I guess we should have seen the writing on the wall. Felix and I met as public school teachers years ago, and we are both passionate about the power of reading and education. After having separate careers in education and startups, we ended up right where we started — working together to help spread the love for reading, books, and education. Here is how it came to be.
A couple of years ago, we were living in Austin, TX. Like we did most weekends, one Sunday we headed down to our favorite local bookstore, “Book People,” to browse books with our little boy. Well, not exactly browse…we were on a mission to find a few great books!
Cashew (that’s what we call kiddo #1) had been, er, having some separation anxiety issues at school, and was having some trouble communicating without screaming! The hunt was on for some awesome books that might help with these issues. And, I should mention that I was seven months pregnant and also looking for a book that would show our little guy great examples of big brothers in families that looked something like ours. Now Book People is amazing, but, on this day, we simply couldn’t find what we were looking for. Instead, we left with *another* book about trucks or trains…feeling dissatisfied.
We started to list out all of our favorite books — the ones we really, really loved. And then asked our friends for their recommendations. And soon we discovered that there are far too many children’s books out there to easily find the ones that are parent-recommended. It’s even harder to find them by specific topics, places, families, or a host of other characteristic that might be of interest to parents at a particular time. And that is how Zoobean came to life.
It started with us curating and extensively tagging our favorite books, and then we brought moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and librarians on board to help us curate a wide array of loved picture books. To us, it seemed simple. Help parents and loved ones find awesome, inclusive books for their kids, and in return, they (or you, if you’re one of those folks reading this!) will share their favorites with us and help support a passionate Zoobean community. And, of course, we want to spread the love. That means that each month, we also support a featured nonprofit increasing literacy and access to great books for kids locally and around the world.
We hope that you join us by using Zoobean, sharing your favorite books, reviewing those already on our site, and following us here and on other social networks. Zoobean needs parents, teachers, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and loved ones like you to help us empower kids everywhere to imagine and achieve anything!