Though not especially uncommon for 5-year-old boys, my second born loves pirates. He had a pirate birthday. He wants to be a pirate for Halloween. He draws me pirate maps to find his hidden toothbrush—Yay? Anyway, when I See Me! asked if I’d like to review a personalized pirate book, my answer was a no-hesitation yes. I had no doubt in my mind no matter what quality the book was, Rafe would love it, but I was pleasantly surprised when the book got here.
It wasn’t just his name on the front and a little dedication inside (both were there too), there were little personal details throughout. It suddenly made more sense why I See Me asked what my son looked like, his birthdate, full name, and home town (admittedly that made me think twice at first in a world of digital identity theft). The pirate in the story was actually made to look a lot like him with the same hair color and skin tone. His ship was named Sterling, the town we live in. His treasure was buried on my son’s birthday. It was damn cool.
The story itself also impressed me a bit. Generally one thing I see lacking in children’s books is vocabulary. It’s watered down, dumbed, and has no challenge. In some ways I see why, in other ways it drives me nuts because the best time to introduce a varied vocabulary is early on. If you’re having to teach your child what words mean as you read that’s a good thing as long as it isn’t so frequently they can’t stay with the story. Rafe’s personalized pirate book had just few sprinkled words that we had to explain what were. Rather than “sword,” they used “cutlass,” “galley” rather than “kitchen,” “hardtack” rather than “food,” for example. The words led to actual learning about ships and discussion about what life may have been like for a real pirate. All of my boys actually really enjoyed it, so much they fight over the book as you can see in the picture following that cute pic above where it looks like my boys are hugging. lol
Now since (disclosure) I was sent my book for free, I did have to go see what I See Me charges per book, partially because it looks like I might need two more, and because that seem pertinent to a review. The exact book I’m reviewing is $34.99. They do have a wide range of stories and even different products such as coloring books ($9.99), puzzles, stickers, placemats, growth charts, even lunch boxes. Ebates also offers 5% cash back at I See Me, and if you sign up for their newsletter you’ll receive 20% off.
Overall I’d say that’s a bit high for just an every-day type gift, but great for special occasions like birthdays, holidays, or even gifts to others for say, baby showers. It’s pretty in-line with personalized gifts.