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Personal Child Stories Review by Karen Yuen


There are currently many companies that provide Internet links allowing you to create your own digital storybooks. Although these books are nice, Personal Child Stories is quite different and has a specific purpose.

First, Personal Child Stories are individually created by Shara Lawrence-Weiss, who has training in working with various learning disabilities. So these books can be customized to help children learn specific tasks using their own pictures along the way!

Next, Personal Child Story books are durably laminated, so even your youngest children can handle them without causing any damage. This is especially wonderful because parents are more relaxed as their children handle these books, causing children to have the best possible interaction with the material.

Last, Personal Child Stories are so easy to create; they transfer most of the time commitment directly to Shara and her company. Simply provide Shara with 10-15 digital images, and she will create the story layout based on your theme! We received several rough draft PDFs to review prior to printing our final version. How easy!

Personal Child Stories were first created in 1999 when Shara's son developed an eye disease and needed a prosthetic eye. Unfortunately, he kept removing the eye, so Shara wanted to create a book to gently teach him through behavior modification not to touch his eyes. She soon began receiving requests for other books for similar purposes. To learn more about how Shara began her company and to see how Personal Child Story books are individually created, visit Every book Shara writes and creates is different. Rather than charge designer and author fees for each book (at $100 an hour or more), Shara has come up with three simple book rates: $20, $30, and $75 (plus shipping). Based on the time each book takes to create, the rates are very low.

We decided to create a family book with pictures of us (the parents), our four kids at various ages, and their grandparents. We included some specific Scripture references and even our family mission statement! Shara went to work expanding on our theme by adding additional creative text, and she skillfully laid out our pictures to tell our family's story. Shara also creatively included pages in the book for our children to practice writing their names. We are now using our durable book with our infant to teach her the names of her siblings and grandparents! Since our Personal Child Story book can be chewed and stepped on without damage, she gets the pleasure of handling it all by herself! We were so thrilled with our first copy of our Personal Child Story that we ordered additional copies for our children's keepsake boxes!

Other great uses of Personal Child Story books include customized books to teach chores, new skills, counting, beginning phonics sounds, feelings, social and emotional skills, sequencing, and anything else you can think of. Because the books are laminated, they can be written on with dry erase markers. Each book contains pictures of your children, so of course they will love reading them over and over again. Our Personal Child Story came wrapped in a beautiful ribbon and included a colorful 8 ½" x 11" card for teaching American Sign Language and Spanish words appropriate for young children. Our kids cannot get enough of their Personal Child Story books!

Product review by Karen Yuen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2011