A very special present: You and Me from I See Me!

youandmeoneIf you’re looking for something special and customized for the holidays, we love the new You and Me book from I See Me! The idea here is for grandparents to share their story with their grandchildren. While that’s a great concept, the execution is even better.  You fill out a questionnaire, send it in with up to 10 photos that you want included in the book…and voila, your grandchild will have a beautiful 20 page hardcover book!  This is not the first customized books  we’ve seen, but it is the first that  screams quality and design.  It costs $29.95…visit ISeeMe.com for details. They’re offering free shipping through mid October.  youandmethree

Cranky morning…

Ok, so we just listened to a new CD from John Lithgow (The Poets’ Corner)–with an amazing cast of poetry readers (Glenn Close, Morgan Freeman, Kathy Bates, Jodi Foster) . Should be a hit right?  How could it miss with this cast of distinguished actors?  It will be featured no doubt on the morning talk shows…

Each poem is introduced by Mr. Lithgow — yes, yes, he has a great voice and he’s chock full of information. But we’re sitting here wondering, who is this for?  I can’t imagine any child I know sitting through it.  I had that really uncomfortable feeling I used to get in college and law school when the lecturer was just lost in his own voice and thoughts–with no recognition of a class full of students wanting to make a connection. I’m sure this will be ordered for libraries across the country – based on Mr. Lithgow’s track record and the stellar array of stars he brought to this project.  Just feels like a shame that they couldn’t have read something else to us all…and it certainly doesn’t instill a love of poetry.

Steve Martin and Martin Short…

were on Late Night last night with David Letterman.. and were just pure funny.   It wasn’t too scripted (except for the story Steve  had obviously told the producer in a pre-interview about the Three Amigos premiere and then forgot). When Dave reminded him…he then told the story about how the three actors (Chevy Chase was the third amigo)…agreed to wear their amigo outfits to the premiere.  At the last minute Steve and Chevy decide to wear their tuxedos instead..but of course do not tell Marty.

You could just tell that these  two thoughtful, witty, smart people have a history of making each other laugh. So it was fun to have a glimpse of that friendship for a few minutes.  I realized that I hadn’t seen Martin Short in a while…and that all three men sitting there were looking a little old…when did that happen?

Pick of the Day: Wedgits Pink & Purple Tote

pinkwedgitsWhen we started the toyportfolio I was pretty annoyed with all the pink building sets. They were all about building a mall or a pony stable– no skyscrapers, no superhero vehicles…just a very limited range of fantasy.  We started the Gender Free Toy List in part to bring attention to this color coded approach to children’s play and toys.  For the most part, I still stand by those early articles.  There is no reason to limit girls or boys to the type of toys they play with.  The Corolle Green Umbrella Stroller is on our list this year for a reason.  And we have applauded Little Tikes and Step 2 for making gender free kitchens that are acceptable for both boys and girls.  (When we started almost all toy kitchens were screaming pink.)

Today we just received the new Wedgits Pink & Purple Tote.  Just like their primary sets, this is an open-ended construction toy that’s just fun.  pinkwedgittwo

It comes with a set of 48 design cards…that are abstract designs (no malls or ponies in sight).  Each card tells the builder how many pieces they’ll need for the creation and then has a picture.

pinkwedgitsthree It’s just this type of experience with spatial relations that we want all of our kids to enjoy.  The cards will give kids a jumping off point for exploring the set– but the truth is, just put this one out on the family coffee table and see what everyone builds.  For a full review of the new Wedgits line, visit www.toyportfolio.com.

Pick of the Day: Sassy's Pop n' Push Car

Sassy Pop n' Push Car

Sassy Pop n' Push Car

Finding vehicles that are fun for older babies and toddlers that are SAFE can be rough going.  Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars are fun for little hands, but the small parts make them a safety hazard for kids that still put toys in their mouths. We’ve all been there with our older toddlers…but this toy is really more about babies and toddlers.

Here’s what our testers LOVE about this one. It has a pull back mechanism that’s loads of fun, because it really takes off. This is a great toy for encouraging kids to move!  The pleasing poppin’ beads inside are much like the classic Fisher-Price Corn Popper AND the toy is $6!

For a full review, visit www.toyportfolio.com

To watch the video, click here.