Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Melissa & Doug Toys Reviewed

So as some of you have previously read, I have a connection with Ebeanstalk, they send me toys to have my children play with/test out and I post a review on said toys in return.

Well, for January the toys received were, Melissa & Doug Make Your Own Princess Mirror and, respectively, Wood Heart Chest.

The Make Your Own Princess Mirror was nice enough dolled up in pretty shades of purple with a truly functioning mirror pane center. However, my 4-year-old daughter didn't find simply adding gems and glitter quite challenging enough, it would have been nice if it had not come pre-painted.

The Make You Own Wood Heart Chest by comparison only had a pre-painted outline on the cover, the rest of it was up to my little one and she had quite the good time decorating it with the included glitter and sticking gems everywhere. She didn't seem all that interested in the painting. Perhaps I should have given this one to the other 4-year-old?

All in all it was a fairly mess free project/craft time with my 4-year-old twins and there were several things that were done well with both objects, such as the quick drying paint, the fact that each came in a sturdy wooden box which my girls found just as fun to decorate and paint as the craft item itself, and there was a good variety of items within each set to keep a 4-year-old interested for the entire length of the project.

The only thing that I didn't like, and maybe this was simply my own naivete, was that the glue tubes, which I did not realize were glue tubes until nearly an hour later, were not clearly marked as glue, and so I assumed this was just a white glitter and let my little one heap it on as they saw fit. Unfortunately the unintending consequence of this was a very lengthy dry time for all the sufaces involved.

All in all I'd say that the the Princess Mirror is dedicated to the girly-girl, not the artistic one, and would be one of the better craft toys for two year olds.

If you looking for Baby Toys or Toys for One Year Olds, keep looking around on Ebeanstalk, they have plenty to offer!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Seeds of Turmoil

Upon begining this book I wasn't really sure what to expect. The dust jacket states, very clearly, that the author is attempting to shed light on an ages old conflict in the Middle East. A conflict which very few, in fact almost no, men seem to fully understand. Bryan White does so both convinicinly and amicably. While his biased is evident as a christian, he professes this very forwardly and outwardly throughout the book, so if you are suprised by it, you're not really paying attention.

The lines that are drawn both between and across the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths and direct and biblically backed up. In fact, Wright not only uses Old and New Testament scriptures, but makes a point of referring to the Apocrypha and the Qur'an as well. He seems to accomplish this seemlessly.

Though I'm sure there are many who will disagree with Bryant Wright's estimations of why things remain as they are in this region, I personally found the book in line with my lines of thinking and believing and I also found many useful insights which I may not have been exposed to so readily in another situation.

All in all, a good read that is worth the time for those interested in the Middle East, Israel, or Faith-based conflict in general.
I review for BookSneeze