The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Family Life -

Y MUM/ dad / grand­par­ents have had such an event­ful life, they should have a book writ­ten about them. How of­ten do you hear that? Well, now it need not stop at a ca­sual re­mark.

For the past three years, Wat­ford­based Leanne Si­mons has been pro­duc­ing per­son­alised books for peo­ple from all walks of life — usu­ally when they are ap­proach­ing a sig­nif­i­cant birth­day. The books vary widely in look and con­tent, ac­cord­ing to their sub­ject’s ex­pe­ri­ence. Leanne ex­plains: “They are de­signed to be a mem­ory book, to give a legacy. They will in­clude trib­utes from peo­ple who know them, sto­ries from through­out their lives and mem­o­ra­bilia f rom the era they have lived through. I’ve had bar­mitz­vah in­voices from the 1970s, travel tick­ets — what­ever I’m able to scan, I can use.”

Five years ago, Leanne de­cided to pro­duce a book to cel­e­brate her grand­mother’s 85th birth­day. It was so pop­u­lar that she started to do books for friends and what started as a hobby soon be­came a busi­ness.

She says: “I like the books to be colour­ful, I use lots of tex­tures and de­sign all my own back­grounds. I do my own sketches and a timeline. For ex­am­ple, for a 70th birth­day, it will start the day the birth­day boy was born and in­clude lots of his­tor­i­cal events that hap­pened dur­ing his life.”

The books not only give plea­sure, says Leanne but they also bring the past to life. “Rather than have ev­ery­thing stacked in boxes in the at­tic, it’s all there to look at on the cof­fee ta­ble when­ever you want.”


SUM­MER 2013

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