MADE in Lake County: Books Worth Buying {Ashley McDowell, Usborne Books & More}

MADE in Lake County is a paid partnership.

Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. This month we have gotten to know Ashley McDowell. Ashley is a local speech-language pathologist and Usborne Books and More Consultant. Today we are going to learn more about Usborne Books.

Reading seems to come along with a love or hate relationship.

We’re a house divided.

When I had the chance to review a set of books from Usborne Books & More with Ashley McDowell I was thrilled bring new books to my crew as well as hoping to sway some haters.  I have so many Usborne books passed down from older cousins that look brand new because the quality is superior to any other company and I couldn’t wait to dig into new stories.  Usborne is known for durability, high-quality and unique books, and Ashley is such a fantastic resource to find just the right fit for your kids to grow a love of reading and learning.

Usborne Books
© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2018

What we love about Usborne:

  • Engaging content
  • Well-constructed materials
  • Interactive materials
  • Perfect sizing
  • Personal shopping experience
  • Relatable characters.

Usborne Books & More offers so many wonderful styles of books from lift-the-flap (and multiple flaps within a flap) to atlases to Shine-a-Light that will engage and excite your children. My kids often pull out the Shine-a-Light book about wonders of the world because it is so different from anything they’ve read before.  There are about 20 different Shine-a-Light books because Usborne Books & More understands that children get excited about many different themes. We even grabbed one about the seashore to use as a birthday gift because we love it so much!

© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2018

My daughter has been reading independently for a while, but she just doesn’t love to read.  She is imaginative and doesn’t want to go on someone else’s adventure.  (Who raised this human?!)  I also struggle to help her find the right book. Sometimes, the reading levels can be too high or she finishes them so quickly she finds herself annoyed by needing to find another option.  She also likes to learn and read about things deemed spooky. Having a personal shopper with Usborne meant that Ashley was able to help and picked out a mystery series that was both age-appropriate with just the right amount of spookiness!  She loved the first book we grabbed in the Billie B. Mysteries series.  It was a quick read, but not something she finished in one sitting, so I feel it is just right for her second grade self.  The book has held up well to her re-reading and shoving into her book basket, too. Editor’s note: we used the Billie B. Brown Series to encourage a reluctant reader. These early chapter books are a great way to boost confidence and get them to move on to longer books.

Another book that is a classic favorite from Usborne Books & More is Nibbles, with a cute character who bites his way through stories.  The pages are thick and withstand grabby preschool hands. These books just feel good to the touch.  My kids excitedly followed along with the story, and my independent readers loved reading the small books within the book to our family as we searched for Nibbles on his adventure.  The creative style of Nibbles also motivated my kids to add new elements to their story writing, which is always exciting!

Usborne Books
© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2018

I love books that travel well, too, because we have a lot of running and waiting in our lives while in restaurants, doctor’s offices, car trips and sports practices. It feels like we’re always waiting somewhere. If I keep something in my bag that I can pull out, we’re all happier and my little ones are learning and don’t even realize it!  Ashley grabbed the Animal Doodles cards for us, which are wipe-off cards with animal-themed activities for kids of all ages.  Mazes, dot-to-dot puzzles, matching, art, and more fill the box with unique challenges my kids hadn’t yet seen.  We did use our marker up quickly, so grabbing extras would be smart! I cannot express how great the quality of these cards are, very thick and sturdy, they wipe clean every time.  We got a magic paint (water) book of dinosaurs, the brush slot re-sticks on so easily and the flap to keep all other pages dry is so helpful!  Almost everywhere we go we can find water, so this is great to keep in the car for that unexpected long stop.

© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2018

Usborne also offers a wide array of activity books that are perfect for that road trip you have planned this summer, or for the times you need something to make your kids just sit.  A few that caught my eye for our summer trip include: 99 Math Problems, 100 Pterosaurs to Fold and Fly (in our hotel room to keep little people quiet), Doctor Academy, Little Children’s Dinosaur Activity Book; these books can be ordered directly here.

Even though we buy books at the book fair to support our schools, I can tell you over and over again that our Usborne books are pulled out, and they offer much more than just a story or creative pictures.  I’m not sure if it is the smooth covers, thicker than average pages, the easy to engage stories or the creative elements that make them more than “just” for reading. These are the books that are poured over at the breakfast table, dragged to the yard for outside reading and shared with friends.

Not even related to this review is that I’ve had the pleasure of going to a party with Ashley in the past to see her spread of books.  Her love for reading and understanding children helped me choose beautiful Christmas gifts for my kids.  Hosting a party in your home is a great way to interact with the books I’ve shared and so many more.  Ashley is a consultant who has invested to have so many products to look over.  Be sure to reach out to her to get your hands on some Usborne and get a deal only for LLC readers!

Usborne Books

Usborne Books & More – Ashley McDowell

Disclosure: Usborne Books & More – Ashley McDowell, is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotional partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your locally-owned business in our series, please contact the sales team.





About Alli 46 Articles
Alli is a boldly authentic mom to three- because who has time to fake it? She enjoys almost all things that moms get to do and strives to find joy in every day. Along with her supportive husband, Alli can be seen (or heard) around Lake County chasing runaway children, eating ice cream and holding someone's hand.

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