Since launching in 2013, British publisher Lost My Name has created 53,849 versions of The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name and sold a total of more than 600,000 books in 136 countries. Why so many versions? Because Lost My Name isn’t just filling your kid’s name in the blank and calling it a day (although that sort of simplistic version was the inspiration for the company). They’re generating a personalized narrative for every kid — so Junior will get a totally different story from his sister, which is brilliant on, like, 12 levels.
Each book is built by a complex platform that operates in 6 languages and cranks through tens of thousands of lines of code to produce a wholly unique version of the story. Only the framework is the same: Your kid discovers their name missing from their bedroom door and goes on a journey to find it with the help of different animals and characters, each of whom gives them the first letter of their name until the boy or girl’s name is recovered. So Junior might meet a Jedi, a Unicorn, a Narwal, and so on. There are multiple character options for each letter and multiple traits for said characters, resulting in endless combinations and possibilities. This is important if your kid is named “Abraham,” because otherwise he’d meet three apes and get bored.
The only downside to the book is that once your kid gets through a few readings, they’re going to start expecting everything of theirs to be personalized. Good luck getting the pizza delivery guy to spell their name in pepperoni.
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