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January 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 1
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TDmonthly Seal of Approval - Books & Music


See the TDmonthly Seal of Approval winners for the Books / Musical Toys category below:

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MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 3 to 12
Specialty: No
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 605
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Drop Ship



Little rock stars will take center stage playing Schoenhut's “next generation” guitar. Schoenhut's innovative design incorporating a molded composite body with dual curves greatly enhances sound and durability. The birch soundboard which offers excellent tone and resonance, hardwood neck (for rigidity), and molded composite fretboard ensure proper height and spacing of the frets. Six steel strings permit a wide range of rich sounds. Available in several vibrant designs. Includes: Pick and Extra String. Launch date: January 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35560      (added 11/16/2012)
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MSRP: $16.95
Age Range: 3 to 7
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



No one believes Larf exists, and he likes it that way. Larf, you see, is a sasquatch, the only sasquatch in the world (or so it seems). He has a very pleasant, and very private, life in the woods, where on any given day he might be found jogging, gardening or walking Eric, his pet bunny. But everything changes one morning when Larf discovers that another sasquatch is scheduled to make an appearance in the nearby city of Hunderfitz. What?! That must mean he's not the only sasquatch in the world! Excited by the prospect of having a friend to share hair grooming tips with (and let's face it, teeter-tottering alone is no fun), Larf disguises himself as a city slicker and heads for Hunderfitz — where he's in for a couple enormous surprises. Ashley Spires once again shows her chops for creating irresistible, quirky characters and laugh-aloud stories and illustrations. Readers with little feet and big feet will fall head over heels for Larf. Launch date: Spring 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33911      (added 3/15/2012)
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MSRP: $6.99
Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls--one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. No matter where their roller skates take them, at the end of the day they will always be the very best of friends. Full of quick-witted repartee, this brainchild of Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and award-winning author Alison McGhee is a hilarious ode to exuberance and camaraderie, imagination and adventure, brought to life through the delightfully kinetic images of Tony Fucile. Launch date: April 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34198      (added 5/11/2012)
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Make Clay Charms features simple step-by-steps for more than 30 different designs — cute fruit, adorable animals, sweet treats, and tons more. Make your charms with the nine bright colors of clay, bake them, add shine (with our specially formulated glaze), and then attach your creations to the included bracelet.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that Make Clay Charms from Klutz is the store's best-selling activity kit.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35733      (added 12/10/2012)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 8 to 12
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Educational
Gifts



The story of Cleopatra’s life has captured the imagination of countless writers and artists for centuries. As one of history’s most enduring figures, much lore has obscured the real woman behind the myth. Was she a beautiful and heartless schemer who stopped at nothing to get what she wanted? Or was Cleopatra a tragic victim of her own heart? This next volume in the acclaimed Notebook series offers a fascinating look into the world of one of Egypt’s most notorious leaders. Featuring a fictional journal that invites us into Cleopatra’s inner world, this is an exquisite guide bursting with gorgeous illustrations and packed with fun interactive extras such as flaps featuring historical facts and pop culture references.This is a riveting volume rife with battles, passion, and even murderous intrigue — an exclusive look into the legendary queen’s dramatic life. Launch date: October 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35582      (added 11/20/2012)
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MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 3 to 10
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music



A “greatest hits” album comprised of 16 remixed tunes that John Boydston considers his “rockingest rockers” from six previous Daddy A Go Go CDs, Grandkid Rock cheerfully continues the Daddy A Go Go alterna-rock tradition of what Stomp & Stammer described as “upbeat, wildly entertaining rave-ups, sing-alongs and silly puns that have endeared the group to kids (and their parents) nationwide.” While Boydston’s most recent release, Come On, Get Happy, focused on softer songs for younger children, Grandkid Rock goes the other direction, rocking out for the bigger kids with lots of electric guitars, drums, driving rhythms and power chords.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34369      (added 5/30/2012)
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MSRP: $13.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



Love is in the air—but what does that mean for Greg Heffley? A Valentine's Day dance at Greg's middle school has turned his world upside down. As Greg scrambles to find a date, he's worried he'll be left out in the cold on the big night. His best friend, Rowley, doesn't have any prospects either, but that's a small consolation. An unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves Rowley the odd man out. But a lot can happen in one night, and in the end, you never know who's going to be lucky in love. Launch date: November 13, 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— As of 11/19/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 241 reviews on Amazon.com.
— In a Winter 2012 survey, half of retailers surveyed by TDmonthly said that the Diary of a Wimpy Kids series were their bestselling books.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35567      (added 11/19/2012)
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MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: No
Made in: United States
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Educational
Candy & Food



