Do you know how kids go through phases where they are obsessed with one certain thing? For example, my nearly six year old son can’t get enough baseball—he’ll read anything baseball-related, from picture books to the sports section of the New York Times. My 7-year-old daughter has a “crafternoon” when she comes home from school most days, and often raids my recycling (I prohibit the dirty, messy stuff) to get new materials.
The youngest in our bunch is currently obsessed with the alphabet. Three and a half year old Kiefer walks around proudly and loudly spelling out his name “K-I-E-F-E-R!” He is just learning how to write his name—he needs help with those pesky curvy lines on the R. But he happily and seriously works on that R as if his life depends on it. Anytime he sees letters—from license plates to posters, t-shirts to the “SUNSHINE” coffee mug from which I’m sipping right now—he traces them in the air with his finger as his eye focuses on the letter.
When he sees this M is for Me book that I recently ordered from www.iseeme.com, he is going to go bananas! The cover alone will stop him in his tracks: K is for KIEFER it reads, loud and proud. That’s not the only thing personalized in this book. When he opens the cover, he’ll see himself smiling back at him. There’s no mirror involved; instead, I See Me! placed a photograph I sent to them of Kiefer on the page, complete with a short note:
“Kiefer, This special book is filled with words that describe my hopes for you. Together we’ll read this book to learn the alphabet and all about you!”
Just like any alphabet book, there’s a word for each letter of the alphabet. But unlike any other alphabet book I’ve seen, these words are positive attributes that we all hope our children possess. Here are a few to give you an idea:
A is for Active
B is for Brave
C is for Caring
D is for Determined
E is for Extraordinary
F is for Friendly
As I’m reading through this, I’m cheering madly with my inside voice: Kiefer! That’s YOU! You ARE caring! And BRAVE! You are all these wonderful things already, and you are strengthening these qualities every day, just like you strengthen your muscles in Fitness class! When I give him this book at Christmas, I will do my best to keep this inner monologue to myself, but I’m pretty sure it’ll fall out of my mouth sooner or later, and that’s okay! Don’t we want to put books in our kids’ hands that augment the lessons we teach them ourselves? Don’t we want books on our shelves that are great conversation-starters?
I’ll be honest about the one downside of this book: it is expensive. Most small picture books that teach the alphabet cost $10 or $12; Farm Friends is $29.95. I understand that this book isn’t a necessary part of your child’s book collection. So, is this one worth the money? My answer is an unequivocal YES. It is a wonderful keepsake book and a fantastic gift (a gift for a child in your life or a gift that you ask a friend or grandparent to purchase for a child in your life). This book does not have to be personalized—or, it can only be personalized with a name, not a picture. (The cost is the same.) This book is a great gift for a three or four year old, but it could easily be given to a five year old, or even certain six year olds.
I’m pretty sure Kiefer will agree with me that this will be one of his favorite books EVER. And for a third kid who has two book-crazy siblings and lives in a book-laden house, that’s saying a lot!
Publisher: I See Me! Personalized Children’s Books
Available through www.iseeme.com
Ages: 3-6 years
|Kept my Child(ren’s) Interest
|Appealed to Both Boys and Girls
|I Would Purchase for My Child||Yes
|I Would Purchase as a Gift||Yes
All ratings on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high).
Meet the Reviewer!
Kate Schwarz is a full-time mom and wife living in Great Falls, VA. In addition to reading to her three small children, Kate is awriter, distance runner, Crossfitter and blogger about raising kids with books at www.katesbookery.blogspot.com.