Community Feature with Melissa Lewis!

By: Cheryl Long

Join us for a Q&A with our longtime bookstagram friend and OwlCrate Jr rep, Melissa Lewis (@pages.for.dawn)! 


Hi Melissa! You’ve been a rep for OwlCrate Jr for such a long time! Can you tell us a little about what motivated you to join the bookish community and how you came across OwlCrate Jr?

When my oldest child was in 3rd grade, we decided to try homeschooling. We never could have imagined how truly rewarding that decision would be. Spending so much time in libraries and bookstores quickly sparked a love for reading not only in my children, but for me as well.

When I joined Instagram six years ago, I had no idea just how fun, friendly, and helpful being a part of the bookish community would be. It was also through my book account that I discovered Owlcrate Jr. A book box specifically designed for middle grade readers, my teacher/mama heart couldn’t wait to receive our first delivery. I still remember how excited my kids were when we ordered WRITTEN IN THE STARS in April 2017. My son still uses the pocket star finder. To this day, Written In The Stars is still one of our favorite boxes!


You always take such beautiful photos of our boxes, books and items! Do you have some photography tips you can share with any budding bookstagrammers out there?

I studied photography years ago and was determined to learn about exposure and composition rules….such as colors and angles. Photoshop will always be my playground for photo editing! 

For years, I juggled homeschooling and operating a small photography business. The biggest advice I can offer for budding photographers is watch your exposure. Lighting is everything when capturing details and vivid colors. Play around with angles and get creative. Most of all….have fun!!

The greatest lesson I have learned through years of photography is that creating good pictures has nothing to do with the camera. Photography is an art and we often create images using a style that fits our personality. I like using natural light with splashes of color pop. Others may like muted colors, cool colors or warm colors. These are all beautiful styles and unique to the individual creating the picture. Always remember the world is full of beauty and wonder. It only matters how you look at your surroundings.


Since you’ve been with us for a while, we have to ask: which has been your favorite box (or boxes) so far?

So many favorites!! Must we choose? To name a few….Crack the Code, Mission to Space, Secret Cities, Dragons, Creature Communities, Elephants on Parade, and of course, Written in the Stars.


Our April theme is all about creature companions! Do you have any of your own (or any fictional favorites?

We have two precious fur babies that are often like little shadows that follow me everywhere. I never get lonely! Our 11 year old mini schnauzer-yorkie mix named Journey is super sweet and sassy. And our 2 year old Australian shepherd named Merlin is cute, cuddly, and such a gentleman. They love the outdoors, playing fetch, long walks, and being wherever we are.


What’s your go-to book to recommend for young readers?

I get so excited when asked this question. And I rarely only offer one recommendation! One of my most recommended middle grade books is Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk. This beautiful book will resonate with readers of all ages as it deals with loss, discovery, friendship, healing, and courage. It’s one of my favorite middle grade reads. Another book I often recommend is Unfortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman. I simply love the illustrations, humor, and silliness this book offers. And since we’re on the topic of humor, a laugh-out-loud book that is sure to become a family favorite is Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger by Kevin Bolger. This book is probably one of the funniest books we’ve ever read.