Sol Book Box
Sol Book Box
I remember once hearing the phrase in Spanish, “el que sabe dos lenguajes, cuenta por dos.” When a child knows more than one language, their world is broadened. Their experiences are expanded and they are able to see the world through different perspectives. There are a number of benefits in bilingualism and multilingualism including brain development, educational advantages, social opportunities, and even health (check out my last post about bilingualism). Our world is growing diverse that more and more children know more than one language.
An issue I always encounter in my journey to raise a bilingual child is finding great Spanish books. I came across Sol Book Box, a monthly subscription service for bilingual children. I love the whole concept of this book and a great way to start building a Spanish book library for children.
Vanessa is the mom behind the creation of the Sol Book Box. I am always interested in learning the story behind the idea. It is empowering to hear about other moms developing great products or services and how these are intended to benefit the community. We received our first subscription book and was happy to see the love and care that went into it. The book was even autographed by the author. Recently, Vanessa created a Bilingual Bookworm free e-course for moms to be better equipped with tools, tips, and strategies to raise bilingual children.
- What is the mission behind your subscription box?
Sol Book Box exists to help promote Spanish and literacy for kids in the U.S. We believe that all kids deserve to read books with authentic stories that mirror their own lives and families, and we want to help Latinx kids feel deeply rooted in their family’s heritage.
- When did you start it and what motivated you?
The idea for Sol Book Box came to me after my daughter picked out the same five Spanish books at the library (the ones I had memorized!) to bring home yet again. I desperately wished we had a bigger selection of libros, at the library and at our local bookstores. When I first dreamed up the idea to bring Spanish children’s books to bilingual families, I knew that these had to be the BEST Spanish books– in other words, only high-quality books with diverse characters (no badly-translated books here!).
These days, our books come from all over Latin America, Spain, and the U.S. because we want to make sure that each book we send is culturally relevant, phenomenally written, and beautifully illustrated. My hope is that each book that we choose so carefully is a seed parents plant at home with their children. I believe strongly in the power and importance of reading, and what I want most is for parents and kids to love to read en español too, and to celebrate the beauty of our language together.
- How can mamas and children benefit from your subscription box?
We know for sure that reading is an investment in a child’s future. Reading makes for confident, smart, and emotionally healthy kids. Reading in Spanish does all of this, plus exposes niños to new vocabulary and creates a love for the language! Sol Book Box makes reading en español as a family easy by bringing you stories each month that celebrate bilingual/bicultural familias. For busy mamas, this means you can spend more time reading and much less time trying to figure out WHAT to read (anyone else think that reading crappy children’s books out loud is a form of torture?).
- What’s included in a subscription box? What is the age range of your books?
Sol Book Box is a “book of the month” service: each month, our subscribers receive one very carefully curated hardcover Spanish or bilingual book kids will love, gift wrapped like a present.
Our picture books are best for young kids, up until about age 7. We chose to focus on picture books because they are great for such a wide age range– babies grow into them, and older kids can still benefit from them because they often have advanced vocabulary and interesting topics for everyone to discuss.
- What is one recommendation that you have for mamas to raise bilingual children who love to read?
My best tip is to read in Spanish (of course), and specifically to make sure you read a combination of new books and old favorites. Kids love repetition so it’s nice to keep some old classics around (you’ll probably have them memorized before long, but hey, any activity you can do with your eyes closed is a parent win in my opinion).
And along with those old favorites, be sure to constantly bring in NEW books to rotate in with the old favorites so they get used to trying new books, and so you have a bigger selection of favorites!