Usborne Books {Sponsored Review & Giveaway}

by | Feb 1, 2014 | Art, Books, Giveaway, Sponsors | 86 comments

Are you familiar with Usborne Books & More?  

Marie, an Independent Usborne Consultant from Joy Beyond the Cross,  offered to let me choose some books to share here at Shower of Roses!  We have always had Usborne books on our shelves and they are often some of the children’s favorites.  Years ago I actually signed up as a consultant (mainly for the discount), but stopped selling/purchasing the books from Usborne when I realized that the books were cheaper on Amazon than I could buy them as a consultant.  This was the first concern I brought up to Marie, but she let me know that a couple years ago Usborne stopped selling the books through Amazon (some new/used copies are still available through Amazon marketplace) and they have since made it really easy for moms to be consultants (no monthly requirements anymore)! I was so glad to hear that, and really enjoyed putting together my order! 🙂

I will share some of our favorites below, but also want to point out real quick that, as is the case with every secular book store, not all of the books that Usborne sells are books that I want on our bookshelves.  We have always loved the books in the See Inside series, but I recently returned the copies of See Inside Planet Earth and See Inside Space since they had some definite agendas they were pushing… I’ve also taken a marker to a couple of the History books adding a little more coverings (e.g. “Roman Bathtime”) and some of the Art books we own include lots of anatomy as well (e.g. Sistine Chapel paintings).

For this post I thought it would be fun to ask each of my children to pick a favortie for me to share with you all.  The links in this post will take you directly to Marie’s Usborne Store.  I’ve also included Amazon Affiliate links so you can read additional reviews for each book if you are interested.

This year we have been studying art using Meet the Masters (I’ll be posting another art project soon!) and the Usborne Art books have been an excellent addition to our collection!  The Usborne Book of Famous Paintings (Amazon reviews) is pictured above with Art Treasury (Amazon reviews)The Children’s Book of Art (Amazon reviews), Famous Artists, and the Impressionist Sticker Book.

Time Traveler, Ancient World (Amazon Reviews) and The Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (Amazon Reviews) are incorporated into RC History’s curriculum and they are always greatly enjoyed, especially by my boys.

Captain’s Pick (age 13) :: Time Traveler
“Discover what life was really like in this action-packed adventure through history. Visit a castle during the Crusades, meet a ferocious band of Viking raiders, explore Rome when the Roman empire was at its height and take a trip down the Nile at a time when pharaohs ruled Egypt. Informative and amusing, this fully illustrated book contains four updated Usborne classics: Knights & Castles, Viking Raiders, Rome & Romans, Pharaohs & Pyramids.”
Rascal’s Pick (age 11) :: See Inside The Second World War
“With vivid illustrations and flaps to lift, the book takes you into the action of the Second World War.”
Twinkle Toes’ Pick (age 10) :: Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare
“From lively comedy to dark tragedy, with clowns, witches and a doomed romance, this wonderful collection has six of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays. Discover the stories of Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and the Tempest, all beautifully retold for easy reading.”

Chiquita’s Pick (age 8) :: I can draw people
“Even very young children will be able to achieve delightful results when they follow the clear step-by-step picture instructions in this book. Packed with attractive drawings, each double page spread shows children how to draw a different type of person, from a soccer player to a ballerina. Precise hand-control is not required, and lots of ideas for adding details and backgrounds guarantee satisfying results for adults and children alike.”

Snuggles’ Pick (age 6) ::  Illustrated Stories from Aesop
“This timeless collection of over thirty fables is filled with Aesop’s best-loved characters. Meet the lion who becomes friends with a mouse, a clever fox, a foolish crow and a wolf dressed up as a sheep. Enchantingly illustrated and retold, these stories are the perfect introduction to Aesop and will be enjoyed for years to come.”

Rose’s Pick (age 4) :: 1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland
“Discover the magic of fairyland in this enchanting picture book, which will provide hours of puzzle-solving fun. Search for pretty flower fairies in a secret garden, look for frog princes at fairy school and see if you can find bluebirds flying somewhere over the rainbow.”

