Meet Matilda's best friend, Phoebe.
I've said this before, but it has taken me by surprise that Matilda has friends at this age. I had always assumed that, at six months old, babies wouldn't really interact with one another - we might sit them next to each other and call them "friends" but they wouldn't have the emotional awareness to actively like one another.
I wasn't even sure that they would recognise each other. But, then, until I started spending most of my life around babies, I hadn't appreciated that they do actually look markedly different from one another; I remember going into the neonatal unit for the first time and being scared that I wouldn't know which baby was mine (I did, though. Instantly).
But Matilda definitely has friends. She has four friends who she hangs out with in our free time and specific babies she favours patting at all her groups.
Phoebe's her best friend, though.
Phoebe is two months older so she does have some mind-blowing skills which Matilda does not (like clapping. Clapping!) but they've always been about the same size and they've mastered rolling and sitting and standing at the same times as one another, so Phoebe's mum and I tend to think of them as a pair.
I thought that was just us sentimentalising, though, until the day that Matilda could not be made to smile. She had no smiles for me, no smiles for Steve, no smiles for our neighbours, no smiles for the little old ladies on the bus and no smiles for the receptionist at her dance class. She was completely unimpressed by life.
Until Phoebe entered the room.
Suddenly, Matilda was beaming.
WonderPhoebe to the rescue.
No, I'm not jealous at all.
So, getting to my point (because there is a point because this is a review post), the folks at Lost My Name recently got in touch to offer Matilda a review copy of The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name.
As it happens, Matilda already has a copy of The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name (thanks, Kirsten, for the awesome gift!).
When she was teeny, we would read it to her at bedtime and the singsong verses would knock her out like magic. Catchy, memorable magic which got so firmly lodged in Steve's and my heads that we quote it at one another almost every day.
I still read it to her all the time but I no longer need to look at the pages. When she's a little bit older, I imagine she's going to love reading it all by herself.
In fact, we love the book so much that I was planning to blog about it without being asked. But then I was asked. And then I asked if we could have a copy for Phoebe instead. And then the lovely Lost My Name folks said, "Of course!"
You see, the Lost My Name books are personalised. In them, a little girl or boy wakes up one morning to find that s/he has lost his/her name and then sets off on an adventure to find it again. Along the way, s/he meets all sorts of magical and amazing creatures who help to spell out the missing name.
In Matilda's case, the little girl meets a rather snide mermaid, a very generous aardvark, a posh troll, a kind hearted imp, a lion who is lonely because the other animals are scared of him, a dragon who doesn't want to be scary "like they teach in Dragon School", and an angel who is bored of her goody-goody image and wants to play rock music on her harp.
In Phoebe's book, the little girl meets a princess who can't sleep because there's a letter P under her mattress, a clean freak hippo, an ostrich who loves a bit of bling, a forgetful elephant, a bear who can't sleep and an elk who is freaked out because a tree (*cough* antlers *cough*) has just grown out of his head.
What I love about the books is that they are full of characters learning to be true to themselves while the little girl or boy learns not to judge others by appearances. The creatures are also the same, regardless of whether the book's about a boy or a girl (because boys can like princesses and girls can like dragons), and the child is called "courageous" rather than the usual "heroic" or "beautiful".
Of course, the mix of characters depends on the child's name, so Matilda's book has a lot of scary creatures who turn out to be nice while Phoebe's made me laugh out loud several times.
As I said, we loved this book without receiving a review copy; I was thrilled to give Matilda's best friend one of her very own. I hope she grows up loving it as much as we do.
To give the kids in your life a special book of their own (for... say... Christmas?) head to Lost My Name. You can preview the books before you commit to buy, they're surprisingly affordable and - I know I've said this about a thousand times already but - I really love them.
Phoebe's book was provided by Lost My Name Books for review; all opinions are my own.