The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

You are going to want one of these books for your kids

I get a lot of PR pitches to review and/or giveaway stuff on my blog. Most of them are pretty crappy pitches. Here’s a tip, if you’re pitching something to a blogger, take two frickin’ minutes and get to know the blogger first. For instance, even though I have a goatee on my avatar, if you address me as “Dear Sir,” I jump on that delete key faster than Honey Boo Boo on a dropped Cheese Ball.

Needless to say, due to the sheer volume and crapitude of most of these pitches, I rarely respond.

But I received one a while back that caught my eye.

It was from a couple in Ohio who makes children’s books.

“Dear Leslie,

The wife Susan & I created a kids’ book. It’s a custom photo book kinda like Where’s Waldo but uniquely made for each kid. We are looking to expand our media and found your dancing ad promo. Nice moves by the way…”

He knew my real name. (Nice.) He sounded like a decent hardworking midwestern guy with his whole “The wife & I” schtick. (I’m listening.) He complimented my dance moves. (Bonus points.)

And thus, an email conversation began.

His book is called Find Me If You Can!™  Tom offered to make a free one for Bucket Head, so I checked out his website and was immediately intrigued.

I decided to send him a photo of Bucket Head so I could see if I liked the quality of the book enough to want to do a review on my blog.

As cute as my Bucket Head is, the boy ain’t the most photogenic child I’ve ever pushed out of my baby maker.

Bucket Head ain't the most photogenic child I ever pushed out of my baby maker.

See what I mean? (Bless his heart. He gets it from his Mama.)

But I finally found one I thought would work and emailed it to Tom.

bucket head on his 5th birthday

About 10 days later I received my book.

I think it will be easier for you to see Bucket Head’s reaction to it than it would be for me to tell you about it, so here—have a look.

I wanted to keep the video short, so what you don’t see is the following:

  • Mini-Me (who is almost 10-years-old) took one look at this book and wanted a copy for herself with her own little face on each page.
  • My children stopped fighting for the first time all day while they worked together to find little Bucket Head’s photo on every page.
  • Bucket Head kept going back to the book for days after he received it.
  • Every time his friends come over, this book is the first thing he shows them: “Look! I’m in a book!”
my kids enjoying their new find me if you can book

Folks, I am telling you—you need one of these books for your kids or grandkids. This is THE coolest personalized gift we have ever received. (No offense Aunt Debbie, the kids love their monogrammed towels and all, but it’s hard to compete with seeing their face on every page of a Find Me If You Can! book.)

I’ve done all the research for you, so let me point out some of the book’s features based on questions I’ve already asked Tom and Sue.

1.) There is a spiral binding on the inside of this hardcover book because Tom and Sue have found that to be the sturdiest option, even though it costs them more to produce it that way.

2.) Yes, if you have multiple children, you can put siblings in the same book, but it will cost a little more due to the extra labor required. Plus, the more kids you put in the same book, the more crowded the magnifying glass on the title page will be.

title page of find me if you can

This is the title page in Bucket Head’s book.

3.) Based on the child’s age and ability, Tom and Sue can customize the number of random faces that appear on each page. They have done as few as 12 faces a page for children with learning disabilities. My book has ~120 faces per page and it was just the right level of difficulty for Bucket Head.

space page of find me if you can

4.) Don’t worry – your child’s face will not be used in other people’s books (unless you want that, and if so, you just have to sign a photo release form).

The books are $29.99 each and cost $4.95 to ship anywhere in the USA. For a limited time only (the next 7 days), Tom and Sue are offering my readers a special 10% discount ($3.00) on each book. Just go to to place your order and use the promo code BUCKETHEAD.

Tom and Sue have also generously offered to give away 5 of these books for FREE (with free shipping) to 5 of my fabulous readers! 

Want one?

Let’s do this.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll announce the winners next Wednesday.

If you are a blogger and would like a free personalized book to review on your own blog, please email me at Iris <at> TheBeardedIris <dot> com and I’ll introduce you to Tom and Sue.

Yours truly,

PS – I’m creating a photo album on Facebook so we can post the worst photos of our kids. Please join me at The Bearded Iris page to share yours.

Disclaimer – I received a free book in order to personally experience it for this review. As always, all opinions are my own. 