Bud’s Pick (age 2) ::  That’s not my reindeer…
“This delightful series of board books is aimed at very young children. The bright pictures, with their patches of different textures, are designed to develop sensory and language awareness. Babies and toddlers will love turning the pages and touching the feely patches.”

A little more about Marie and a couple specials for you: 

My name is Marie Bauman and I am a Catholic, SAHM married to Greg (aka Mr. B) and have a 2 year-old daughter named Elizabeth. I blog at Joy Beyond the Cross. We live in the great state of Minnesota, also known as the frozen tundra. We are currently expecting another little Baby B in August 2014. Mr. B and I love to read anything and everything and enjoy sharing this passion with Elizabeth, our little bookworm.

I originally became a consultant with Usborne as a way to get discounts on the books (hey, honesty is the best policy!). However, I realized quickly how truly great the books were and I started branching out to my friends and family as I knew they would love the books just as much as we did. There are books on a large variety of topics and many of the books are great for homeschooling curriculums.

Being an Usborne consultant has been a perfect fit for me because it is 100% flexible and there are no sales quotas or high pressured sales tactics involved. Which is a good thing, because I absolutely detest selling anything and I vowed I never would sell anything again after a traumatic experience at age 10. True story!

I love being able to put this side business down and pick it up when I want to.  Right now, I am picking it back up to help fund “Baby B’s HCG and Progesterone Supplementation Fund” or aka “The poke Marie in the hip multiple times per week fundraising effort”. I am offering a couple of Winter 2014 incentives including the following:

Offer #1 – Free shipping on all retail orders > $50
Offer #2 – 10% off retail orders > $100

Note: The offers can be combined. Since I am offering them directly, I will refund you the amounts via paypal or check immediately after your order is placed. Offer #2 excludes taxes. Usborne offers a lifetime guarantee on all books. Go forth and read a good book!

Order from Marie online at Usborne Books & More.

And I have a couple Usborne books to give to one of my visitors here at Shower of Roses:

(Retail Value $19.99)
(Retail Value $10.99)

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below:


  1. Anonymous

    The Illustrated Stories look great! Thank you for offering the giveaway!

  2. Angie W

    We have some puzzle books Ancient Rome and North America that are so fun and so educational.

  3. Anonymous

    I gave a copy of Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare to my granddaughter for Christmas and she loves it. I would sure love to win the Illustrated Grimm's Fairy Tales! Offering a prayer for Marie and her baby right now!

  4. Danielle

    I've always loved Usbourne books and my children would really enjoy Grimm's Fairy Tales!

  5. Beth

    We also have enjoyed the Usborne books that we have–especially ones about pirates. My son has also enjoyed the activity books like 101 things to Spot and the sticker dressing hero book. We have borrowed the Grimm Stories from the library but don't have a copy of our own. We'd love to win!

  6. Joanne

    The Little Girls Activity Book. My youngest daughter is only six months old, but I had a 15 year break between daughters and I just love the girl stuff again!

  7. mel

    lol…we love Usborne books too. Though I also added some sharpie clothes to our Ancient Greece book. 🙂

  8. Corrine

    I would love the illustrated Shakespeare. My kids are loving our Shakespeare study lately!

  9. Joy Beyond the Cross

    Thanks Jessica for this amazing review of the books! If anyone has any questions about any of the books or the offers, please feel free to e-mail me directly I would love to help. Also, thank you to everyone who is praying for our little Baby B (or as we call him/her on the blog Baby Titus after their patron saint for the year Bl. Titus Brandsma). My husband and I are so very grateful and appreciative. God Bless and Go forth and be a SAINT! And read a good book! 🙂

  10. Charlotte (WaltzingM)

    I love that I'm not the only one who uses a Sharpie for modesty! We just discovered Usborne last year and their ABC book is the favorite of your little goddaughter!

  11. Bernadette

    They have so many great books, wow.

  12. Laurel

    oh – we love their books, especially the "illustrated stories" (shakespeare, dickens, for girls, for boys, etc)…

  13. Janette

    Medieval World!

  14. Valerie

    I would love any of the history books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Kat

    Thanks for the giveaway and the call to prayer for Baby Titus!

  16. Christine

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway. We checked out Time Traveler from the library at the beginning of the week and the boys have been enjoying looking at and reading it. I think that my boys would agree with Captain's pick.

