In the last couple of years I have met some really interesting people through book blogging. One of the most interesting people I have met is Tracey from The Lemon Tree Book Co. Her product incorporates my love of books and crafts in a delightful way. In my Mummy life (before grown up kids) I was a teacher, literacy tutor and home schooling parent. So any product that instills the love of reading is all right by me.
There are excellent reviews of The Lemon Tree Book Co.'s books which you can view through the links on their blog. If you need anymore convincing they were listed in Kidspot's Top 5 Personalised Products for Kids.
You can see a demo of how the process works on their website, which is also where you can purchase your book packs for AU $11. Basically, you purchase a pack, go to the website, add your own names which are then inserted into the story and voila - you get a pdf of the story personalised with your special people's names. You can use any names you like so if your child has an unusual spelling of their name - this is ideal. You can also use names like Mummy, Daddy, Grandma or Aunty. If you want it to say "Aunty Sue" just write both those words in the first name box. The program accepts them all. If you have a problem, just email technical support and you will get an answer pretty quickly.
There are four main stories to choose from as well a a special Christmas book (usually released a few weeks before xmas). Once you have your story, you can make up the story book, using all the materials in the pack including illustrations, a cover, colouring pages and stickers.
I was given a review copy of A Magical Day which Tracey wrote herself. This book was illustrated by Justine Morris. The story is a delightful adventure for children, with the magical qualities of childhood that we all want to relive again and again. My nephew was given a copy of Daring Dinosaurs and he adored telling me about how all the dinosaurs were named after him and his friends.
Incidentally, The Lemon Tree Book Co. now has an iPhone & iPad app to go along with their books which you can personalise for your child to read on your device. The first book is free and it's the Daring Dinosaurs story which is pretty exciting.
Anyway, onto my review copy. I went overboard with the decorating, as is usual for me; give me scissors and glue, pencils and stickers and I'm like a big kid all over again. I never give up an opportunity to make a mess - I mean a craft project. :)
I added a ribbon bookmark which I made a while ago.
There were plenty of opportunities to add stickers that came with the book
or your own scraps like I did here:
In the middle pages I added an extra A4 sized page which was blank. This gave me 4 more pages to add embellishments and to make myself into a fairy, of course.
I'm sure if you let your kid's go for it, their imaginations can run wild. I stopped short of adding glitter as I am known to do, because I should have added it before I stapled the pages together. It's too hard to wait for it to dry. But that is the beauty of a book you assemble yourself. You can paint, glue and add glitter and then wait until it is all dry before assembling.
Even though the stories are aimed at younger children, this could be a wonderful activity for an older child to make a keepsake using scrapping or to make an altered book. I know a few adults who would have as much fun with this as I did.