As I mentioned last week, thinking of The Perfect Name for Baby #3 is on my mind (well, right behind “Settle kids into school” and “Take the car for servicing”). Sometimes I wonder if J and Little E realise how much thought has gone into their names.
When I was about 11 years old, my family and I were taking a trip to the USA when we came across a bookstore that published personalised keepsake books. These were storybooks where you could have any name of your choice inserted into the text of the book, and suddenly, your kid becomes the main character of the story. We’d never seen anything like that anywhere else before, so my parents immediately purchased a book for our little Godbrother who was turning a year old. My Godbrother treasured the book so much that when my own J turned a year old, he brought the book over to our house for ‘safekeeping’ until he has a child of his own to share this special book with.
This is similar to the experience that Jawan and Althea Parker of ABC Me had when they were residing in the US where they were given a customised book for their son. After moving to Singapore, they looked for similar personalised books that they could give away as gifts to their friends, and upon finding none, they decided to develop their own! What is special about their books is that they not only include names in English, but also the option to incorporate other fun details such as names in Chinese characters, birth dates and the chinese zodiac sign.
I was pretty excited when ABC Me contacted me and asked if they could send a customised copy of The Perfect Name ($39.90) for both J and Little E. I thought it would be a great way to teach Little E how to spell her full name and become more familiar with her chinese name.
The books are really very big – A4 size – and they are in hardcover so they will definitely last a long time, and the pages are thick and glossy with gorgeous full colour illustrations of animals by Nordeva (Nora Garcia) and Katie Hofgard (Known on Deviant Art as ‘Shadow Wolf’).
The book concept is relatively straightforward: Different animals spell out each name letter by letter (up to 20 letters) in simple rhyming couplets.
I was worried that I would see repeated animals or illustrations in the final product, but Jawan and Althea made sure that they had 3-5 animals for each letter, so that it’s highly unlikely that you’d see repeats. (Well, unless your name is something like Lillee Lee LeeLee.)
I think the novelty of the book definitely lies in the fact that kids can see their names being spelled out on each page, and it definitely will make for a long-lasting and meaningful keepsake. I personally would have preferred for the book to come in a smaller sizes to make it much more portable and easier for little hands to handle, but the illustrations are truly very beautiful, so perhaps shrinking them to A5 will not do them justice.