DANBURY, Conn. -- Imagine opening up a book and seeing a character in it who looks exactly like your child. Danbury resident Jill Barletti has done just that by creating a publishing company whose books enable children to see characters in their own image, as well as those of their friends and family.
Her company, called Snowflake Stories, was recently selected by the Independent Publisher Book Awards as having one of four top publishing industry websites. San Francisco web developer James Stone created the website to showcase and sell the first book in the series, "Dance Recital."
Visitors to the website can select up to six characters for the book of their choosing, and then, with just a few clicks of the mouse, characteristics such as skin color, hairstyle, and eye color are selected for each character so that each book’s cast resembles a special child and his or her family.
"My company was founded on the belief that it shouldn’t matter if a child has blue eyes or brown, speaks English or Spanish, or has a single mom or two, all children should be able to see themselves and their loved ones reflected in their very own personalized book," Barletti said. "As a result, my books fill a very real void in children’s literature: books for bilingual, multi-racial, and non-traditional families, as well as families who adopt.
"I believe the characters should not only look like children, but also sound like them, so I made the book available in bilingual and single-language versions in any of five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian," she said.
Barletti, who is a single mother to Gigi, 13, and Robbie, 15, has self-funded her business.
"Dance Recital" sells for $34.95 and can be purchased by clicking here .
Conducted annually, the Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year's best independently published titles from around the world. For more information, click here .
Snowflake Stories will release its second book, "The Big Soccer Game," later this year.