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How to Use Personalised Children’s Books to Make Childhood More Fun

Posted in Hippo Blue
on May 18, 2016
Hippo Blue Low Res (86 of 186) (2)

When you have children in your life, be they your own children or someone else’s, what are your wishes for them? Generally, we wish our wee ones good health and happiness. One way to make them happy is to ensure that they’re having lots of fun. Of course, there’s more to happiness than just having fun, but it’s a pretty good start.

If you need an idea for making your favourite youngsters’ childhood extra fun, you should look into giving them personalised children’s books. Besides making them feel special for having a book that’s about them, you also open up opportunities for plenty of fun. In what ways can your kids use personalised children’s books to have fun? Here are some tips:

  • Read it as a tradition – Having traditions is good for the soul, especially for the young soul. It allows them to have something steadfast in their lives. You could make the reading of their personalised book part of their bedtime or morning routine. You could also suggest that the book be read only when they feel bad. Or you could require that it be read only with a certain type of food or drink like a peanut butter cookie or a hot chocolate. You could even make it a special occasion book, only to be read during birthdays and holidays. It can be your call or their call.
  • Share it with new friends. As awesome as the book is for “Show & Tell,” perhaps your children could share it only when they’re having a new friend over for the first time. It will make a great ice breaker and be fun to read together.
  • Use it for inspiration for adventure. Things may seem more interesting in fiction than in real life, but there’s no doubt that books have inspired many readers to set out and make their own lives extraordinary. How much more effective as an inspiration will a story be that has made your young readers as the main characters?
  • Use it to explore creativity and imagination. If your children are not quite ready to set out on adventures, a personalised book can spark their imagination and perhaps push them to come up with more tales of adventures themselves. They can write, draw, or even just narrate them to a captive audience: you.

A personalised book can certainly ignite a love for reading and traditional books. Some people may not regard reading as a fun activity, but they can’t be more wrong. Through books, children are introduced to fascinating people, places, things, ideas, etc. Without a doubt, reading enriches lives and a childhood is certainly the more fun for it.

What Mum Taught Me: Interview with Sam, Co-Founder of Hippo Blue

Posted in Hippo Blue
on May 7, 2016

1 Tell us a little about your mum.

My parents moved from the UK before they had us, and they ended up never leaving. She didn’t have a lot of skills when she came here, so she started out cleaning houses and working at the markets. In between cleaning houses and raising my sister and me, she managed to get skilled up. Now she’s an Executive Personal Assistant at a major corporation. As a kid, I didn’t know any better, but now I admire her for that. She wanted to provide for her family, and she was able to work her way up.


2 Do you have any special memories of your mum when you were growing up?

We are an outdoorsy sporty family, so we used to go away to the Grampians, Sorrento, and Metung on the weekends. My mum planned the weekend trips for us, even when she was working so hard.


3 What did your mum say when you told her you’re starting a business?

She asked me a lot of questions to make sure I was making the right decisions. She doesn’t want to see her son fail.

Now she always asks me, “What’s your bestseller?”She likes to know how it’s all going. She’s the biggest marketer for Hippo Blue, the only problem is, she markets to people in the UK, and we don’t ship there! Yet :)


4 Are there things your mother taught you that serve you well now as an entrepreneur?

Put other people first. My mum is one of those people who will run herself to the ground to make her friends and family happy. She’s taught me that if I treat others the way I want to be treated, it will always come back to me at the end. When I work with our customers, I ask myself, what would I do, and I always try my best to make her happy.


5 Any special plans for this Mother’s Day?

My mum, my sister and I are going on a Mother’s Walk in the morning in support of breast cancer. With pancakes at the end of the walk (my treat!). We will be going over to my parents’ house for dinner to celebrate.


6 Anything you want to tell your mum?

Thanks…. (thinks for a while). Thanks for making me who I am today. And you can stop buying us things now. Really…

Meet Brett, beloved Aussie author & illustrator of The Adventures You’ll Have

Posted in Hippo Blue
on April 18, 2016

1 What were you like as a kid?

I was pretty quiet, but if there was mischief, I was into it. I had a lot of freedom, and I remember doing crazy stuff with my 4 brothers. We would go out and ride our bicycles in the middle of the night in Richmond, Melbourne. I couldn’t touch the ground on the big bikes so I would lean against parked cars. We would build billy-carts and jump ditches. We taught ourselves to drive. We had a lot of fun. I have a really good relationship with my parents and my siblings.


2 What was your favourite book as a child?

Where the Wild Things Are. I carried it around everywhere. I still have the original copy.


3 How did you get into writing and illustrating?

I just love stories. When I was a kid, I loved story time. When we traveled as kids, I would just make up stories and tell my brothers.

I have always drawn pictures. There was an old lady in our neighborhood, and I used to mow her lawn. She used to do old oil style landscape paintings. We started painting together every other Sunday afternoon. That’s when I got into fine arts. I had a few solo exhibitions in Sydney.

