“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”~Toni Morrison
That was the sentiment that author and mom, Jill Barletti, kept in mind when she took a leap of faith and created her flourishing publishing company, Snowflake Stories. “Just like a snowflake…every child’s story is unique,” has been the mantra and mission of her books; books that are created to be Bilingual Personalized Children’s Books.
“I just didn’t wake up one day and decide to start a personalized book company,” Barletti shared. “It all began a few years ago when I was working as a translator, and I made the off-handed comment to my parents that I enjoyed writing posts for my blog more than I liked doing the actual translations. They responded by encouraging me to pursue writing, as I have always had strong writing skills. I agreed to give it some thought and began pondering what kind of book I might write.”
A few months later, as her extended family gathered for a reunion, Barletti experienced another “ah-HA” moment. At bedtime, her niece, Ava, and nephew, Aidan, requested a bedtime story. Not finding one that they were happy with, Barletti made up a tale about Prince Aidan and Princess Ava who fought the fire-breathing dragon. As the youngsters became more enthralled with the tale that included them in the storyline, Barletti I knew she had to write personalized children’s books.
Since that moment in 2013, this ambitious mompreneur, with help from her kids, has spent the past few years quietly building a line of award-winning, personalized children’s books that are a reflection of what today’s families truly look like.
With four books that can be highly customized in the Snowflake Stories catalog, parents, grandparents, caregivers, and educators are appreciating the uniqueness and relevancy of Snowflake’s line of bilingual personalized children’s books; books that help to reinforce that it shouldn’t matter if a child speaks Spanish or English, has brown eyes or blue, or has a single mom or two.
Bilingual Personalized Children’s Books
“Initially, my mission was to write bilingual stories because I struggled to find books written in Spanish for my two half-Peruvian children when they were young,” Barletti recalled. “But we soon learned that it’s not just bilingual families who have to seek out books featuring families like their own — biracial, LGBTQ, single-parent, blended, adoptive, and multi-generational families do, too. And we realized that if we invested a little more time and effort, we could help lots of families find a few more books that look and sound like they do.”
The idea of creating customizable characters that reflected modern families became even more prevalent as Barletti researched other personalized book competitors. She noted that other personalized book companies relied on characters with raspberry-colored hair, disguises, and awkward angles to make the characters in their books relatable to more kids.
“To us, it was really important that young readers truly see themselves reflected on the pages of their custom storybook. To make this a reality, we worked closely with illustrator Jelena Brezovec in selecting a variety of skin colors, hair colors, hairstyles, eye colors, eye shapes, and a few other features for each character. Our books can feature other types of families often overlooked by traditional publishers – not just bilingual and single-parent families – but also biracial, LGBT, blended, and multi-generational families as well.”
Barletti also worked tirelessly to build a platform for parents, educators, and young readers that allowed them to select their book’s “cast” while tailoring the appearance of each character.
Customizing Books with Snowflake Stories
► Choose your cast of characters:
1 special child + (up to) 5 loved ones
► Customize the appearance of each character:
Pick skin color, hairstyle, eye color & more
► Select any 1 – 2 of 5 languages:
English, Spanish, Portuguese, French & Italian
“The end result is books that look and sound just like your child!,” Barletti added. “I’m proud to say that each book is multi-award-winning; the books have won awards from the International Latino Book Awards, Foreword Review’s Foreword INDIES, the National Indie Excellence Awards, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.”
The Inspiration for Snowflake Stories
“The funny thing is, none of us remembers who came up with the name Snowflake Stories! But we liked the alliteration. It was important that the name rolls off the tongue and just sound good. It also had to be memorable. We felt that Snowflake Stories checked both of those boxes. We also liked that the uniqueness of a snowflake reinforces the uniqueness of each book we create. We offer so many customization options that kids really can see themselves and their families in their book – even books for twins are different. And the tagline wrote itself: Just like a snowflake … every child’s story is unique!”
With four award-winning, personalized books, as well as forthcoming non-personalized books (adapted from their personalized books), Snowflake Stories has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
Books from Snowflake Stories Include:
The Big Soccer Game (for girls)
The Big Soccer Game (for boys)
The team at MCBD not only loves the fact that these diverse picture books will encourage kids to hone their love of reading, but also that these personalized books also become so much more than a story–they become a keepsake filled with valuable lessons that will stay with kids their whole life.
To learn more about Jill Barletti and Snowflake Stories, visit them on the web at https://www.snowflakestories.com/
Or Connect on Social Media: Twitter: @Snowflake_Story // @JillBarletti | Facebook: @SnowflakeStories | Instagram: @snowflakestories