Father Knew Best: KeenOwl Storybooks Did the Rest

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How a father's storytelling innovations helped his child overcome Kindergarten anxieties and inspired the creation of an eco-friendly children's book publishing company. KeenOwl Books' personalized life lesson storybooks create opportunities for parents and caregivers to strengthen bonds with children, and share their own experiences to teach life skills, pass down family values, and build character.

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KeenOwl Books, a recent recipient of an iParenting Media Award and The National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval, has released a set of personalized life lesson storybooks for children, ages one through eight. KeenOwl Books identifies children's stories from around the world that teach personal responsibility, character strengths and positive values, and personalizes them by weaving people, places and things a child knows into the story. Available now at http://www.KeenOwl.com, these storybooks are manufactured in the United States, using vegetable-based inks, on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an international body ensuring eco-friendly paper production.

KeenOwl Books was inspired by a concerned father helping his son overcome anxieties experienced in Kindergarten. "The most effective way I felt I could help my son feel confident when he was afraid, or cherished when he felt unappreciated, was to share stories I remembered from my own childhood…stories that taught positive messages such as courage, self-esteem and optimism," says Sanjay Balasundaram, founder and president of KeenOwl Books. "I found that personalizing the stories made these messages more relevant and meaningful to my son."

Dr. Robin E. Connors, a Pittsburgh-based mental health consultant and former child therapist, comments, "As parents, teachers, and caregivers, we want to help children develop the necessary skills to face life's challenges with grace and strength. KeenOwl Books…offers great tools, something parents and others can use to teach core values that contribute to healthy character development."

Balasundaram began to talk to other parents about this experience and discovered that they also had a need for similar books, but were not sure how to best locate them. He learned that while parents may have help from schools for academics, and coaches for sports, they have few resources when it comes to nurturing their children's character and values in a fun and engaging way.

"The child development specialists consulted upon starting KeenOwl Books noted that too many personalized books on the market today focus on children as stars or super heroes," explains Balasundaram. "They felt this wasn't necessarily good for kids because they aren't always the shining star, and promotes a 'celebrity' attitude, rather than the development of good character traits and life skills. However, they saw value in personalizing a story, in which the child would be exposed to challenges, could solve problems, and then work through difficulties successfully."

"This approach worked with my child," adds Balasundaram. "By adding familiarity and relevance to the story, and in turn to its lessons, personalization made the storybooks more inviting to read and the story's lessons more meaningful and lasting."

"Finally," says Mrs. Geida, a customer in Bound Brook, New Jersey, "there is something we can do with our grandkids that's both fun and educational, and helps us counter the negative messages they are being bombarded with all the time." She also appreciates how reading the storybooks together creates opportunities for sharing her family's history of immigration from Europe, their traditions, and their values such as perseverance, hard work, and honesty. KeenOwl Books offers grandparent-friendly and single-parent friendly versions of its personalized storybooks.

KeenOwl Books are professionally edited and illustrated, using animals and other non-human characters. Balasundaram explains, "We found this approach engages the imagination and adjusts easily to the child's ethnicity, race or gender."

Each storybook also features a dedication page where words and a photo can be included to create a memorable keepsake. In addition, a Grown-up Story Guide accompanies each storybook. This guide, co-developed by child experts, helps families adapt a story and its life lessons to a child's unique circumstances, creating a rich opportunity to share a family's history, tradition and values.

The web site, http://www.KeenOwl.com, is very simple and user friendly: Customers can view the storybook selection; complete the form, and preview the personalized book. Then they can make changes or approve the order. "Our books take an average of 7 minutes to personalize online, and are available for shipping within just 3 to 4 days from order," said Sanjay Balasundaram.

For additional information on affiliating with KeenOwl Books, contact Sanjay Balasundaram. View a sample, or demo a personalized book at http://www.KeenOwl.com. For more information on the Forest Stewardship Council visit http://www.fsc.org.

About KeenOwl Books:

KeenOwl Books was started by a concerned father who personalized life lesson stories to help his son overcome anxieties experienced in Kindergarten. With a mission to help other parents raise happy, confident and caring children, KeenOwl Books' award-winning personalized storybooks and Grown-Up Story Guides create opportunities for parents and caregivers to strengthen bonds with children, and teach life skills, pass down family values and build character. An easy to use website (http://www.KeenOwl.com) provides convenient access to a selection of life lesson stories, as well as to complimentary services such as a Gift Idea Guide, Gift Certificates and a Reminder Service for those who like to plan their gift giving in advance. KeenOwl Books supports charitable organizations and causes that work for children and animals around the world, and it engages in business and manufacturing practices that respect and preserve the Earth and the environment.

CONTACT:

Sanjay Balasundaram, Founder and President - KeenOwl Books
Main Contact Phone:    +1 (848) - 391- 8097
Main Web Site:     http://www.KeenOwl.com
Press/ Media web site:     http://www.KeenOwl.com/index-pressmedia.html

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