Wednesday 22 September 2010

The Birthday Questions - keepsake of your baby/child's life

******** You can win a copy of The Birthday Questions in my giveaway here **********

According to the write-up on amazon, "The Birthday Questions is a collection built year after year, a safe place to capture and keep even the smallest memories of your child's life. Inside you'll find a series of questions to ask your child every year on their birthday, which you capture on video, building a library of video snapshots of priceless, irreplaceable memories. The questions and instructions contained in these pages will stand as a record of who you are, who your child is, and who you both will become. If you could sit down and watch recordings of your parents, yourself, your husband, or your wife answering questions as a child, what would that be worth? And what if you could take simple, easy steps to give your child that priceless gift beginning right now? Ask questions. Capture moments. Create a treasured and timeless keepsake. Make memories that will never be forgotten."

The idea is lovely. Kids so grow up so fast and, especially in the early years, they often come out with unintentionally hilarious statements and ultra-cute sayings that you always say you should write down for posterity but rarely do. Most people start a baby album and record baby's milestones - the first word, the date of their first steps, the first photo with Father Christmas, and so on - but that rarely goes beyond the first year or two. Keeping that going right up until your child becomes an adult and gets married is a fabulous idea and I must admit, apart from the traditional blowing-out-the-candles video, I'd never thought about doing a yearly camcorder video asking a series of questions that gives a much greater insight into your child's personality developing through the years than a simple series of images.

Now, the cheapskates amongst you will be saying, "That's a fabulous idea, thanks for sharing. But I can go and do that by myself now that you've given me the idea, I don't need to go and buy your book !". And to be perfectly honest, you're probably right ! But the book does give you a lot of useful advice on how to get the best video possible with valuable tips on when and where to record it, what kind of questions to ask and what to expect. I also love the idea of replaying the "who do you want to marry ?" question throughout the years at your son or daughter's wedding, so the accompanying guidelines are well worth reading.

The question lists are great and I wouldn't have thought of some of them by myself, but you are also encouraged to personalise them depending on your child. The book also gives you spaces to fill in, recording written answers as well as your child's signatures through the years. I love this aspect, which follows on fabulously from the "baby's first year" that albums many parents fill in, and --year-old Sophie was really excited to sit down and fill it in as soon as she spotted it (and I purposely left the spelling mistakes as they were, for old time's sake !). However, I would have liked all the "video guidelines" to be in one section and all the "childhood memory" parts in a separate section. It would also be lovely to see them jazzed up a bit, with pictures, colours or spaces for photos, because they seem a bit cold and clinical as they are. I'm thinking of photocopying them, decorating them and sticking them in a scrapbooking photo album along with the family photos, but it would be nice to have a beautiful keepsake ready to fill straight in.

The book - or I should probably say booklet, as it's only 88 pages long - is written by an American dad of three (you can follow him on twitter @theBirthdayQs) so, as a European mum, the first thing I had to do was sit down and write in the margin the ages that correspond to all the different school grades, like early elementary, middle school, high school senior ... I had a rough idea but it's a bit vague for any non-Americans so if this is targetting an international audience, it would be good to add in the corresponding ages.

It's a really lovely idea that I'm sure will be an instant hit with mums and dads all over the world, whether or not they actually end up buying the book ! And the good news is, keep your eyes peeled and I'll soon be hosting a giveaway right here on my blog where you can win a copy for yourself.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : $12.95

Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Kardandak Enterprises, LLC (July 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615387160
ISBN-13: 978-0615387161
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 0.3 inches

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