| Dubai, United Arab Emirates


The ‘Me’ generation

Some might say personalised books stoke the fire of the self-centred child, but they can also encourage them to enjoy reading

© ITP Images

There is a stage in all children’s lives, before the world knocks them back a bit, when they truly believe they are king. And this is probably how the personalised book phenomenon has found a place in the hearts and bookshelves of so many families worldwide. But before we worry about our narcissistic little bookworms, we should explore the benefits these books bring and how they can create some very confident readers.

Chartered psychologist, author and researcher on early years education, Dr. Natalia Kucirkova, believes personalised books can be a great tool for engaging young children, showing them the potential rewards of reading, especially at a time when literacy levels are at a worrying low. She says once the story has been written with care and thought, vocabulary development is enhanced when children read a tale personalised with details of their own lives. And here in the UAE we have our own stash of moniker-driven books, in not only English, but in French and Arabic, too – a winning combination for the many bilingual children living here.

My Little Surprises, an online bookstore dedicated to personalised reading material, is the brainchild of Carine Abboud who, after having her own little bundle of joy, was inspired to share tailor-made reading and educational gift ideas for parents and children across the Middle East. Her online shelves are stocked full of beautiful stories, all of which are created to engage children more effectively when exploring books.

Abboud believes the more the child can relate to the story, the more reading becomes fun and educational. Each of her books are targeted at a different milestone or activity, for example: learning to spell your name, bedtime stories, potty training, starting nursery, and learning different languages. ”Anything that a parent can do to make reading more fun and engaging is well worth the time,” she tells us. “And based on my own experiences with my children, it’s hugely rewarding when, after a few months of routine reading, they insist on a bedtime story even when you are too tired!”

Abboud has recently added personalised colouring books to her portfolio, just another little surprise to nurture a love of books while harnessing creativity in little readers.

Four more
Sweet surprises

An Animal Safari
Kids love animals, so why not help them to learn their ABCs in an exciting way with a menagerie of cheeky little monkeys (and other species, of course) to make it even more fun?

My Surprise Birthday Party
Children love celebrating and what better way to do so than with an animal-organised surprise shindig? Discover how to plan the perfect party.
Dhs 195 (also available in French and Arabic).

She goes to nursery
Little ones heading off to nursery for the first time will engage with this chatty little story, which shows that school is fun and nothing to fear.
Dhs195 (also available in French and Arabic).

Sleep tight
For all the sleepy heads out there this is a one of a kind bedtime story that captures the imagination to give little ones sweet dreams.
Dhs195 (also available in French and Arabic).

Time Out Dubai,

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