ROBIN’S PICKS: Good Reads, Good Health, Good Fun and Treats
Seven different puzzles in one – there is no right or wrong way to solve Cubigami7’s hinged tiles! This award-winning brainteaser from Recent Toys provides young children with simple motor skills development with little frustration as they connect and disconnect Cubigami7 to form seven distinct cubes. However your child puts it together, a formation results.
Whether for long car trips, waiting at the doctor’s office, or just settling down to play unplugged, Cubigami7 will entertain children ages 4 and up. Visit http://www.recenttoysusa.com/index.php?id=13.
A donation of 3% of all Cubigami7 sales will be made to the Autism Speaks organization, which funds global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism.
Cubigami7 was recently named a 2011 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) winner. My son and I both enjoy playing with this, although his instinct was to attempt to pull the pieces apart so he could build something. It makes for a cool stocking stuffer! Click to purchase — Cubigami
Yummi Bears® Gummy Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Vegetarian provides children with a full-spectrum of 16 essential nutrients for their optimal health, including vitamins A, C, and E as well as B-complex vitamins and minerals. Sweetened with natural fiber and lo han fruit, the vitamins are flavorful and naturally sweet without the use of added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Unlike other products in the category, these vitamins are allergen, gluten, and dairy-free and made without the use of synthetic colors. Yummi Bears® Gummy Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Vegetarian answers the call for parents looking to provide a healthy vegetarian option for their children.
If you child is like mine, he or she may hate taking the chalky chewables. These are a great option and way to keep your child healthy, especially during cold ‘n flu season. Click to purchase – Yummi Bears Multi-Vitamin & Mineral, 200-Count Gummy Bears
Yummi Bears® vitamins may be purchased online and at Whole Foods, GNC and numerous fine health stores across the United States.Visit the “Where to Buy” section at http://www.heronutritionals.com/.
CURIOUS CRITTERS by David FitzSimmons
In this visually stunning and engaging children’s picture book CURIOUS CRITTERS (November 2011, Wild Iris Publishing, hardcover, ages 4-8) photographer David FitzSimmons turns his camera on a variety of animals common throughout North America. CURIOUS CRITTERS presents striking images of everyday animals, including a red flat bark beetle, an Eastern spiny softshell turtle, a spotted salamander, and many other intriguing creatures. Each Curious Critter is photographed against a white backdrop, showcasing the animals’ colors, textures, and shapes with precision and clarity. Along with each photo is a vignette, told from the critter’s perspective, that educates and entertains. For example, a bush katydid explains her bubblegum-pink color, a poetic opossum opines upon her often-shortened name, and a far-from-modest black swallowtail butterfly lets readers in on her secret for avoiding predators.
Just some of what kids learn:
• What turtles and humans have in common
• Why black swallowtail butterflies impersonates their toxic cousins
• How Eastern box turtles can live longer than humans (over 150 years!)
• If squirrels can fly
• Why crayfish grow new legs
• How bats find food
To see sample photos, visit: http://www.curious-critters.com/. My son and I were both captivated by this book, though the images of Big Brown Bat and Jumping Spider were more his cup of tea than mine. Kids who love animals will love this book!
About David Fitzsimmons
David FitzSimmons is a freelance photographer and writer as well as a university professor. Curious Critters is David’s first children’s picture book. A former high school English teacher, David has been in education for twenty years. He is a professor at Ashland University in Ohio. David holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University, with a specialty in narrative theory-investigating the components of storytelling-something that influences his photography and writing. David was inspired to photograph and write about nature by his parents, Mick and Judy FitzSimmons, active environmentalists and life-long teachers, and he is assisted in his natural history endeavors by his wife, Olivia, a naturalist, and his two daughters, Sarah and Phoebe.
The Cult of LEGO® by GeekDad blogger John Baichtal and BrickJournal Editor Joe Meno
A Full-Color, Coffee Table Book for LEGO Fans
Once they reach high school, many LEGO fans put their bricks in the attic. But for countless more, LEGO bricks are part of their adult lives. Known affectionately as Adult Fans of LEGO, or AFOLs, these builders love those colorful plastic bricks so much that their devotion borders on cultish adulation.
Tens of thousands of AFOLs attend conventions to meet with like-minded builders, and they spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars creating scale replicas of Yankee Stadium and World War II battleships, robotic chess sets, and life-sized dinosaurs. Builders post their creations online to be shared with fans of all ages around the world. Their innovations—and the proud builders themselves—are featured in The Cult of LEGO (No Starch Press, November 2011, full color, hardcover, 304 pp., $39.95, ISBN 9781593273910).
Whether readers are eight-year-olds just beginning to explore ways to build outside the LEGO box or longtime fans with years of experience, this stunning, full-color coffee table book offers a fascinating, inside look at the large and diverse community of serious LEGO builders.
About the Authors
John Baichtal is a contributor to MAKE magazine and Wired’s GeekDad blog. He has written for legendary tabletop magazines Dragon and Dungeon, as well as for Kobold Quarterly and 2600: The Hacker Quarterly. Joe Meno is the founder of BrickJournal, a print and online LEGO fan magazine. He has organized and run LEGO fan events, acted as an advisor on LEGO projects, and helped design LEGO sets.
My son adores this book! He’s been pouring through it and bringing it to school to share with classmates. It’s a treasure that he can enjoy for many years to come, and if it further inspires him to love reading, all the better…though the photos, themselves, are amazing.
NEW ANGRY BIRDS FRUIT SNACKS AND GUMMIES
Millions of Angry Birds™ fans will be excited to hear about the new Angry Birds Fruit Snacks and Gummies now available nationwide based on the worldwide puzzle Internet game sensation. Made with fruit juice, all products are fat-, nut- and gluten-free, and are available in cherry, lemon, raspberry, apple, grape and strawberry flavors.
The snacks feature a variety of characters from the Angry Birds mega hit gaming app which has achieved more than 100 million downloads on the world’s most popular mobile, handheld and computer gaming systems including Android™ and Apple® iPhone®, Windows, PSP/Playstation, MAC OS and Google Plus. In Angry Birds, players use a slingshot to control a flock of multi-colored birds that are attempting to retrieve eggs that have been taken by a group of evil green pigs. On each level, the pigs are sheltered by structures made of various materials such as wood, ice and stone, and the objective of the game is to eliminate all the pigs in the level.
The products are available in mass market retail outlets including Wal-Mart, Kroger, 7/11, Justice, Dylan’s, Blockbuster and Toys R Us. Angry Birds Gummies, Red, 3.5-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12) – click to purchase
My son, a huge Angry Birds fan since discovering the game on a friend’s Droid phone, was thrilled to sample these edibles, and he can’t wait to share them with Angry Birds pals who are fans.
YOOHOO AND FRIENDS
Aurora World Inc.’s (http://www.auroragift.com/) YooHoo and Friends™ line is the company’s best selling plush toy category and includes more than 150 variations available at retail with a variety of sizes and themes (i.e.: Valentine’s, Spring/Easter, Halloween, Birthdays, etc.) It all started with the original YooHoo and Friends available in five and eight inches. The cuddly plush YooHoo and Friends characters make a unique and funny sound when you squeeze their tummies (most are available in medium-five inch and large-eight inch sizes). The whimsical YooHoo and Friends inspired the launch of http://www.yoohoofriends.com/, the corresponding free, interactive “virtual world” that makes learning fun and teaches kids about endangered animals in their natural habitats from all over the world. My son enjoys playing here, and thinks the stuffed animals are adorable.
Note: Thanks to the above companies for providing sample product. Robin Gorman Newman and MotherhoodLater.com assume no liability relative to products reviewed in this blog.