'Its Your Story' Personalised Book Review

14 January 2011


I'm sure we've all seen those books where your child becomes the main character in a book, simply by changing the classic hero's name to your child's name? Well, It's Your Story is a similar concept, but takes it up a step – your child's picture is added too.

Intrigued by this, we asked PlayPennies mum Tammy to select a photo, order a copy and let us know what she thought. As it was in time for Christmas, Tammy selected the book XYZ Name's Snowman – so if your child’s name is George then it will be called George’s Snowman.

iys georgeI’ve always been quite sceptical of the whole “plonk your photo into a software programme that will turn you into a book” thing. So it was with some reluctance I agreed to do this review. The first problem I hit was finding a good full frontal head shot of my child. It appears that my husband and I are far too arty with our shots and have none that could be seen as boring old generic shots. Finally I managed to scuffle one out of a hole somewhere and send it across.

Easily rectified by a quick click of the ol' digital camera, so we were still hopeful for this product.

I also had to submit my address and the name of one of my child’s dearest friends. It took a while for the book to arrive. In fact, I’d forgotten about it! It was about a week and a half I think. But some of that delay could have been my faffing about with photos.

It is worth noting that It's Your Story have predetermined posting days, for whichever reason, and they only seem to let you know when the 'next' one is.

When the It's Your Story book did arrive, I was really pleasantly surprised. Yes, it is staple bound so the centre of the book bulges out a bit and looks a bit tacky, but the rest of it is rather enchanting. I thought it was nice. Not earth shattering or moving but nice.”

And while we definitely value a parent's feedback, what we really wanted to know was what Tammy's daughter, Gloria, had to say about it.

IYS OneThen my daughter saw it” says Tammy with a bit of a smirk, “And in that moment the book went from nice to amazing. She LOVED it. She was “oh Mummy that’s ME!!!” Look Mummy that’s ME!!!! That’s Santa talking to ME!!!!”

Throughout the book your child's name and photos appear and they are really quite cute, according to Tammy.

It was rather sweet seeing my child’s face peering out at me from a little elf suit. Then there were some other great touches. The fact that they mention your address, that they talk about her best friend, saying something like “they arrived at X’s house to drop off her presents”. The child sits next to Santa, flies on a bus, and saves Christmas.”

It’s cute. For a jaded old git like me it was all about using software to do something clever. For my daughter it was an amazing adventure.

There are a few books to choose from in the range, with specific categories like First , Second or Third Birthday books, books for girls, books for boys, animal lovers, Christmas, and even wedding or anniversary books for adults.

Some books offer text and image options, others are text-personalisation only. The books vary in price, and Gloria's Snowman would have cost Tammy £17.50 (plus £2.50 postage). Tammy thought this was a bit expensive, really.

I’m not sure I would spend £17.50 on one of these. I know that my husband liked it and said he would spend around £15/16 but I can’t help feeling that it is a bit too pricey for what you get.  I honestly don’t like the fact that it’s staple bound. I’m a book snob so maybe that’s me but for £17.50 I’d ask for something a bit fancier. “

IYS Dressing UPShe does have good things to say about the book itself though: “There is a personal message from you to your child at the front of the book, which is a plus and the paper quality is very good. Laminated and sturdy it has withstood four playdates and "The Chocolate Milk Incident of 2010". (We didn't ask!) It’s definitely strong.”

It seems that for pure novelty value and as a keepsake this book is lovely, if you are happy with the price.


So, Tammy's final verdict? Well, she certainly echoes our sentiments above. For pure novelty value and as a keepsake this book is an entirely different story (excuse the pun), on this point I’d say it is borderline good value for money.

And a final word of advice? Just please make absolutely sure that you use a very bright and crisp photo of your child.

TOPICS:   Toy Store   Educational Toys

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