Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We have been hard at work creating our surprise Father's Day present for dad. With the help of Illustory by Creations By You, we are giving dad a published gift of love.

With Illustory, your child can create their own custom book. What child doesn't dream of being published? Your child designs the cover, all of the page illustrations, and the text on pages enclosed within the box. Then, you mail your pages off to Illustory (in a pre-paid envelope included in the kit) and about 4 weeks later you receive your creation in the mail in published hardcover form.
There are templates included in the box to help your child create their own fiction story, or to help them compose an autobiography. For this Father's Day, we are creating a book which contains our top 1o favorite things about dad. The girls are sooo very excited about this. So excited in fact, that I don't know if they will be able to keep it a secret for about a month- judging by past experience.
Things to be aware of:
  • You can only draw in the illustration space with water based markers. There are markers provided in the kit, but they were a little thicker than what my daughters were used to. Also, my 7-year-old likes to draw her pictures with pencil first, and then color them with markers when she was done, so this was a little difficult for her.
  • You can only place 20 words on a page. This was not a problem for my 5-year-old. She didn't have much to articulate, and told the story mostly through her drawing. However, it was a little limiting to my older daughter. To avoid this, you can create an online creation instead of the traditional paper form. Your child can go online and create their story (complete with computer graphics), and their text is less limited. I think that the next book we create with my older child will be online.
  • The kit provides extra paper, so you can start over when mistakes are made. This was a big deal to my girls.
  • You get to choose the color of your book cover, dedicate the book to someone, and there is even an "about the author" space at the end of the book to tell about your little one.
  • There are several add-ons available (for a price, of course! :) if you so choose after you purchase the kit. You can have the book printed on archival paper, add pages, add your child's picture, and even print multiple copies of the same book- which would be a great idea for gift giving to grandparents.

We just recently sent our books off to the publisher, and are crossing our fingers that they will make it back in time for the big day. I will post again with how the finished products turned out. So far we have been very impressed with the product- and the price is really quite reasonable. The kit sells for $19.99 on Amazon + free super saver shipping.

Also, check out some other offerings by Creations By You. I love the idea behind My Masterpiece, and My Watch.

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