The journey initially started when Wonderbly CEO Asi Sharabi was underwhelmed with a personalized book his daughter received. He decided to set out on a quest with a few friends — who are now co-founders — to create a personalized book that was better than what has been around for the past 40 years. That is when Lost By Name was born.
Now known as Wonderbly, the London-based startup combines storytelling and technology to create a unique journey for children to embark on. When purchasing a book, the story will change based on the child’s name. You can also add a personal message such as your own dedication, and choose from three different adventures.
Its first title — Lost My Name — placed the letters of each child’s name in a specific algorithm to produce a distinct adventure, while The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home utilized Bing maps to create an experience around the solar system.
“The thing we learned is the idea of not just making a child feel extraordinary and special, but this idea that we can inspire [and] help them to realize that any story they imagine can be their story,” Sharabi told Digital Trends. ThroughWonderbly, more than 2.7 million children have experienced the data-infused literature published by the company.
In honor of the upcoming Roald Dahl Day on Wednesday, the team worked closely with the Roald Dahl Literary Estate to create a Wonka-filled adventure where everyone wins a Golden Ticket. Many of the elements are based on the original story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — incorporating vivid and colorful visuals. The book’s illustrator, Adam Hancher, was inspired by candy advertisements of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s which were then applied to the artwork.
As far as personalization goes, it plays into various parts of the adventure such as your Wonka-fied family tree, a custom candy bar, and various rooms to visit. The book stays true to Roald Dahl’s original vision, with some never-before-seen factory rooms taken from Dahl’s original notes while others are from the original book and two major motion pictures.
Any child — or even adult — who has always been mesmerized and slightly jealous of Charlie’s experience through the Chocolate Factory, can now experience it for themselves. Not only is your tour guide an Oompa Loompa who leads you to all the different candy rooms and destinations. No child’s adventure is the same when compared to a friend’s or sibling’s version.
My Golden Ticket is available exclusively through Wonderbly’s website. The personalized journey will run you $29 for a softcover version and $36 for a hardback.