I have partnered with i See Me! books to show you just how to grow your children’s book collection while exciting young readers. While this post does contain affiliate links, as always, the thoughts and opinions shared are my own and I only promote products that I like and use personally.
Books, books and more books. It is safe to say we are a tad bit obsessed with books in our household. Having both a toddler and a baby, books (specifically children’s books) are a HUGE part of our everyday lives.
Books in the playroom, books in the bedrooms, books in the sunroom, books in the bathroom, books in the car… you get the idea, books are everywhere around here! In fact, my toddler loves books so much that a trip to the library is the ultimate prize in her mind. Furthermore, not a day goes by that she doesn’t line up all her stuffed animals and pull out a minimum of six books to read to them (and by read, I mean her version of narrating what she sees in the illustrations, given she is only two years old).
The other day, after my husband witnessed first hand what I had previously described to him as my toddler’s daily library setup, we got to talking about her love for books. How did this start? How did we grow our collection? What is it about her books that keeps her so entertained? It didn’t take long for us to realize that despite our VERY large collection of children’s books, we had purchased a very minimal amount ourselves. In fact, we had our family and friends to thank for 95% of them. Furthermore, 75% of our collection was obtained even before either of our children arrived!
How did we grow our book collection?
My Personal Collection
Back when I was just an infant, toddler and child myself, my grandparents began to gift me with a book for every major milestone (i.e. every birthday, holiday, etc.). Within each book they’d write a special message and date. These same books not only helped grow my passion for children’s books, but would later fuel my toddler’s passion as well. As I grew and my interest in children’s books transitioned into my love for chapter books, my parents were sure to pack them away safely. Then years later after learning we would be starting a family of our own, my parents surprised my husband and me with my personal book collection from all those years ago. Now not only could my children enjoy them all over again, but I must admit, it sure was fun to be able to reminisce with my old favorites and read the special messages in them from almost three decades prior.
Contributing to another large chunk of our children’s book collection was in thanks to our baby showers. In lieu of a card, guests were asked to bring a favorite children’s book (new or used) and to write a special message inside. I can’t speak highly enough about how wonderful this was. Not only did we end up with a very large and meaningful collection of baby books, but we also get to enjoy the special messages and be reminded of our loved ones with every read.
Now, that our kiddos have arrived, once again it is in thanks to our family that our collection continues to grow. With every holiday, birthday and special milestone, my grandparents are once again purchasing a special book and writing a special message inside (perhaps even more special that they are now signing “great grandparents” behind the message). Additionally, my parents (now signing “grandparents” behind their message) have started their own fun tradition as well with including special pictures and messages taped inside the books so a visual will always accompany a message. As if that wasn’t enough, we couldn’t be more blessed that our other family members and friends (grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, etc.) have all joined in on the fun tradition as well.
What is about our books that keep my kiddos so entertained?
Now that we knew exactly how we obtained such an amazing collection of books, we were left to answer our question of what it was about the books that kept our kiddos just so entertained?
I believe it goes without saying that my toddler (and baby) love books so much because they associate the book itself with special moments with their loved ones. Both my kiddos have grown up associating that book time also means snuggle time with those they love most. Curling up next to their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc., the books help illicit special memories and routines (i.e. a book precedes naptime or bedtime).
Aside from the memories and feelings of comfort, we couldn’t help but to acknowledge the fact that books with bright colors and fun text often stood out among the favorites. With the ones requested most often being those that were personalized specific to our kiddos with their names and images.
The ultimate way to excite young readers
Once again, demonstrating just how amazing our family is with gifting children books, we were first introduced to i See Me! personalized children’s books by our kiddos’ aunt and uncle at their Dedication to church parties. During these very memorable events, they were each gifted with a personalized i See Me! book. From the minute I opened the book, even as an adult, I was immediately drawn in. There on the very cover of the beautiful book was their name incorporated into the title. As I continued to flip through the pages, more and more personalized information was incorporated into both the text and the illustrations. From their full name, to their date of birth, weight and length at birth, family members, etc. the story was a beautiful collection of all things personal wrapped up into one children’s book.
The beautifully selected books that were gifted to our kiddos for their Dedication day are perfect for new baby gifts and Dedication/Christening/Baptism gifts as well. The two we love and enjoy so much are titled: “Hello World! It’s Me, (child’s name here)” (click here for a look inside) and “(child’s name here)’s Little Book of Blessings” (click here for a look inside).
As my children grew, these personal touches at story time became more and more exciting, drawing them in further and further into their love for reading. Where as my two year old immediately smiles and laughs when she hears her name being read or points to the personal information on the page; my baby has even shown interest as well. Not yet a year old, she still begins to smile and show interest when she hears her name being read again and again in the text.
Growing our i See Me! book collection
After seeing just how much our kiddos love their personalized i See Me! books, I knew I wanted the collection to grow in order for their passion of books to grow as well. This was why I jumped at the opportunity to have a book that incorporated both of them under one title! While viewing the i See Me! collection, I stumbled upon the “(child’s name) & (child’s name) Go Together Like…” book (click here for a look inside)! I can’t speak highly enough about this book. The way that you can personalize gender, hair color, skin tone, names, etc. really made my toddler believe the book was written just for her and her sister. This beautifully illustrated and personalized book has quickly become a fan favorite around here for daily story times.
A way we can add to our children’s book collection
It goes without saying that we have tradition (along with amazingly generous family and friends) to thank for our large collection of children’s books. With that said, my husband and I decided that we could start a tradition of our own thanks to our new love of personalized children’s books from i See Me!. Now, we can create a personalized book for our kiddos with major milestones and holidays thanks to the large selection of categories and themes available here. (Not forgetting about the other available personalized items for future gifts as well (i.e. puzzles, coloring books, placemats, lunch boxes, stickers, etc.).)
Thanks to both our amazing family and friends, along with our new found love for i See Me! books, I simply can’t wait to continue and see our children’s book collection grow year after year.
If family tradition centered around children’s books sounds like something for you, be sure and check out my post about starting a Christmas/holiday tradition centered around Christmas books here. And if growing your (or your loved ones) children’s book collection with personalized books from i See Me! sounds like something you’d love to do yourself, click here to check out the collection!