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Books About Who

Manchester, UK; 22 May 2019 - Everyone wants to the hero of their own story. To be the central character on an exciting adventure or mysterious quest. No one more so than children, who love to be integrated into stories and made to feel part of something special. It’s this insight that has led to increasing popularity of personalised, one-off books where children’s names can be incorporated into specific stories. But what if these books didn’t have to be one off’s? What if parents could choose from a wide variety of books that already included their child’s name?

This is the simple but brilliant premise of newly launched online bookstore, Books About Who, which helps parents find existing storybooks that feature their child’s name as a key or leading character. Launched on World Book Day 2019, Books About Who allows users to simply type a child’s name into the website landing page to discover a range of stories featuring characters of that name.
Their character could be a mouse, a pirate, a shopkeeper or a best friend, but there’s no doubt they will be involved in an adventure of some kind!

Books About Who Founder, Cheryl Chan is a former publishing professional with a Diploma in Children's Education and Development who hopes to spark new joy for reading with parents and children, and in particular for pre-schoolers who are aren't currently being read to at home.

“Recent studies show that pre-schoolers who are read 2 books a day at home know 1.4 million more words than children who were never read to,” says Cheryl, “Even children who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5. Storytime not only increases vocabulary, but encourages children to play with a broader imagination, learn about new things in our world and feel things like empathy. It’s not always easy though. I for one, have a 2-year-old and know how difficult it is to get her to sit still for 5 minutes. But, by putting kids at the centre of the story, we can try and capture their attention and keep it for longer.”

Cheryl knows this from personal experience. It was a funny interaction with her own child that gave her the idea for Books About Who. After stopping in at their local bookstore, she and her daughter took out a Bestseller from the children’s section called, ‘The Secret of Blackrock'.
“We sat down and read the first page; "Erin Pike lived with her mum and her dog Archie near a big fishing town...". We immediately turned to each other and giggled knowing we were about to read a good story! It didn’t matter to us what it was about or how this story was going to end. A character in the story had her name and for us, that was enough to make it a page-turner.” 

For Cheryl and Erin, storytime has become one of their favourite shared experiences.
“Sometimes I watch my child play and I realise that she is playing games based on what we have read the night before. It's a very fruitful exercise that influences how our children behave and understand their emotions. Her imagination stretches as far as these books take her.” 

Unlike ordering a personalised book, Books About Who has a wide variety of books for different ages and tastes and features many well-known and popular authors. Depending on how common the child’s name is, a single search can produce over 30 books featuring one child’s name. The searches also reveal other character names, so it’s easy to find books that may have more than one child’s name included. As Cheryl continues to add new books with new names, even those with unique names will be able to enjoy Books About Who.

Cheryl hand selects each of the books herself after reading them at her local library. “I spend a lot of time reading each book and making note of the ones with a name in. Our stock inventory increases every time I do this and so we have new names on a daily basis.”

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