Noah’s favorite book in all the world is this one:

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

He has a name for every car on every page, and can quiz me tirelessly on the location of each one of them.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom board book!

The basic idea is that all of the pages are snapshots of one grander layout of rows and rows of cars. And, since my son lives for cars, nothing could be better.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom board book!

Except, perhaps, the same book made with his beloved cars.

I got this idea one night as I was reading his book for the tenth time, and just couldn’t let it go.

(Plus, I find great pleasure in lining up all of his cars.)

So I did just that – I got out all of his cars, airplanes, motorcycles, and the like (everything but trains – a girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere) and created the traffic jam of the century.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

(Yes. He has an insane number of cars. But that’s all he ever wants, so he gets them from everyone for every holiday, and he is well-pleased.)

Me and my limited camera skills had issues capturing crisp-to-the-edges photos of the cars (F-Stop and I have yet to formally meet), so on the day that Mary Jo came over to photograph my finds at the Wish Collection, I also got her to snap pictures of my lineup,

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

all at different angles,

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

and of different sections of his cars.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

The next step was finding a company through which I could make a personalized board book. I thought this would be easy – after all, I get a PR email at least once a week for some new printing service or photo book maker.

But nobody, it seemed, wants to make board books. And I knew a regular book of this sort would get torn up too easily for all of my effort.

I finally found two sites that I’d never heard of that were set up to make board books, but neither looked currently active, and both had horribly clunky uploading widgets, and I don’t have time for clunky.

Finally, I found someone on Etsy that would do it – and not only would she do it, but she was happy to design my page layout, too – something else that I didn’t have time for. I immediately paid for my book and sent her the photos along with a link to the book that had inspired me.

And within 24 hours and four easy email exchanges, my first children’s book was completed.

And five days later, I received my copy in the mail.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

It was exactly what I wanted.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

Each page talked about some of his favorite cars, and even though he can’t read the instructions yet, his sister can.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom I Spy board book!

I couldn’t wait to give it to Noah, so even though we were walking out the door to go eat when I got the mail, I presented it to him anyway.

And, as I had hoped, he was completely mesmerized.

Turn your kid's toys into a custom board book!

Later, I desperately wanted to capture a moment of he and his sister sharing it together, but this is the best that he gave me:

Turn your kid's toys into a custom board book!

(Notice the glistening tear on his left cheek.)

Because it’s not like I just MADE HIM HIS OWN KEEPSAKE BOOK or anything. Out of his FAVORITE TOYS IN THE WORLD.

Clearly, taking a photo is too big of a price to ask.

But, overflowing gratitude or not, I’m glad I did it. Because it was really dang cathartic to line up all of those cars.

19 thoughts on “For The Budding Car Guy.

  1. I love it! My son was also obsessed with cars. He’s a got a huge bucket of them and even though he’s 16, I still give him 3 matchbox cars every Christmas. It’s tradition. I might have to make him a similar book just for grins.

  2. This is a really cute idea! I love it! Also, Nicholas loves cars as well…he has way too many! The car in the first picture, with the flowers on it, and the purple truck with the flames – Nicholas has those, too! I think they’re B. Toys brand, from Target? I think those are probably my favorite out of his cars! :)

    Random question – do you know what font this is? The comment box font is different than the post; but it’s really nice!

    1. Yes I think those cars are from Target!

      And no, I have no idea what font my comment box is, but I’ve noticed it too! I’ll have to ask my designer.

  3. Love it! I was obsessed with “I Spy” books as a kid and I can’t imagine how thrilled I would have been to see my own toys on the pages. Maybe about as thrilled as Noah looks in the last picture but I’d be glowing on the inside!

  4. What an awesome idea! I just had a book made for our little Mina all about her joining our family. I used an online company called Pint Size Productions. I’m going to check out your etsy link!

    By the way, does this make us “published” authors now?! ;)

  5. Wonderful idea! My 3-year-old daughter’s taste in toys is too varied for this to work … but oh wait! Maybe I could do it with pictures of her in all her clothes! She loves clothes more than air.

  6. It turned out great! That was a wonderful idea! I hope you got more than one in case that one gets too love abused.

  7. Great idea!!! We have that book too but it’s not yet a favorite but he does LOVE his mini CAT machines that came in his Easter basket as well as the Little People cars my parents have given him. Boys love wheels!

  8. Too cool! I wanted to check that book out of the library but while they have 25+ Walter Wick books in multiple languages, trucks and cars apparently isn’t one of them. Story of my life. Sigh.

    Elizabeth has a similar number of vehicles. While she frequently enjoys a good game of “Crash” (now only played in parent approved locations after an incident involving no more bumper and cracked baseboard) she tends to use them as elaborate wheeled and talking dolls. I can’t quite keep all the brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers straight!

    I feel your pain on the board books. Elizabeth had these awesome alphabet board books ( and we decided we wanted to make a Japanese alphabet version for her cousin (as the equivalent didn’t exist). There are 46 letters, so we needed 46 board books and we only wanted six pages (like the alphabet books). I was utterly unable to locate anything; we ended up buying two sets of the English board books and carefully putting very durable stickers on them, which kind of broke my heart but was about $50 total instead of nearly $1000 for the other options.

  9. What a wonderful idea! Every child in the world would love that gift. Well, my boys would love that. Too too cool!

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