Raincoast Books has unveiled this year’s Spring Break #PlayTestShare! We always enjoy testing out items for Raincoast and then letting you know what we like best! After all, these items pretty much always circle around the kids and the kids are *always* game for testing new games and books! At least that’s the norm in our house!
So, there are 10 items on the list this year, featured from three different companies – Chronicle, Princeton and Twirl. I get to tell you about two of them and then you’ll see the other eight as well – I’m not about to hide more great items from you – because they’re all great! Trust me, I had a hard time choosing two!
The first one I chose to look at is called “642 Things About Me – Young Writer’s & Artist’s Edition”. This journal is plum full with ideas (apparently the magic number of 642!) for young people to write about. You know how it can be so hard to know what to write about sometimes? Well, just flip a page. Let’s see……..how about “Write about something you fixed.” Or, “What’s a flavor you can’t stand?” “Draw a colossal bike ramp.” The fun thing is that often each page, or double page spread have related topics on them. For example, one page has the following four things written; “What’s your favorite dip for french fries?”, “What’s your favorite pizza topping?”, “What’s your favorite salad dressing” and “Draw a river of your favorite thing to drink.” You see? Once you start the page you’re on a roll! I also really like the opposite page and would love to see what my 7-year-old would do with it…………”Draw your brain and write all thoughts that are inside it.” Can’t you just imagine what kids will come up with!? So now I need to decide what to do with this book – part of me wants to let my kids take turns writing it in it and signing which ever ones they fill out. Make it a family project. The other part of me wants to donate it to the school because I can imagine the teachers from about K-6 having fun pulling ideas from it! What do you think I should do?
The second one I chose is called the “Ultimate Book of Cities” by Anne-Sophie Baumann. My kids LOVE this kind of book. First off, there are more than 55 lift the flaps, pop ups, pull tabs, and more! You know, all those great things that kids love to explore and find! And it’s not just the little kids, my seven-year-old was just as excited to go through it and declared it “awesome!” This BIG book delves into many different parts of the city – from Traffic to Downtown to Underground Utilities to the Park, the Department Store, Emergency Services, and Buildings in the Neighbourhood! Each two page spread is loaded with flaps to lift. There isn’t a ton of writing in this book but throughout there are many items that are labelled. Some pages it’s tough to find the flaps (or at least it was the first time – which adds so much to the fun of the book!) but others, like on the Emergency Services page, are easy to find! You see, this page has a bunch of closed windows, so it’s quite evident where to open the flaps! One neat page is the Department Store – where each store is depicted on the outside of the flap as a store filled with items to purchase. However, when you open the flap you can follow a “how-to” on how those items were created! The very last two page spread caused a lot of “wow!’s” in my house. It’s a three layered pop up! And it even has a sky scraper and a crane building a taller building that pulls up to make an even taller city! Pretty cool! My biggest beef about this type of books is how easily the flaps get bent as pages get turned and little kids tend not to make sure the flaps are down or up all the way. Perhaps someone will have a great new idea on how to make this less of an issue! However, despite that, this book has been poured over multiple times by all three children in my house!
Now, for the rest of the items in this #PlayTestShare!
Old MacDonald Had a Truck Bingo
A classic family-friendly game gets revved up with a winning combination of construction vehicles and farm animals, featuring artwork from the picture book Old MacDonald Had a Truck. With six illustrated, double-sided game boards plus a set of colorful bingo calling cards and chips, this easy-to-learn game is sure to be a hit at any playdate or family game night.
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site–this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there’s nothing they can’t do!
Introducing a new, fast-paced casual card game for word lovers and anyone who loves to think on their feet. Simple to learn, with nearly endless possibilities, this free-for-all
game is a fun addition to any game night.
A deceptively simple and joyful celebration of the natural cycle of life, this book adds the bonus of removable-and movable-characters and scenery to the bestselling TouchThinkLearn format, featuring the hallmark production technique of glued-on pieces dovetailing with die-cut openings.
Space Playing Cards Featuring Photos from Nasa Archives
Launch into your favorite card games while immersing yourself in deep space! Each playing card features extraordinary NASA photography and two Pantone colors on beautifully designed card backs. Includes a complete 52-card playing deck, plus 2 jokers.
Birds of the World
A beautifully illustrated guide that introduces aspiring ornithologists to fun facts through a range of coloring activities, removable stickers, and a short quiz. In the process, children learn about the rich variety of birds living in our world, including nightingales, swallows, hummingbirds, pelicans, penguins, parrots, toucans, and flamingos, and many more.
Crystal Menagerie Coloring Book
This fresh new coloring book renders foxes, birds, hedgehogs, and more with a prismatic look that makes them as cool to display as they are pleasing to color. With just the right level of detail, these unique designs can easily be completed in one sitting if so desired, but those who want a more involved coloring session can opt for a 3-dimensional look-and make these animals leap off the page.
Towering Tree Puzzle
Join adorable critters as they navigate the seasons and make new friends in their towering tree. Imaginative play and puzzle logic intersect as each interlocking branch of this innovative puzzle tells a new story, providing hours of entertainment. Adventure is just a branch away!
Doesn’t that just sound like a fabulous group of books and games!? I never cease to be amazed by the creativity that surrounds us. It’s fabulous! Thanks to Raincoast Books for continuing to share this creativity with us. Please show them your appreciation by liking them on Facebook! Oh, and just before you go, head over to the #PlayTestShare post on Raincoast’s page – you can find all the other blogger’s who are participating in the #PlayTestShare fun and go see which items they checked out.
No #PlayTestShare would be complete without a giveaway! One winner will pick their choice of one item from among these ten items. Please use the entry form below – and take note – the contest ends on March 16th – so be quick about getting your entries in! Open to Canada only, please.