The Inner West Mums team have been lucky enough to try out the personalised books designed and manufactured by Weaverbird.
Weaverbird launched in 2019 with the aim of creating personalised stores for 3-9 year olds, to help them navigate the sometimes difficult or challenging moments in their lives. The stories place the child in the context of their family, help them sequence and process events, and recognise, name and validate their emotional responses to these experiences.
Weaverbird have created stories based around a variety of big events in a child’s life, including starting school, dealing with bullying, parents separating, living apart from one parent and the loss of someone close to them. At this time of the year, their story relating to bullying seemed very relevant to the experience that many children will be having to deal with.
Building your own book
The website is set up in a very clear and simple way that takes you through the process of building your own book from start to finish. We were able to experience the process for ourselves from the very beginning, where you create an avatar of the main character. There were so many options for hair, eye colour, face shape etc to choose from to make this as accurate as possible. So much so, that when my daughter opened the book, she instantly said ‘That’s me!”. Then we got to add an adult to the story and again this was personalised to match up to the person you have chosen to help the child navigate their adventure through the story. I chose to complete the avatars as a surprise for my daughter, but it would also be a great activity to involve a child in, to get them to help identify their own features and that of the adult character.
The next step in the process, is to choose the activities you would like to be included in the story. These activities are extremely relevant to the experiences the child might be having and are a great discussion point. For example, in the Bullying story, one of the activities is entitled “What is going to take away your smile?” and there are many suggestions that an adult can go through with the child to discuss how they are feeling. The activities have been designed by a child psychologist to support the conversations and foster understanding. There is also a section on the Weaverbird Stories website where you can access a whole range of resources to help you support your child through this difficult experience.
In some of the stories, the child’s character gets to take on a role. In the bullying story, the main character can be a scientist, explorer or detective – again, drawing on something that will engage the child and place them into the story.
Receiving your story
Once you have made all of these choices to fully personalise your book, the story is then created especially for you and you can view it in its entirety, including all of the activities. There are two choices for how you receive your story, it can be emailed to you as a PDF or you can opt to receive a printed copy which will be sent to you via mail. We went for the printed option as we love to read books at bedtime and my daughter was so excited to flick through the pages and see herself in the many different scenes.
The end result is a very special book that I know will be read and re-read many times and treasured for years to come.
Check out the Weaverbird Stories for yourself at www.weaverbirds.com.au.