Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Story Antics: personalised story books for children

Do you remember getting personalised items as a child? I never really got any, because Toni wasn't {and still isn't} a common girl's name. I grew up when all the girls were called Emma, Sarah, Amanda and Lauren. My mum was clearly ahead of her time and had the audacity to call me a boys name {which I hated when I was young, but actually really like now}. The upside was nobody ever had the same name as me, except once I had a teacher called Toni, but that didn't count because we couldn't call her by her first name anyway. The downside was I never got the personalised stickers, stationary, money boxes and other novelty stuff sold at every newsagent. Seems like a total first world problem I know, but to tween me it was a big deal.

Fast forward and I now have my own children and while both of them have pretty standard names, only one can be found on most gimmicky personalised product stands, because I didn't use the traditional spelling for the other one {sorry, not sorry}. I can never find her name with the correct spelling in shops anywhere. However, the good thing for my kids is that they're growing up with the internet, and thanks to the internet I can pretty much personalise anything I want with their correct names. Hooray for small mercies, they'll never know the pain of not having their name permanently marked on things... where was the internet in the 1980's when I needed it?  Just sayin.

Thanks to my own experience as a child I have a natural desire to collect all the personalised stuff for my own kids. My greatest love when it comes to personalised products is picture books. I love that I can inject my children into a story and make them feel as though that book was written especially for them and about them. I recently created a personalised story book from Story Antics that features both of my girls.


AUSTRALIA'S NEWEST PERSONALISED STORY BOOKS FROM STORY ANTICS


Story Antics is a new online store specialising, as the name suggests, in stories. Story Antics brings together a dedicated team of authors and illustrators who create beautiful personalised stories for children under 5. There are stories about bravery, adventure, excitement, imagination, fun and humour.



Story Antics currently have 6 different personalised books available and you can read through each book online {Monster Macarons isn't pictured in the image above}.. I looked through all the books online with my 6yr old and chose The Cheeky Owl for my girls as it was the best fit for a number of reasons. Firstly, my eldest has had an affinity for owls since she was really young, so she loved the book as soon as she saw the owl on the cover. Secondly, one of the illustrations for the main character looked really similar to her and I could also include her sister as the baby. Thirdly, all 6yr old's are pretty much obsessed with talking about poo and this book involves poo, so as much as I don't love all the toilet talk going on at our place this year, I knew it would appeal to her. Don't let the poo put you off though, it really is a cute story {and was written by Story Antics founder Lara Solomon}.


HOW TO PERSONALISE A STORY ANTICS BOOK


The process of ordering a Story Antics books online is really simple. Once you decide which story you want you then get the option to personalise each of the characters.



Clicking on each character image brings up the different options available, which generally includes illustrations with different hairstyles, hair colour and clothing colours. Some characters can also be interchanged between male and female. Below is an example of The Cheeky Owl characters changed and renamed {no those aren't my kids real names}.


After the characters have all been finalised you can then choose to add a personalised dedication page. Once you've finished creating the book you can flip through a virtual proof to ensure there are no mistakes, then after placing your order it takes approximately two weeks to arrive at your door.

OUR PERSONALISED STORY ANTICS BOOK


When our story book arrived it was even better than I was anticipating. It was packaged beautifully and extremely carefully so it wouldn't get damaged in the mail. The book itself is a lovely big A4 size with large text making it easy for little readers to read aloud or follow along with. The pages are thick good quality 200gsm paper, so they're built to withstand all the love and affection the kids will inevitably smother it with over the years.



My 6yr old was so excited when the book arrived and it looked just like the one she helped me put together online{she named the owl and picked out the colours when I was ordering it}. We sat down and she read through the entire story herself. She only started school this year and has gone from not being able to read at all to now reading entire picture books. I'm so incredibly proud of how determined and excited she's been to learn how to read, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to get a special book just about her.

If you're looking for a truly unique present for your little one for a special occasion, or just because, Story Antics books are definitely worth checking out. With so many different story options there's sure to be one to suit your child, or children.

Toni x



Disclosure ~ I was provided with a Story Antics book of my choosing in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are based on my ordering experience and our experience with the product. I did not receive payment for this post.
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Saturday, November 9, 2019

The perfect teacher gift: 5 picture books to say thank you to your teacher

In our house we love books and have been reading them to the girls since they were born. I'm a little scared to count how many we actually have in the house, but I'm sure each and every one has been a valuable addition to our home. We have a tradition of picking books for fathers day and mothers day and we use books to celebrate special holidays like Christmas and Easter. We also love to use books for bookish play activities. It should come as no surprise then that we also love to give books as gifts for special occasions and I can't think of a more perfect teacher gift idea than a special book. I've never met a teacher who doesn't love books.

Throughout the early years of schooling {prep, foundation, kindy, preschool etc} teachers impart a huge amount of knowledge, empowering our children with fundamental skills they'll take right through their schooling years and beyond, so it seems only fitting to thank them for their time and effort. These are our favourite picture books that are perfect for end of year or teacher appreciation day gifts to say thank you to kindy, primary and elementary school teachers.


*This post contains some affiliate links*



PICTURE BOOKS TO SAY THANK YOU TO TEACHERS 
- THE PERFECT TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY OR END OF YEAR GIFTS -




Because I Had a Teacher | Kobi Yamanda

Because I Had a Teacher is a beautiful book to say thank you to your favourite teacher. Each page is an individual thank you for a new skill or feeling a child now has because they had a teacher. It's a gorgeous picture book for any teacher, teacher aide, childcare educator or mentor.







Sandy Gingras so aptly points out in the introduction to her book Thank You, a life lived well is perhaps the highest form of thanks a person can give to teachers as a way of repaying them for their attention and effort. A simple thank-you is also nice. Thank You is Gingras's own delightful way of conveying this sentiment. This charming keepsake book features her soft, sweet watercolour artwork and thoughtful original text celebrating teachers and all they do for us.







Teachers Rock | Todd Parr

Teachers Rock is a fun, bright, positive and heart warming picture book about why teachers are so special. With bright colourful illustrations, Teachers Rock, takes us through all the reasons why Todd Parr loves teachers and everything they do. 









Thanks from the very hungry caterpillar isn't specifically written for teachers, but would certainly make a great teacher gift as well as a general thank you gift for friends and family members to acknowledge an important loved one. Eric Carle uses his distinctive, colourful illustrations to say thanks to whomever you choose for their encouragement and guidance.








I DID MY HOMEWORK IN MY HEAD | Alyssa Cowit & Greg Dunbar

I Did My Homework In My Head is the hilarious result of the instagram account @LivefromSnackTime where Alyssa Cowit and Greg Dunbar share funny reader submitted kids quotes. The book is a compilation of the many innocent {and sometimes not-so-innocent} things children say. Full of excuses and funny musings about life, pets, family, relationships and homework, this book is sure to bring a smile to your teachers face!



The great thing about all these books is that, if by chance your teacher already has them in their personal collection, they can still use your gift in the classroom or the school library for other students to enjoy. Books really are the teacher gift that keeps on giving for generations.

Picture book stack




Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, should you make a purchase. All books purchased from Book Depository come with free worldwide shipping.
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