What to get a small baby in the way of presents can be tricky. My niece at six months old is beginning to take an interest in what's going on around her now and I wanted to treat her to a present as she's going through a troublesome teething stage and I had some Boots vouchers handy. Rather than the usual rattles (all lovely but she already owns several) and teething toys and noisy things I chanced upon some soft toys including a Tigger and Eeyore. Wibbly might not be from Hundred Acre Woods, but he's larger than life and ... pink.
~ Would the real Wibbly Pig please step forward ~
This is a very fluffy hand puppet with lovely soft velour for fur. My niece at nearly seven months is too young to watch the cbeebies television show (yes Wibbly has his own show apparently though I've never watched it) but I thought this puppet would be a wonderful introduction to the Mike Inkpen books that he is the star of.
~ Room for a small one ~
My hands might be fairly dainty but even a man with hands like shovels would probably find this is a good size puppet and has plenty of room if ever they care to buy it. The inside is filled with polyester fibre which feels very soft when I'm wearing - if that's the right word - this. I occasionally get eczema on my hands and so far it hasn't been irritated by Wibbly.
~ Is it Bedtime Wibbly Pig? ~
If this is intended for a child who will be smart enough to compare and contrast Wibbly's books with this puppet then be warned... unlike Wibbly in Inkpen's book, this puppet obviously has no toes to dry before going to bed. I have a sneaking suspicion my niece is smarter than me, and if we should ever have that exchange I shall hope that Wibbly's big floppy ears and cute face will divert her attention long enough to make up for the lack of any tootsies.
~ Wibbly Pig can dance ~
Okay, there's only so many shapes I can throw with this puppet, but that doesn't matter. This puppet is stated to be suitable from 6 months onwards, though as most of the work is done by the person holding Wibbly and not the baby I can't see why it's not suitable from birth. There are no pieces that can be pulled off or present a choking hazard, and the worst than could happen is Wibbly will become dribbly having been drooled on and possibly nibbled.
This is a nice means of having some interactive play with my niece at this stage of her development, especially if she's in the mood for being tickled by a pink furry pig with a cute smile. As she gets older and can understand the books I'm hoping either myself or her mum or dad can use the puppet in conjunction with the books. That remains to be seen but for now this is one little piggy that won't be going to market.
I bought this from a Boots store for £13 which is why Ciao have included Boots in the title, probably my fault when I submitted the proposal. The manufacturer is Rainbow Designs who seem to specialise in ranges of toys which just about everyone will have heard of from The Gruffalo to Paddington Bear.
£13 might seem expensive, but I can see us using this with my niece for hopefully the next couple of years. The materials they have used are good quality and I've no reason to think it won't last that long.
* * * A fairytale * * *
Wibbly and his friends have now started their own boy band, in honour of Madonna, after watching her Vogue video. Called the Piggy Vogues (or Pogues for short), they are currently filming their new single A Fairytale in New Pork. Watch this space.
* * *