* Prices may differ from that shown
I picked this up in Asda last year some time for £5. My daughter has another 2 of these busy books and had recently become interested in Hello Kitty.
The book is more like a box than a book. It consists of 5 pages then at the back are 3 sections which include a large playmat and 6 figurines in each smaller section. The book as with most Kitty items is pink. It is a board book which makes it ideal for younger children as it can be wiped clean and isn t easy to damage. The book is recommended for 3 years of age and over. I did give this to my daughter at 2 she isn't one for eating toys so I had no concerns allowing her to have this.
I have to admit I didn't bother looking at the story in store and I just bought it mainly for the figures that are included. When we got home we sat down and had a look at the story which I read to my daughter. Each page has a paragraph on it and in all honesty it is so wordy my 2 year old lost interest immediately. Normally she likes books but sage wasn't thrilled with this. The illustrations are nice though. The book is all about Kitty and her friends and family. One thing I did notice is the book is clearly American as the word colour is misspelt several times.
The best part of the book is the play at which is quite large and is in the style of a house with different rooms. The figures that you get are a nice size and it consists of Kitty her sister Mimi and some other characters I had never heard of. There is also a tiny mouse which we have managed to lose several times already. The figures however are good quality and they are nicely coloured. My daughter was more interested in playing house on the mat than looking at the book.
Once you have finished playing you can simply put the pieces back in the book and it goes nicely on the shelf with other books.
All in all this is OK for the money, I certainly wouldn't pay more than £5 for it as it is hardly used. I much prefer the Disney version we have as does my daughter. I would rate this 3 out of 5.
== Hello Kitty Busy Book ==
Hello Kitty is a fictional cat produced by the Japanese company Sanrio. She has been around since 1974 and perhaps that explains how lots of girls know her and love her despite there not being a t.v program about her , or the constant bombardment of adverts like some other toys . My daughter has been a Hello Kitty fan since she was about 3 , I'm sure like most other girls she was drawn to the colours and the simplicity of her, the fact she is a cute kitty makes her even better , so no wonder she's worth $5 billion a year !
Being such a global hit you can buy just about anything with Hello Kitty on. This busy book has the R.R.P. of £9.99, but I was lucky enough to pick it up for £6.99 in The Works Bookshop.
== Busy Book ==
So what is a busy book ? well it's a book and play set all in one . The front reads like a normal book , but there is a boxed compartment at the back that contains the play set.
The book measures 20 cms wide, 25 long, and has a width of 4 cms. It is extremely strong and made out of a thick cardboard with a shiny coating .
The book is made up of 10 hardback pages , making 5 double pages . The story is on one side with full colour background and the picture continues onto the other page. The pictures are all nice and bright and colourful in a simple cartoon style .
The story is all about Hello Kitty and her family and friends ,
On the 1st page she is with her twin sister Mimmy ,baking with her Mama in the kitchen , when her Papa comes home .
On the 2nd page they have invited there friends over for a party , Jodie, Thomas, and Fifi.
The 3rd page is set in the art room with Grandpa giving Hello Kitty a painting lesson.
Page 4 introduces Grandma , with Hello Kitty helping in the garden .
The book ends introducing 2 more friends , Tippy and Tracy as they bike it over to Hello Kitty's house.
== The Play Set ==
The play set consists of a large playing mat , this folds up and sits in the back of the box , but when opened it's a huge 91 cms by 60 cms . Its a good strong plastic and split into 4 different rooms . The rooms are based on the front room, the bedroom, the art room, and the kitchen and are all the same as the ones shown in the book .
Also with the set come 12 small plastic characters , all of which are about 4-5 cms high except Joey the mouse who is tiny 1 1/2 cms .
The figures all fit into the back of the box and there is a clear plastic cover that fits over the top to keep it all in place . This is a bit of a pain and something an adult will need to do, as if it is not in properly it won't stay in and it is a little tricky getting it tucked in around the edge.
== The Figures ==
The 12 figures consist of all the characters you have met in the book .
And friends , Jodie, Thomas, Tippy, Tracy, FiFi and Joey [ who doesn't get a mention in the story but is seen in the picture]
The figures are great quality and look exactly how they should with all the correct detail . They are very similar to the small figures you often see in foil packs for £1 - £2 , so to receive 12 of them in the pack is fantastic value for the figures alone and no doubles .
== In Play ==
The book is a nice story and my daughter can read it independently ,she will read it along with re-enacting the story with the figures , but mostly this is used for the play set. The mat is big enough to fill up with lots of figures and my daughter adds old peppa pig furniture to the set and her other Hello Kitty houses , and of course her Lalaloopsy mini's often visit Hello Kitty for the day .
