Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Gift Reviews: Books, Music, DVDs

It's that time of year again, when I start researching for Christmas gifts. I'm always curious to know what other parents are buying for their children. I read countless reviews on toys that I'm considering to buy because I want to know the pros and cons for each toy. The best way to really discover a toy is to ask other parents and children too. I would love to know what your children favorite toys are. So, each week, I will have a different category to review. Click here for the category list and dates. Please feel free to share your views about toys in each category too.

This week's theme is Books, Music, and DVD's.

Current favorite book in our house: How To Build An A by Sara Midda.

Izzie is obsessed with letters! She really enjoys identifying letters throughout the day. I wanted to encourage her love of letters, so I decided to have her trace letters on paper, but she doesn't have the dexterity to really manipulate a pencil. Then, I had her trace letters in sand and again, she was unable to copy the letters. Fortunately, I read a lot of blogs and I kept seeing this book, How To Build An A, popping up with great reviews. Izzie received this book for her birthday two months ago and still enjoys creating letters everyday!

Pros: Perfect way to teach children how to construct letters, foam pieces are large and sturdy, great illustrations, and comes with a mesh bag for the foam pieces.

Cons: Izzie is a perfectionist and sometimes will get annoyed because the foam pieces don't fit together perfectly, it comes with a small circle that is not found anywhere in the book, and only capital letters are represented.

Favorite Music: The Laurie Berkner Band

We absolutely love The Laurie Berkner Band! Izzie was first introduced to Laurie Berkner by watching Noggin. Every time Izzie hears their music, she begins dancing out of control and even Mac has begun dancing too. Okay, I admit, I can be in another room and hear The Laurie Berkner Band come on and run to the living room to dance too! We know all the words to all the songs, yes, I did say "we".

Pros: Great songs with clever wording and a catchy beat.

Cons: None

As many of you know, Izzie has a speech delay. I started doing research on videos and discovered that many speech therapists, educators, and parents were highly recommending this amazing video, Letter Factory. It is truly a work of magic! Within a few days, after watching this video, Izzie knew the sounds of all the letters and within a week, she could recite the entire alphabet. In addition, now that she knows the sounds of the letters, it actually helps during speech therapy.

Pros: The DVD teaches the letter names, letter sounds, and each letter/sound is paired with a visual aid and a catchy tune.

Cons: None

Disclaimer: I did not contact or receive any products from the above companies. These are my opinions, which may vary from your experience with these products.


  1. I haven't had time to write a post for this. However, our favorite dvds are the Signing Time dvds. They integrate music with the signing and my 26 month old loves seeing all the children signing.

  2. I just got How to Build an A for my guy for Christmas. I am almost to excited to wait.

  3. We are addicted to Laurie Berkner, too. Rocketship Run has some great songs on it and I like how the treasure hunt song repeats throughout.


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