There’s nothing quite so engaging for children as a personalised book. It’s easy to tune out when you’re reading, or listening to someone read. Drift off into a different world and not really concentrate on what you’re doing. The one thing that always brings you back down to earth though is hearing or reading your name. The Wonderbly Where Are You books ensure that children’s attention can’t possibly drift away because each book is personalised so it’s all about that child.
Where are you … ?
The original Where Are You book is set in a parallel universe. When ordering it, you give the child’s name and say whether they’re a boy or a girl. Then, you choose a character to represent them in the book. Both the name and the character appear on the front cover. This one is Lia’s book so I’ll run through the story from Lia’s point of view.
When you open the book, the first thing you see is a picture of a box with a note to Lia taped onto it. It’s a huge box and Lia doesn’t remember ordering it, what could it be? It turns out to be a parallel universe portal. It will take you to all the universes like this one that are just a bit different. In those parallel universes, Lia is doing all sorts of exciting things so it’s time to fire up the portal and take a look.
In each universe, you have a read of what Lia is up to. She is a chef, vet, superstar, professor and many more things besides. Take a look at what Lia looks like and wears in this parallel world before setting out to find her. It’s not just Lia you need to find though, you have a task to complete in every world. Find various things that are lost or on the loose to save the day on each page. There are even more challenges to complete at the back of the book.
This lovely personalised story has a serious message too. Lia has the potential to be anything she wants to be. And there’s plenty of time to decide which version of herself she’ll grow up to be.
Where are you … ? The Journey Through Time
Like the original Where Are You Book, the Journey Through Time can be personalised with a child’s name and a character to represent them. This time, the unexpected parcel is a time machine. Our book is personalised for Libby, so there’s a note for her on the front page. It’s a reminder that Libby has the power to make history and the future is waiting for her.
In the box with the time machine is another note for Libby. It explains that the world is in danger and it needs an extraordinary person to help. An evil pigeon is trying to change the course of human history by going back in time to stop all human breakthroughs. This will create an alternative future where pigeons rule the world. Libby has to go back and prevent Professor Columbus the pigeon from carrying out his plan.
As Libby travels to each era, she has a task to complete. She’ll need to find herself as well as several objects to help thwart Professor Columbus. There are other things to find too, she might as well solve historical mysteries while she’s there. Travel through prehistoric times, the renaissance, the steam age and other historic time periods before continuing into the future.
When you catch Professor Columbus there’s a reward waiting for you. There are also more tasks to complete and another special message. Nobody knows what the future has in store but Libby has the potential to make history. It’s up to her to decide how to do it.
What we love about the Where Are You … books
Whilst the Where Are You personalised books are for children, we are all really enjoying them as a family. We sit and read a page together and have a countdown to turning over to the next page. Then we have a race to find the child or the items in the challenge. Inevitably, the girls are better at it than us. That’s probably why they enjoy it so much.
The other benefit with these books is that they don’t really need us at all. Whilst Lia’s reading isn’t quite good enough to read all of it, she can certainly pick out the items she needs to find. She’s a child who loves to sit quietly with a book and I know she’ll be a keen reader when she’s older. For now though, the Wonderbly books are an ideal compromise. She reads a little and spends ages looking at the pictures to see what she can find.
The other thing I love about Wonderbly is their motivational messages at the start and end of the books. Even the books themselves are all about believing in yourself. The idea of a parallel universe where your decisions have resulted in a different version of yourself is very thought provoking. If there’s one message I want my children to grow up with it’s that they can be whoever they want to be.
What you need to know about the Wonderbly personalised Where Are You books
- Where can you buy the Where Are You books: For more information about the books and to buy and personalise a copy, head to the Wonderbly website.
- How much are they? Jumbo (extra large, 240x308mm to spread out and share) soft cover books are £25.99. Regular size, 195x265mm soft cover books are £17.99.
- Do you need to provide a photo? No, these books are personalised with a name and a character that you can choose to look as much like the child as possible rather than with a photo of the child.
- What age are Wonderbly books for? Wonderbly make books for children aged from 0-3 right up to age 6+. The Where Are You books are in both the 3 to 6 and 6+ categories on their website and are definitely suitable for both age groups.