Thursday, August 16, 2012

Abigail the Story Bunny: Review and Giveaway

Stories are my 3 year old's grand obsession at the moment; it's hardly surprising, given how book-nerdy our entire family is. Apples, trees, and all that :-)

She loves to be read to, and she loves stories with a degree of interactivity. She's also been watching with growing irritation as a steady stream of parcels have arrived in the mail for 9 year old A (due to her birthday) and 7 year old E, who's been lucky enough to be sent several things recently for various purposes.

So when we were offered the opportunity to review Hallmark's interactive book toy, Abigail the Story Bunny, I said yes rather fast, as it featured a book, included a cuddly-looking bunny rabbit, and would come in a parcel! by the post! for C!

C's delight at receiving the parcel was only outstripped by her squeals of pleasure at the cute (and it is reeeeally cute) soft bunny, and her discovery that the storybook, Abigail and the Balance Beam, was about gymnastics, C's very own sport. The story is a pretty sweet one and certainly one C relates to; she's asked for it more than daily ever since we got it.

The basic concept of the Abigail package - of all the story buddy range, really - is that when you read the storybook that comes with the toy, the toy is programmed to contribute phrases and exclamations at particular narrative points. It mostly works like this, but, we have discovered to our amusement, not always.

This makes the story-reading experience rather excitingly random, as Abigail seems to struggle sometimes to understand Australian accents, and so remains silent when she is suppposed to speak, and chips in with observations unexpectedly at other times. My older girls have amused themselves to no end sitting in front of Abigail spouting random phrases to see which are similar enough to the key sentences in the book to provoke a response. ("Hey, it's an experiment in robotics!" protested the 9 year old when told her to knock it off :-)

This is not the first time we've had a talking toy, but I would say that it's probably the cutest and most useable such toy. C adores Abigail and her storybook and I think most preschoolers would too; it's just such good fun for the pre-reading crowd.

As well as being sent our own Abigail, we have been offered one to give away to a blog reader. If you're interested in winning one of these little cuties, just read the competition details below and give it a go!

Competition
If you'd like to win an Abigail, please leave a comment below telling me what your favourite preschool book is at the moment, and why. The most creative answer (as judged by me) will be the winner.

Terms:
1. Competition only open to Australian residents.
2. Entries close at 5pm on Thursday 23 August. No late entries will be accepted.
3. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
4. Winner will be announced on the blog on Friday 24 August. It is your responsibility to check back to see if you have won and email me at kathypllrd248 AT gmail.com with your postal address details.
5. If the winner has not contacted me within three (3) days of the announcement, an alternative winner will be selected and announced.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided with one Abigail the Story Bunny pack for review purposes by Communicado on behalf of Hallmark. No financial incentive was offered or accepted for this post, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.

11 comments:

  1. It's Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr. It's got bright colours, simple wording, cute pictures, and goes from the serious - It's okay to be in a wheelchair, to the silly - It's okay to have a pet worm. A lovely, funny way to teach your child about differences and acceptance.

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    1. Oh that sounds like a brilliant book. About to do an online book order tonight and I might sneak that one in for my 3year old :-)

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  2. I'd feel very ungracious to enter, since I'm still so very appreciative of the Cars pack we won earlier on this blog (the DVD is awesome, but the thing that I love, love, love is the Tool Kit that came with it!) (thank you!)

    However, I can't not mention (!) "A Bus Called Heaven" by Bob Graham, since this won the Children's Book Council of Australia's "Picture Book of the Year" today at lunchtime. Haven't read it yet, but I'm sure it will be on our list.

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    1. Oh goodness yes, I saw that had won and we love Bob Graham around here :-)

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  3. Kim m galwayst@hotmail.comAugust 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    My son's absolute favouite book ias "Hooper Humperdink, not him!", it's an old Dr Suess book when he was still writing under the namd of Theo Leseig, I think that's how you spell it. It is just such a great book and makes him really happy when I read it!

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    1. We absolutely love Dr Seuss around here! I reckon my 3yo's favourites are probably Go Dog Go and One Fish Two Fish. But they're all good :-)

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    2. Kim m galwayst@hotmail.comAugust 23, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      I love both those books and luckily, so do my kids. I especially love in Go Dogs Go, when the dogs have their party on top of the tree, I'm pretty sure we had this book when I was a kid too, but that was a long time and many sleepless nights ago!

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  4. We love "A New Years Reunion" by Yu Li Qiong and illustrated by Zhu Cheng Liang. My 3 year old daughter now wants to know when will we have sticky rice balls to celebrate Chinese New Year. It's a bit sad too.

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    1. Oh that sounds fascinating. *scribbles on library search list*

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  5. My 3.5yo is loving 'We're Going On A Bear Hunt', an oldie but a goodies. I like the repetitiveness in it & my son loves that he can read to mummy :-) Also, my son needs speech therapy & we can practice some articulation without him realising.

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    1. Oh we LOVE that book! When my big kids were little we used to play it as a game in the backyard and how they did adore it :-)

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