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Last show and tell of 2015!

When Out of the Box started over five years ago (!!), it was primarily show-and-tell-type posts: a look at what we literally pulled out of boxes we received. The scope of the blog has widened considerably since then — adding app reviews, movie reviews, event recaps, and lots more — but I still collect notable items to give you a glimpse at how wacky, weird, and wonderful our mail can be. With 2015 drawing to a close, it’s time to do a big swag post (and clean out my desk shelves!).

We’re not really sure of the provenance of some of this stuff, so if you can shed some light on what items are and where they came from, please do! For more swag and surprising mail, check out the tag show and tell.

First category is…sweets! We love getting treats. Bonus points if they are beautiful and bookish.

magnificent thing cookie

cookie with art from Ashley Spires’s The Most Magnificent Thing

i am bear gummies

gummy bears celebrating Ben Bailey Smith and Sav Akyüz’s I Am Bear

cake mix

mystery international chocolate milk mix (we think?)

Journals and other writing-related tools:

poet ink and quill

awesome quill-and-ink set accompanying Don Tate’s Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

star darlings

Star Darlings wish list pad and magnetic board

wonder journal

companion journal for R. J. Palacio’s Wonder

every last word journal

journal and magnetic poetry set with Tamara Ireland Stone’s Every Last Word

Prints and posters:

loren long print

signed print of Little Tree by Loren Long

rosen and selznick prints

signed prints: Appleblossom the Possum by Gary Rosen (written by Holly Goldberg Sloan) and The Marvels by Brian Selznick

henkes waiting poster

signed print of Waiting by Kevin Henkes

chronicle pbs

postcards with illustrations from several Chronicle picture books

reading space poster

poster for Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant’s That’s (Not) Mine!

poster for Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson

poster for Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson

Lizi Boyd's big bear little chair print and masks

Lizi Boyd’s big bear little chair print and masks

Tote bags:

cockatoo bag and to-do list

tote bag and to-do list featuring characters from Bethanie Murguia’s Cockatoo, Too

lectura books tote

Lectura Books Literacy Project tote bag


story blocks

story blocks from Daniel Nayeri and Brian Won’s kit How to Tell a Story


mystery seeds, from two separate correspondents

nightfall with candle and matches

Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski’s Nightfall with creepy note, candle, and matches


mystery (but cute!) rhino stuffie

latin wimpy kid

Commentarii de Inepto Puero (a.k.a. the Latin edition of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

ivy and bean stickers

stickers of Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall’s Ivy + Bean

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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