Friday, January 20, 2012

Uglydolls... They're Cuddly, They're Expressive, and Now They're Immortalized in Literature

Who says Uglydolls aren't educational?  Okay, so they're plush and don't do a whole lot other than look cool and double as a nice little pillow, but they've each got their own background and definitely emphasize individuality and friendship in their biographies located on their tags.  To add onto that, they also now have a series of books out designed to be educational and fun, and guess what?  That's right.... we've got them here at Landis' Labyrinth! We've had them in for probably about two months now, but we tend to forget about them since we don't offer too many books for sale and books in general are difficult to sell.  Not because they aren't great, but like boardgames, it's hard to know which one to get unless you know it already.  Thankfully, now that the rush of the holidays is over, we can sit back, relax, and catch up on some reading.  However, we know that most of you don't have the chance to do that while on the prowl for the perfect gift, so here's a bit of a review of the books so that you'll know what's what when you come in:

The Uglydoll Ugly Guides-  This is a series of (currently) four books that teach you the etiquette of the finer things in life, such as eating out or what do do when things do go quite to plan.  Being Uglydolls, naturally they make these lessons far more fun than Emily Post.  They even cover the all-important "Who pays for the meal?" question in the eating out book.  These books are truly fantastic at making kids aware of their manners and actions, but they make it fun and put the focus on the Uglydolls' interactions with each other.  I'd say the books are ideal for 5+ years, but you can certainly start reading them to your children around 3ish.  The illustrations are colorful and quite intricate... lots to look at and take in and great as a re-read as well.

The Uglydoll Ugly Boards-  Available in three separate books, these board books are meant for the youngest of Uglydoll fans (and believe me, they start early).  There is a numbers book, a colors book, and an ABC book.  But they aren't your regular B is for Ball kind of book.  In the ABC book, the left-side page has two letters on it with illustrations accompanying the noun, adjective, or verb.  Yes, they use verbs in this one, and for good reason.  The two letters on the left pair together to make the third letter on the right-side page a result of the first two letters.  Confused?  I'm not surprised.  Here's an example.... A is for Apple.  B is for Bargain.  C is for Checkup (because you ate too many apples after buying too many in the sale).  Get it now?  These are not your traditional early learning books.  They are definitely more complex, and while I wouldn't rely on them solely to teach these lessons, they're a fun accompaniment to add to the mix.  They're the kind of book that you can introduce young, and then as the kids get older, they pull it out from time to time and laugh at the jokes they didn't understand when they were toddlers.  And besides, it makes reading to them a lot of fun.  Again, great illustrations that will capture their attention.

And lastly, What Dat?  The Great Big Uglydoll Book of Things To Look At, Search For, Point To, And Wonder About-  This book gives hours of entertainment (and learning).  It's just like the title indicates;  It's all about the things you may see in regular, everyday places, like your bathroom, the beach, the store, etc.  They cover the basic items as well as a few less-seen items, like potpourri in the bathroom, or tabi socks in the bedroom (those are the split-toe socks from Japan).  To give you fair warning, they do feature a VCR in the bedroom, which will no doubt bring up the question, "What IS that?", followed by, "Why didn't you just use the DVD player?", followed by, "Wow, that's sad.".  I still have my VCR, and get made fun of for it relentlessly by my peers, so I can only imagine what a child would say.   This is the kind of book that will bring up loads of questions, so be prepared!  It's a

 lot of fun to look through, and I'd say this is a 4 years and up book.  Your children will have a most excellent vocabulary by the end of it.

And that's your lesson today.  We do have a few other titles from Uglydoll, but we need to maintain some sense of mystery here.  Have a great weekend everybody, and stop on in and check these books out.  We'll be here, the books will be here (unless someone is really easily influenced by this post and decides to buy them all), so we just need you!

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