Books, Children, Reviews

A mother and son letter adventure!


“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ― Emilie Buchwald

I’ve always been fascinated by fairy tales. My mother tells that I was a bookworm from a young age. She used to read fairy tales to me when I was an infant and I would be fascinated by the pictures and the different voices my mother made. She kept reading my favourite books over and over to the point where I eventually knew them by heart. By the time I could speak, I would pretend I was ‘reading’ the story book by myself simply by turning the pages and narrating the story as I remembered it from my mother using the illustrations to navigate me through the plot! I would even imitate her tone and expressions to add tension and drama! Funny little girl I was.

As I grew, my love of books became stronger. I would always ask for books as birthday and Christmas presents. Now that I am a new mum of our little boy Philippos, it is probably no surprise that I want him to enjoy that same love of books.

Why it is good to expose babies to books in the first year?

  • It is crucial to their intellectual growth. In fact, reading to infants can help jump-start brain development and can even make them more receptive to learning.
  • It is important for their emotional development. Sharing story time with an infant can boost their emotional growth. Being held on the parent’s lap and hearing your voice during regular reading sessions gives your baby a sense of stability and security.
  • It creates a positive association with books and encourages a lifelong love of reading.

Philippos is already exposed to four languages: Greek and English from me as well as Swedish and Finnish from his father. When we read aloud to our baby, we are basically teaching him to recognise that different sounds have different meanings as well as the intonation of our spoken language(s). Babies are smart, they absorb everything around them. Babies’ amazing brains are wired to learn language quickly and with the help of a good visual book with memorable rhymes, they learn in a fun way!

Reading to a young baby isn’t always a fairy tale. Philippos is only 4,5 months at the moment, therefore fairy tales with bold and beautiful illustrations are ideal for his age. Instead of sitting still and listening intently spellbound, Philippos is more likely to try to put the book in his mouth. Philippos agrees that the book should not only look and sound good, it should taste good, too!

Books with bright images provide visual stimulation that enhances children’s cognitive skills. My role is to point out objects and talk about them with my baby and this helps him link names with specific objects.

I also use different vocal tones and parentese-type of talk with elongated vowels and consonants, high- or low-pitched voices and a variety of animal sounds to intrigue his sense of hearing. ‘Roaarrr!’

Discovering who’s ‘Behind The Magic Door’

I was researching online for personalised books for newborns, when I stumbled across ‘Behind the Magic Door’. There is nothing I love more that an entrepreneurial and creative family, just like the Warriners, the family behind the book. Husband and wife team, Richard and Joanne Warriner are taking care of the business and their 15-year old daughter, Nicole is making her debut as an author with Behind the Magic Door’s ‘Letter Adventure’ inspired by cute little brother Luke. Stay tuned on my blog as I will have an insider story on the author Nicole Warriner coming up! The beautiful imagery of the book is credited to illustrator and graphic designer Adam Rushton.

What’s the story about?

When opening the first page of the book ‘Letter Adventure’ your child is magically transported to a secret island where the mysterious Shadow King has hidden the letters of their name. Your kid embarks on an adventure to recover the letters of their name and place them on the ‘Magic Door’ to get back home. Accompanied by the ever faithful (and wise) ‘Teddy’, they meet a lot of interesting characters along the way on a journey of self-discovery.

How is the book personalised?

When you visit you can enter your child’s name, select their gender and an explorer (there are three hair / skin tone options as shown below to select the explorer that most resembles your child) to create their very own story. Then, it only takes a few seconds to create a full book preview before submitting your order.

The concept is unique, each story is created around your child’s name making every book a bit different. For example, our PHILIPPOS would meet different characters; namely, a PeacockHyena, Iguana, Lion, Invisible man, Paskar, Owl, Snake.

If your kid has a short name with 3 or 4 characters (no worries!), which is typical for instance, in Finland (Kim, Kati, Jari, Jere, Mika, Sara etc.), the website automatically recognises this and adds in a bonus section to ensure the book stays well-balanced with a minimum of 24 full colour pages of adventure!

In addition to personalising the protagonist of the story, you can also add your very own dedication (appears on the first page) to truly dedicate your gift to your loved one and make it a treasured keepsake.

Here’s our dedication to our little boy:

Our dear Philippos Dimitrios,

We will read this story to you until you are too old for fairy tales. But some day you will start reading fairy tales again.

You can then take this book down from some upper shelf, dust it, and read it to your kids. We hope you get to enjoy many magical adventures and with our support you will always emerge victorious. All you do is win, son.

Lots of love,

Mum & Dad

5 reasons why to order Behind The Magic Door’s ‘Letter Adventure’ for your baby, toddler or kid

  1. Reading to your child is bonding (and great fun for both of you!).
  2. You have a treasured keepsake for life
  3. You have access to the ‘Secret Content Area’ that includes a FREE colouring book (downloadable PDF) with all of the characters for children to colour in at home.
  4. FREE bedtime reading guide that contains helpful reminders and tips for parents to make their bedtime storytelling a really fun reading experience.
  5. FREE worldwide shipping to wherever you are or wish to send a book.

Now, here’s a special offer exclusive to all of my readers! Order your personalised book now and get a 20% discount using the discount code CHRYSSA20%OFF at the checkout. The company is committed to taking Behind the Magic Door to as many children around the world as possible with the free worldwide shipping being a core part of their offer.

Behind The Magic Door ‘Letter Adventure’ is already sold to 16 countries Behind the Magic Door ‘Letter Adventure’ has already sold in 16 countries. It is only available in English at the moment but the team plan to add additional languages over time to broaden its international appeal. Looking forward to Finnish, Swedish and Greek versions of the book as well as more book adventures to come!

Visit ‘Behind The Magic Door’ website and follow on social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay tuned with new developments, competitions and more!

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  • Reply Richard Warriner May 8, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Chryssa – what a lovely review of our personalised book. Also really liked reading about the benefits of reading to young children and couldn’t agree more – as well as really helping stir your children’s imagination and creativity – the best bit is – it is also great fun!! It would be great to see our book spread further in Finland – with so many English speakers and one of the best education systems in the world we think it is a near perfect match!

    • Reply Chryssa May 13, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Richard, thank you! Finland is a fertile ground of great ideas! You are absolutely right, did you know that 75% of parents read aloud to their children, a practice proven to establish good reading habits early on? Reading is one of the superpower of Finns. Dialy I see children as young as 8 years old that read newspapers on the public transport! Adorable! <3

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