My 6-year-old daughter hasn't played with her best friend in nine months. They've seen each other at carefully orchestrated, socially distanced meetups just enough for my kiddo to only ask, "Will I ever get to play with her again?," a handful of times, but whenever she has outwardly pondered her relationship with her pint-size pal, my heart would break for all the other children out there who are missing their best buds more than ever.
And although a book won't bring them magically together, a new hardcover personalized book called Tale of Two ($40) may be just the thing to make them feel connected — and to remind them that friendships are worth waiting for.
"One of the reasons I wrote the book for my little one was to remind her of her best friend who moved away when she was 3, so it's very apt that people are using it to connect little ones far away in 2020."
The 36-page story — which allows you to customise two different characters who play a fantastical game of hide-and-seek in the library and explore all kinds of classic books — launched in the US in September by a small publisher called Librio, and it's already by far the brand's most popular title of the seven currently available.
"One of the reasons I wrote the book for my little one was to remind her of her best friend who moved away when she was 3, so it's very apt that people are using it to connect little ones far away in 2020," Ed Russell, Librio's founder and CEO, told POPSUGAR. "It is super exciting to see it resonating with people in such a difficult year."
When creating the story, you can create your kiddo and their friend (or cousin, sibling, neighbour, or classmate!) by selecting skin colour, hairstyle and colour, and clothing, and the rest of the magic is done by Librio. They plop the kids into a series of adventures with pirates, unicorns, a very hungry caterpillar, and a boy named Mowgli, for starters.
The book is also available in soft cover ($28), and what's extraspecial about this particular personalization-style book is that if you want two copies (one for your kiddo and their bestie), you only need to click a link to instantly create a second copy of the book with the children's roles reversed. That way, they'll each have the same sweet story, with a slight twist!
It took me less than 10 minutes to create a book for my daughter and her friend, and even though I know my kid would love to find her actual pal hiding under the tree come Christmas morning, I hope that pageing through this book will somehow join them together in their imaginations. If it can make my kid feel like she's with her friend, even for a few minutes, well, that's the magic of reading combined with the power of friendship.