  17. Jocelyn

    I would probably be most interested in purchasing the Book of Famous Paintings, other than the ones from the giveaway! Thank-you for hosting! God bless!

  18. Jocelyn

    Wait! Illustrated Classics for Boys! 🙂

  19. Donna

    Now that we have a niece/Goddaughter I find myself looking for good kids books. I think I need to check these books out for her.

  20. Allison

    I think my 2.5 year old daughter would love Gobble Gobble Moo Tractor 🙂

  21. Unknown

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Anonymous

    With all boys, I know they would enjoy the Story of the First World War and World War II. They'd also have fun learning with the See Inside First World War, WWII and Ancient Egypt.
    Thank you for this opportunity, Jessica & Marie! May God bless you!
    Alison K

  23. Anonymous


    We have the "That's not my train" and the "That's not my monkey" books, which my littles really enjoy. I appreciate how sturdy the series is. Someone gave my 5 year old daughter the Sticker Dolly Dressing Book, and it really helped pass the time before doctor appointments.


  24. Unknown

    I would love to own The Usborne Book of Famous Paintings. Thank you!

  25. Anonymous

    I have yet to pick up an Usborne book that our children have not loved. All the best to your friend and her business!

  26. Jessica

    Usborne is awesome! I just bought their Ancient World and Encyclopedia of World History used online, and I really want their The New Baby book!

  27. JenniferM

    The Illustrated Book of Famous Paintings looks interesting as does the Time Traveler book.

  28. amyp

    Love the Paintings book and Illustrated Fairy Tales. Plus I have read Marie's blog via House Unseen Blog and have been praying for Baby B for the last month.

  29. Emily

    We love the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. It's such a wonderful resource! God bless you!

  30. Karina

    We enjoy the Usborne Science books, encyclopedias, & activities. Also the Math Dictionary, picture Atlas & Time Traveler, and sticker books dress up. We would really like to see the World War books.

  31. Laura

    My youngest ones have really loved the "It's not my . . . ." series (tractor,was a favorite for a very long time). The middles really enjoy the condensed classics. And the cookbooks are always a lot of fun too! 🙂

  32. Mimi G.

    We received "Very First Animals" as birthday gift and all my girls have literally loved it to pieces. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  33. Shannon Eisel

    Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  34. Emily

    Great giveaway!

  35. Christine

    I love Usborne books as well! We have a growing collection, but don't own either of these two yet 🙂

  36. Christine

    I love the Encylopedia of World History as well as Famous Painting.

  37. Lori N from MN

    So happy to help the "Bs" with Marie and Baby B's needs… You are a generous person, Jessica.
    And thanks for the give away!!

  38. Anonymous

    After looking through the many wonderful books that Usborne offers, I think the World of the Microscope sounds interesting. And I pray for Marie, her baby, and her entire family. Thank you for a wonderful giveaway.

    Laura G.

  39. Caroline

    That's Not My Pirate!

  40. Ashley Sue

    I just found out about Usborne this past year. I have been overall impressed by the quality. Thank you for this giveaway.

  41. Mia

    Thanks for the Giveaway!

  42. Nicole

    My boys are currently going crazybiver the "Usborne Big Book of Big Trains". It is amazing! I highly recommend it. Thank you for the giveaway!

  43. Nicole

    Oops 🙂 crazy over the book!

  44. Unknown

    I sold Usborne books when my children were babies. They are now 16, 14, and 11. We still have many books on our shelves that are still their favorites. I love their history books too!

  45. The girl who painted trees

    After you showed the Famous Paintings book, that is now on my wishlist. I also would love the Illustrated Shakespeare for my daughter.

  46. Anonymous

    Love these books!! Thank you for another awesome give away 🙂 Gina B

  47. Anonymous

    My son would go crazy over the WWII book! Sending prayers for Marie and her baby.

  48. Deltaflute

    We love the "That's Not My Tractor" book. It's one of our favorites and we enjoy it because unlike a lot of touch-and-feel books this ones sturdy and has a variety of textures.

  49. Sarah

    Thanks for this review! I have always had mixed feelings about Usborne and I really appreciate your honest review. I always trust your opinion! Thank you.

