10 best personalised children's books
These are the bespoke reads that will keep them turning the page
Personalised children’s books have proliferated in recent years as developments in printing technology have made then easier and cheaper to produce – and as big brand kids’ characters have cashed in on the craze. Done well, they can be a great keepsake present. A personalised text remains considerably more expensive than a standard one, however, and there are some on the market that are disappointing in quality and design. Those that are worth the extra pennies don't have just the personal tough - they have a story and/ or illustrations that are worth turning the pages for, and feel as professional in standard as any mass-produced volume. So what are the personalised books that children – and their parents – will actually want to read and keep once the novelty of seeing a familiar name in print wears off?
1. Oi Stop Eating the Roses: £29, Snapdragon Books
This wonderful story book is a labour of love by two entrepreneurs from Devon who personalise each edition not only with your child’s name but with an array of details about their friends, hobbies and quirks, plus a photo, to make a truly individual tome. Best suited to children old enough to have their own favourite things and catchphrases.
2. The Little Boy or Girl Who Lost Their Name: from £16.99, Wonderbly
Much imitated thanks to its runaway success, this bestseller from the personalised book pioneers now known as Wonderbly takes a young central character on a magical adventure based on the letters of their name. Stylishly illustrated and printed in high quality – just be careful your intended recipient hasn’t already got one! The makers recommend this book for children up to about the age of eight.
3. My Golden Ticket: from £19.99, Wonderbly
Wonderbly’s latest offering is a coup for them and a treat for young Roald Dahl fans (and their Wonka-loving parents). The recipient child gets their own golden ticket and follows in Charlie’s footsteps around the famous chocolate factory, where all kinds of confectionery-based adventures linked to the child’s name await. Ages 5-12.
4. Peppa and George’s Big Adventure to find Anyname: from £17.49, Not On The High Street
Peppa-obsessed pre-schoolers will squeal with delight when they discover that their favourite porcine siblings are on a hunt to find the letters of their very own name. Absolutely one of the best in a crowded field of Peppa merchandise – you even get to design and include an (only faintly creepy) image of your child as they might look as a character in the animation.
5. Nursery Rhymes and Personalised Poems Book: from £19.95, Not On The High Street
This sweet tome with loads of brightly-coloured illustrations features a range of traditional rhymes plus a poem based on the chosen child’s name. It would make a good new baby, Christening or first Christmas present.
6. Mr Men: You and the Silly Birthday Party: from £9.99, Egmont
A good-value birthday present option for fans of Mr Men and Little Miss; the starring child appears as a Roger Hargreaves-style avatar based on details you input such as their hair and eye colour, with Mr Happy and Little Miss Scatterbrain among the guests at a predictably chaotic gathering.
7. Personalised The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book: £24.95, The Letter Room
Eric Carle’s distinctive drawings in this personalised book for newborns will likely be popular with recipient parents long before the child in question learns to love them. Pricey, but the kind of new baby present that gets kept.
8. The Magic Chair: £14.99, Magic Chair
Different versions of this engaging book allow the central protagonist to travel around the world, through time or in search of Santa with the help of an enchanted armchair. All can be personalised with the child’s name and a main character that is adapted according to their eye, skin and hair colour, and clothing preferences – although it is a mild irritation that girls have to wear dresses and boys t-shirts, apparently. In other ways, if not sartorially, this book is one to fire little imaginations. Aimed at children aged 0-8.
9. All the things I wish for you: £18.99, Papier
No mass-market branded characters here, this classy and colourful tome from upmarket stationers Papier features stylish (maybe even hipster, but in a good way) illustrations on high-quality paper. The makers say it is for children 0-5 but it’s probably most suitable for babies and toddlers.
10. Pirate/ Princess/ Prince Potty: £14.99 or £18.99 with stickers and reward chart, Pen Wizard
Yes, there’s a fair bit of pink involved in the Princess version of this potty training book but, refreshingly, the pirate edition is not reserved for boys only. This should not be revolutionary, but trouser-wearing, non-sparkly female protagonists are depressingly hard to find in the world of personalised books. Whatever character you choose for your child, this is a fun bit of pro-potty propaganda that might just make the whole messy business a tiny bit easier. Our (female) toddler is well pleased to have a piratical avatar.
The Verdict: Personalised children’s books
There’s no doubt that Oi Stop Eating the Roses is the most individual and special book we have found on the market, with a personal touch that far exceeds most competitors. There’s also no doubt that for any child who has read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a chance to take themselves through Wonka’s famous gates will be hard to resist. Both would make great gifts.
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