Homeschool.com’s Product Reviews
Picaboo Yearbooks Review
Written by Mechelle Ritchie Foster
Do you remember your school days? I do, (even though it has been a “few” years). Do you remember the excitement you felt when yearbooks came out? I do! The first thing I did, was look for MY picture. I looked for my class picture first then I went painstakingly through the book, page by page, looking for other pictures of ME. Before you dismiss me as a vain creature, answer one more question… Did you do the same thing? I thought so. The reason we looked for our pictures so intently wasn’t because we were vain, it was because we wanted to belong; and finding our picture in the yearbook gave us that sense of belonging. Regardless of how many or how few pictures I found of myself, I cherished my yearbook. In my yearbook, I collected autographs from my closest friends, favorite teachers and even my secret crushes. After 24 years, I still have every yearbook I ever purchased. My senior yearbook is especially dear to me because I didn’t have the money to purchase it when I was in high school. I actually bought it after I got married. Thankfully my alma mater still had a copy and had not raised the price, even though it was an antique.
Since my yearbooks are so important to me, it stands to reason that I would want my children to have yearbooks of their own. My daughter has already graduated and has a yearbook from every grade. My son, who is 6 years younger than my daughter, was following suit, and then we began to homeschool. I created an album for him the first year we homeschooled and I used a popular scrapbook company that I was familiar with. I was happy to have our new adventure documented and I was happy with the product.
Recently, however, I discovered Picaboo Yearbooks. As soon as I visited their site, I got excited! A brief pop-up video gave me an overview of the visually creative things I could do with Picaboo. I was hooked; so I registered for a free account and began creating my son’s yearbook. The process was a bit different than the scrapbook company I had used before. I actually was a bit frustrated at first and didn’t work on my book very long that day. My frustration could have been avoided, however if I had just downloaded the free Yearbook Guidebook. It is a comprehensive, how-to guide and is a great reference to read before you get started. Picaboo also has several short Tutorial Videos on their site, each one covering a specific part of the creative process. I found them very helpful. If, by chance your question isn’t answered in one of the videos, or in the Yearbook Guidebook, a Yearbook Support Specialist is just a phone call away at no extra charge. I called my support specialist and found her to be friendly and knowledgeable. She was able to answer my question immediately. She took care of what I needed, which was to add extra pages, and then she explained it to me so I could do it myself in the future. (This topic is also covered in the Yearbook Guidebook.)
One thing I really liked about Picaboo Yearbooks was that I could upload photos, not only from my computer, but also from Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. I also enjoyed choosing backdrops for my pages, different layouts and adding stickers. I worked on this year’s book on my own, but in the future, this would be a great project to do with my son.
I’ve hopefully made it obvious that I enjoyed the process of creating a yearbook with Picaboo, but the most important thing is arguably the finished product. I received a hardcover and softcover yearbook in order to compare the two. The quality of both books was great. I did prefer the hardcover book, however; the spine was wider, which was a better fit for my book title. I also prefer a hardcover because it is easier to find on a bookshelf.
Yes, I enjoyed the process. Yes, the quality was great, but I forgot to mention one thing: the price. The price may be the best part yet! My 20-page yearbook cost $18.99 for the hardcover, $9.99 for the softcover and each order comes with a free e-book. I used 60 pictures in my yearbook and the cost of printing them and putting them in a conventional album would have cost more than my Softcover yearbook.
This school year will be over in a few months and if you have ever thought of creating a yearbook for your child/student, I encourage you to give Picaboo Yearbooks a try. Not only will the book serve as a great momento for your year, but it is also a great visual to have for your child’s year-end assessment. Picaboo guarantees a 3-week turnaround from the time you place your order to the time it is delivered to your door. Picaboo has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and their website states, “At Picaboo, we’re not happy unless you are.” You can start creating your yearbook today.