Sunday, July 23, 2017

Read 'n' Play: Woodworks: Old MacDonald Had a Farm; The Wheels on the Bus

I don't normally review books with additional stuff as it were, but I'm always refreshing and updating my library's circulating toy collection so I've started including a few more things that I use in that area on my blog. I do have a full blog that's all of these items, Read 'n' Play, but I don't review them, more just list them.

These two kits from Silver Dolphin sounded like a good addition to a storytime kit or Read 'n' Play bag, so I agreed to take a look at them. Each one includes a sturdy cardboard carrying case, a wooden vehicle, small board book, and vinyl road map.

The board books are small and chunky, about 3x4 inches. The include the text of the song, which can be a bit crowded on the pages, along with bright, colorful digital illustrations.

The wheels on the bus includes a variety of races and genders, although the driver is a white male. It changes the song slightly to be a school bus. The wheels go around, the wipers go "swish", the horn goes "beep", the children say hi to their friends, and the doors open and shut, leaving out the parents and crying babies.

The wooden vehicles are a small green tractor and a yellow school bus. They look pretty much the same in the picture - they seem to be well-made and the wheels appear to be on a solid bar through the toy, which is good for little fingers that tug.

The play mats are interesting. Both are made out of a thin vinyl materials - a little thicker than a plastic bag, but not very sturdy. I tested a corner and it twisted and started to rip easily. They have multiple fold lines from being tucked into the boxes. The mat that accompanies the school bus shows a road through a typical town with police station, school, stores, and houses and the farmer's mat shows a gravel road through a farm yard.

The carrying boxes are a very sturdy cardboard - the front opens and the side clicks shut with a hidden magnet, I would guess. They have a nice little woven ribbon handle to carry them by. There's just one problem. The initial packaging has a plastic form inside that holds everything in place. However, once you open the item and remove the packaging, the clear window at the top to see the vehicle through is empty - and the toy falls right out. You can pack everything into the bottom, but it takes a little maneuvering.

Verdict: I'd like to circulate these on their own, but the open window in the top makes that problematic. I don't think the play mat will last long, but it's an easy item to replace with a print-out or felt mat. The vehicle and board book should be sturdy enough for many uses. I think they will make a good addition to a kit on nursery rhymes for use in daycares and at home.

Old MacDonald had a farm; ISBN: 9781626869554

The wheels on the bus; ISBN: 9781626869561

Published 2017 by Silver Dolphin; Review copies provided by the publisher; Donated to the library

No comments: