Monday, February 10, 2014

New Licensed Character Books from Random House Kids You'll Want to Check Out! (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Last month brought some great new books from Random House Kids, that I wanted to share with you.  If you haven't checked out their website, you really must, as they have so many books that children of all ages will enjoy.  From licensed character books including ones from Disney, Nick Jr. and other popular children's animated series, you are bound to find a few (if not more) books to pick up and share with your child.  My girls are fans of the "Lift the Flap" books, or ones that come with fun stickers or magnets, so when asked which books I wanted to review from their 20+ new licensed book releases, I couldn't help but ask for the following -- which the girls still can't get enough of:

Happy Birthday, Barbie! (Barbie)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BARBIE! by Mary Man-Kong; illustrated by Kellee Riley
Girls ages 3 to 7 will love to join Barbie®’s sisters as they plan the perfect birthday party for Barbie® in this full-color storybook—with over 30 stickers, press-out tiaras, invitations, and a birthday banner!
Random House | 978-0-385-37320-3 | 24 pages | $5.99 | $6.99 Can. | January 7, 2014

My Thoughts:

If you asked me between the girls, which was the "girly girl," I wouldn't hesitate to answer Bella.  From the very beginning, she was the one who liked to cuddle, carry around her dolls, or play dress up.  And, when she started taking note of the television, she would always request the Disney princess shows/movies or her personal favorite "Barbie."  I loved Barbie growing up, and can't wait to pass down my collection of Barbie dolls, clothes and accessories my mom had saved for my children.  But, in the meantime, I love having one-on-one time with Bella, where we read or watch one of her shows together.  

Since receiving this book, Bella has not gone a day without requesting it for bedtime.  Unfortunately, because it is a paperback book, it has seen better days.  Bella took it upon herself to fill the pages with the 30+ birthday themed stickers that are included in this book.  There was also a poster of Barbie and her friends, which Bella had me stick to the bedroom wall the first night.  And, so begins the years of posters for characters and then teeny boppers plastered all over the girls' wall.  Where did the first two years go when I had jungle themed or cute and cuddly animal art on their nursery walls.  Now, they are both in big girl beds and decorating their walls with their favorite character posters and art pieces.

In addition to the stickers and pull out poster, this paperback book also contains 8 party invitations you can pull out and use with your Barbie fan on their next birthday.  If only I had received this book earlier, they would have come in handy on Bella's 2nd birthday this past November, when it was all things Barbie.

The story itself is fun to read, and will be enjoyed by young Barbie fans.  Mixed in with the story are fun party game ideas and decorations that you can create with your kids.  The girls keep asking for me to make the pom pom flowers with them -- now to just get the supplies. :-)

Jet Set! (Disney Planes)

JET SET! by Courtney Carbone; illustrated by RH Disney
Ready, jet set, go! Boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love these four sturdy board books featuring Dusty and his airplane pals from Disney’s Planes. The colorful plastic handle makes this box set a perfect carry-on for little travelers!
Random House/Disney | 978-0-736-42990-0 | Box Set | 48 pages | $10.99 | $11.99 Can. | January 7, 2014

My Thoughts:

While Bella is the girly girl, Savannah on the other hand loves Disney Cars, Planes and even Thomas the Tank Engine.  It is funny how you walk from Bella's bedroom with dolls and princess toys into Savannah's room to find planes, cars, trucks and engines scattered all over the floor.  Yes, Savannah loves girly stuff like My Little Pony and Dora the Explorer, but if you took her to the toy store, she navigates to the boy's section -- ahh, my little Tom Boy. :-) 

So, when Savannah saw this four 4 book set based on some of her favorite Disney Planes characters, so was over the moon excited.  She quickly took out each of the books and had to do an Eenie-Meenie-Minie-Mo to decide which book to ask me to read first - even though she knew she would have me read all 4 to her in one sitting. :-)

