(And where can I find one???)
“Imagine a story so special
About a very unusual friend
Where YOU are the star of the story
From the start, right to the end.
So enjoy this book dear (FIRST NAME)
Because it’s written just for you!
And given with lots of special love
And monster cuddles too!”
(Dedication in “The Birthday BOO!”)
When we started Tickled Moon, it was clear to us that we would be competing in a busy marketplace. We quickly realised that there would be no point in just copying other personalised children’s books out there and besides, we wanted to offer something a bit different – something fun, heartwarming and original. In other words, not just a great personalised book but a great children’s book.
For there is nothing more bonding than sharing a terrific bedtime story with a child. Snuggled together, telling tales of fun and ferocity, silliness and sadness, or magic and monsters – these are memories that we treasure. We remember the best picture books that we read to our children with great fondness and it often creates a strong emotional experience that means our children grow up to read the same stories to their children. Hence the bond is created in the shared experience from the mutual love of the story.
So what does make a great, personalised, children’s book?
Obviously the personalisations are the biggest draw initially – the delight of your child seeing their name in print, in a proper book(!) – what could be more exciting at bedtime?! And if the personalisations include other aspects – their family, friends, pets – then the delight is doubled.
There are lots of choices out there that tick those boxes. But once the initial charm of the personalisation has worn off, it’s important to be left with a great story and illustrations that you’ll never tire of. Otherwise it becomes another dusty book on a shelf that is quickly side-lined in favour of “The Gruffalo” or “Each Peach Pear Plum” – books that you never ever get tired of reading out loud, or listening to, again and again and again.
So then the question is…
… what makes a great children’s book? Talking with lots of parents, it became clear very quickly how much they loved the books they’d read to their children. Faces lit up and became animated, recounting their favourites and it was obvious that the best books had been enjoyed equally by both parent and child. Reading the bedtime story can be the most special time in the world with your child, a time where you have to forget the worries of your day and move into a world of innocence, fun, joy, delight and endless possibilities. And you get to make lots of silly voices. What could be better after a challenging day trying to be a responsible parent?
So the main criteria for the ultimate bedtime book experience?
- It has to resonate with some emotion within us – joy, beauty, delight – e.g. Guess How Much I Love You.
- A great rhyme and rhythm – e.g. Each Peach Pear Plum, any Dr Seuss. Here are 50 of the best.
- Quirky, delightful stories with a beginning, middle and satisfying end – e.g. any Julia Donaldson. (And I must just pause here to honour the current Queen of Picture Books, as everyone I talked to mentioned at least one of her works. A phenomenally successful writer, you can read more about her life and work in this interview here.)
- Daring (and sometimes scary) adventures – e.g. Where the Wild Things Are, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
- Just plain silly and fun – e.g. Dr Seuss (again), Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
It is also worth checking out lists like these if you want to try something new that has been tried and tested.
So where do I find a great, personalised, children’s book?
A simple web search will find you many, varied, personalised children’s books. And hopefully here at Tickled Moon you’ll find something a little bit special. With our first books “The Birthday BOO!” and “The Christmas Wrapper”, we aspire to all of the above with the added bonus of some fun personalisations. And we aim to bring you many more books over the years – for adults too – that we hope you’ll love and that will never ever be consigned to that dusty corner of the bookshelf.
Happy reading and happy personalisation!
If you are interested in “The Birthday BOO!” and “The Christmas Wrapper” visit Tickled Moon for a 10% discount offer!!