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usborne books

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
another mom in the neighbourhood invited me to her usborne books party. the ones that i saw in person were good quality board books.i am generally not too fond of 'classics retold' idea, and they have many of those in the catalogue. but i saw some that dd could be interested in -- wild life, human body etc.

are they a good deal? the covers were all well designed, but are the books themselves thorough, up to date, accurate, unbiased? are they similar to DK eye witness books?

post #2 of 20
We love Usborne books. We use their encyclopedia, history and science books. Many homeschool curriculum companies include Usborne books in their curriculums.

Some of the books are similar to DK books. Although we enjoy the books, some kids don't like the way the info is presented on the pages- with bits of info here and there, rather than in full paragraphs.
post #3 of 20
I love Usborne books.

The books are wonderfully made, last a long time, and have a lifetime warrenty. The information is presented in a way that is easily understood for all ages. It takes something as boring as World War II and makes it actually fun to learn about. I do believe the books are thorough, up to date and accurate.

My kids favorite books are Usborne. My neices and nephews favorite books are Usborne. The age range is 1-10. We all like them. They are somewhat similiar to DK eye witness as far as layout. But, I like Usborne books much better.
post #4 of 20
Well, I am biased, since I am an usborne consultant myself. However, even as a consultant, I feel that our books are really affordable, and I was actually really surprised when I first discovered usborne that they did not charge more for their books. If you go to a store like barnes and noble, the books are usually pretty expensive, and many of the books can be quite junky in content and not well made either. The quality of usborne books (physical and content) are excellent, the illustrations are amazing, colorful and draw kids in. Like someone said, we have a great warranty, if you do not like your book, you can return it (within a certain time) to the consultant. The books come with a 1/2 price replacement guarantee. Say, your child accidentally drops the book into a puddle and it gets all waterlogged. You contact your consultant, give her the book, send it back to the company and you can buy a new book (same one) for 1/2 price (plus shipping and tax). The warranty only applies to books that have been purchased through a consultant (a few stores carry usborne books here and there, but not all 1300 titles), since they believe their consultants offer great personal service. Also, what makes these books even nicer is that you can host a party and get free books and half price books! You cannot do that for DK books. Also, usborne does a relatively good job compared to other companies about portraying multiculturalism in their books and they are constantly revising their books to make sure they are up to date. The multiculturalism is a big thing for me. I just had a show today, and the multiculturalism applied to each of my guests. I had parents who had adopted a child from asia (and are in the process of adopting another child from china), homeschoolers who care about diversity in their child's education, bi-racial parents, parents from other cultures, etc.. When I mentioned the multicultural part of the book and one of the HS moms piped in about how that was one of the reasons why she loved usborne books, I really felt that the moms there felt very good about this, since this was something that all of them felt were important to expose their children to.

I think DK books are nice, I have a couple of them myself. However, I have noticed that they tend to use a white background in almost all of their books and after a while their books start to look a little bit generic and boring and I do not think they hold up as well either. Usborne books do a good job of drawing kids in, and I know it sound hokey, but it has been true in my experience. My boys are very active and are the type who do not like to sit still. They will however, sit still when we read usborne books. My toddler will spend over 30 min looking through the, "big book of things to spot," by himself and coming up to me to ask questions about things too. It's just nice to see kids enjoying books. I myself love reading, and I'm delighted that we found a brand of books that my kids enjoy, so much so that I decided to become a consultant.
post #5 of 20
Awesome books. We bought their Internet-Linked World History book (with the mask on the front) and it's wonderful. We have a bunch of other ones that I bought used, too. I still want their lift-the-flap body book.
post #6 of 20
i am generally not too fond of 'classics retold' idea, and they have many of those in the catalogue.

Actually we got a fair number of those... the reason was my 3 year old wanted 'longer' books, but still enjoys pictures. (and while magic tree house she really enjoys, she still wanted pics) These were the ONLY books I could find that fit that category. The quality of the books is good, and even being retold they are stilll more accurate than many other retellings.

post #7 of 20
My favourite Usborne books of all-time are the Encyclopedia of World Religions and the Great Animal Search. Other than the Great Search books I'm not too fond of most of the Usborne books for young children, but there are some nice non-fiction volumes for older readers.

post #8 of 20
There are some Usborne books that I have really loved. Others I have not been so fond of. I think their history stuff is fantastic, but I haven't been very thrilled with their encyclopedia. Overall, I am a fan of Usborne, I just make sure I give the books a really good look-through before I buy.

