the “right” answer to the bugs, you could also turn it into a basic math problem: “Which other numbers could add up to six?”

And the Spot It! Numbers was a way to get the whole family involved in working on number identification. And not only that — it’s great for practicing visual identification of numbers!


It’s the end of April and the 123s Book Bundle has gone out 12 times since launching at the end of November! With our two week circulation, that means it goes right back out the minute it hits the shelves.

Book Bundles & Parenting Packs Overview

bookbundlesparentingpacks

Book Bundles were my dream before I even came to my new (okay, it’s been two years and I should really stop calling it “new”) library #2. I had actually already done the research on what other area libraries offered for circulating early literacy kits and I had planned to write a grant for library #1 sometime in the spring of 2014.

That changed when I moved to library #2 in February of 2014.

Lucky for me, I was told in my second interview that library #2 wanted to revamp their circulating early literacy kits! My eyes lit up and my heart went pitter-patter. One of my first tasks at library #2 was working on a Target early literacy grant (which sadly does not exist any longer) and library #2 received one of the last grants handed out in the fall of 2014.

We had several meetings about the kits at the library. Our original kits were designed for grandparents to use with visiting grandchildren. These new kits were going to be marketed directly to the kids themselves. Later in the planning stages, it was also decided to make some kits specifically geared towards parents/caregivers for milestone moments.

The Details

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Book Bundles

  • I created twelve Book Bundle themes: 123s, ABCs, Animals, Colors, Community Helpers, Feelings, My Body, Nursery Rhymes, Shapes, Time, Transportation, Weather.
  • The backpacks were purchased from 4Imprint and are the “On the Move” Backpack style.
  • Book Bundles are shelved on the floor with a zip-tie securing the backpack closed. (I specifically bought a backpack that featured two zipper pulls on the same zipper for this to work.)
  • Logo was sketched hastily by me on a scratch piece of paper and fully realized by our fabulous graphic designer.
  • For each Book Bundle, I made both an Inventory and an Activity Guide.
  • Once a week one of our adult volunteers checks the returned Book Bundles against the Inventory sheet and then staff checks them in, backdating to date patron returned the item.
  • They circulate for two weeks, with a fine of $1.00 per day if returned late. That’s the library’s standard for media kits like Rokus, Nooks, Kindles, etc..

Parenting Packs

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  • I created eight unique Parenting Pack themes: First Trip on an Airplane, Healthy Eating, New Baby in the House, Potty Training for Boys, Potty Training for Girls, Starting School, Staying in the Hospital, Visiting the Doctor.
  • Since I knew it was likely that several of these packs would be high in demand, I doubled New Baby in the House and both Potty Training packs. This bring our total of packs to eleven.
  • We named them Parenting Packs rather than “Parent Packs” because all caregivers do parenting but not all caregivers are parents.
  • The totes were purchased from the Container Store and are the Reisenthel Fabric Storage Boxes. They sadly do not make the Ruby Dots pattern anymore which really stinks for me since I have new Parenting Packs that I’d like to debut!
  • I punched two grommets into the boxes so that I could secure them on the floor. I use two zip-ties to keep everything in the box before checkout.
  • I pulled a variety of images and texts that I liked and our amazing graphic designer created the logo.
  • For each Parenting Pack, I made an Inventory and Activity Guide (the same as the Book Bundles, just different logos). I also wrote a Resources Guide that talks about the milestone event and hopefully provides support for caregivers who want more information.
  • Once a week one of our adult volunteers checks the returned Parenting Packs against the Inventory sheet and then staff checks them in, backdating to date patron returned the item.
  • They circulate for two weeks, with a fine of $1.00 per day if returned late. That’s the library’s standard for media kits like Rokus, Nooks, Kindles, etc..

Circulation of both Book Bundles and Parenting Packs is handled through the Kids & Teens Department. We help patrons check them out at the self-check and then cut the zip-ties off of their kit. After our volunteer inventories the kits, we backdate the item and check it in, zip-tie it, and it goes back out on the floor.

I made binders that are housed by each collection so that patrons can browse what’s inside the bags without needing to look inside. We also have a bookmark that lists each theme for both collections that patrons can take home or reference.

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Over the next twenty weeks, I’ll be showing off a kit a week so you’ll get to see what was chosen and why.

And that’s about it in terms of specifics in getting the kits put together. Technical Services helped SO MUCH in creating a catalog record for these items from scratch and making sure all the materials got tagged with the barcode. I am so appreciative of how everyone at the library works together to make my dreams come true!