Personalized Children's Books at

Sep 1, 2001 (Updated Sep 3, 2001)

The Bottom Line is a company that specializes in high quality, well-designed personalized books for children. They are far above their competitors in this field. You can order from local distributors.

"Reading is fun when the story is about you!" That's the underlying concept of personalized storybooks for children. Hefty Publishing's Create-a-Book line is a delightful source for purchasing children's books that truly last a lifetime.

Buyers do not purchase directly from Hefty. Rather, the website ( directs interested parties to the websites of Create-a-Book distributors in each state. Books and other personalized items can be ordered through those sites.

The books are printed and assembled to incorporate the specifics about the child for whom they are intended. The child's name, age, city, and other pertinent facts are inserted into the various stories along with the names of family members and friends.

Create-a-Books are beautifully designed. They are colorful and well-illustrated. There are a variety of formats, including traditional books, pop-ups, pull-tabs, and lift-the-flaps. Most of the books are designed for young children, suitable for reading aloud by adults or children.

A few of the issues dealt with in story form are learning numbers, letters, colors and shapes; learning to brush teeth; potty training; overcoming fear of monsters in the dark; parting with imaginary friends; the first day of school. There are seasonal books (some of the most delightful are in the Christmas pop-up series), fairy tales (my favorite is the retelling of The Three Bears, in which a little girl's name is substituted for Goldilocks), one book that teaches homonymns (disguised as a zany visit to the zoo), books about circuses, farms, and parades. For slightly older children, there is a series of sports books that includes baseball, hockey and soccer.

Some of the most charming books are those celebrating the birth of children. These include the vital statistics about the child, including length, weight, time of birth, place of birth. One book even allows for the names of the first visitors, showing a page with gifts sporting name tags from those visitors.

I have compared the Hefty books with other companies' personalized products. Create-a-Book products are sturdy and long lasting hardback books, compared to other brands that are primarily paperback or more flimsy hardbacks. There are no staples in the construction of the books, making them more childproof and child-safe than other brands.

Ordering is relatively simple, but you must know the information that is to be inserted before ordering. On the website, you can access information about each book and receive a list of the information needed to print the book. Each individual distributor's website has an order form that will require insertion of the information. Distributors also have brochures that can be requested.

A word of caution - these books are a bit pricey because of the personalization that is involved, requiring hand assembly of each book. Expect to pay at least $12.95 per book, plus shipping. also offers other personalized products, such as clocks, stickers, and license tags. They include a small line of personalized books for adults, such as a funny golf book and a wedding celebration book.

Aside from the books, the biggest selling items are the personalized letters from Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny -always fun items for youngsters.

I highly recommend personalized books. Seeing children's eyes light up when they realize the story is about them is fun. And these books become keepsakes. I've spoken to adults who comment, "I still have my ______ book that I got when I was six years old." is the best company I've found from which to choose these books. Distributors are nationwide, and the company stands behind their products.

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