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I bought the Winnie the Pooh slide n learn storybook for my little cousin some years ago. Now that I have my own children, the book has found its way into their toy box. I feel a bit like my cousins parents are getting their revenge!
What is it? This is a hard plastic storybook, 8 pages long, featuring Winnie the pooh and his friends. Each page has some sort of slider or twister which activates sounds such as a buzzing bee or one of the characters speaking. There is also a button in the shape of poohs face which sets off a short song. The book is around 20 cm high and takes 2 small batteries. The toy is made by vtech as part of a wider range of slide n learn books but this one seems to be difficult to get hold of at the moment. It is aimed at up to 12 months.
Positives: the book is bright and fun and very appealing to babies and toddlers. It is also very easy for them to operate the sliders and buttons and turn the pages which gives them great satisfaction at doing it all by themselves. My children found the sounds captivating and have had lots of play from it even past the 12 months recommended age range. Given the amount of use it has had, I should also note here that it is very robust and has remained in good condition.
Negatives: this is one of the most annoying toys in our house. The sounds are too loud and sometimes it appears to have a mind of its own, playing the same song at any opportunity. This gets very frustrating! The batteries also need to be replaced very regularly.
Summary: the children like it but I don't! I would hesitantly recommend for 6-18 months rather than the 0-12 months advertised age range.
My little boy is now almost 10 months old and has a surprisingly good attention span and is really starting to enjoy playing with toys, some of which he will happily sit and play with for quite a while. So I've been having a look around for different types of toys for his age group that he will enjoy interacting and playing with and that also may help his development.
I came across a few different types of these "Slide and Learn Storybooks" featuring many different types of characters and nursery rhymes and I thought they looked and sounded great. I particularly liked the look of the Winnie the Pooh one because of its bright colours and character faces on the front, I thought it would really be able to attract my sons attention, so I went ahead and bought that one from Amazon which at the time cost me £16.99 which is about the same as everywhere else for this toy.
The book is a hard plastic which is easy to wipe-clean every page if it gets dirty which I thought was good because books can get messy around babies! The book isn't so hard and heavy that my son couldn't play with it though, it only weights about 1.5 lbs so I wasn't worried about him hurting himself with it. The book has 6 different illustrated pages which have a few moving toggles and pictures that your baby can push up and down to cause them to make noise or burst into song.
At first my son did seem quite interested in the book and spent a few minutes or so turning a couple of the pages and I was quite optimistic that this could become a hit with him. But the book was quickly discarded to one side when my clever little boy realised that the book actually does very little! I was actually relieved when he did stop playing with it because the songs or should I say SONG is so annoying and repetitive. Over and over again Winnie the Pooh will sing "A Funny, Honey Storybook is such a Wonderful place to look, we'll Play and Learn with all our Friends and hope the Fun will never end!" literally everytime a page is turned or the book is even touched, Pooh starts singing this song and for a parent to listen to it is really irritating. Even with 2 Volume options to choose from, it is still quite loud!
The age reccomendation for this toy states that it can be used between 3-36 months which I thought was quite a wide reccomendation and I can safely say that I highly doubt a 3 month old baby would be interested in this! Very occasionaly my son will pick up the book and spend 10 seconds or so looking at it, but that is about all the appeal it has to him. The price of £16.99 that I paid for it I think is very poor value for money considering you can get fantastic toys for the same price that have endless amounts of features and interactions and that actually have educational value. It also require 2 x AA Batteries which is another expense for a very boring toy.
Sadly, I wouldn't reccomend this toy simple because it is so boring and the sound is extremely annoying. The only good thing about it is the nice illustrations and brightly coloured characters.