We recently were offered a personalised Christmas book from Digitalscribe.ie for review. I first had to make the difficult decision of which child I would get the book made for. In the end, seeking to get the longest out of it as possible and ignoring how annoyed the boys would be I chose my youngest child. Practical as ever.
I sent a photo of Laoise, the name of two friends (I put in her brothers’ names in an attempt to appease them which was appreciated) and who the book was from by email.
About a week later the book arrived. I braced myself as my six-year-old noticed his sister’s name on it and her photo on the front.
We enjoyed the story, which involves Santa going missing and the featured child going from their hometown which is named in the book to all around Ireland with Finbar the Elf looking for him. Lots of Irish landmarks feature and the boys loved picking out places that we have been St. Stephen’s Green, the Phoenix Park, Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher so their interest stayed with the story. They were delighted when Santa let Laoise leave presents under the tree for them, their names finally appearing in the book.
The story flows nicely and is in simply enough language for my six year-old-to read. After the tour of Ireland there’s a nice happy festive ending and the kids were all smiles and full of magic.
However, the device to keep the child anonymous in the drawings can lead to somewhat spooky illustrations at times, with the child’s hood being up so high to keep them unidentifiable. In one case Ciarán asked why Laoise (in the book) was dressed like a red ghost. Also, the elf is green, my six-year-old decided that it was because he was an Irish elf, but then he started asking about the skin colour of all nationalities of elves which was a tangent I wasn’t expecting.
The book itself is brightly illustrated and we liked the drawings. However, since it’s soft back with a laminated cover, and is staple bound it really won’t upstand any wear and tear, so would need to be kept off the kids’ bookshelf and reserved for adult-led storytime only.
Unfortunately we learned this the hard way. The boys were reading it on the couch, I left them room and “someone” threw the book on the floor, then “someone” else stood on it and it ripped two centre pages out. I would expect a more sturdy book for the price, and for the target age-group. But it’s a nice keepsake gift, if expensive at €15.99 plus €3.50 postage and packing within Ireland. I’d love to see the same book appear in hardback, as the cost at the moment makes it hard to justify when it can be torn so easily.
That said, my crew love it, ripped pages and all, and it would be a handy gift if you need to post presents as you could get it delivered direct to the recipient keeping the cost down. The package also includes a personalised letter from Santa which I had to hide as we’d put on the book that it was from Mammy and Daddy and I didn’t know to remove it from the package before I let the kids open it. But you do, and it could be a lovely surprise for your little one.
** Competition now closed, the winner was Elinor O.
I have a personalised Santa’s Irish adventure book to be won by one lucky reader. This competition is open to those with postal addresses in Ireland only and Digitalscribe will provide the book under their usual terms and conditions.
Just comment below or on leave a comment on the post about the competition on my facebook page (sure, like it while you’re there), I’ll choose a winner at random on Sunday. (Remind me if I forget)
Disclosure: I was provided with a personalised book and one for the competition by Digitalscribe. I didn’t receive any other payment for this post and all view are my own.