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My Farm Friends All-in-One Gift Set Review by Wendy Robertson

Jennifer Dewing
I See Me!
14505 27th Avenue North
Plymouth, MN 55447-4802

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about young children in my years as a parent, it’s that they love books. Specifically, they love to be read to. If there’s another thing I’ve learned, it’s that they have no problem with self-esteem; children are confident in who they are and they love themselves.

I See Me! Inc. has come up with a clever concept to combine these two traits in children: books about the child, with him or her as the star in the story. For this review, I received the My Farm Friends gift set, just in time for my son’s fourth birthday. The gift set includes a board book (20 pages), a coloring book (also 20 pages), and a page of stickers in various sizes. The board book is the shining star of this set, and it really does shine brightly!

Each page includes text about animal sounds (animals include chickens, cows, pigs, ducks, goats, and sheep) with your child’s name cleverly included in each verse and hidden at least once in each illustration. But adding the child’s name to the text is where the similarities between I See Me! and other companies who do similar things end. You see, not only is your child’s name embedded in the book, but his photograph is, too! If you upload a picture to the website when you order your book, they put the child’s face right into each and every illustration - he becomes the farmer in the story! (You can also choose not to upload a photograph. In this case, an illustrated child of your choosing - skin tone, hair color, etc are personalized - is the one in the pictures.)

The coloring book follows a similar story to the board book, but there are a few different pages, too. And because of the nature of the pictures (line drawings as opposed to completed illustrations), it uses a “generic” child. Your child’s name is still embedded into the text, though. One thing I thought was especially cute on the coloring book is that the author illustrator credits are as follows:

Written by Jennifer Dewing
Illustrated by Laura Watson
Colored by {your child}

They actually print the child’s name right on the cover as one of the creative team. I thought that was really neat.

The stickers are just normal stickers using the same illustrations from the book, and they have the child’s name printed on them. There is a huge variety of sizes, ranging from one-inch (approximately) circles up to quarter-page rectangles.

This book has become one of my son’s very favorites. He absolutely loves hearing the story about “the time he was on a farm.” In fact, when the book first arrived, I teased him about not remembering having done the things in the book. He kept trying to convince himself - and me - that he really had done all the things in the book (sitting in a pig pen, collecting eggs from the hen, etc).

I cannot recommend the products from I See Me! enough. The child’s photograph is embedded into the illustrations beautifully (it doesn’t look awkward at all having a real picture with a drawn image), and the different ways they add the child’s name to the text and the drawings is so clever. We love this product! The My Farm Friends Gift Set currently sells for $43. I See Me! also has a large selection of other hard cover, personalized books to choose from.

-Product review by Wendy Robertson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016