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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Personalized Children's Book from MarbleSpark {Review, Interview, Giveaway}


I am SO very excited to be featuring MarbleSpark today! MarbleSpark is a wonderful company that makes awesome personalized children's books. I got the chance to review one of these books AND to interview the author, and you can check out both my review and interview below. Plus, one lucky reader will win their own personalized book...



Following Featherbottom
by Philip Haussler
illustrated by Brad Sneed

Follow Felix Featherbottom and his sidekick Pierre du Pond as they race around the globe finding the letters for your child’s name.

From an A in Antarctica to a Z in Zimbabwe, Felix and Pierre run into fantastic characters and adventures that grow along with the child. Babies love the vibrant illustrations and rhyme. Toddlers learn to recognize and spell their name. Older kids get a geography lesson and love the hidden “I Spy” items in each illustration.

Each book is unique, including the child’s birthday, nickname, dedication from the sender, and personalized hardcover with your child’s name on it. You can select different letters and even choose among three different hardcover background colors. Perfect for all kids ages 0 to 8.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

Since pretty much the moment my niece was born, I knew I wanted to get her a personalized picture book. So, when I got the chance to review one of MarbleSpark's personalized children's books, I jumped at the chance. And I'm SO glad I did! I received a copy of their adorable Following Featherbottom, personalized with my niece's first and middle names, Aeicha Elizabeth, and her birthday, May 24th.




I've done my research when it comes to personalized picture books and Following Featherbottom is one of the absolute BEST I've come across. From the ease of using their website to personalize a book, to their affordable prices, and their superb products, MarbleSpark is truly fantastic. I received my personalized book very quickly and immediately fell in love with the gorgeous cover featuring my niece's name (see first pic above). In Following Featherbottom, little readers will journey with Felix Featherbottom as he travels across the world collecting the letters of their name. 




The story Philip Haussler has created is easily customized for each individual child, but more importantly, the story is super fun and engaging! The lyrical rhyming is pleasing to the ear, making each individual book perfect for being read aloud. Each individual letter gets its own country or destination page and, that page not only explores the culture of that place, but also features items beginning with that specific letter. Like me, little readers will be captivated by each page and discover something new with every reading. Plus, readers will be learning while being thoroughly entertained!

The illustrations are simply stunning with their bright colors, charming characters, and delightful whimsy. Illustrator, Brad Sneed, really brings each letter and destination to life!


What I love most about Following Featherbottom is how truly special and one of kind our copy, and every individual copy, feels. From the importance placed on collecting each letter, to making a big deal about delivering that name by the child's birthday, to speaking directly to the child, this book offers, not just a story, but a fantastically engaging experience to each child.



I am so impressed with everything about this book: the quality, the fun story, the awesome illustrations, and unique reading experience. The littlest of readers will love the fun rhymes and hearing their name, while older readers will delight in learning the letters of their name, while discovering all the hidden pictures on each page. I know our copy will be treasured and well loved (and well-read!) by my niece! If you're looking for a super special surprise for the young reader in your life or, if you're hoping to find a way to encourage a love of reading, then Following Featherbottom is an excellent choice!

Philip Haussler, the author of Following Featherbottom and one of the founders of MarbleSpark, is here to tell us a bit more about his book and company...

How did MarbleSpark come to be? What inspired the idea of creating personalized children’s books?
MarbleSpark is what can happen when you chase a wild-hair way beyond what's reasonable.  Eight years ago, my wife and I were expecting our first child.  As a "weekend project", I thought it would be fun to write a children's book.  I started toying with the idea of a personalized book.  After a bunch of detours, I eventually wrote Following Featherbottom. At that time, I still only imagined this as a project for my own kids. But one night I emailed an early draft to my sister and she called me early the next morning and said my story had made her cry.  That was the first moment I ever considered publishing Following Featherbottom for anyone beyond my own kids.  And because it was such a non-traditional book, we knew we would need to start a company to publish it.  Four years later, we launched MarbleSpark and Following Featherbottom... quite a "weekend project"!

