Friday, November 14, 2014

I See Me! Farm Friends

I See Me! Farm Friends

This review was first published at Washington Family Magazine. Click HERE for the link to that original review.

I have several I See Me! books for my very own children on our crowded bookshelves here in our home. My daughter received a customized My Very Own Name when she was born from family friends. It wasn't one we read to her often until she realized that it was, in fact, about HER with her very own name, and then she chose it frequently for bedtime and anytime readings.

When our two boys came along, we purchased for them a book from the next iteration of I See Me! books, My Very Own Pirate Tale. This book, methinks, is better than my daughter's because it is, in fact, a story. A fearless captain is needed, and a treasure map (of sorts) spells out the new pirate's name (in other words, your child's name). Both boys went through phrases of loving the book. This book as well as My Very Own Name are still available through

These books are okay. They are just okay compared to the next generation of I See Me! books, which are FANTASTIC!

In these books, the child's name is not the only thing that is customized. Nope, it's 2014, of course, and these books have photographs of your child of choice inside the actual pages of the book. The photographs aren't slipped in (I've seen that before)--they are part of the illustration, part of the page. It's one thing for a child to hear their names out loud by a grown-up; it's entirely another (wonderful) thing for a child to see their own face jump out from the page.

I See Me! was ind enough to have three books made for this lucky Washington FAMILY Magazine reviewer--so I could hold, flip through, and review these books in order to tell you, parents, everywhere, if these are fine, worth-the-money products. And that's what I am here to tell you: they are fine, worth-the-money products! Children everywhere are sure to give the My Farm Friends personalized book a raucous standing ovation.

When you order this book from, you provide your child's name, gender, hair color, birthday, and skin color. Uploading a photograph is actually optional but I assure you: you should! Because when your child receives this book in his or her lap, the first thing she'll see is her face on the cover, instead of the farmer's face. Her body will be illustrated cuteness, but her face will be her own. The title will no longer be vague; it will be Griffin's Farm Friends or Ella's Farm Friends.

The story is, in itself, an engaging children's story, complete with rhyme and animal sounds all around. And as your child turns the pages, the farmer on each page will be your child. The gender of the farmer on the page will be what you've instructed. And the face? The image you provided to I See Me! Your child will be delighted to see her own face on every single page. For sure.

The downside of this book: It's expensive. Most board books cost $8 to $12; Farm Friends costs $29.95. This book isn't a necessary part of your child's book collection. As a lover of books, I think there are plenty more that need to be there before this one. So, is it worth it? If you can do it, I think it is. Can you request the book from a grandparent or other special family friend? At this young age, kids get intrigued by books because of gimmicks such as lift-the-flaps, surfaces they can touch, mirrors, and even photographs of themselves. These gimmicks work to create interest in books and start kids thinking: books are cool!

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