Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mo' 'Gain NuhNight Bears (A Review)

Miss I and ds alike were thrilled when they realized that books had come in the mail. Books in boxes are the favorite parcel of all members of the Bloom household, and without even knowing yet who the package from Brighter Minds Media was for, the two smallest Blooms were diving in.

Miss I immediately recognized that the Care Bears Lullaby Nightlight Book was for her, even though she has no familiarity with the characters (we're a TiVoed PBS-only family, so far as my kids know), characters whom I recognized from my own childhood. But the friendly bears and the embedded nightlight made her eyes light up. She quickly discovered how easily she could turn on the light herself, an added delight. Dh started the cd that comes tucked in the book, and by the end of the book and three minute lullaby Miss I was entranced. "Mo' 'gain," she insisted. I listened as Dh indulged, rereading the few rhyming pages, as she repeated the sound effects: "gulp, gulp, gulp." He did not restart the cd, and she didn't complain (so while the song was very sweet and soothing, it may not have added much to her experience -- perhaps if it repeated, or continued with an instrumental version it might add more value for her). She asked for the book again for bedtime last night.

The embedded nightlight (which stays on for five minutes) is neat, and a vast improvement over books with sound chips (which can drive a mother crazy). The battery can be changed by a grown-up, so the book can stay in long use.

A few things I noticed in her use of the book: She very closely associates it with "Nuh-Night" and hasn't shown an interest in it outside of bedtime, but is very interested in it then (which we can contrast with her Christmas in July! in February! Redeployment of all musical Christmas books at all times) and would love to keep it with her once we've finished reading and tucked her in. But as the mother of two near-insomniacs and insomniac myself, I do wish the light glowed cool blue rather than warm yellow, as cool light promotes night-time sleep, while warm light, even as soft and dim as this, can be rousing.

Still, that a little girl who didn't even know who the Care Bears were before and owns a million books wants the "bear book mo' 'gain," seems a happy endorsement. (I read this outloud and she added, commercial ready, "I Yike It!" I think her aunt - herself a childhood Care Bears fanatic - and her cousin, more apt to recognize the characters, will yike it even more).

Little Bun was not forgotten, and he really enjoyed the The Marvel Heroes Mix & Match Storybook Brighter Minds's Lauren sent along. The book has five independently flipping panels to construct varying sentences with different villains, threats and heroes. An example: Magneto aimed the mutant evolution ray and it froze traffic but it as suddenly destroyed -- because it ran into the invisible woman's force field!" could just has easily been "at the White House" destroyed "by the Hulk's giant green fists!" His appraisal: "It's cool and I don't even watch Teen Titans." His self-directed project: Copying over the sentences he'd created onto blank paper to "keep them." Dh Yiked It! even better than little bun did. Little bun is a committed reader, so he had fun with it, but I imagine its best use would be capturing the imagination of a reluctant reader and encouraging his literacy skills.

No comments: