Each time my son sees his book, he says with a proud and happy face: “This is the book that my mom made for me”. There is nothing more joyful to hear for a parent (or a grand-parent).
When the PR team of the London-based start-up Lost my Name approached me to review one of their books, their second title The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home instantly grabbed my attention. I knew that this lost in space story would speak to my 5-year-old son. What I didn’t know is how advanced was the way they personalize this space odyssey.
The story starts in deep space and zooms in until you reached your actual front door. The excitement begins by discovering your child’s name written as a constellation. Through the adventures to find his way home, your kid gets a sense of how big the universe is. This beautifully illustrated picture book is whimsical with touches of science. I like, at bedtime, that the science components don’t get in a way of telling the story. You can discuss most of the scientific elements only if you want to.
The personalization goes beyond using your kid’s name. You select a skin colour/outfit and gender. Where it becomes impressive is how the story integrates where you live. Your kid rides a patriotic rocket ship. As you get closer to home, the rotation of Earth shows your location. Then, you see a local landmark followed by an aerial view of your neighbourhood. It’s ends with your street number. The only detail that is missing, according to my son, is to the bedroom’s colour. My son told me that I made a mistake; his bedroom is blue, not green. I was saved by reminding him that his old bedroom was that same green.
For the techies, this Fast Company article discusses the technical challenges that the team had to face to produce each book with that level of precision. It’s a lot more complicated than you might think.
I asked Eva Tkavc of Lost my Name how the selection of the landmark works. Eva responded: “The way it works is we have a database of landmarks for each country. The customers get the closest landmark to where they live. (As for Canada) We have one for every state/province/major city plus other key landmarks – there are about 200 landmarks in total, and we’re continuing to add more to improve the book.” This is why the book is only available right now for homes located in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
My verdict: this book is a keeper. If you plan to order The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home for a little boy or a little girl who likes space, it’s good to know that you can write a special message that they’ll print on the first page. I wrote mine to set the tone.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home from Lost My Name.