A "wonderful" but not pessimistic gift


I just received what has turned out to be a wonderful birthday gift for my three-year-old nephew. A company called Personalized Stories makes these books and music CDs that are completely personalized to each individual child for whom they are ordered.

All that’s required is a simple form that takes a couple minutes to fill out if you know the child and his family pretty well, and for usually under $20 on most products, you get personalized childrens books or music CDs that incorporates that child’s name and personal details (like names of friends, parents, etc.) into a wonderful storybook, or a music CD of songs that mention him by name.

Like many children’s products, the adult appeal of the product directly is limited to the thrill on your children’s faces as they are drawn in and feel personally involved in a story being read to them, or a music CD they are listening to.

Even at three years’ old, my nephew Colton, still easily distracted at times, perks up every time he hears “Colton” being sung on the music CD I selected for him, “Spider-Man and You.”

The songs are relatively harmless, if a bit overly-sweet, feel-good, up with people kids’ fare. For example, one song called “Show and Tell” tells the story of the personalized kid taking Spider-Man to school for Show and Tell, and how everyone with think Spider-Man is cool because he’s hanging out with Colton (in my example.)

The company has a wide selection of products that will appeal to most tastes. There are biblical stories and songs, Veggie Tales, Marvel and Disney products, and much more.

I was a huge Spider-Man fan growing up, and I’m 41 years old. This would have been a dream-come-true present for me back when I was Colton’s age, as I was just being exposed to superheroes and getting old enough to remember then through Saturday morning cartoon repeated exposure.

Of course, like a lot of stuff made for very young kids, they will probably reach an age when it embarrasses them and they no longer listen to it; but for a three-year-old like Colton, that’s several years off and the memories it creates for him in the meantime are irreplaceable.

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