I am always on the lookout for engaging and educational books I can read with my kids. However, getting them intrigued by the written word sometimes encounters the unfair competition of screen and moving images. This is why, when I heard about The Adventurous Mailbox and their special way of spicing up the reading experience of kids, I got intrigued and put myself forward as a volunteer to review the experience.
What is The Adventurous Mailbox?
The Adventurous mailbox is a series of adventure books and online educational resources for kids aged 8 to 12.
I first heard about it from their very own creator, Andrew, who got in touch with me to introduce the series to my family. He presented the project as a fun and educational adventure for kids made of books and online resources to help children familiarise and learn about world cultures.
It is meant as an aid for world schooling families but it also as a great pastime for parents like me, who have kids enrolled in a traditional schooling environment but love to have an active and engaged role in their learning.
What The Adventurous Mailbox comprises
- A series of 8 books, set in different countries, following the adventures of Crameye Junker
- An online community of readers, where kids can engage with other fans of the series and follow the character’s blog
- An online library of resources for both children and their parents with exercises, games and ideas to strengthen the learning process sparked by the books.
How it works
The Adventurous Mailbox is available online here. The buying process is easy. The books are available in three different packages: the trekker package, the adventurer package and the most complete of all, the explorer packages, priced between 55 and 99 dollars.
All packages include the books but the more expensive one also includes access to the online community and the teachers’ lounge. For the purpose of this review, we got offered the adventure packages and I believe the extra elements you get with it are truly worth it.
My kids are still little for the online community but I have already used my access to the teacher lounge and got a lot of ideas not just on how to use these books but also for activities I can replicate myself with the kids.
After you choose your package, the adventure begins. Andrew is based in Taiwan but can ship worldwide so, on a quiet afternoon, we received a knock on the door and a delivery arrived: it was a parcel addressed to my two children.
Intrigued by a parcel in their own name the kids first thought it may be a belated birthday present from their faraway grandparents, but it quickly became apparent that it was much more interesting that that.
Coming from Taiwan, the package has a delivery docket in English and in what the kids could only describe as a ‘mysterious code’ (Chinese!): the educational adventure has started before even seeing the books!
They quickly unwrapped their parcel and the excitement mounted.
The Adventurous Mailbox arrived in a beautiful cardboard box, with air mail markings and a large stamp saying ‘confidential’
The box is itself a beautiful package: it is sturdy and well designed and inside it is decorated with paper clippings in different languages and alphabets.
The kids loved it and I was very impressed too: in a world of screens and emails, the images of the paper clippings made me feel like I was in an old movie, where foreign correspondents and spies exchange information and secrets from mysterious parts of the world!
Inside the box, we found 2 letters, one for each of my children personalised with their names. These letters come from Crameye, the main character of the books, and they contain not just a fun introduction to the series but also the code to get into the online community.
The letter is written in the same style as the books and it is a perfect taster for them: adventurous and humorous,
The box come is a series of 8, each of them set in a different country. The first one is Finland, then you move on to Taiwan, Brazil, Thailand, Greece. Tanzania, Peru and Peru too.
We started straight away with Finland. The books are for kids age 8 to 12 so we are proceeding at a slow pace with my 6-year-old but there is a lot about the books that both he and I really like.
Crameye writes in first person to your child and his language is personable and accurate (great for building vocabulary!).
What I like the most about it is that it manages to strike a balance between being informative and educational without being patronising – while my son does need a bit of guidance for it, I believe the books are perfect for the age bracket they address
The online resources
The community is for the kids, and they can log in to follow additional adventures of the book’s heroes, play games, watch videos and more.
The educational resources are for both parents and kids and it is what I am particularly fond of.
For each book, there are a series of word documents suggesting vocabulary building exercises and games, comprehension activities and resources such as crossword puzzles and word games.
They are the perfect complement to the books and a great way to get the kids to reason over what they have been reading, analyse situations and characters and develop their understanding and curiosity
I am very impressed with the adventures mailbox and I am truly enjoying going through the books and the activities with my children. I believe this can be a fantastic present for an adventurous child and one family can enjoy together for a long time.
Disclaimer: we received the adventurous mailbox for free in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are, as always, our own and reflect our personal experience of the product.