The name MarbleSpark speaks to our hope of igniting imaginations. Marble is meant figuratively, as in brain, noggin’, or noodle – like, “Have you lost your marbles?”   And Spark means ignition, explosion, and combustion.  We want to blow your mind... so MarbleSpark is more than just a name... it's our mission.


Was it hard coming up with an idea, like Following Featherbottom, that would be easy to personalize AND be a fun, entertaining story? What do you think makes Following Featherbottom special?
Each of our books (we're just about to release our third personalized book) has been a huge challenge in its own way.  As you know, the personalization in Following Featherbottom goes waaaaay beyond slapping your child's name into the story a few times...the child's name is the very heart of the story.  Ultimately, we want to create family heirlooms -- books that both entertain and amaze both parent and child, which is indeed a very difficult puzzle to solve!


In Following Featherbottom, children can travel with Featherbottom on a trip around the world and explore the gorgeous illustrations for each letter/country. Do you have an absolute favorite country/letter illustration?
That's like asking me to choose my favorite child!  It is honestly a really tough question to answer... but this give me a chance to mention one of my favorites that very few people ever get to see: Quebec... because so few names contain the letter Q, it rarely gets included in our books!  It features a quartet of porcupines singing, while a queue of ducks floats by quacking "coin, coin" as our sidekick, Pierre DuPond, explains that quack quack sounds different in French.



How do you hope children react to their one of kind copy of Following Featherbottom? 
I suppose we're going for something like this description we recently got from a customer: "I got our six year old a book and she LOVES it!! She could not believe there was a book made with her name in it…she kept asking me how I found such a book…she was so shocked! She took it to school today to show her class. I heard her reading over and over again the page about 'a beautiful girl'."

For parents, we're going for a slightly different reaction: tears-of-joy... I never thought I would get so much pleasure from hearing that we had made them cry. :)


MarbleSpark is also the home of Project OpenBook...can you tell us a bit about this project and what you hope to accomplish with it?
On the same day we launched MarbleSpark and Following Featherbottom, we launched Project Openbook.  It's a "community-built" illustrated poetry book.  We have already raised enough money for Room To Read to send a girl in Nepal through high school.  Later this year, we hope to publish a book of the best poems and for every personalized book we sell, we'd like to give away a copy to a child without access to books of their own.


(our super fun bonus questions) If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Following Featherbottom, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
Ah, yes... let me tell you about our famous Following Feathercake.  It's a one-of-a-kind, made-from-scratch cupcake, built especially for each customer with ingredients from around the world based on the letters of your name.  For example, Cici might get a Chocolate cupcake made of the best cacao of Chile, icing from the inchworm of Indonesia (it tastes better than it sounds), Coffee-shavings from Chile and a side of Ice Cream from the island of Iceland.  ;)

You can learn more about MarbleSpark, their personalized books, and their mission by visiting them here:

Win your own personalized copy of
Following Featherbottom!
The awesome people at MarbleSpark have generously offered one person the chance to win a personalized copy for the young reader in their life! 
DETAILS
-open INT
-will end 2/7
-there will be one winner
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
Fill out the Rafflecopter form:



10 comments:

Mary Preston said...

Personalized for my daughter Jane would be fantastic.

aLilLacey said...

This would be for my little girl!

JACLYN said...

For my son!

jaime radalyac said...

For my son Gunner. He's getting interested in reading a lot more!
Thank you for the giveaway!!!

jaime radalyac said...

For my son Gunner. He's getting interested in reading a lot more!
Thank you for the giveaway!!!

Jillian T said...

I would love to give a personalized copy to my little nephew.

Angel said...

Would love to win this for my daughter.

alibrarianslibrary said...

For my BFF's baby girl!

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Jimmy Rose said...

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