  50. Stephanie Z

    I loved The Fenwick Chronicles books. I hope my nephew enjoys them, too, since I gave them to him.

  51. Theresa N.

    I've always been curious about Usborne. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

  52. Christine M.

    My oldest son loves these books. The World War II book would be great for him. Thanks for the opportunity!

  53. Emily

    We LOVE touch and feel books! I like Usborne books because of their beautiful illustrations!

  54. Jessica

    Our family loves Usborne books!! Since I can't pick a favorite I'll tell you one I'd be interested in purchasing. 🙂 The Illustrated Classic for Boys.

  55. Anonymous

    We love Usborne Books, it would be lovely to win, we don't have either of these.
    Karla in MN

  56. Anonymous

    I think any of the history books would be great. Thanks for the chance to win.

  57. Frances

    Thank you for another wonderful giveaway. I would be most interested in ordering in the Illustrated Shakespeare and the See Inside the Second World War. There are many that look wonderful, though, so it is so difficult to choose!

  58. Kim

    The Fairyland book looks like something my five year old would adore!!

  59. Unknown

    The Illustrated Grimm's Fairy Tales looks like something that I could read to my son!

  60. Anonymous

    Grimm's Fairy Tales are just wonderful and all children should have Fairy Tale stories read to them so they can enjoy childhood dreams. Books are such a wonderful way for our children to travel in the comfort of our warm safe homes. Thank you for your giveaway Jessica. You are so generous. Sincerely, Debbie

  61. Anonymous

    Did you know that Usborne sells books with and promotes the gay agenda? They also have an anti-Catholic spin on most anything religion especially in there history books. There are many more old excellent books that could be enjoyed, that have imprimaturs and are safe for Catholic reading that wouldn't confuse our children. Just thought I'd mention this as it isn't well known and I use to sell Usborne as well until I discovered this. May God bless and guide us.

  62. Marie

    That's Not My Princess is one of my daughter's favorite board books. Thank you for the giveaway! LOVE your blog!

  63. Jessica Gordon

    That's too bad…Unfortunately, I'm not surprised. It seems like nearly every secular book publisher/store has gone that direction. So much to pray for! Like I said in the post, Usborne is a secular book publisher and I've run across other agendas (Big Bang Theory, Environmentalist, etc) in some of the books that I don't want in our home either. But there are some books we do enjoy, and we aren't using Usborne books to teach our children the Faith.

  64. Joy Beyond the Cross

    Dear Anonymous, thank you very much for your comment. I am in agreement with Jessica about how disconcerting that is, but as she has pointed out, yes, I am aware that they are a secular bookstore and there are some books I will not purchase for our home. However, in my time with Usborne (7 months which granted is not a lot), I have not once encountered anything remotely promoting the gay agenda, nor have I seen any book in my collection that does so. (I am not saying it couldn't happen, just that I have never encountered it, nor seen it in any of the Usborne books I personally own.) But obviously, this is something I would like to know about and take very seriously. I did some searching on the internet and also on the Usborne catalog website tonight, but didn't find anything that talks about this issue. I would be very grateful if you would contact me directly with your specific concerns and titles of the books you have found to be questionable and that promote the gay agenda. You can e-mail me directly at I want to make sure should this question arise again that I have all the facts. And if anyone else has any questions about this issue or any other book, please don't hesitate to contact me. Usborne has a 100% lifetime guarantee on their books and I personally promise that if you are not happy for ANY reason, you can return the book for a full refund.

  65. jlee

    Love the Busy Train book! Looks like a lot of fun and great pics and info too!

  66. Anonymous

    Just wanted to chime in that we have a book on our shelf: The Usborne Internet-Linked Book of Knowledge. I failed to preview it first, and my daughter told me it had an explanation of human reproduction (somewhat explicit) with a small mention of contraception, and a larger section on cloning. Pages 98-99 and following. Just thought I'd pass that on, for editing purposes, for anyone whom it may concern.

  67. Anonymous

    These books look great! Thanks!

