Book review 2019 for children
1. Wise(ish) Words for Kids’, published by The Book Of Everyone: From £19.99, The Book Of Everyone
This stylishly designed book of aphorisms, which features a tip for life on each double-page, will not be for everyone. More sardonic parents might find some wise words cloying (see: “Good thoughts about happy things will make you shine”), and yet there is some good advice in here about being true to yourself and happy with your lot, as well as some pretty cool illustrations. Available in three design schemes (we like “graphic”), and certainly less twee than many other personalized books aimed at younger children.
2.‘The Day You Were Born’ personalized new baby book, published by From Lucy: £22.50, Not On The High Street
This is a surprisingly lightweight book given its relatively hefty price tag. But its advantage over many other personalized baby books is that it has far more unique information – the sort that new parents would like to know but are too harassed to collate. Whereas in many cases, book personalization stops at a child’s name, here we have a whole volume of facts about the day of the infant’s arrival, such as the exact time of birth, their weight and even the time the sun rose and set.
3.‘Mr. Men: You and the Silly Birthday’, published by Egmont in collaboration with Mr. Men Little Miss: From £9.99, Egmont
Amid a host of expensive alternatives, this is a good-value birthday present option for fans of Mr. Men and Little Miss, which could potentially be a gift for a classmate’s birthday. The starring child appears as a Roger Hargreaves-style avatar based on the details you input such as their hair and eye color, with Mr. Happy and Little Miss Scatterbrain among the guests at a predictably chaotic gathering.
4.‘Personalized Fairy Tales Book’, published by Oh My Gift: £29.95, Oh My Gift
This is one of the sturdiest options that we’ve seen, with 107 pages inside a hardback A4 cover featuring the recipient’s name in gold as well as the title “Once Upon a Time”. Inside are 12 standard fairy tales, including Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Three Little Pigs told in pretty conventional form. The added bonus, though, is that the recipient’s name is embedded – whether on a prince’s shield or spelled out by Hansel’s dropped crumbs – in many of the illustrations throughout. While the text is perhaps not as stylishly formatted as one might expect in a standard book of this price tag, this inventive approach to personalization means that young children will be too busy spotting their name to care.
5.‘Paw Patrol: Birthday personalized book’, published by Pen Wizard in collaboration with Nickelodeon: From £17.49, Pen Wizard
This is good value by the standards of many personalized books, and a likely smash hit with preschool fans of the cartoon series Paw Patrol. Our three-year-old tester was very taken with his cartoon avatar and by seeing his name on the front cover and insisted on having the story (which it is fair to say is not Shakespeare) read to him three times on the day it arrived.
6. Personalized ‘Paddington’ by Michael Bond, published by Harper Collins: £28.95, Not On The High street
Not cheap, but here we have great children’s literature rather than the cobbled-together novelty story that you get in many personalized books. This hardback tome contains the original, delightful Paddington story as well as Paddington in the Garden, and has a dedication to its recipient on the front cover as well as their name on every double-page. It comes gift boxed and would be a nice keepsake.