Fans of the hit animated movie from Disney will go crazy for this new book set. Savannah loves the carrying case with plastic handle, as it makes taking this book set in the girl or to Nana and Papa's house that much easier. And, because they are board books, I don't have to worry about the pages ripping or the books seeing better days after continue use, as they are sturdy and oh so durable.  These books have become a favorite of Savannah's, and I have even caught her telling her own renditions of the stories to Bella, in hopes to get her excited about Disney Planes. :-)

Team Lightning (Disney/Pixar Cars)

TEAM LIGHTNING written and illustrated by RH Disney
Boys ages 2 to 5 will love lifting the sturdy flaps to reveal hidden surprises! Starring Lightning McQueen, Mater, and all their friends from Disney/Pixar’s Cars,this interactive board book features over 30 flaps!
Random House/Disney | 978-0-736-43052-4 | 12 pages | $5.99 | $6.99 Can/ | January 7, 2014

My Thoughts:

This was another favorite of Savannah's, as she loves Mater and Lightning McQueen.  While Bella is not keen on Disney Cars, she does love lift-the-flap books, so she always make a point to come around when I reading this book with Savannah, or Savannah pulls it from the shelf to turn each page and peak around the flap doors. 

Another board book, this is great for little ones, as it will rip as easily as a paperback.  But, you still want to be careful having them lift the flaps, as they tear easily.  I make a point to go through the pages first and lift the flaps, so that they are easier for the girls to lift up when it comes to reading this cute book about Lightning McQueen and all his friends.

Bubble Guppies Magnet Book (Bubble Guppies)

BUBBLE GUPPIES MAGNET BOOK written and illustrated by Golden Books
Boys and girls ages 0 to 3 will be drawn to Nickelodeon’s Bubble Guppies with this interactive board book featuring magnetic play pieces that stick right to the page. 
Golden Books | 978-0-385-37527-6 | 8 pages | $8.99 | $9.99 Can. | January 7, 2014

My Thoughts:

I don't think the girls have put this book down since they got it.  And, with past experiences with magnet books, I am also surprised that they haven't lost any of the magnets yet.  I guess if you love this book as much as they do, you make a point to keep count of the 4 magnets that come with this book.  When the girls are not using the magnets, they store nicely in the holder at the top of the magnetized board book, and are held in place with the plastic covers that closes securely.

Like I said, the girls loved this book.  This was the first board book the girls had that they could stick the magnets directly to the pages and create their own scenes.  Each time we read this book, which only has a few sentences per page, the girls will place the magnets in a new way.  :-)

I love watching the girls pull this book from the shelf, and tell their own story as they rearrange some of their favorite Bubble Guppies friends to the different pages.  This is definitely one style of book I will be keeping an eye out for, and picking up for the girls, as it really does provide hours of fun.

The Big Book of Engines (Thomas & Friends)

THE BIG BOOK OF ENGINES by Rev. W. Awdry; illustrated by Golden Books
This handsomely illustrated, hardcover guidebook is just what every Thomas & Friends fan has been waiting for. Inside, boys ages 3 to 7 will discover fascinating facts about all the engines, trucks, buses, and cranes on Sodor. 
Golden Books | 978-0-307-93131-3 | $9.99 | $10.99 Can. | January 7, 2014

My Thoughts:

Fans of Thomas & Friends will go crazy for this book, as it is the encyclopedia of encyclopedia for everything Thomas & Friends.  From fascinating facts about the different engines of Sodor -- over 50 of them. While the book is intended for boys, Savannah loved it!  We have gone to Day out with Thomas for the past few years, and each year, I am happily surprised to see the increased number of girls who are fans of the blue engine.  Savannah is torn between between Thomas and his best friend, Percy, when it comes to asking her which of the engines is her favorite.  But, like so many other Thomas & Friends fans, she is able to ramble off the names of the different engines from the hit animated shows, and facts about trains and how they run.

If you have a Thomas & Friends fan in your house, this is one book worth picking up.  It would even make for a great Easter basket surprise, along with a few new die cast trains from the series. :-)

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. Boy do I know a little one who would just love "Happy Birthday Barbie" and these are so afordable thanks for sharing.
    heather [email protected]