  68. Anonymous

    Ohhh… Becoming a rep! I completely understand.
    My daughter has a fondness for history. And With the guidance of St. Maxmillion Kolby and her Molly doll from AG, she has a big interest in WWII. Enough that she wanted to check out of school early this Vertans Day to hear a WWII vet speak. She was memorized by what she heard. A 7 yr old sitting still because she really wants to hear this Hero's story. I hope she stays curious!
    I know she would love to read the WWII book. PLus Usborne books are fantastic!

  69. Jennifer Elia

    I have a wishlist a mile long. All the fairy and princess books look so sweet. I really like their non-fiction books the best though. They are so informative yet engaging. The internet linked books are excellent even if you don't use the websites, but they are an extra feature.

  70. Sarah O

    We have two of the 1001 things to Find books… and love them! Learning combined with quiet entertainment = so much awesome. =)

  71. Joy

    We have a couple of the Your Not My books which are favorites.
    Hoping to add to our collection.

  72. Christine

    I guess that I was mistaken about Time Traveler. Although my boys thought that parts of the book were interesting. Today, they told me that they don't like it and that it should go back to the library because the women in the Egyptian section are not dressed properly. They told me to look at that section and I saw the two pages about which they were talking. I am thankful that they have a strong sense of modesty. One of them said, "Women might have dressed like that during Egyptian times, but they don't need to show it."

  73. Jessica Gordon

    My boys would have the same reaction! That is one of the books that I took a marker to (adding clothing to a few pages) after ordering it to go along with RC History. 🙂

  74. Christine

    I think that I need to start looking at books before my children. 🙂 I once took a marker to Draw Me a Star, adding clothing. Afterwards, I thought that I should have added leaves. 🙂 May God bless you and your family! Thank you for all that you share.

  75. Jodi Reel

    I love Usborne, and so many of these are new to us! My Amazon wish list just got bigger!

  76. Kathleen

    I had never heard of Usborne before, but the kids' how-to-draw books look like a steal for only $5 for the paperback versions!

  77. Joy Beyond the Cross

    Thank you Anonymous #2! (I think you are different Anonymous than above, but if not, my apologies.) I looked this morning and did find copies of that particular book available on used bookstore websites, but it looks like it is out of print for an Usborne perspective. There are no new copies available on the Usborne website that I could find and I searched under a bunch of different titles and terms. Regardless, that is great information and thank you for passing it on.

    Along those lines, in the interest of full disclosure and because I highly value transparency, Jessica and I both tried to figure out last night what Anonymous #1 above was potentially referring to. The only book either of us could find that even makes a passing reference on "being gay", is this book.,

    There are more reviews on Amazon for the used copies, but there is a review on the Usborne site that shares some concerns (click on the Review tab on the link above for more information). There is a girls edition as well and interestingly the reviews on Amazon don't include anything of questionable nature (like the boys edition). There is no review of the Girls edition published on the Usborne website.

    I have never seen either of these books until today, so again, I am just going off of what other people are saying. But I didn't want anyone to think that I wasn't being forthcoming or trying to hide anything. Usborne does not hold itself out as a Catholic or Christian company, similar to Amazon or any other secular bookstore, so I know there is most likely some bad mixed in with the good books, but I do my best to try to identify those and give honest answers to those who ask questions.

    That being said, as I told Jessica, orders are great, but more importantly, I am grateful for the prayer support. I didn't know she was going to include the "pray" button as part of the giveaway and please let me tell you I can tangibly feel the impact. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  78. texasgal

    We have many of the "Thats not my . . ." books the kids love them

  79. Cassandra

    I love the Usborne Books. I think we would most like to have the Illustrated Books of Biology and Chemistry. What a great Giveaway!

  80. 9peasMom

    You always have the best giveaways!

  81. KC

    Usborne indeed has two books promoting the gay and lesbian agenda called Growing up for Girls and Growing Up for Boys. They are some of their internet linked up books and here are the links they suggest young people follow if they have questions! Scary stuff to have floating around our youngsters. It may be one thing to not purchase these books but anyone selling Usborne promotes these things in their catalogs and on their website and by supporting Usborne that means those links and catalogs are shared and the idea placed before the purchaser.

    For girls:

    For boys:

    This short blog post titled Toleration of Homosexuality sort of drives it home, Usborne is just one of many things placing these topics in front of young children and getting people 'use to' the idea:


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Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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