Reviewed by David Savage
We have had some quite horrendous weather recently, from showers to downpours, and rainy days always make it harder to entertain the kids. With constant cries of “we have nothing to do” or “we’re bored” ringing in your ears despite all the toys, books and craft ideas they have to occupy themselves, do you give in and hand them their tablet devices or find them something they will enjoy?
Personally, I love reading and always have done. I love seeing kids pick up a book and enjoy reading. These days it seems like kids are not interested in books, but I do believe that finding the right book or story will spark that interest so was delighted when the My Personalised Unicorn Adventure Book from In The Book arrived. So what better way to spend a rainy morning than snuggling up in a comfortable chair with a good book.
The My Personalised Unicorn Adventure Book, other titles are available so that boys and girls will enjoy, is a 24-page book (available in softback, hardback or classic hardcover) personalised with your child’s name and a special message to them on the opening page. The name can be personalised with up to 12 characters and will feature on the cover, in the illustrations and written into the story. The special message on the opening page can be personalised with up to 80 characters over 2 lines, which I think is an excellent way of engaging the reader right from the start as well as making it a really treasured item from a loved one. To make it even more special, you can also upload a photo that will appear at the end of the back with the message “Hope you enjoyed this book” under the photo.
The story itself is very sweet about a unicorn leaving her safe meadow and going off to explore other places to find a better place to play. It features sweets, cakes, fairies and unicorns – everything a little girl loves. Written in rhyming verse, it adds a fun dimension to the story.
It has been extremely well-illustrated with hand-drawn images that are bright and engaging. And the child’s name appears in more than just text of story, appearing on nearly every page.
This book was given to the youngest member is our house (7 years old) and she loved it. She loves unicorns anyway (is there any little girl that doesn’t?) and was over the moon that her name featured throughout the book and was delighted with the special message at the start. She sat down to read it straight away and even took it up to bed with her later that day. She has picked it up and read a few times since as well so has been a great way for to practice her reading.
From a 7-years-olds perspective the book is a winner, engaging with a good story and beautiful illustrations. She would give it 5*.
For me, the story was good and the illustrations are really well drawn and beautiful but there is one minor negative point with the book. I think that the text is slightly too small for young children to be able to read by themselves, a slightly bigger size would be much better and there is room on the pages to accommodate it.
However, I did have a couple of issues with the ordering and packing process.
I think that the website could be improved by offering a preview once the personalisation has been completed – it does have a sample preview but you would be better if you could see what your personalised message looks like.
My other issue was with the packaging of the book. We received our softcover version of the book in a cardboard envelope but the corners of the book were very slightly peeling away. I think maybe wrapping the book in tissue paper or a layer of bubble wrap would help protect it so that this didn’t occur, especially if it is being given as a gift (In The Book do offer a gift box issue if you are sending as a gift).
Overall, the book makes a great gift for any child. With their name, photo and personalised message it gets them immersed in the story. With this kind of personalisation, it is also great if your child has an unusual spelling of their name, as it can be very difficult to buy personalised items off the shelf with their name on.
We found it great for a rainy day activity as well as bedtime reading.
RRP: from £14.99
For more information or to buy visit www.inthebook.com.