If you’re a bibliophile, surely, you have heard of and been to the Big Bad Wolf sale. Launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it’s known as the world’s biggest book sale. People flock this event for the comprehensive variety of titles at incredibly low prices.
My first child, Andi, was only a tiny 2-year old when I first took her to the Big Bad Wolf sale here in Manila. She didn’t even know how to read yet, but she had a lot of fun browsing the aisles of books and pretending to ‘read.’ Mike and I were also quite happy with the selection of books that we got for her.
When I heard that the Big Bad Wolf sale is back this year, I was excited to go and take her again, especially now that she’s 5 and can appreciate books more.
This time, though, I was going to shop not just for one child, but two! We brought our 8-month old, Hailey, who is also fascinated with books.
My hope for Hailey is that she will grow up to be an avid reader. In fact, I’m trying to start her young. For her monthly baby photos, her theme is children’s books! (Check out the hashtag #HaileysMonthlySnaps)
My sister Alexa also made plans to visit the Big Bad Wolf sale so we decided to meet there. Being the super aunt that she is, said she wanted to go mainly so she can get new books for Andi and Hailey. Because she was there earlier, by the time we arrived, she had already gotten a lot – and I mean A LOT – of books for the girls. I didn’t even need to buy any more books!
My Big Bad Wolf 2023 Experience
My Big Bad Wolf Experience this year was completely different from my experience last 2020. Back then, there was a smaller crowd and so it was much easier to navigate the various sections of the book fair. Perhaps our time of visit was also a factor. If I remember correctly, when we went 2 years ago, we visited on the last day of the fair. This year, we went 2 days after it opened. Also, the venue then (the World Trade Center) was larger and could hold more people.
Anyway, here are our experiences from this year’s sale:
- Time of visit: We went on a Sunday afternoon from around 4-6PM. During that time, it was JAM-PACKED! It was a challenge going around and taking our time to look at the books because we had very little room to move around. Maybe it would have been better to go really late at night (10PM onwards) on a weekday. I did see the Instagram posts of my friends and it looked a lot less crowded when they went.
- It was a good call to take a Grab going there because when we went, the parking was full. In fact, our Grab car didn’t even manage to enter the gate because they wouldn’t let cars in anymore, so we had to walk from the outside of the gate to the Forum tent.
- We brought both a stroller and a baby carrier. The stroller became a bit of an impediment because it was hard to push it around with all the people there. Also, it was cumbersome to have to wheel around a stroller AND a push cart of books. We decided to just put Hailey in the carrier. It was also a safer option, since that would lessen the likelihood of her being bumped – either by people or by push carts.
- We used the available push carts but it would have been handy to bring our own trolley or luggage, in case there were no push carts available.
- Instead of price tags on the books, each one had a sticker with a letter corresponding to the price of the book. I kept a screenshot of the price sheet on my phone for easier reference. However, it might have been much easier if we brought post-it notes, wrote the discounted price on them, and stuck them to the book, instead of having to ‘convert’ the prices using the screenshot all the time.
- I had registered on the website prior to going to the BBW. However, I should have taken a screenshot of my QR code. While paying at the cashier, I was asked to retrieve my QR code online so I can take advantage of the discount. But because signal was so spotty, it took forever to load.
- I’m glad I brought all forms of payment with me – cash, CC, and Gcash. (P.S. if you’re a Metrobank card holder, you get a 10% rebate)
- Andi felt cold in the venue. Good thing I brought a jacket!
- There are food stalls inside the venue in case you get hungry.
- I’m so thankful that Mike came with me. It was just helpful to have a companion to help take care of the kids and watch over our stuff (especially when I had to go to the bathroom or take Andi around to look at the books). Even if you don’t have kids, it’s good to have someone with you in case you need to go somewhere and you can’t bring your push cart of books with you. (Someone might think they’re discarded books and pick them out of your cart!)
- If only I wasn’t so busy, I’d love to go back!
Big Bad Wolf 2023 Book Haul (Children’s Books Edition)
Here is our Big Bad Wolf 2023 Haul (children’s book edition)! Actually, these were already the ones that made the cut. Alexa was about to buy more than what’s originally in this photo, but from the first selection, we narrowed it down to the ones that Andi wanted the most.
You might notice that we got a lot of activity books. That’s because we want to keep Andi busy and as screen-free as possible.
This one keeps Andi busy for long periods of time. I say… money well spent! It buys me so much time to do house chores.
She loves Belle AND drawing, so this was a no-brainer! The pen is attached to the book so it won’t get misplaced.
Supporting her Beauty and the Beast obsession by getting her this sound book. She’s already memorized the words after listening to the sounds over and over again. Hailey also likes this.
She loves Ariel too! And since she just watched The Little Mermaid movie, she’s still on an Ariel high, so we’re adding this to her book collection.
Mermaids, hearts, and colors! Can’t go wrong with this. It’s also super light so it’s great for travel.
These two books (Goldilocks and the Three Bears + The Three Little Pigs) have a free app so the pages come alive! So cool! You can also take photos and videos with the characters and share it on social media.
Problem with some activity books is that once you’re done with them, that’s it. This one has reusable activities. You can use it to draw, play games, and solve puzzles over and over again. So worth the money!
Andi thought this is cute so we got it! It has pages that let her draw, color, spot the difference, figure out mazes, and more.
A very travel-friendly Beauty and the Beast buy with loads of activities!
Here are the contents of the carry pack! It has 5 books and lots of stickers.
This one’s a cute and interactive book that lets kids create their own ballet theater with pop-up pieces.
Another activity book, but Frozen this time!
This is a workbook set for different subjects to prepare Andi for the incoming school year.
Mike: “Let’s get anything that makes her smarter.” Sold!
We got this Turbo Turtle bath book for Hailey so she can play with it in the tub. The cover changes colors!
More board books for Hailey, who loves to chew on everything! Hehe.
This teeny tiny book is perfect for Hailey because it’s simple, colorful, and small enough for her to grab with her hands. It can also be attached to her high chair and stroller.
More Photos from the Big Bad Wolf 2023 Sale
Is the Big Bad Wolf worth a visit?
If you go on a good day at a good time, YES! I mean, you can get books that are as low as PHP 60! The discounts are just insane! If you have kids and you want to build their library of children’s books, you will find so many literary treasures here — story books, picture books, board books, sound books, activity books, and so much more!
*The Big Bad Wolf Book Fair runs from June 23 to July 3, 2023 at the PICC Forum Tent. Opening hours are from 10AM to 1AM. Entrance is FREE! Register at bit.ly/bbwmanila2023registration