I have never been disappointed by DK. I have purchased a few Eye Wonder books (for slightly younger kids than Eye Witness) and most the their First series (First Atlas, First Encyclopedia, First Animals, etc.) and my kids LOVE them.

I think my kids prefer DK to Usborne.

post #9 of 20
I'm an Usborne consultant too and I really love the books! I just joined up as a consultant because I wanted to get the discount on them! They're really good quality books and they're very well done. Worth every penny IMO!!
post #10 of 20
what's DK?
post #11 of 20
I'm not as keen on some of the cartoon-y non-fiction ones, but the internet-linked encyclopedias are fantastic! Dd, who is 5, regularly asks us to read to her out of the encyclopedia of the ancient world, and we enjoy looking up the extras online.

I like some of their farm stories as well, the name escapes me.
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
what's DK?
DK is Dorling Kindersley, which is another publisher than used to market, in part, via "consultants" like Usborne. I don't believe they do so any more, but the books are widely available through bookstores. They became famous for their Eyewitness series of topic-based science and history books, which are characterized by a particular design style comprising two-page spreads with multiple detailed white-background photos interspersed with text and white space. You can see an example of the DK 'classic' layout, and of the more recent evolution of that style on this page. I'm a sucker for DK books.

post #13 of 20
We love Usborne & DK books, too!

I attended one Usborne book party at a friend's home several years ago. I loved the books, wrote down the names and then ordered them from B&N. ((Sorry to the consultants here, but B&N offers discounts to B&N members and we like to save wherever we can!))

New Usborne books are part of every vacation trip we take. Ds loves to read in the car on long trips and these books are wonderful. He thinks they are the best!

Their quality is excellent and the info IS up-to-date (as far as it can be!).
post #14 of 20
i mostly take them out of the public library and we really like most of them
post #15 of 20
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post
New Usborne books are part of every vacation trip we take. Ds loves to read in the car on long trips and these books are wonderful. He thinks they are the best!
We do this, too! Puzzle books, esp. They get excited and it keeps 'em occupied for a good while.
post #16 of 20
I hosted an Usborne party 2 yrs ago, and love the books. Especially the Encyclopedia, Science, and History books. The easy readers are great too.
Is there really a warranty? Our Encyclopedia binding is coming off, could I get it repaired/ replaced?
post #17 of 20
I THINK the lifetime warranty is that you can get it replaced for half price. I'm sure a consultant will correct me if I'm wrong!
post #18 of 20
Personally, I find their books too busy with too much information packed onto one page. That said, their foreign language books are fun. We just do one page a day or a week, depending.

Usborne as some great foreign language videos that I can only purchase in the UK now. ...

We have many other science books -- such as Kingfisher -- which I vastly prefer. I also use many college-level science books with my children as they are better written and have better pictures. I don't find Usborne books to have any cozy-factor at all. We've had many hours of enjoyment -- at each age from about 2 to 10 -- with those small, inexpensice, step-into-reading nonfiction paperbacks. I'm amazed at the history and science that my children know from those and the way they've incorporated them into a larger story about civilization and how the world works.

If someone gave me $50 to spend on reading material for a child, I'd buy a subscription or two to one of the amazing children's magazines that we so enjoy -- like Click -- and then just go to the library!

post #19 of 20
Originally Posted by saphire View Post
I hosted an Usborne party 2 yrs ago, and love the books. Especially the Encyclopedia, Science, and History books. The easy readers are great too.
Is there really a warranty? Our Encyclopedia binding is coming off, could I get it repaired/ replaced?
Yes, they do. After the first 60 days it is 50% off the book for a lifetime. So, you can get your encyclopedia replaced for half off.
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by annabanana View Post
are they a good deal?
They have a lot of really good ones. One of my very favorite math resources is their Help Your Child Learn Number Skills (Usborne Parent's Guides), by Susan Meredith - A lovely little book full of ideas for activities that help children develop a positive attitude about math, learning to think for themselves to find their own solutions to mathematical problems.

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