March 12, 2012 at 7:23 AM ET
By Heidi Leder, Techlicious.com
Personalized children’s books can make some of the best gifts for kids. Imagine a child opening a book where she is the star: A gift entirely about her! Picture her smiling as she looks through a book with her name or photo, and then remember that this is a gift with no assembly, mess or small parts to pick up later! From choosing custom features, to including names of siblings and favorite activities, today’s options for custom children's books are one way to thrill a child — and a parent.
These are some of my favorite personalized books:
The First Adventures of Incredible You
The creme-de-la-creme of customization, The First Adventures of Incredible You ($36.95 on CustomMadeForKids.com) is a favorite go-to gift of mine. It has beautiful illustrations, options for customizing nearly every page with the child’s favorite people and places from your child’s birth through their many “first” experiences— like what street they’ll fly down learning to ride a bike, what team they’ll be rooting for at their first sporting event, a favorite food cooked by a relative. This book is a fun keepsake, and appropriate as a newborn gift, though kids of any age will enjoy the unique personalization.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the variety of custom info needed to create this book: you can give a gift certificate and allow the recipient’s parents to input the details and order it on their own.
ABC & 123
The ABC & 123 book is a gorgeous page-turner, incorporating a photo of the child into every page of the book. The kooky illustrations and vocabulary-building alliteration will bring a smile to your child long after the initial excitement of seeing their face fades away. You can choose to create a hardcover book ($39.95 on FlattenMe.com) or a more affordable softcover book ($27.95); either are good quality. This is particularly terrific for preschool and early elementary-aged kids. Flatten Me offers eight other titles, including pirate, potty and mermaid themes.
Champion Me Books takes a different spin on tailoring your book by making it available in hardcover ($37.95 on ChampionMeBooks.com), softcover ($26.95), or eBook ($9.95) that your child can read on an iPad or eReader. I like "Gadgetland," an adventure starring your child as a doctor out to find a cure for a shape-shifting machine. You don't send in a picture, but you can customize the main character's name and appearance. Other titles include "Great Escape of the Mighty Star," "Scribble Monster" and "Stonkeropolous."
With options like Little Super, Little Sparkle and Little Star ($29.96 on PaperHatPress.com), you have terrific choices to tailor a book to the child’s interests. This is a great gifting option for extended family or family friends as you can choose to order a simple custom book (requiring child’s name and a few “super” skills), or choose a super custom option (choosing features for a custom character and inputting the child’s favorite food, toy and pet). Paper Hat Press offers a personal message dedication page up front, and gift certificates. This makes a nice gift for babies through preschoolers.
My Very Own Pirate Tale
My Very Own Pirate Tale ($32.95 on ISeeMe.com) is a fun way for your child to learn how to spell their first and last name. As you journey on the high seas on the search for treasure, every page is the next letter in their name, a clue to finding the loot. There’s a fun Sea Animal Encyclopedia at the end where your child can learn more about the creatures that were featured earlier in the book. My Very Own Pirate Tale is appropriate for toddlers through early elementary aged kids. I See Me has a wonderful selection of 14 books, so there's sure to be something to suit.
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