Even at at the full price this set is excellent value for money, and ours is still in perfect condition , although the clear cover for the box is a little battered that has more to do with me trying to shove it on , and doesn't take away anything from this fabulous set.
I have since purchased 2 more sets as gifts and both were very well received, with both mums commenting on how lovely they were.
5 out of 5.
A little extra tip , at Christmas I bought the Disney Princess version of this , and put the characters in her advert calendar every other day and then gave her the book with mat on Christmas Eve. It was perfect , she loved it , it made a change from sweets and the play set kept her occupied on Christmas Eve when they excitement was all getting a little too much.
My daughter was bought this set for Christmas and as we are all big fans of Hello Kitty in our house it is fair to say it has been played with a lot since then! The set is suitable for 3+ children and it does have a lot of small parts so it's one we are going to have to keep out of reach of the baby when she starts crawling as it's everything in the mouth at the moment!
The set is much better than it looks on the picture above in that it is a book and a play set. There are some thick cardboard pages at the front which tell the story and then really it is a box set with a concealed compartment at the back holding 12 miniature HK plastic toys and a plastic play mat featuring a sort of giant dolls house with rooms in it so you can play with your toys on it. The set is all official and Sanrio branded and really nice quality as you would expect from a licenced product.
My daughter loves this set, she's a bit fidgety if we try and read the story, which is also a total tong twister with al the "m" words in it as the character are Mimmy and Mama and Papa but you also get to meet their friends Jodi and Thomas, Tippy, Tracy and Fifi, and Grandpa and Grandma. It's nice that the book covers all the characters as I now know their names when we play with the characters and we also have lots of iron on patches from the HK family so I can name them all now too!
I think the favourite part for her is the plastic play mat which is a bit like a simple dolls house. You can use
the rooms to role play and do simple things like washing and bedtime if you are struggling with your child. I love the way the whole set fits neatly into the box (which is sturdy and doesn't break easily) and it fits on to our bookshelf tidily when not in play. I do seem to find the little plastic characters all over the place though and the favourite storage place for them seems to be in the cup holder in the booster seat at the moment - better than on the stairs though!
I think my MIL paid around £10 for this set, it seems to be the going price online although she may have picked it up cheaper in store somewhere as she is great at finding bargains.
This set is lovely quality and has provided us with hours of play so far. The characters are cute and fun to play with and I do like the box style storage facility so think this is one I can happily recommend to all HK fans out there.
My daughter recently discovered Hello Kitty and is now really keen on her. It makes a nice change from Peppa Pig so I'm not complaining - yet... A friend had bought this for her own daughter and when I saw it I thought it was a fantastic idea and bought one for my daughter as well. She was given it just after her third birthday.
---About Hello Kitty:
Hello Kitty is a Japanese creation of a little white kitten who has appeared in animations and is added to a variety of products. There are several different incarnations of Hello Kitty and she appeals to young children, teeneagers and adults. Hello Kitty has a twin sister Mimmy and lives with her parents. She has various adventures and diffferent friends who join her.
---About the product:
The Hello Kitty Busy Book is a board book about Hello Kitty which comes with a section at the back holding a large plastic folded playmat and 12 little figures. The book tells different small stories about what Hello Kitty and her friends and family are doing which correspond with the rooms shown on the mat and the characters in the box. The characters in the box are Kitty and her sister, her parents, grandparents, a mouse and what look like a squirrel, a sheep and three assorted bears. The characters (excluding the mouse) are about .75-1 inch high and the mouse is about .25 of an inch. They are all made out of plastic and are quite lightweight with good level of colourful details on each. They resemble the characters in the book very well. The playmat is approx 80cm x 65cm when unfolded but folds up to approx 20cm x 15cm to fit in the back of the book.
I was really impressed with this book after seeing it at my friends house as I thought it was really good value for money as the set only cost me £5. My daughter was a little unsure what to make of the book when she first got it, but was soon interested in taking out all the small figures to play with them. She was excited by the playmat and she soon discovered that they represnted different rooms which there were stories about in the book.
She has had the book now for 4 months and continues to play with it on a regular basis. She regularly plays with the characters outside of the playmat and enjoys doing role play and imaginative play with them. They are small enough for her to put them in a little bag and take them out with her and she can use them in her dolls house as well. At the moment she is not too interested in the book although we have read it a couple of times. It does allow your child to act out the stories in the book using the charcters and the mat, but at present my daughter is happy making up some of her own.
I would highly recommend this book for any Hello Kitty fans. The book is suitable for children over the age of three because of the small characters in the book. The mouse especially is very small and I would not want to give this to a young child as it could easily be swallowed. If you can get this book for £5 (I got mine from Sainsburys) then it is well worth it. The Hello Kitty toys on their own cost a lot more than this and as it includes the book and then playmat, it is very good value.