Personalized books: A perfect way to reinforce family values

Personalized books: A perfect way to reinforce family values

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Books can be a great way to teach children, and reinforce the values you work hard to implement in your home. They’re a great way to develop language and empathy and encourage educational growth.

And a book company called Hooray Heroes is working to make that message even more personal by making books personalized for your child.

RVA Parenting’s Sarah Bloom and her children put them to the test this week.

Here’s her review:

I went into this assignment a little skeptical. I know there are a lot of “personalization” services out there when it comes to kid books. My kids love to read all books and I try to find ones that accomplish a purpose: teaching them kindness, working on phonics, reading comprehension, practicing letters and sight words. You get the idea.

I just wasn’t convinced this new business that contacted me was going to be anything all that special. But, for me, the price was right. They offered us a complete discount to try out the service. And that seemed pretty low risk.

Once I dove into the process, I was pretty charmed by the experience of “finding” my children in cartoon form. Which hair best represented their scruffy locks. Which color tone captured their piercing eyes - their sweet personalities. And sometimes naughty ones.

You can choose to write from the perspective of a mom or a dad. This was an easy one for me, but I did file away the idea that this could be a really sweet Father’s Day gift. And as quickly as they turn these books around, there is time to use this as a gift.

There are several options for story telling. Birthday books, twin books, daddy books and more. We did the sibling story. You basically design your two kids, and then choose adventures for them to go on together.

Some choices were easy. My kids really love baking right now, riding bikes, playing hide and seek. The story about bedtime seemed like a no-brainer. We can’t emphasize that enough, can we?

I liked the options to choose different skin tones or hair styles. I regretted that I have three kids, and had to choose two of them for the story line. But, my boys are dear friends and I don’t think a baby minded not being in the book in this case.

The cost was about $40. That seemed steep to me. I think I’d be more likely to try a service like this at a $20 or $25 price point. That said, this is very personalized. And the turnaround was quick.

About a week later, we had our book. I brought it home, without breathing a word to the kids.

When I turned the book over, they were mesmerized. They were SO EXCITED to find themselves on the pages, and see what adventure they had gone on. We laughed so hard. In some cases, we just talked about the pictures because the enthusiasm was so intense, we needed a first “read” just to get through the pages, and a second or third or more read to go back through and enjoy the written words.

My kids are about 3 and 5. They loved it more than I expected. It’s been the first book on the bedtime reading list each night. And, it has addressed some important values for our family. I love that it reinforces my love for them and their friendship and bond as brothers.

In the end, having seen their reaction, it probably was worth $40. There are a lot of stories within the pages and they had So. Much. Joy. But I think this is a special gift, not an everyday splurge.

I see a couple of fun ways of trying it as well. It might be fun to make the book with your child. Especially an older child, such as kindergartner or first grader. It would be a sweet gift from a grandparent or parent overseas with the military, especially since you could choose the narrator and ship it straight to the child as a surprise.

And finally, what a fun gift for a mom to give a dad, such as giving a gift card to make this book to read with a child on Father’s Day.

I’d say it’s worth getting. But, I do wish it was a little cheaper. That’s my mama review.

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