The book has finally arrived!

It’s always exciting to get your hands on a new book, but when it’s one you’ve put energy into creating yourself it’s that much more thrilling. Hope and I have been waiting patiently for the last week and so we were quite excited to finally get our hands on the book I created capturing memories from her first year in kindergarten. I thought I’d share a sneak peak of some of the book that I had so much fun creating.

The book is 140 pages and for the third time I used to publish the book. I love the quality of blurb books – because it really looks just like a book you’d purchase in a bookstore. The cover was created using one of Hope’s illustrations she made this year with her and her friends from school. Her handwriting was also used in the title of the book “Our First Year at Riverdale Elementary”. I was quite excited to hear that Blurb now prints directly on hard cover books – which is what I ordered.

Our First year at Riverdale Elementary

In designing this book, I approached the first half of the book as a scrapbook. I collected images taken by Hope’s teacher, photos I had taken myself, and drawings created by the students to incorporate into the book. So though some may consider this to be like a “yearbook” – it’s far from the typical year book. My goal was to make a memorable keepsake that Hope, her classmates and Hope’s teacher would cherish for years to come.

Here’s the first spread in the book which is the “dedication” page which includes not only my dedication and a few photos but Hope also created a special drawing for her teacher:

This book is dedicated to...

One of my favorite pages in the book is the second spread which has more photos as well as the letter written by Hope’s teacher to the students.

Showing of more pages

I feel quite fortunate to have had the opportunity this year to have visited Hope’s class on a few occasions to capture some of these memorable moments. Two of my absolute favorite classes were music and art – I definitely think some of the images help capture the fun I observed.

Music class

art class

One of the things that I felt was most important when designing this book was that I focused on giving all of Hope’s classmates equal focus within the book. I devoted two pages to each of her classmates. One page held a large image along side the student’s name which they wrote themselves. On the other page there were several images of the student as well as drawings the students made of the school and the student with their teacher.

Hope's pages

The last half of the book I featured hundreds of photos taken by both Hope’s teacher and myself. I realized how unrealistic it was to create a “scrapbook” with the nearly 1000+ images I had so this was the next best way to still ensure we had a way to keep those special moments tucked into this book. Some of my absolute favorite images I devoted an entire page to each image.

kindergarten book photo pages

kindergarten book photo pages

kindergarten photo pages

If you’re interested in seeing the first 15 pages of the book you can preview it online or of course you can always purchase your own copy through If you’re interested in seeing a few more images of the book – you can check out the ones I’ve posted in my flickr account. Hope you all enjoy!

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June 18, 2008 - 12:10 pm

Phyllis - Lovely!

When can I drop off Savannah’s for you to do? Oh, AND her baby book, AND our wedding album (23 years ago!) AND…

I’m sure I’m going to h*ll. HA!

June 18, 2008 - 9:12 pm

jeffrev01 - What a great looking book Amanda. I also see that you ordered the large book. This is one of the Blurb features that I really liked. Thanks for sharing.


June 19, 2008 - 12:45 am

k. simari - OMG!!!! it is awesome! she looks so proud of it too! this is such a good idea! I am impressed. I am off to flickr to look at all the pics. :)

June 19, 2008 - 12:00 pm

Aida - OMG Amanda!!! What a beautiful piece of work. Thank you for sharing:))

June 19, 2008 - 4:02 pm

kiki - That’s wonderful your book!
I tried to download the program from blurb, but it doesn’t work! :(

June 21, 2008 - 9:54 pm

Tera - Gorgeous book. I wish I had one from my years in school! What program did you use to make the pages? Did you use templates or create them all yourself? Hope will certainly cherish your efforts for years to come.

June 21, 2008 - 10:45 pm

Amanda Kern - Thanks for all the great feedback!

@Kiki – blurb offers programs for both mac and pc so as long as you have a current computer it should work – perhaps try contacting blurb directly if you are having problems.

@Tera – I used’s software to produce the book – however, the first half of the book which was created like a scrapbook I just used photoshop to compose the layouts – they’re not a template.

August 10, 2009 - 9:21 pm

Ginger - Seriously, let me link you into my iphotos and let you have your liberties.

June 19, 2008 - 12:06 am

PhotoWalkPro » Continuing the Book Pursuit with MyPublisher - [...] experiences with Blurb (you can read her comments here).  Also, head on over to her blog (click here) to see some examples from a recent book she had printed.  It really did look nice.  Thanks for [...]

August 12, 2008 - 2:13 am

10 ways to become a better designer « VCC Graphics Technology - [...] kindergarten class a few times. Along the way I took a few photos and put them all together into a book that helped really capture the life of kindergarteners. I’m amazed how kids have so much [...]

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