I’ve been searching since E was born for a company that makes personalised books. I had one when I was a child – Me and the Smarties Safari – which cast me as the hero of my own story, saving Smarties for the world from rustlers (ironic since I’ve boycotted Nestle because of the baby milk scandal since 1994 and so haven’t had any Smarties for 20 years).
Anyway, I loved that book and thought E might like something similar. Sadly, so many of the personalised books I could find to order were based around characters from TV or film cartoons. Not only do we not watch many of these things, but how could E properly be the hero if she was off with Ben Ten or a Disney princess?
But then I saw an ad for Lost My Name. It’s a small company set up by three dads and an uncle who started up a small independent self financed company to produce personalised children’s books. I checked out the website.
The story is the same for boys or for girls – the hero of the piece wakes up realising they’ve lost their name and so they go off on an adventure to find it. On their journey they encounter a number of characters that supply them with letters, spelling out their name. The characters are great, there are animals and, if you have a child with a V in their name, a Viking who yearns to make artisan bread – a detail that made me laugh for quite some time.
While the book comes in different colours for boys or girls, blue and a sort of purple that wasn’t really very pink, I appreciated that everything else was fairly gender neutral. The illustrations are lovely and quite gothic in tone – reminding me of Tim Burton movies in places.
You can only have one name in the book – I was concerned because the child I was ordering for (not E but I think she’s going to have one for Christmas) only had three letters in her name and I tried to enter her middle name as well. What happens if there’s a short name is that the story is padded out with extra pages of journeying so you still get a nice long book. You can view the complete book, page by page, on the website before placing your final order.
The book arrived within two weeks of ordering (bearing in mind it has to made from new) and was well packaged. It was lovely to the touch, good quality paper and the illustrations close up are wonderful. The only thing I thought twice about was the price but it’s worth remembering that this is a small company who don’t have the wherewithall to browbeat printers into cheap deals, and you get a personalised book which your child is bound to treasure. Add into that the fact that a new book for children from a publisher who can print bucketloads at once is still £6.99 these days so I reckon £18.99 (includes delivery) isn’t too bad. Especially if your child is like me and still has their copy 30 years later…
And, for readers of this blog, you can get 20% off the price! Lost My Name have agreed that the first 10 people to contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or direct message on Facebook can get a discount of 20% off the price.
Think ahead to Christmas or upcoming birthdays and I reckon you’ve got a really special present on your hands.
Lost My Name can be contacted online at their website, on Facebook or on Twitter. Remember, the discount will only work if you contact them using email or direct message on Facebook (there is an email link on the website). Let me know if you do buy one and what you think of it!
And for anyone interested, you can also download colouring in sheets from the book free on the website. Hoh yes.