Now on to the good stuff!
For those who have never heard of the I See Me! line of books, the idea behind it is that each child is an important figure in their own imaginations, and seeing that imagination brought to life in a book is a great way to help grow their self-esteem. The company was founded in May of 2000, a couple of years after the creators had received a personalized book for their own child. They loved the concept, but wished that the story and illustrations had been even more customized. After a couple of years of playing with the details, they were able to send their idea out into the world, and the I See Me! line of books has been getting bigger ever since!
I was excited when I was asked to review this book, not just because I love it when my sponsors think of me, but because the book I was being asked to review was one with an ocean-y theme called My Very Own Pirate Tale. For anyone who is an avid reader of my blog, you know that my oldest child is a huge fan of sea-life. (He literally walks up to random people and tells them that he knows about whales.)
When I received the book I gave it to my son to take a look at, just to see if he could recognize his name in the book on his own. He had a lot of fun pointing out the letters to me and exclaiming over the pictures of the sea animals that were used to introduce his name. When we got to the page that had his name on it though, he honestly couldn't tell me what the word was. He is really good with individual letters, but can't quite read yet! However, after about a month of reading the book, he can now point out his first and last name from among the pages and can name all the letters used in his name. He is starting to grasp the fact that the "M" in his name makes the "mmmm" sound, and that all the other words with "M" in them also contain a "mmm" sound. Hopefully this will be a nice leap into reading for him.
I liked that the book was personalized for my little guy. He really enjoys reading about himself in the book and shows everyone the character that represents him in the book. At the end of the story his character gets a pirate hat to show that he has gone from being the first mate to being the captain of his very own boat, and he loves that part. (He actually asked me the other day where his pirate hat was, and we weren't even reading the book at the time, haha.) I also liked that the book has little "mini-games" hidden within the book. For instance, there is a coin hidden in each of the illustrations and sometimes we just play the find-the-coin game. Other times we go through and name all the letters on the pages. If I had to get a book all over again though, I might opt for a little easier reading level. Although my son really really likes the sea animals in this book, I've noticed that he tends to drift off attention-wise where the story gets too word-y. I try to avoid this by paraphrasing those parts, and that seems to help a lot. However, because the reading-level is higher, he will probably be able to enjoy it longer, and because it is a very sturdy book, I see it being a part of our collection for a long time.
I think this is a great book to buy if you are looking to invest in something that you and your child can do together. Books like this are appropriate for all ages, just do a little research first on their website and find a reading-level that would be right for the child you are buying for. The I See Me! collection has a lot to offer, so even if you are buying for a baby, there will be something for them to enjoy. The company even offers a lot of cool personalized items that go along with their book themes, like lunchboxes, coloring books, and even place-mats (like this one that goes with our story!). I think that this book would make a great gift, whether it comes from a parent, a relative, or even a friend. I think that most children truly do enjoy books, and they really love being read to, so this isn't just a nice gift for them, it's a wonderful way to bond with the people that love them best.
Want to get an I See Me! book for your very own? You can visit them at their website, or check them out through social media on their Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest accounts! Plus, you can make sure you don't miss a thing (or a promotion!) by signing up to receive email notifications at this link.
Special discount! Costco is featuring vouchers for these awesome books at a 30% savings! Members can choose from seven titles to find the perfect story for a young book lover. Look for this deal at your local Costco (not available in all areas) or go online to www.costco.com and search for item 756683. Hurry! Limited time offer and orders must be placed by 12/8/13 for Christmas delivery.
(The giveaway that was associated with this post has expired, please check out our giveaways tab for a list of available contests!)