I have this distinct memory of going to my friend’s house one day when I was a kid, and her showing me a new book. The moment made memorable, perhaps, because my friend was not a reader, and her expressing any kind of interest in books was impressive.
It turns out it was one of those personlised story, where the tale is pretty bland, and made only half interesting because it includes the name of yourself and three of your closest friends as the main characters.
I didn’t like that book. Even as a kid I thought the story line ordinary and forced at times. Needless to say, I never had any interest in buying them for my kids.
I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Lost My Name regarding their personalised books. While part of me was skeptical, I checked them out and was quite surprised.
Lost My Name was started by four friends who just wanted to see a little bit more magic in the world, and so set about creating stories with personalised adventures. Basically, the exact opposite of bland story lines and contrived sentences.
They’ve got two titles at present and we reviewed both of them.
The Little Girl Who Lost her Name, is a story about exactly that. A little girl wakes up in the morning and discovers that her name is missing from her bedroom door, and as a result, she has no idea what she is called.
Not one to sit and wallow, the girl heads off on an adventure in order to find her name.
Of course this is the part where the personalisation comes in, because the name the girl (or boy if you so choose) is searching for, is the name of your child.
It’s a fun little story, perfect for 4-5 year olds who are just learning the letters of their name and their meaning. Ava was pretty excited when we got to the V, and then the final A had her pulling this face.
It was a bit cute.
The fact that she only has three letters in her name wasn’t an issue; extra pages of story-line were added to her story, but long names work equally well and the website allows you to preview your book and make changes if necessary.
screenshot taken from lostmyname.com
The story is told in rhyme and ours emphsasised values such as, ‘be who you are,’ and ‘what you’re called is not as important as what you do.’ It works well for pre and early readers, and is a bit of fun.
We also reviewed The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home, which is a new title produced by Lost My Name.
This was my favourite of the two. The story is that of ‘Bailey’ (insert your child’s name here) and his friend Hubble who get a tiny bit lost in space and need to find their way home. In the process they discover a zoo of friendly aliens, end up at the bottom of the sea, and help out an explorer in Africa, before finally making their way home.
Their home, being our home.
As well as using the child’s name, this book asks for your address and incorporates a google map picture at the end of the story. Perhaps what was even more exciting (as far as Bailey was concerned), was the page before the one where the characters got home. Again it was another map, and being in SA, our book had a picture of Adealide. A football oval in Adelaide to be exact.
The football oval being AAMI stadium — home of the Adelaide Crows. It doesn’t get much better in that in this house. 🙂
Again the story was told in rhyme, and was quite sweet. The writer in me would have worded a few things differently, but I’m sure people think that all the time reading things I write. 🙂 Bailey liked it, which was the main thing, and he, at almost 8, was a really good age for this. The story is long and challenging enough for him to enjoy reading it on his own as well as being read to, and the illustrations are great. I quite like the look of the alien zoo to be honest.
I’d recommend this story for kids between 5 and 8.
Lost my name books are available on-line at lostmyname.com, and are available for preview before purchase. Thanks to the team, I have one book to giveaway to an Essentially Jess reader. All you need to do is answer, in 25 words or less, the following question:
If you lost your name, where’s the first place you would look?