When I was retraining in graphics design, I wrote and illustrated a children’s book called Bill the Fish. It became a really huge success. And that was it. They say, you come back to where you are meant to be, and for me I guess it was children’s books and illustrating for kids’ products.


4 What is it about children’s books that you like?

You get two kids of two different races together, and they will just play. Kids are a clean slate, an untouched landscape. They don’t see any nastiness, they are just possibilities. With the right nurturing, they can be anything. It’s all in front of them.

And it’s fun. Where else can I do octopus eating oranges or fish with spectacles? You can’t get that anywhere. I love all the whimsical stuff. I’m such a big kid myself. That dish needs a hat. I love to see it all come to life!


5 Tell us about how the personalised storybook The Adventures You’ll Have came together?

I’ve always thought about people’s names. If you have a good name, what does it mean? You could be LL Cool J or something common like John Smith. It doesn’t matter what your name is really, but it does matter what you do with the name you have been given. You can take your name to places! Whatever you do, whoever you are, be the best version of yourself. We tried hard to get this message across in the book, without being too preachy.

We also wanted it to work for boys and girls. The possibilities are not just for boys, for girls too. If they want to go to the moon, it’s all at their feet.





6 What are the hopes and dreams you have for your own children?

My hope for them is that they are people with empathy and kindness, that they see a person in need and offer them help. That’s a successful person in my eyes. You can tick off all the boxes – house, money, car… But if you are not a person that people want to be around, you will have no one to share them with. I hope that I will be good friends with my kids still when I’m 90.


Adventures with Wonderful and Whimsical Creatures

Posted in Hippo Blue, Kid's World
on April 13, 2016

From our personalised story book, “The Adventures You’ll Have”  we’ve create six different masks of the eccentric and wonderful characters that your child encounters in the adventure. Whether it’s for a crafty play time or a quick dressup, you can’t go wrong with these unique free printables. For best results, print on thicker paper. You can use popsicle sticks to hold up the mask or punch holes on either side and thread a string.

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A personalised book that empowers children – The Adventures You’ll Have by Brett Curzon

Posted in Hippo Blue, Kid's World
on April 13, 2016

By Kate Murray

This is a personalised book with a difference. Not only does it put your child at the centre of the story but the narrative is designed to teach children about self-belief and confidence.

The Adventures You’ll Have is a collaboration between dynamic online retailer Hippo Blue and author/illustrator Brett Curzon of Bill the Fish fame. It comes personalised with your child’s name in print to place them at the centre of the story, but this personalised book is a little different. The aim of this book is to teach your child that the world is at their feet, to go places, to dream big, laugh and love life with all its possibilities and adventures. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Hippo Blue The Adventures You'll Have

Brett Curzon brings out his uniquely beautiful illustrative style, creating enchanting characters that your child befriends as the story unfolds. Each whimsical character and exciting adventure are designed to accompany your child through a journey to self-belief. The story is both poignant and uplifting, designed to “evoke the imagination of our children and create unlimited possibilities for them”, says Brett.

“We were determined to launch a book that was not personalised for the sake of being personalised, but which would create a really strong emotional connection between the story and the reader through the celebration of their name”, says Hippo Blue’s Sam Dickson.

Hippo Blue co-creator Thin Neu adds, “At a time when bullying still exists and has sadly crossed over into the digital world, we feel that this book really encourages children to be whatever they want to be. In saying that, it is also a gentle reminder about the importance of being kind to others along the way.” What a great message to instil in young minds.

Hippo Blue The Adventures You'll Have

At Babyology we love showcasing homegrown talent and this collaboration between Sydney artist Brett Curzon and innovative Australian company Hippo Blue is wonderful. Both share the same passion for empowering kids and nurturing imagination.

“The opportunity to collaborate with Hippo Blue for the creation of The Adventures You’ll Have was really a no-brainer, since we shared the same values when it comes to encouraging children to be anything they want.”

With such a powerful message combined with an enchanting illustrated world and your child as the protagonist, this book is sure to be one that children are drawn to and love.

Hippo Blue The Adventures You'll Have

As pictured at top, The Adventures You’ll Have can be personalised for both girls and boys, and the story and illustrations differ accordingly. This charming book is $30 (plus shipping), and is available exclusively through Hippo Blue. Check out Hippo Blue for personalisation options, and to order directly for delivery Australia-wide.


Kate Murray

Kate Murray

Kate was a regular of Melbourne’s music and film scenes, but these days she is on the mum scene. Mother to one adorable little hipster, Kate loves seeking out the latest trends in technology, vintage-style kids clothing, and offbeat kids products. She is often found riding her bike by the Yarra river with baby on back, heading for a good soy latte at the latest kid-friendly cafe. She wants to get there before it becomes cool. So Melbourne.

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