I am absolutely thrilled about this review and competition today. As a child, I loved reading. I would read rather than ride a bike, or climb a tree. Why would I want to ride down the dusty road of a border town when I could be off exploring a castle with the Famous Five, or solving a mystery with my best friend, Nancy Drew? Why would I want to be dirtying my shoes by kicking a ball when the Hardy Boys were off on a grand adventure? Holidays were the best times. I’d start reading a book in the morning and keep reading till the early hours of the morning, then dream about the story. I loved it so much.

There are so many studies and bits of research that say we should read to our children, both for what it does for them


developmentally, and for the bonding and quality time. I’ll admit, I didn’t see the point before this last month or so, as Ameli would squirm and really pay attention for less than a minute, but now we can read a whole book (one of those with one or two lines to a page) and she loves it.  We’re not perfect parents either – it’s not something we  manage every night, but when we do, we do!

That’s why I loved the concept behind the Your Surprise Personalised Books. There’s a massive selection of themes, and we chose the Animals book as Ameli is big on her animals at the moment.

There are so many little things that we loved about this service.

We were able to add Ameli to the story, as well as her age and where she lives. (So the first paragraph reads e.g.: Ameli, aged two, left London for her trip to the farm), and include some of her friends. We included Deshaine, Lindi and Abbi as those are pretty much her favourite people at this stage of her life.

There was the option for a personalised message, and the date you want to commemorate, such as a birthday.

The book arrived less than a week after our order packaged in a book envelope. I was surprised to find a hardback book with a glossy cover and we simply love the quality of it.

The story is quite sweet, in this case about a visit to a farm, and her friends are included in the text, such as ‘I can’t wait to tell Deshaine, Abbi and Lindi all about my visit when I get back to London’.  Ameli enjoyed it and loves hearing her name, although she hasn’t managed to sit through the whole story yet.

For her age it would be great if the book included a picture of her, but the book isn’t really aimed at her age, so I can’t complain too much.  But I must add that the artwork in the book was beautiful. It wasn’t child-like, wasn’t all in pinks, and wasn’t the child version of pigs, horses and so on – they are real lookalikes of real animals, and that really impressed me, as it’s great for us to identify the different animals.


You can win a personalised book for your little one (or someone elses. Or not so little one). To be in with a chance to win, simply visit Your Surprise, select which of the 17 titles you’d like, and the name of the person you’d like it personalised with. Leave a comment below, and voila, you’re entered.

Competition ends 23:59 18 July, and the winner will be picked at random using Random.org.

You can follow Your Surprise (and Diary of a First Child) on Facebook. If you do, be sure to let them (Your Surprise) know I sent you, and leave a comment below to tell me you have.  (They don’t post a lot, so you won’t be inundated, but they do post fab special offers in time for all the big gift giving days!)

And the winner is Susannah Glover

You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you giveaways! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!


Your Surprise Personalised Book Competition

  1. I would choose Three LItle Pigs for my grandson Alfie
    Following Your Suprise on FB and let them know you sent me,
    already follow Diary of a First Child

  2. I’d love a copy of The Little Mermaid for my daughter Caitlin’s birthday. She loves visiting the Aquarium or looking at pictures of fish, crabs, seahorses etc and she would be so excited at the idea of being a mermaid.

  3. I would love Superman to be personalised to my son Jakob Dudgeon.
    He is sooooo into superheros at the moment and is constantly saving people whilst playing.
    This is a great competition as I can remember having a personalised book when I was younger x

  4. I’d like the three little pigs for my eldest son Callan, we can never find anything personalised for him as his name is quite unusual, so this would be lovely!thanks for the competition.x

  5. Have liked both yourself and Your suprise on facebook shared you page and also following u on twitter and shared your competition : )

  6. I would love the Beauty and the beast book for our little girl Maddison it would be the perfect suprise for her birthday as she loves this story too : )

  7. The Three Little Pigs definitely! as my little girl is obsessed with makng piggy noises at the moment….even for chickens! Liked on facebook and following on twitter (@french_caroline)

  8. I have shared your comp in my status on FB, and tagged both pages so it will appear on both walls! (Tracy Nixon MSE)

    I have also tweeted @TracyNixon

    Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

  9. The Little Mermaid book would be ideal for my daughter Millie as she is fascinated by mystical sea creatures!

  10. I would choose The Ballerina Princess for my youngest daughter, Jessica, who turns 4 on the 28th July. Both herself and her older sister, Bethany, aged 5, are obsessed with ballerinas and princesses! They have dozens of Angelina Ballerina toys, books and games and they are forever dressing up as princesses and making crowns and necklaces for Mummy!!! (and even more so since the Royal Wedding!).
    I had four boys before them so when I see them being real girly girls I don’t mind at all!!!

  11. My son is absolutely Batman mad, he talks about him non stop so it would have to be the BATMAN book 🙂

    His name is Harrison Kelly

    Thank you for the comp x


  12. Would love the farm animals book for my daughter Maddison
    following you both on facebook
    following you on twitter as picklepie35 😀

  13. I followed “Your Surprise” (and Diary of a First Child) on Facebook.I also told them you sent me! (@pandcands)

  14. I’d love Farm Animals too! Too difficult to choose between “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Little Mermaid” and so on. A little girl would love them all! I’d love to win it for my baby daughter Roxana.

  15. Ohh, I used to have a personalised book once..wonder where it is.

    I’d choose In Dinosaur land I think.:) It would be for my little Babe Matilda. 🙂


    Ps I’ve filled in all the fields on the book but not sure what else to do..copy the link? Sorry :s

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