05 November, 2012

My Own Story Review and Giveaway

     With Christmas coming, my mind once again wanders to personalized gifts.  I don't know why I associate Christmas with personalization.  Maybe it is because it is the one time a year when gifts are thrown at the girls so fast that I often have NO IDEA whose is whose.  Maybe it is because Christmas is that time of year when so many people get gifts that it is nice sometimes to put that personal touch on things.  I don't know what exactly it is, but I always look for personalized gifts around Christmas time.
     This year in my search, I came across a few sites for personalized children's stories.  Each offered something different.  One of them, My Own Story, offered lots of stories to help children through tough and sometimes scary situations as well as traditional or fun times too.
     The illustrations are what drew me into these books.  The black and white drawings with just a hint of red and blue, it's very striking and I love it's uniqueness.
     I thought I would try out all the stories that fit into our family, including the Christmas story (illustrated above), the Mommy's having a baby story and the trying new foods stories.   Those were just a few of them.  Each had blank spaces to fill in so that I could create the book around my family and my children.  I was able to make the main character excited to have gingerbread cookies and to visit with Auntie Cricket on Christmas.  She was also able to share her Christmas Eve tradition of visiting Grandpa Jim to share gifts.  The book made the story really speak to her.
     Above is an illustration from the book about trying new foods.  I notice going into Preschool to pick up Streaker that she rarely tries a new food.  She did try potato soup, which made me happy, but would not try squash or asparagus, etc.  I do hope that the book about new foods helps her to see that it all is just food and no bad taste will physically harm her.  She has nothing to be worried about when trying a new veggie.
     The books are great for kids because they engage them.  The child sees that their relatives and experiences are right there on the page and it helps them stay interested and captivated.  It is their own story, so it is easier to remember, which makes reading fun and easy.
     My Own story was founded by a mom of three after searching to no avail for personalized books to teach her own children.  They are written with help from teachers, doctors, and other experts that make the books as realistic and accurate as possible. 
     After checking out a good many books from the site, the only two things I would improve upon in this series is that there seemed to be no dark skin option (though I am sure it will be coming soon).  Also some small details in the book were not accurate to our family and I did not see those details until after ordering and getting the chance to see the rest of the book.  Such details for example are that the child ran downstairs to see Santa's gifts in the morning.  However, we live in a single story home and so my child does not have a downstairs.  Also that I sometimes pack special treats in their lunchboxes, when my children receive school lunch and do not use a lunch box. 
     Still, these small skewed details do not take from the books the fact that they are most definitely far more personal and relatable to the child than some random Christmas story snagged off a shelf somewhere.  They offer personal details and memories that no store bought book ever could and small glitches in the storyline are not enough to tear me from that fact.
     I think My Own Story is a great resource for parents trying to explain divorce, hospitalization, or military absence as well as also helping them recognize all of Mommy or Daddy's wonderful attributes or the joy in their first day of school.  My girls really enjoyed helping fill in the blanks of their own stories and will love reading them when we print and laminate them to be read for years to come.
     Wanna snag a few books of your own?  My Own Story is giving away 2 free books each to 5 winners.  It's super easy, just use the Rafflecopter below and good luck!
     I love the books and I love the purpose behind them.  I can not wait to see what other stories and options come in the future.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


Annette said...

I was wondering about this contest and I won! Just wondering how we redeem the books? Thanks!!!!

Tiffany Taylor said...

You sure did Annette, congratulations! I just received the codes today and am mailing them out shortly. but since I see that you are online now, I will mail yours right away so you don't have to wait ;)

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