  1. Holy moley that is awesome!! Want to win for my 7-yr old! He would lose his mind even more than I am at the idea of this book! Very, very cool!

  2. Neat! Your kids are so cute, by the way. 🙂

  3. FOUND HIM. Finally. That took forever.

  4. awesome book. my izzy would love it!

  5. This book rocks!! What kid wouldn’t LOVE to have a book all about their favorite person?!?!?

  6. Great idea!

  7. I would love to make one for my sweet Braylon!! This is SOOO adorable!! 🙂

  8. I can’t find your little guy – but I suck at Where’s Waldo as well. But I have 3 little guys of my own and my youngest (who’s 7) would LERRRRVVV to have one of these! GREAT IDEA – and thanks for sharing this couple’s book! In fact, I’m going to share it on FB as well.

  9. Jocelyne Alldrick

    October 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    my 6yr old autistic son would LOVE this!

  10. That’s so cool Leslie. Do they ship to Aus? Tell me, who’s that grown up girl in the video clip? What happened to Mini Me? My gosh. She’s grown up so much. Time flies….hey?

    Anne xx

  11. That is so cool! Being I’m broke as a joke it would make a great gift for my grandson for Christmas. If I don’t win will you buy my beaver so I have a little spending cash?

  12. This is great! I’ve got a goddaughter who would love this – and her 5 older siblings would be just the right kind of jealous! 🙂

  13. My little Miss would adore this – she loves those hide and seek books – to have her face in it – priceless.

  14. My boys would drool all over every lovely page! …in a good way.

  15. This book is super cute. This is going on my list of favorite things…kind of like Oprah but the less expensive version.

  16. This is a very cool idea. Original and very well thought out. I like the fact that it can be personalized based on the childs age and developmental abilities.

  17. This is such a cute idea! I would love to win one as a gift to my neice. We don’t live close, so this would be a great gift to send to her to let her know we think of her always. Thanks for the opportunity!!

  18. What? Never mind the kids. I want one for meeeeeeee.

    I’m kidding. I’m kidding! (Not really.)

    Never mind though, it would be too easy to spot the muffin top in the crowd!

    My kids would get a kick out if it though. 🙂

  19. I want this for my daughter and son. Because they make me download hidden object games and then steal my computer to play them while I desperately ‘skip’ the ‘between’ scenes which are typically aimed at adults.

  20. This is such a great book! And Mini-me is all grown up! Wow- she’s so lovely and happy for Bucket Head- that was nice.

  21. My 7yo dtr would love this – the kid enjoys her own face.

  22. Hmm….I’m so going to have to order these for my neices and nephews…but how cool would it be to win one for my daughter who would be over the moon to have a book with her in it….maybe I can get them to put the dog in too…..

  23. My nephews would LOVE this! Very cool.

  24. Coolest thing ever! I’m getting this for all the kiddos in my family. I’m tired of toy shopping.

  25. What a cute idea! I just ordered two. Your kids are adorable!

  26. I want it!!! I wonder it they can do dog heads? I’d love to give the family one book with our pups in it. . .

    • Ha! I bet they could, but the dog heads would be so easy to spot among all the human heads. (Ew, that sounds really gross.) Do you mean an all dog version? Do your dogs even read?

  27. My 3 yo daughter would love this! She has a book all about her name, which is her favorite right now. But a book with her picture in it? Oh, man, there would be some dancing at our house when she saw that!

  28. How cute! My kids would LOVE that. I think I may just need to forward this to their grandma… 🙂

  29. My kids would love this!!!! What an awesome idea!

  30. I was just thinking the same thing, I bet my dogs would LOVE this. They are very smart, and even reading at a first grade level – that’s like junior high in dog years. They made Principaw’s list last year…even though I didn’t get a sticker!

  31. Elisa Edgington

    October 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Really great idea… what kid WOULDN’T want to see themselves in a book? My girls would love a book like this!

  32. Great books! Also? Not photogenic? I LOVE those pics of your boy! What a sweetie 🙂

  33. I’d love to get one for my daughter….she’d love it!

  34. Skinny Jean Colleen

    October 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Such a cute idea. Why do the kids get all the fun? Oh, Oh, you could butter up Mini Me’s teacher at Christmas! 🙂

  35. My twin nephews would have a ball with this!

  36. I would LOVE to win one of these books for my son. He would have a blast!

  37. That’s cute…especially because most of the personalized childrens books are un original and cheesy…Bucket head is cute as ever of course!!!

