Reviewed by Melody Floyde
It is always so hard to decide on new and different Christmas presents to buy for my children, especially ones that are educational and that don’t take up too much space. When I was asked to review a personalised children’s story book from Watadventure.com it sounded liked it might fit the bill perfectly. I was optimistic that having a book with his own name and avatar in might encourage my eight-year-old son, who is a very reluctant reader, to pick it up and read it if he was the star.
I was quite curious about the book as, looking at the Watadventure website, it is obviously a book with a mission. A mission to educate children about the eco challenges we are currently facing and to inspire them to become planet savers. This is so important right now and I know that my son has been learning about climate change at school this term and is very keen to learn more.
To order the book I had to visit the watadventure.com website and choose the book from the products page. The book I chose was “From the Sewer to the Stars: The Rise of the Watadventurers” which retails at £24.99 including postage and packing. It was very quick and easy to choose the personalisation for the book, firstly I had to type in my son’s name and then I had to choose a suitable avatar from a selection of 10 that were available. I chose a blonde-haired boy avatar which most closely resembled my son. There was also the option to type a personalised message to be printed on the first page of the book. I chose to add my son’s name again and a Happy Christmas 2019 note or alternatively you could leave the front page blank to hand write your own message, or keep the generic message from the website. I then got to preview the book before clicking to add it to my cart, which was great as it meant I could double check I didn’t have any spelling mistakes!
When the book arrived, I was really impressed with the quality, it has a hardcover and the pages are printed from good quality paper, and I was pleased to see the book was printed in the UK using sustainably forested paper. The book has 66 pages and is the same size as an annual. The front cover is great, it has my son’s name in big print and a large picture of the avatar (which if you squint does actually look a bit like him!). The book is jam packed with stories, activities and facts covering a range of topics.
There are two cartoon stories which star my son as the main character, in the first one he is saving Slimetown and in the second he is starring in Planet B – from what I can tell this involves saving the world! From a quick skim read through the stories he is going to love this, there are lot of humourous drawings and text amongst the serious message of the stories. A couple of parts did make me laugh out loud and he will love the references to poo and bogeys and stinky things!
Apart from the stories there are several activities in the book, one of these is to make a recycling centre for his bedroom which I think he will enjoy doing. There is also an activity to encourage him to make a mind diary – which will focus on how he is feeling throughout the course of a week and to help to understand the emotions and causes. This is such an important thing for children with mental health being high on the agenda at the moment and this puts it into a fun format. There’s even a bit of yoga and confidence building included too.
I was also pleased to see there were several pages in the book dedicated to some of the key eco challenges facing us all from deforestation to climate change. My son will love to read these facts and figures and it will tie in really well with his schoolwork.
Overall, I think this book would make a lovely Christmas present for a child. It is entertaining yet educational at the same time. I love that the Watadventurers are trying to Inform and inspire the next generation to become planet savers. I can’t see a suggested age for the book on the website, but I would think that 8 years and up would be about right. Having the personalisation makes it a really special present, however I do think there could be more personalisation included. My son’s name is only mentioned in the book four times in the titles (I think!) and it would be nice if he could be mentioned a bit within the actual text of the stories, maybe with a few extra facts about him to make him feel like it really is about him. Having said that, the avatar does appear quite a few times and looks uncannily like him!
I would give this book 4/5 and I think that it will make a lovely Christmas gift.
For more information or to buy visit shop.watadventure.com.