You’ve got to love a company which claims to have been ‘.. born on a beach in Cornwall in the summer of 2015’!
Oh Zoe Books have today published their first personalised children’s picture book entitled The Forgotten Forest. It’s a tale of adventure in a dying forest and better still, the personalisation includes choices for gender, race, disability and special needs, very appealing to our family given we are still reeling from a year of trauma during my 8-year old daughter Caroline’s cancer treatment.
The title and ethos of the book sounded ideal for Kids of the Wild readers so when my blog was selected via Tots 100 for a sneak preview prior to publishing, I jumped at the chance!
A Child’s Undivided Attention
We returned from a fortnight’s holiday to Caroline’s copy of ‘The Forgotten Forest’ waiting on our door mat, beautifully gift wrapped with a cute card in the same illustration as the book. It’s an A4-sized paperback book in quality matt-finish paper.
I needn’t say much here beyond the fact that Caroline immediately read it from cover to cover commenting how lovely it was! She says although it’s an adventure story it’s great for littler kids too. All the review you need. Order your copy below!
The Forgotten Forest Story
Without a huge spoiler alert, Victoria Richards’ delightful tale (aimed at children aged 4 to 10 years old) revolves around a long forgotten forest where children no longer play, leaving the trees sad and dying.
Your child is the main character, following clues to join the forces of nature and save the forest and it’s creatures, the moral being that when we work together in harmony anything is possible. Their personalised details are cleverly mentioned in the adventure, sure to make little ones gasp in amazement if receiving the book as a surprise.
Inclusive and Diverse
Caroline had long straight hair before cancer so it was lovely for her to choose to have her image in the book with hair in a short bob as it is now.
Hair options even include the bald heads of chemo patients or alopecia sufferers if you’ve got warrior children suffering from cancer.
Katharine Harbord, Oh Zoe’s founder says “It can be hard enough to find romping stories for our daughter simply because she’s a girl – and it can be near impossible if your child is an oh-so-underrepresented ethnicity, in a wheelchair, has a cochlear implant, is a boy with long hair or, shock-horror, more than one of these things.”
Although you can choose to have the main character portrayed with special needs and disabilities (wheelchair, cochlear implant, glasses, ear defenders), the stories aren’t about diversity or disability, the personalisation simply makes the books inclusive and equal for all.
Ideal Bedtime Reading
The simple but heartwarming tale makes for a calming bedtime story. There are no themes or images to give children nightmares.
The Forgotten Forest is first and foremost a picture book, so get the personalisation right for your child from the outset.
Artists Sas and Yosh’s simple pictures use subtle colour combinations with a mix of manga and folk-influenced patterning – I’m sure we’ll spot different details with each reading.
Personalise and Order
To order complete the online questionnaire with your child’s hair, eyes, skin colour, gender and choose, if required, from four disabilities as well as home location, favourite colour, teddy or pet etc.
Those of you following Caroline’s cancer story with Otto the Bear will be pleased to know he plays a part in the story – your child’s teddy could too.
Personalisation takes a matter of minutes. With the Kickstarter campaign a copy of the book is £19 including postage, access to the online version is just £1! See link at bottom of page.
I think lots of wild kids will love this book and I look forward to seeing more in the series. Good luck Oh Zoe!
Oh Zoe’s campaign has just gone live on Kickstarter – check it out here
NB Kids of the Wild received a personalised copy of The Forgotten Forest for the purposes of this review. All views and observations are my own (and Caroline’s, aged 8).