Packaged with a whisk and silicone baking cups, the Handstand Kids Baking Around the World Cookbook kit introduces children to the world of baking in a colorful, hardbound and illustrated book with new recipes from Arleen Scavone, two-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, and founder of the famous bakery, Sweet Arleen’s. This cookbook features PB&J Cupcakes, South African Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and Carrot Walnut Cupcakes, among others. Launch date: January 2008.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35065      (added 9/17/2012)
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MSRP: $14.98
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Gifts



A catchy melody and a rhyming lyric invite singing along, no matter what the language. The Putumayo Kids team searched worldwide for songs that are easy to sing along with. World Sing-Along includes familiar tunes like Jorge Anaya’s cumbia version of "La Cucaracha," and the Fiddler’s Green Bush Band’s sprightly arrangement of "Waltzing Matilda" as well as Father Goose’s Jamaican rendition of the American folk song "Jig Jog Jee." Top U.S. children’s music artist Dan Zanes is featured on that song as well as "Jamaican Farewell," which he performs with Anjelique Kidjo. As they sing along, kids will learn a little Portuguese with the greeting song, "Como Vai" (by Brazilian artist Hélio Ziskind, some Spanish with Jorge Conde y Ola Fresca, with their salsa tune "Pititi y Titi," and even "A Little Mandarin" with Shàng Xué Gē. Frances England and Asheba, are among the other familiar artists with songs featured on World Sing-Along.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35578      (added 11/20/2012)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music



Schoenhut's miniature version of a baby grand piano is designed to encourage a child to play and develop a love of music. Elegant in appearance with graceful spindle legs, yet extremely durable and sturdy, it makes a beautiful addition to any home. Lovely chime-like tones are produced by small hammers striking metal rods, the sound that makes Schoenhut toy pianos unique. The two-and one-half-octave span of full-width keys provides a good foundation for the transition to a larger model. Includes: Schoenhut's Learning System and bench.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34016      (added 3/29/2012)
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MSRP: $13.98
Age Range: All Ages
Specialty: No
Made in: United States
Gender: Girls
Category: Audio & CD
Christmas
Music



The first-ever Christmas album from kids' music superstar Laurie Berkner, featuring classic seasonal and Christmas songs as well as three original tracks. "The CD is set apart from other holiday albums for kids because Laurie Berkner is the biggest name in children's music in the country - dubbed 'The queen of children's music' by People Magazine and 'The undisputed queen of kindie rock'" by USA Today.  The reason she is the biggest name in kids' music is her appeal to parents, not just kids," Sarah Geist Rosen from SKG Publicity told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— As of 12/6/2012 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Features many Christmas classics; interesting vocal arrangements; enjoyable for kids and adults. Cons: One reviewer wished there were more original songs.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35317      (added 10/19/2012)
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MSRP: $14.00
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Preschool
Creative Activities



In the land of Blue Clouds, anything can happen. The clear and beautiful voice of children’s music favorite Elizabeth Mitchell weaves musical landscapes that “seem like a patchwork of memories we’ve always shared,” writes Caldecott Award – winning author Brian Selznick in the liner notes. The dreamlike illustrations of legendary artist Remy Charlip illuminate the magical narratives of these timeless songs. Mitchell’s extended family band, You Are My Flower, including daughter Storey and husband Daniel Littleton, embrace us with sound in a celebration of family, imagination and love. 16 tracks, 39 minutes, 32 page booklet. Launch date: October 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35131      (added 9/25/2012)
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MSRP: $15.00
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Preschool



These 14 songs are all about animals. Children’s musician Joanie Leeds belts it out with songs that are intended to make kids more interested in the well being of the animal kingdom.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval, 2011 Parents Magazine Top Children’s CD
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34370      (added 5/30/2012)
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MSRP: $13.98
Age Range: 0 to 10
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: United States
Gender: Girls
Category: Music
Pretend Play
Preschool



Princess Revolution! is a rocking girl-power concept album by NYC’s multiple award-winning Mommy Rocker, Moey. The songs on this 15-track CD feature subjects like sharing, body image and standing up to bullies while encouraging girls to celebrate their intelligence, confidence and style. The CD also includes musical re-tellings of Sleeping Beauty, The Princess and the Pea, and The Little Mermaid with new endings that provide an empowering twist. The album inspires girls to be helpful heroes who can slay their own dragons or wake themselves up with their own magical kiss. "Princess Revolution is not only 'sparkle-tacular' girly fun, it instills girls with a positive social message that makes them see themselves as confident leaders and achievers," Melissa Levis, president of Lemonade Productions LLC, told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval, 2012 Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products; 2012 Dr. Toy 10 Best Audio/DVD; 2012 Parent's Choice Gold Award
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34368      (added 5/30/2012)
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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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