Usborne books are a great resource that I would recommend to anyone working with children, specifically younger children. There are numerous book sellers out there that target school aged children, but Usborne is a resource for not only children’s books, but online resources that extend the child’s interaction with the material read, and fundraising opportunities for your school. Usborne books are not a source for purchasing just any book that has been published, they are an independent publisher of their own quality, interactive books. This is something that you just don’t see every day.
In 1973, Usborne books was created by Peter Usborne in response to becoming a parent and wanting the best book for his children and children of the world. It is a family run business that has a global reach. Usborne books are published under their own name (and with their iconic rainbow-colored balloon) in French, German, Italian, Korean, Dutch, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan and Chinese, as well as English. Accessing their books is easy through their website and a most ingenious way of having people sell their books from their homes. These personal book parties are similar to the old fashioned Tupperware parties where the host introduces her guests to the great books that Usborne has to offer and she sells them as a fundraiser. Schools could benefit from this opportunity by using this type of sale like a traditional Book Fair. You can contact Usborne for more details here.
When shopping for the books their website is very user friendly. You can search for books in many ways. One way is by age:
Although searching for a book by age may be useful, another way to search is by category. By searching for a book this way you are able to match a child’s interests to the book which will give even more purpose to reading it. The categories they have available are:
- Activity books
- Baby books
- Early learning
- Foreign languages
- Geography and environment
- Growing up and mental health
- Home Learning
- Hobbies and interests
- Lift-the-flap books
- Novelty books
- Picture books
- Read with Usborne
- Science and technology
You can easily see that the books are beautifully illustrated and the brief descriptions make it easy to match a book to a reader. Check for yourself!
In an average classroom, teachers also look for books on specific themes. These books could be made available to students to access freely throughout the unit. Having books in the classroom for children to use freely allows them to explore the material on their own and when they are ready to truly enjoy the reading experience. One theme that Usborne has that is unique to the age groups is Mental Health and Feelings. Most students do not have access to quality books about their feelings and their mental health. This is a resource not only for individual students but for teachers who are focusing lessons and activities on Social Emotional Learning. You can find more information on Social Emotional Learning in the EDGEucating article Why Social Emotional Learning Matters and How to Teach It.
Usborne books have been sorted into seven themes:
- Fairy Tales
- Graphic Novels
- Nature and Outdoors
- Planet Earth and the Environment
- Mental Health and Feelings
- Home Learning
- Human Body
My most favorite way to search for an Usborne book is by series. I found that some children get on a kick when it comes to reading. They gravitate towards a specific theme or category and then want to devour everything they can find that matches. When there is a series within that category it makes it even better. When the series has recurring characters, the reader makes a connection with the character and their desire to learn more about them encourages reading. The same is for themes and topics. Usborne publishes many series. The top ones are:
- Sticker Dolly Dressing
- Farmyard Tales with Poppy and Sam
- That’s Not My
- Lift-the-Flap Question and Answers
- See Inside
- 100 Things to Know
- Look Inside
- Magic Painting Books
Now that you know about the quality books that are available from Usborne, you really need to know how Usborne has embraced online activities. Usborne books give you access to online activities and links that allow you, the child, or the parent to take that next step in the learning process. When a child’s interest is sparked, that spark can be fanned easily by extending the reading experience into creating activities or additional reading opportunities. Usborne has made that possible through downloadable activity sheets and a Quicklinks library of over 40,000 quality websites for children. The sites have been vested and parents and teachers do not need to worry about the quality of the content. Usborne has done it for you. This is the benefit of a family owned business. Their name is on the line when they are endorsing a website.
EDGEucating has experience using Usborne books in the classroom and can say that they are a resource that you can trust for quality educational materials. Their books cover the spectrum to topics, ages, and categories that the average teacher would need in any given school year. Check out our most favorite titles and series here. We hope you enjoy Usborne as much as we have.