Make bedtime reading unforgettable
Lostmy.name has created a phenomenon with its personalized books for children.
If every child is unique and different, then why do they all read the same children's books?
This is what Israel-born Asi Sharabi asked himself after his young daughter was gifted a "personalized" book several years ago.
"I felt let down that the story was the same for every child. The only difference was the child’s name is replaced each time. The shallowness of the creative idea and execution left both myself and my daughter feeling hugely disappointed," he told From The Grapevine.
Sharabi went to his friend Tal Oron. The two Israeli entrepreneurs decided to make their own version of a personalized children's book. Oron designed software to generate individual versions of a book based on particular names and gender. Soon two other creatives came onboard, Pedro Serapicos and David Cadji-Newby. Serapicos illustrated and Cadji-Newby wrote the story, and thus Lostmy.name was born.
The first book came out in 2012 and was titled "The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name." It follows a child who has lost their name – and sets off on an adventure to track down the missing letters.
The book, sold direct to consumers through Lostmy.name's website, was a hit, selling more than 500,000 copies in over 135 countries. In 2014, it was the top selling children's book in the U.K. and Australia.
Last year a second title, "The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home" was released.
"We take personalization even further by incorporating mapping, NASA images and an app that spells out a child’s name as a constellation of stars – to name a few," Sharabi said of the new book, a step forward in the company's goal to make books truly personal through traditional and technological means.
"'Lost My Name' lives on the intersection of storytelling, engineering, digital and print. We combine the power of stories with the possibilities of technology to create magical, personalized experiences for children," Sharabi told us.
To understand the complexity of the technology that goes into creating the books, consider that a team of 12 developers worked on "The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home" over a span of six months. "This is the equivalent to the time it would take for the International Space Station to orbit the earth about 7,826 times!" declared Sharabi.
Lostmy.name has been so successful in the short time it has been around that last year Google Ventures became one of its investors.
For Sharabi, it's the feedback from parents and children that makes the venture worthwhile. "One standout was a parent writing to tell us that our story was the first their autistic child really engaged with." Another example, Sharabi told us, is "stories of adopted kids for whom the book helped them settle into their new home, with their new name."
And there are countless other examples. "There’s magic in the creation," he said. "We give grownups creative superpowers, to make magical, meaningful connections with a child."
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