The Gift of Reading

Liz Sagaser essentials, play

Over at Hello, Darling we sometimes have the occasion to do a review. Recently, Liz, from the Hello, Darling staff, had the opportunity to share personalized books from I See Me! with her children, Paisley (age 6) and Truett (age 4.)


Of all the qualities I hope to instill in my children – kindness, patience, fortitude … one of the traits I want most to share with them is a love of reading. From the moment I could make out words on a page, I was an avid reader. Pirates, princesses and talking animals were all my friends. From Heidi’s simple life with Grandfather to Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, life was never boring with a book in hand. The pleasure I’ve found in books of all sorts is an ingrained part of my character, and I want my children to experience the same joy.

Paisley was the first to receive her new book, Paisley’s Snuggle Bunny, complete with her very own soft bunny to snuggle with. As the youngest child in her first grade class, building early reading skills has been challenging for Paisley. Anything that motivates her to want to read aloud to us, even to pick out a word here and there, is attractive to us as parents. She loves to be read to, but sometimes has to be coaxed to attempt to read herself. She gazed at her new book and bunny fondly, and then her mouth fell open and she squealed with delight. “That’s – my name! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!” Needless to say, the book is a hit with her. She enjoys following the actions in the book – giving her bunny (who now sleeps with her nightly) “one hug in the morning.” And she loves it when I hold her bunny to give her “seven kisses to tickle her ear.” This book offers more than a sweet story, it creates a sensory experience we can share together at bedtime, or any time she wants to read about her Snuggle Bunny.

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor

Truett, still my baby at the tender age of 4, was eager for his new book as well. He is working on letters and numbers and not ready to start reading, but it didn’t take him long to determine which book was his.

Adorning Who Loves You, TRUETT?(written and illustrated by best-selling author Nina Laden) was a picture of him – printed right there on the glossy cover. It’s impossible not to smile when you are the subject of your very own hardcover book, and he grinned from ear to ear with pride when he saw himself pictured there. This book is a quick read, the illustrations are bright and engaging, and the pages are sturdy cardstock – closer to a board book. He loves to read along with us to each page, such as “Truett is my funky monkey,” and “Truett is my wild crocodile.” There are opportunities for further learning for preschoolers in this book as well: How many bubbles did the chick blow? What color is the monkey’s hat? What shape are the crocodile’s teeth? We have fun searching for his name or first initial hidden on each illustrated page.

The third book we are enjoying together is Who Loves Paisley and Truett? We continue to learn about sharing as a family, and I enjoy the opportunity to have a book that belongs to both kids. The inside title page features a relaxed family picture we took on a favorite summer vacation, and wonderful printed evidence flows throughout the book of just how much everyone in the family loves our kids, from Mommy and Daddy to grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even our family pets. We had the option to choose who would be included in the story, and all of our Very Important People are in there. It’s a unique way to remind the kids even though we don’t see all of our family members as often as we’d like, they love us and are thinking of us.

We are enjoying our personalized books, and I am looking forward to purchasing more – for my own children, and for gifts for our niece and nephews. You can find books like ours and lots more at iseeme.com (use coupon code VALENTINE, for 15% off your order).

Enter a giveaway for a chance to win “Who Loves You Baby” personalized book!


At the tender age of 14, Lizzie laid eyes on music geek David on the first day of high school choir, and the rest is history. Married since two weeks after graduation, Liz enjoys travelling with her band of misfits, including Paisley (6-going-on-16) and Truett (4). Together they conquer hiking trails throughout the Black Hills of South Dakota, catch bugs, frogs and turtles, and dream up grand adventures. In her “spare time” outside of raising littles and her full time work for MOPS International, Liz blogs at alicegoestomotherland.com.

What is your favorite children’s book?