Saturday, October 10, 2009


The holidays are fast approaching. Don't believe me? I just checked and it's only 75 days and some odd hours left until Christmas. Whoa!

Looking for the perfect gift for a child can be daunting. I can count on family and friends to provide the bright plastic eyesores and toys that can wake the neighbors. But when I want to give Nate something that is going to be educational as well as entertaining, I know just where to turn. The bookstore.

Both my husband and I are bookworms (although I've been slacking as of late) so we hope to instill our love of literature in our son. Even though he is going through a phase where he can't sit still longer than five seconds at a time, I make storytime a part of our day by reading to him ten or fifteen minutes a day. I show him the colors, shapes, textures and words so he can become familiar with them but he often loses interest quickly.

When I saw an opportunity on the PR Place to review a personalized children's picture book from, I was delighted. A story using his own name would surely hold his attention longer than one that focuses on Dick and Jane.

There are dozens of personalized storybooks on the market that incorporate the child's name into the story. But at, your child is not just written into the story but is also illustrated on every single page along with the other characters in the book! You simply email a digital photo of your child to them and they convert it to appear as a painting. This gives the story a seamless feel and makes it seem as though your child and the illustrations in the book were painted together.

I chose the Noah's Ark book for Nate, since it is a story that he is familiar with from our readings of his children's bible. The most difficult part for me was finding a picture I was happy with, but I wound up choosing one taken on his first birthday. The company was super easy to work and responded promptly to my inquiries. They communicated to me with each step from placing my order to shipment. I also received my finished book earlier than I anticipated.

I was beyond thrilled with the results. It was seriously the cutest personalized book I had ever seen! The hardbound cover was artistic and colorful - and there on the left behind the hippo was my little man! He was the star of his own little book!

The story and inside illustrations were just as adorable, with Nate helping Noah to round up the animals and build the ark. There were both close-ups and far away shots, all resembling colored sketches. They were so well done, I could never tell that Nate had been digitally enhanced.

This particular story was written for the beginner reader, which was perfect for Nate since he can grow into this as he gets older. It was poetic, with rhyming words to create an enjoyable flow. I can't wait for the day Nate will read it alongside me.

Nate was absolutely enthralled with the book. He immediately ran over to check himself out and turn the pages. I'm not sure if he recognized himself but he did show more interest than many of his other books.

The only thing I wish they had was a board book option since at this age, Nate is rough on his books. I have to watch him carefully as we read so he doesn't rip the pages. But I know this phase won't last forever so I just have to be patient *smile*

Bottom line: I would highly recommend for a unique, personal keepsake for the little one in your life. I can imagine how fun it must be to be the main character of a book. And how special to be written and drawn into your own little adventures, hearing your name and seeing your face on every page?! No other gift can be so magical.

BUY IT: You can purchase your picture book from none other than There are currently 3 storybook options to choose from, ranging from beginner to more advanced readers (ARV $34.95). They also offer personalized NFL posters, DVD's and coloring books.

Keep your eye out for a giveaway coming your way real soon! And special thanks to Marile from for the review opportunity!

Disclaimer: As mentioned above, I received a personalized book from to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.


sunnymum said...

Fun idea! I totally agree with the board book option, since my littlest loves to tear things up right now.

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