A few months back, I had written a blog post on what I’m doing in my personal capacity to support the government’s initiate to promote 2016 as the Year of Reading in the UAE. Couple of months later, in what I must say was a very well-timed sequence of events, I met Charlotte Perret, founder of Kitabox. While she went on to explain the concept behind the latter with a special emphasis on their ‘Summer Kitabox’, somewhere at the back of my mind I knew my summers were sorted!
Kitabox is the newest kind of box in town. Derived from the Arabic word ‘Kitab’ which means book, it is a concept aimed at promoting reading amongst children by encouraging them to develop their own book collection from a very young age. Every month, it compiles a selection of local and international books in Arabic and English from reputable publishers which is delivered to kids on a subscription basis.
Charlotte is the mastermind behind Kitabox in the UAE. After giving up her full-time marketing job, she set up this company in 2015 along with her partners who are based in Abu Dhabi. An avid reader herself and being exposed to a similar book delivery concept back in her growing up days in France, setting up Kitabox was quite a natural progression for her. She is now personally involved in selecting and packaging the books, activities which give her immense satisfaction.
The joys of reading
Kitabox strongly believes that reading is essential to children’s education. However, with no ‘fun’ element in it, it can well become a task. To overcome this, their team selects a new theme EVERY month with the reading books being based on this theme. Along with it, they throw in a newsletter, an activity book and other unique surprises. All of this is then packaged into an eco-friendly suitcase and delivered to your very doorstep.
- 1 Book + 1 Newsletter + 1 Activity/Play book + 1 surprise = 1 Kitabox
- Kitabox is available for children across 4 age groups: Explorer (2/4 years), Adventurer (4/6 years), Globe Trotter (6/8 years) & Sailor (8/10 years).
- Subscriptions can be quarterly, half-yearly or yearly.
- Publishing partners include the likes of Penguin, Candlewick Press, Walker Books, Al Salwa Books and Al Aalam Al Arabi.
The ‘Summer’ Kitabox
For the benefit of those who plan to stick around in the holidays and continue to support the reading endeavor, the team has come up with its Summer Kitabox. With a theme aptly based on ‘Family and Friends’, this box contains 3 Reading Books + 1 Newsletter + 1 Activity Book + 1 Sticker Book + 1 Book Journal. Available in both Arabic and English and across the 4 age-groups, these boxes are priced at AED 195 each. An additional AED 30 will be payable as delivery charges anywhere in Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Sharjah (T&C’s apply).
When I placed the Summer Kitabox for 6/8 year olds in front of my daughter, she could hardly wait to get her hands on its contents. With tons of reading and activities lined up, we are looking forward to a long yet entertaining summer as a result of it.
The books in the Summer Kitabox have been carefully selected based on the consideration that 6-8 years olds can be at varied levels of reading. As a result, ‘Mrs Lather’s Laundry’ & ‘Best Friends For Ever’ are more visual and relatively easy to read. On the other hand, ‘Confessions of an Imaginary Friend’ is probably more appropriate for kids who fall in the latter part of this age group. Then again, the bright and colorful Sticker Book and the Summer Activity booklet would be an instant hit among the younger kids. Finally, the inclusion of a Book Journal is a fantastic idea in itself. It gives children an opportunity to recap the favorite part of their story which, in all honesty, is an extension of what my almost-6 year old has been doing in school all of last year.
Please note that orders for summer boxes should be placed on or before 20th July. For more information and prices, visit www.kitabox.ae, or contact Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org or on her mobile (056 3361455). While you’re at it, remember to shower a few likes on their FB page as you pass by!
Disclaimer: While I was provided with the Summer Kitabox for 6/8 year olds for the purpose of a review, all views and opinions on this post are my own.