Braaaaiiiiiiiin busters

plants vs zombies game

I’m a little — okay, a lot — addicted to the recently released Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time by developer PopCap Games. The original Plants vs. Zombies has been steadily expanding from computers and home gaming consoles to Facebook and various mobile platforms since its introduction in 2009 — apparently I am the […]

How to survive a heat wave

interactive art book

We’ve been having a heat wave in Boston. What better way to spend my time on those 90° days than sitting inside our AC-blasting office trying my hand at various arts and crafts activities from one of my latest Out of the Box finds — The Interactive Art Book (Insight Kids, March 2013) created by […]

Fun and games with Hervé Tullet

The Finger Circus Game

We recently pulled these three books by Hervé Tullet out of a box of review copies. You won’t see them reviewed in the Magazine or Guide, but we think they are worth noticing, especially for fans of Tullet’s 2011 Press Here. (The Guide doesn’t review toy books or board books, even though most of Tullet’s […]

Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny e-book review

dragon, robot, gatorbunny cover

Poet Calef Brown, author and illustrator of such books as Flamingos on the Roof and We Go Together (which dropped January 15), transforms his paperback doodle book, Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny: Pick one. Draw it. Make it funny., into an imaginative and interactive e-book (Chronicle, print book published April 2012; e-book November 2012). The chimerical menagerie […]

Secret Origami

Origami X

Origami is an fun craft experience for both boys and girls, and the paper shapes created can serve purposes beyond the decorative. At least, that’s what these two Secret Origami books, Origami X: Paper Folding for Secret Agents and Origami XOXO: Paper Folding for Special Secrets (Capstone, August 2012), propose! In Origami X, Nick Robinson […]

May the Force be with you (and your reading!)

Star Wars Reads Day

[cue 20th Century Fox intro] [cue Star Wars theme song] Tomorrow, Saturday October 6, 2012 is the first National Star Wars Reads Day, designed to “celebrate reading and Star Wars.” While this may be an unusual pairing, I’m all for promoting events that encourage children to read. So in honor of the inaugural event, I’ve […]

On onions and existentialism

The Onion's Great Escape by Sara Fanelli

Help! There is an onion trapped in this book, destined for certain death! It is up to us to save her from the Big Fry, the greatest fear of onions everywhere. But this onion has hope: “Yet I have been told / That there’s a way out / For an ONION who challenges, / Questions […]

Mash-up, indeed.

mega mash-up 1

In a sort of coloring book meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Choose Your Own Adventure, Nosy Crow’s new Mega Mash-Up series by Nikalas Catlaw and Tim Wesson (December) combines marginally true information about, say, Roman gladiators, with dinosaurs (or, in another volume, aliens vs. mad scientists and—well, you get the idea) into an […]

The Pocket Bible Doodle Book

pocket bible doodle book

A blurb on the back of The Pocket Bible Doodle Book (Zonderkidz/Zondervan, January) states, “The story of creation, Noah’s ark, the plagues, and more make this Bible-based collection of doodles fun for everyone.” I can’t decide if I should laugh or be offended—the plagues can be fun? Okay… As the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, […]

Doodle to your heart’s content

s make some great art

We’re heading into gift-buying season, and activity books are a great choice for creative kids. The previous activity/coloring book I reviewed on this blog was a hit with my sister’s nephew, so I took a look at a few of the new activity books we’ve received. I love fairy tales and superheroes, but Vincent Boudgourd’s […]