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Birthday Giveaway Idea! Pinoy Couple Makes Personalized Storybook For Daughter
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ren Rodil/PerpixPhotography
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     They say the best gifts are those that are handmade with love. That’s why for their daughter Zakie’s second birthday party, husband and wife Raenel "Ren" and Jerome Rodil thought of making the giveaways extra special: they made personalized storybooks that can be enjoyed by their daughter and her friends.


    On our parenting community, Smart Parenting Village, Ren shared that since her daughter loves reading and coloring books, she and her husband thought of making a simple DIY book that they can include inside the lootbags, along with a box of crayons and some sweet treats.

    “The short story was written by my husband and I did the illustrations,” the mom wrote. “Instead of buying books from stores, we decided to make our own. [It’s] cheaper but ‘effortful.’”

    As it turns out, the storybook has a deeper meaning behind it — one that truly shows the love parents have for their children. Speaking with SmartParenting.com.ph via Facebook Messenger, Ren says that she and her husband thought of the storybook while they were away from home and working.

    Ren with her husband, Jerome, and their 2-year-old daughter, Zackie.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ren Rodil/PerpixPhotography

    Both Ren and Jerome are public school teachers. They teach in the same school in a far-flung area in San Francisco, Quezon Province, located some 150 plus kilometers from their home. “Kapag nagrereport kami sa school, iniiwan namin si Zakie sa aking mother,” Ren shares.

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple could go home weekly to be with their daughter. But because of the coronavirus, work shifts and travel restrictions, it now takes them three weeks before they can see their daughter again.

    When the new school year started in October, the couple again stayed in San Francisco. Because of the workload, they were left with only a week to prepare for their daughter’s birthday party. Still, they decided to push through with the storybook.

    “Parehas kaming English teacher ng husband ko and we both know the importance of exposing a child to reading and books starting at a very young age. Kaya we would love to share this favorite hobby ng daughter namin sa kanyang mga playmates,” Ren said.

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    Luckily, they already had a number of stories to choose from. That’s because Jerome loves to write short stories where Zackie is the main character. “For example, kapag nag-vi-visit sa doctor, o kaya naman about sa mga bagay na kinahihiligan niya [Zackie],” Ren says.

    She adds, “He got inspired kasi by children’s storybooks that we used to buy from Booksale. So, we just chose kung alin sa mga drafts niya ‘yung medyo madaling gawan ng illustrations kasi we don’t have much time na.”

    The process to make the storybook was simple. Ren drew the illustrations with a pencil, scanned it, and created a layout for printing. “We printed 30 copies. Since we have our own printer naman and stock of bond paper, we only bought the board paper for the cover page at wala pa sa 100 pesos ang aming ginastos compared [sa] kung bibili pa kami sa bookstore na medyo pricey ang isang copy,” she says.

    The effort was worth it — Ren shares the expression on their daughter’s face when she saw the book was priceless. “Nakatipid na kami, napasaya pa namin si Zackie,” Ren says. “She recognized na siya ‘yung bida doon sa book! After ng party, we felt delighted to see our daughter bond with her playmates while reading and coloring the book we made for her.”

    Take a look at Ren and Jerome’s book titled, Pretty Just Like Mommy

    The couple printed 30 storybooks in total — and it only cost them Php100.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ren Rodil


    The simple but large illustrations makes the book easy to color!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ren Rodil

    Ren hopes to inspire other moms to try personalizing storybooks for their kids, too!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ren Rodil
    The storybook is simple enough for toddlers to understand and has a nice message, too!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ren Rodil


    Do you have your own DIY projects to share? Tell us in the comments! For more birthday party ideas, click here.

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