  38. I love this! It reminds me of a personalized book we got as a baby gift in which Lil’ Bit’s entire name is spelled throughout the book by fairies who are searching for their new fairy queen. At the end, Lil’ Bit becomes their fairy queen (obvs). She loves it and I think she’d love this, too. So, I’d for damn sure like to win one of those five copies – but even if I don’t, I’d probably buy one myself.

    And that’s the first time I can honestly remember saying that after reading a blog review. So, kudos to you, Mrs. Marinelli, for picking and choosing your product reviews wisely. 🙂

  39. My kids love anything with their names/pictures on it! I know they would go crazy about this book!

  40. My Boogie would LOVE to see herself in a book!

  41. This is quite possibly the best kids book I have ever seen, and we own a copy of “balloonia” and “The Pidgeon Wants a Puppy” So… we have some pretty hilarious/horrifying kids books.

  42. My 10 yr. old girl totally needs one of these!!

  43. Where’s Waldo and Where’s Waldo in Hollywood are currently my 7 y.o. son’s “bedtime stories.” He would be OVER THE MOON to have his face in a search book! And the more difficult, the better!

  44. Oh shoot I commented before I read what I was supposed to comment about!

    Let’s see, I’d want this for my beastie boy… because he loves his own face lol. He points at photos of himself and yells “TAYMUS!” (Seamus). He would enjoy it if it was someone else’s face too, like one of my step daughters, but I can’t give one of the girls something and not get it for the other one, because they will kill eachother. However they don’t seem to mind if he has something different because he’s younger, and a boy.

  45. I want one and now my son is watching the video of your son looking at the book over and over again so all those views aren’t a stalker just us.

  46. That is such a cool idea for a book. I would love to win this but then I would have to choose between my 4 kids.

  47. JD @ Honest Mom

    October 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I looooove this. All over it!

  48. Super cute book idea! TOTALLY got turned off at “the wife” reference. DH would only refer to me that way ONCE….

  49. What a great idea, my daughter would love this!

  50. My strange yet lovable 8 year old son would love this.

  51. This is genius! My 2.5yr old would dig this!

  52. What a great giveaway. My four-year-old granddaughter would be ecstatic to find her cute face in a book!

  53. My boys would love this! and I would love to see them sit next to each other for 10 minutes without fighting!

  54. I love this idea! Definitely buying one for my son if I don’t win 😉

  55. My boys would love one of these. If I win, I’ll probably have to buy another one for my other son.

  56. Love it! I need one for my 5 year old.

  57. What a tremendous idea. My grandsons would love this.

  58. I must get one for Ally. Her other grandmother for her birthday had a Dora Birthday video with Ally’s face in it. That was a great gift, but I love this too! Thanks for the heads up!

  59. OMG – I would LOVE one of these books for my son. Even though he’s only 2.5, I know he would LOVE looking for his picture on each page…I’m also thinking Christmas presents…my nephew, goddaughter, godson, etc…

  60. Ooops, I didn’t follow directions!

    I would love this book for either of my children–a 7-year old daughter who loves to look at pictures and a 5-year old son who doesn’t ever get new books since he gets all of his sister’s hand-me-down books. So this would be a two-for for him: brand new AND about him!!!

    Thanks, Leslie!

  61. Tom & Sue Marzella

    October 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Dear Leslie,
    Thank you for the wonderful post and thank you to all of your readers who made such great comments. We can see all the hard work you put into your blog. A true pro you are.
    Tom & Sue

  62. Thanks for chance to win!

  63. I absolutely *love* this! It makes my mama heart *and* my teacher heart happy! #Win I want this for my kids. I don’t know which one yet? All of them? #Indecisive

  64. My daughter would absolutely love this!!!

  65. My two boys would be thrilled to get these for Christmas!

  66. My older son loves his books. I think he would go nuts for one where he gets to find his own face. Thanks!

  67. I’d love to win this for my daughter – it will definitely keep her entertained for hours!

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