This is the second post in my series for STEM Toys for Kids that Parents Will Love. I’m releasing this review a bit early because I’m obsessed with this book and think everyone should buy it for a child for the upcoming holidays. In order to do that, you’ll need to order it in the next week.
Introducing the Lost My Name books: the customizable picture book for children. This is a London-based company that was started in 2013 and has since secured millions in funding including an investment by Google Ventures.
They claim to be “the world’s first book with an engineering team.” When you check out their website, it’s clear to see why. Currently they have two books to choose from. For the first book, “The Little Girl/Boy Who Lost Her/His Name,” you select the name, gender, and character of the child that you’re buying the book for, which is then incorporated into the story line. You also have a couple options to change a few of the characters in the book.
The second book, “The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home,” which this post is about, is even more ambitious. In addition to those three variables, you also input the address of the child. The address allows them to generate a google image of the child’s neighborhood which is then included at the end of the story.
The best part is that you can preview the entire book before you buy it.
If the personalization aspect wasn’t enough, the illustrations will win you over. Each page seems to have jumped straight out of the colorful, paint-splattered imagination of a child’s dream. They're the perfect combination of a child’s crayon drawings, Pixar-quality animation, and a little bit of spray paint.
This book was selected to be part of something called “Story Time from Space.” This is a program that sends a select number of books to the International Space Station. The books are then read by Astronauts on video to the children of Earth. Once this is done, all of the videos will be uploaded to their website for kids around the world to watch.
The book itself is about a child and her/his robot (“Hubble”) who get lost a billion light years from home and are working to find their way back. The adventure includes a near-miss by a small asteroid, alien worlds, and an interaction with a small satellite. There are certainly a few STEM topics you can talk to your child about while reading this story.
In the beginning, the character's spacecraft get's thrown off course by, what they call, a meteor (even though it’s actually an asteroid - technically, a “meteor” refers to the flash of light we see in our night sky when a piece of debris burns up in the atmosphere), but you can still use this as an opportunity to talk to your child about Space Rocks (aka asteroids and comets)! There are millions of space rocks in our solar system and beyond. They move at thousands of miles per hour and can be made up of ice and different types of rocks. In our solar system, most of them live in the “Asteroid Belt” which is between Mars and Jupiter. Sometimes these space rocks get kicked out of their orbit and make their way to Earth. Most of them completely burn up in our atmosphere. This creates a bright streak, which we know as a shooting star!
When the child astronaut visits an alien world, you can talk to your kid about how we are discovering new planets all of the time. Tell them that there are billions of planets in the universe and that they all look different. Some are much bigger than our planet. Some are made completely of gas instead of rocks and water like Earth. Most of them don’t have liquid water like ours does – that makes our planet extra special! Ask them if they think there are aliens on other worlds and let them know that scientists are constantly working to try to find out!
When the satellite part of the book comes up, you can explain to your child what satellites are and what they’re used for. You can explain that people like to send satellites into space for many reasons. Some of them are taking pictures of our universe to understand how it works. Some of them take pictures of our Earth to understand how our planet is changing. Some are used to “talk to” different parts of the planet and give us more radio stations to listen to or TV stations to watch!
Overall, I was incredibly impressed with this book and am thankful that young children have such a great option for a space-themed picture book. If you’d like to purchase it for a child explorer that you know, it’s $30 with free shipping to the US and the UK.
Check out the other posts in my series STEM Toys for Kids that Parents Will Love below.