ABC Me Books
If your kid always wanted to be a story book hero, Jawan and Althea Parker can make his dream come true with their line of personalised books. The couple has devised a series called ABC ME Books, where a child's name is incorporated into the story line, making him the star character.
The couple received a personalised children's book when their first child was born nine years ago. They liked the concept and bought another personalised book for their second child, when they were still living in the United States.
"When we moved to Singapore and with the birth of our third child, we naturally wanted to find a similar customised book for him," says Mrs Parker. "But there was nothing similar to this concept in this region so we decided to start our own."
The mother of four adds, "We started this business because our kids loved their personalised books so much; much more than we imagined they would. We figured that other parents and kids would like the concept just as much."
There are currently two books in the series, both written by the couple.
The first book titled, "My ABC Book", is a personalised ABC book that teaches the child the alphabet using catchy rhymes that incorporate the letters of the child's name. Targeted at the newborn to six-year-old, this book is priced at S$29.90.
A second book, called "The Perfect Name", spells out a child's name letter by letter and encourages letter recognition. Chinese names can also be inserted, and the book is priced at S$39.90. It takes about two weeks for either book to be delivered from the date of order.
The Parkers plan to add more books in various local languages as well as offer "The Perfect Name" book based on various themes. Currently, "The Perfect Name" is based on animals.
The couple work with three illustrators overseas for their books.
"The illustrations are in a style that appeals to children. We wanted a fresh and crisp style for our artwork which is why we focused on computer generated illustrations and not classic hand drawings," says Mrs Parker.
"We felt this style is also in keeping with the direction this generation is going, with respect to visually appealing pictures using clean lines and sharp colours."
Since ABC Me Books was launched in July, the Parkers have received "hundreds" of orders.
"We noticed many customers requested the optional Chinese name insertion. This has proven key to our business strategy," says Mrs Parker.
"Parents want their children to identify with not only their English names but also their Chinese names so that their child has a greater understanding of who they are culturally."
She believes that the books appeal to parents for several reasons, such as the book being a bonding tool, and the educational aspect of the book as it promotes letter, name and animal recognition.
"It is pretty rewarding to see your child's face light up seeing her name in a book. This is especially true when the child has a non-traditional spelling of their name," she says.
This article was first published on October 4, 2014.
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