Last year I volunteered to plan my sister-in-law’s baby shower. In addition to all the regular stuff you might do for a baby shower I wanted to have a cool group activity that would also double as a unique baby shower gift. Here’s what I came up with:

When I invited everyone to the shower I included this note:

As a special gift for Grant, we’re going to make a customized children’s book. The overall theme of the book will be “Grant goes to the zoo”. We need you to “write a page” in the book. It could be a simple sentence, like “And then Grant rode an elephant!” or “The giraffe licked Grant on the head!” Email your contribution to me.

Gradually the “pages” rolled in from the guests. For the day of the baby shower I printed the words for each page on the bottom of a sheet of paper, as you can see below. At the shower, anyone could grab a page and illustrate it. Just pencil drawings – no one wants to sit there at a shower and create a full blown illustration when they could be having fun catching up with people.

I took the pages home then inked and colored them with watercolors. I used Blurb to print hardback copies of the book which I presented for Grant’s first birthday.

Here are some examples of the illustrations I received. I was so pleased with the way that everyone got into the drawings!

02-lizard
06-parrot
17-big grant

 

As you can see, I took a few artistic liberties when finalizing the drawings.

02-lizard
06-parrot
17-gorilla-giraffe

 

Each page states who wrote it on the left (W:) and who illustrated on the right (I:). Here’s a sample two-page spread.

Grant Goes to the Zoo Pages

Here’s the book preview from Blurb, it might not work in some browsers.

If you’re interested you can get a PDF or hard copy here. I would also happily work with you to create your own unique, customized children’s book.

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