November 29th, 2021

So many different things shape our childhood and one of the key memories I’m sure many of us have are of the books we read. Whether that was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the Jolly Postman or The Boy Who Cried Wolf, the books that your teacher read to you, the new books as you went up a reading level at school, story time before bed or even the books that you excitedly took out of the library, each one brings with it a different memory and a new learning.

Reading stories as children is so incredibly important, more than you may have ever thought, it cannot be underestimated. It’s not just an entertaining pastime; reading and sharing stories helps benefit children’s social and cognitive development, their education, their wellbeing and their mental health.

Be Held™ books
Credit: Be Held™

It helps children get to know sounds, words and language, it develops early literacy skills, it helps to develop their brains, including the ability to focus and concentrate and it builds upon their social and communication skills, it helps children learn about the world as well as their own and other people’s cultures, and finally it ignites their imagination and curiosity.

Not only does reading have all these incredible benefits for children, but it also benefits parents. Reading stories with children helps create special one-on-one or family time to bond and build on relationships.

We had the pleasure of talking to friends, Dave and James, who explained how it was that intimate moment of the bedtime read that sparked that eureka moment that resulted in the inception of Be Held™. “The bedtime story is a timeless ritual. As working parents, often arriving home just in time to share a book, we realised its true value. And we knew these meaningful moments could be made to matter more. Of course, our books aren’t exclusively for bedtime reading, but it was this insight that provided the eureka moment for the creation of Be Held™.”

Be Held™ is a digital-first platform championing real children’s books that are a force for good. It supports parents, inspires children and empowers families, creating exciting, personalised adventure stories informed by real-world events.

Parenting in an age when children are growing up in a digital world, paired with the constant battle of limiting screen time, is a challenge to say the least. Families are constantly looking for ways to better engage and educate their children, as well as getting them to immerse themselves in books.

Be Held personalised children's books

Credit: Be Held™

Be Held™ believes that the most powerful way to do this is through personalised children’s books. By placing a child at the heart of their own personalised adventure, it makes the story more exciting, more relatable and therefore more natural for key messages to be absorbed. “Our unique story structures will help parents realise and appreciate the incredible benefits reading with their children can bring. We’re continually exploring new opportunities to develop with like-minded partners to complement our platform proposition and support our endeavours to reach children the world over.”

When read with a child, these books create a focused window of learning and meaningful moments between parents and children that feel even more special due to the book’s personalisation ability.

When ordering the books, you can personalise the main character; choosing the gender, name, what they look like and if they wear glasses. As well as this, you are also able to add a personalised dedication at the beginning of the book – the perfect final touch. The duo stated “when personalising the books, we saw an opportunity to harness the power of the latest printing technology to dramatically increase engagement and help build the foundations of a child’s character. It’s personalisation…with purpose.”

Credit: Be Held™

Each of the Be Books™ has a thought-provoking story to activate a child’s understanding of their developing character. They gently inform them about positive values, help build strength of character as they grow and explore the world around us, confronting challenges that children may come up against in life. As well as this, these bite-sized morality tales achieve deeper levels of engagement between parent and child, creating the opportunity to discuss today’s many challenges together and make intimate moments matter more.

Dave and James told us how they hoped their books would positively impact children’s lives, “As the ‘hero’ of their own adventure story, a child gets the chance to overcome life challenges – both good and bad – in a safe environment, before actually experiencing them for real. It’s all about us helping parents to better prepare children for the world of today.”

With nine different books which explore the themes of being safe, being independent, being yourself, being open, being good, being brave, being honest, being healthy and being imaginative; each of the thought-provoking story themes take children on journeys to thrilling new worlds, discovering hidden life-lessons and returning better informed to everyday life. Ultimately, it’s parenting in disguise.

Be held book options
Credit: Be Held™

Be Held™ believes in using their platform as a force for good. They believe that every business has an active role in addressing relevant societal issues. They are using theirs to help empower and inspire an emerging and informed new generation. Dave and James explained “every brand can do something to help empower and inform a new generation of changemakers. With success comes a larger audience, better reach and therefore greater responsibility…”

They have reaffirmed this further by proudly partnering with Save the Children because of the invaluable work that they do for children from all corners of the world, helping them to realise their full potential and helping to shape a brighter future. They want to put the power of positive change into every child’s hands.

“We wanted Be Held™ to be a force for good, so we searched for a like-minded charity partner to support. Save the Children were a perfect fit because of their often invisible but always invaluable work for children both in the UK and overseas. They amplify our efforts to support parents, inspire children and empower families.”

Credit: Be Held™

Through the enduring power and timeless ritual of storytelling, Be Held™ hopes to leave a legacy through the books and the children that read them. A ripple effect of positive outcomes, learnings and hope for future generations. “We’ve planned many subsequent book series that support our mission. We believe that our stories – through the children that read them – can create a ripple effect of positive outcomes, learnings and hope for future generations.”

Each page turned and each book read releases the power of a child’s imagination; inspiring them to embrace their sense of adventure, explore new worlds and interact with fascinating characters, whilst learning real-life lessons. It creates a moment in time that will remain in both the parent and child’s memory – a moment for wisdom to be shared and a moment for lessons to be learned. Now, more than ever, it’s time for real physical books to shine. Beautifully printed stories, that create little windows of learning.

Written by Daisy Rogers, Head of Copy and Content, Hatched.

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