One Time Before – The Storybook with a Difference

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know how passionate I am about kids books and encouraging a love of books from a young age. Honestly, there’s just nothing quite like opening a new book with your child and exploring a new story that they’ve never heard before. I have recommended many a book over the years to friends, family and followers. So I’m beyond excited to be able to share with you a book like no other. A genius concept if you will, and something I’m so glad author Lisanne Downer imagined up! ‘One Time Before‘ is a customisable children’s storybook with a difference.

The Book

The idea for the book came to the author Lisanne one day, whilst speaking to her own children about what her childhood was like, only to be met with completely blank faces. Explaining that on-demand cartoons, tablets and flashing gizmos didn’t exist when she was younger, sparked an idea to create a book to easily show her children how the world actually did look when she was their age. One Time Before allows an adult to take a trip down memory lane with this customisable, beautifully illustrated book that puts them and their child in the story, when they were exactly the same age.

Using a simple, and easy to use, web-based platform, users simply customise their own characters, selecting from hair colour and style to skin tone. They then choose the decade when they were their child’s age from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 90’s and the illustrations throughout the book will automatically update. The user can then add the adult and child’s name, as well as creating a unique message on a special dedication page. Before purchasing, users can see a preview of the book they are about to buy.

By putting growing readers in the middle of the action, One Time Before creates an instant, profound connection to the story, the moment, and the grown-up who made it possible. Something very special happens when a child sees themselves in an adventure story – it’s a positive message, told in an endlessly fun way.


Where to Buy?

The book is available to buy from

  • Deluxe hardcover with gift wallet – €25
  • Softcover with gift wallet – €19
  • All prices include delivery to Ireland and UK.

The discount code ‘EMMA30’ can be used to get 30% off until November 30th 2020.

The website is incredibly easy to use. You can do everything from choosing what you and the child look like and specify the decade you grew up in to make it even more personal. Each book is printed in Dublin, and no two books are alike. There’s even an opportunity to include a lovely personalised message for the child on the inside page which I thought was so lovely.

Who’s the Book for?

Aimed at children aged between 4-8 years old, the book – which is proudly designed and printed in Ireland – provides a great opportunity to share your world with your child at their age. A beautiful gift for a child from a parent or indeed a grandparent to give them an insight into what life was like ‘back in the day’. I ordered one book for Olly and I and a second book about Luke and his Grandma. Both of the boys were both fascinated but most of all delighted to be the main characters in their own book.

The Perfect Gift

The illustrations in this book are what really make it. Each page has so many lovely elements to look at and chat about. Not to mention all the little details and nods to the decade you grew up in. Meanies, HB Ice-Cream and Titanic all come to mind to me as a kid who grew up in the 90s. I think this would be a gorgeous gift for any child from a parent or grandparent (or vice versa!). It’s such a unique and personal gift that would honestly be something you’d treasure. The fact that each of the books are made and printed in Ireland makes them all the more special for me. Alongside the book you can also order personalised Christmas cards featuring the characters from your book. There is also a beautiful colouring book available, along with a limited-edition curated collection of 5 Magical Quotes with a sparkling gold finish (which would look amazing framed in a child’s room!).

This blog post was written in paid partnership with One Time Before. All views and opinions expressed are my own.


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