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I just had to break some news to my 9-year-old daughter Dylan. She has to read 3 books and complete a thick summer packet of work before 4th grade starts. She obviously thinks this is a serious injustice and is currently consulting an attorney to review her options.

It’s all about preventing summer learning loss. Now I thought summer learning loss was about moms losing brain functioning because all their children are now spending their days raiding the kitchen and talking nonstop but apparently it has something to do with kids forgetting a bunch of stuff they learned all year long and starting the next year behind.

Dylan’s 7-year-old sister Summer wasn’t assigned any specific work but I thought I’d get her doing some summer reading as well. (You know, in between episodes of Hannah Montana and her intermittently screaming, “I hear the ice cream truck!! I hear the ice cream truck!!). That way Dylan won’t feel like she is in this all alone.

So I signed Summer up for this new site, Zoobean, that pulls together recommendations for books, apps and education resources for your specific child (up to age 8). The idea is to promote literacy and get kids excited about reading and learning.

This site was featured on Shark Tank (which is much more impressive than being featured on the now canceled I Wanna Marry Prince Harry) and snagged Mark Cuban as an investor so obviously they have something cool going on.

Once you log on to Zoobean, you quickly build your child’s profile (including reading level, age and interests). Then a personal expert gets in touch with you to learn more about your child.

Every week, you get a recommended app and/or book to your child’s SmartList. You can even contact your personal expert with questions about things like having a child who is a reluctant reader or who is oddly obsessed with some subject (like dolphins or Niles from One Direction).

Just don’t contact your personal expert with questions like – “Who buried my cell phone in the plants in the living room?” because they are educators and librarians and aren’t really trained to deal with that kind of thing.

I already got two recommendations for Summer… a series called Gooney Bird Greene which Summer says is very funny. And an app called Neomad Interactive Comic, a futuristic sci-fi adventure based on real characters, places and stories.

These are not your typical recommendations that you’ve already heard of – these are books and apps that are outside the box and chosen specifically for your kid.

They also have these recommended kits where you find resources for delving more deeply into certain topics like transportation, rainbows, divorce and loving yourself. (By the way, if I ever write a self help book – it’s totally going to be called Rainbows, Divorce and Loving Yourself.)

Want to try this out with me? A yearly membership is $25 and with the coupon code, EXPERTBIRD, you get $10 off. So that’s only $15 for the entire year! Whoa baby, that’s a good deal. They also have another home service option, where you can get a book delivered to you each month plus a whole bunch of other stuff. That’s $9.99 a month. If you go that direction, use the coupon code, HOMEBIRD for 20% off.

You can check out the pricing and redeem coupon codes by pushing this magical button below…


If you try it out, let me know what you think!

Meanwhile, I’m going to try to get Dylan off the phone with her attorney. Wish me luck.

This is a sponsored post. All ideas are my own.

One Response to zoobean. not a zoo. not a bean. just very cool.

  • Princess Judy says:

    This cracked me up:
    She obviously thinks this is a serious injustice and is currently consulting an attorney to review her options.

    That would be my mother if such a thing as summer learning (which is different from summer loving) had existed in my day. She complained about homework way more than we kids ever did. This sounds like something I would have loved as a child. I loved to read and read voraciously. So much mom banned trips to the library (stop beating your head) so my dad started slipping me his book–Nick Carter and the like.

kelcey kintner