I was recently asked by love2read to review a book for Father’s Day. I’m a great lover of books anyway, but when I discovered that this one is more like a mini photo album, I was intrigued and keen to take up their proposal!
Given the nature of the product, the ordering process is necessarily a little complex. That’s not to say it’s bad – just don’t expect to sit down and have it wrapped up in ten minutes flat if you’re hoping to achieve a really special keepsake.
Essentially, it’s one of those situations where the more effort you put in, the better the reward you’re going to get out.
I do a lot of my blogging during Pixie’s naps, and I must confess I got myself a little overwhelmed trying to rush the order through in time for the next print run. Of course, you’ll have no reason to limit yourself to the window of your sleeping angel’s two-hour-nap (when she plays ball). But I was on a deadline to ensure the book was sent out; received; reviewed; and up on the blog – all in plenty of time for Father’s Day! For any normal person, however, there’s a facility to save your progress and come back to it. Which I imagine would come in quite handy if you have the time to take advantage of it!
- Utilising Children’s Books to Support Difficult Conversations
- Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Aspirational Man in Your Life
- One of the Best Books About Stranger Danger
With my little fluster in mind, I’ve put together a few tips for making the order process painless, and to ensure you get the best possible result:
Basically, you’re given a blank canvas to create your own book. You choose from several titles (your only prompt for a theme), then add your chosen images and a short line of personalised text to accompany each one. Just to clarify, by personalised, I mean written by you – in its entirety. So it’s worth taking a little bit of time to consider your ‘storyline’ before selecting your images.
Choose ten photos to illustrate your book – bearing in mind landscape works better than portrait.
3. Front Cover
The first four images in your book will make up the front cover – something which may influence your choice/order of photos.
Again, it’s worth spending ten minutes giving this some thought so you don’t dither on the spot. (Unless, of course, you’re happy to produce a book appearing to have been written by a child high on e-numbers – or worse: my husband after too much caffeine…) You’ll need to think about the storyline as well as the picture on each page – and perhaps focus on simple words so the book can be used to help your child with their reading.
5. Touch Ups
Once you’ve settled on which images you’ll be using, you may decide that some airbrushing is required: a stray hair here, a double chin there… (Or perhaps a wine glass to be painted out and a unicorn to be painted in? I’m not judging.)
Note: All alterations will need to be made prior to upload to the love2read site.
You may also want to crop or resize photos – and be aware for best results images should be high res. Trust me, I know… Following a poor judgement call (based upon the time involved in emailing – and waiting for receipt of – high resolution images from my phone to my laptop), I had to start over. By which point, Morph-like, the painted out wine glass had miraculously found its way into my hand…
Which leads us nicely onto:
Do yourself a favour and, if you’ll be moving images from one device to another, have a lead handy. If may seem a bit old school, but it will save you a lot of headaches (including the alcohol-induced one the following morning.)
Disclaimer: I’m not an actual alcoholic, I’m merely demonstrating that you’ll be disproportionately glad you forward planned.
Ps. You’re welcome.
One final recommendation: save your perfected photographs to a specific folder to make finding them quick and simple!
Once I’d finally hit the order button, it was plain sailing. Although it’s worth mentioning that there was a weird system glitch which meant my salutation disappeared. However, I was seriously impressed to receive a late night email asking me to confirm the missing information before the book was printed the next morning. So I can’t fault the service I received!
Delivery was quick and I was excited to see the finished article. Pixie retrieved the envelope from the doormat, and we sat down together to open it.
The book is paperback, but the overall feel of the product is nice quality. I really like it, and – arguably of greater importance – so does Pixie.
My only slight disappointment is the last page. It displays a couple of words to test your little one’s reading ability, which should be a really lovely touch… But the on-screen prototype shows repeated words taken from the title, which I’d presumed would be updated using words I’d added. Unfortunately that was not the case.
In fact, it was such a shame I assumed it was my error and went back to the system to check whether I was supposed to update the words myself. Alas, unless I was being dense (possible), there is no such option.
Overall, this is a fab book and will make a really wonderful Father’s Day gift.
Head over to my hub round-up post for more breastfeeding, baby, and toddler reviews.