As you all know, I love reviewing kids books and kids toys on here. With having a 4 year old and a 1 year old, I have great product testers, and I really get to see how products hold up. That being said, at my house, we have been playing with the Nana Star books and plushies, and we have a winner at my house.
Before I go to far into the books, I need to give you a little background on how Nana Star came about (and I got a little teary-eyed myself when I found this all out). The authors of this series of books are Elizabeth Sills and Elena Patrice. The illustrator is Linda Saker. The original creator of Nana Star is Elizabeth Owens (Elizabeth and Elena's grandmother and Linda's mother). She had a grandson named Vance that she made up Moonman and Nana Star for. When he moved away, she often sent him hand made cards with her characters, so he always knew she was with him. Unfortunately, Vance now “dances with the stars”, but she has allowed us into her fantasy world, so our children can have that sense of belonging too.
The first thing I have to do is warn you. You need to read the Nana Star book first. Trust me, it all makes more sense if you do (**blush** won't tell you how I figured that out). This is a truly entertaining book. Not only can I read it to my kids, there is a CD that comes with it. When you listen to the CD, make sure you get comfortable. They have really awesome background music behind the narrator. There is also an additional song on there. Madison was singing along after the first time listening to the songs.
The other really cool thing that they do with these books is that they have a Nana Star's Little Twinkles Club. On purpose, they have a spellling mistake in the book. You are able to write them and tell them what the mistake was, and you can then join the Twinkles Club! This is such a cute idea to engage their little readers.
The second book we read and listened to was Nana Star and the Moonman. Now, in the first book, we learned that a little star fell out of the sky was looking for her Nana. Now, the second book is the start of the journey the little girl (Nana Star) takes to help the little star get home (aff). I truly can see this being an awesome series of books. As an adult, I'm wondering what happens next. The other nice thing is that the CDs that come with the books are held by a pocket that is attached to the book. You don't have to worry about losing the CDs.
Now, I highly recommend these books. Madison was engaged with them. The thing I noticed and loved about the books themselves (besides the CD pocket) was that the paper is a thicker paper. It does not rip easily which is a huge problem normally in my house. You also get a bookmark with each book. Amazingly, we don't actually own any bookmarks, so it is a welcome addition in our house. I also like that I am not the only one who thinks these products are great. They have gotten numerous awards including Mr. Dad Seal of Approval and Great Dad Recommends Awards, Nominated by Mom's Choice Award® for Most Inspirational Story, and iParenting Media Award for Excellent Products of 2007.
Not only did we try out the books, we even had some fun with the plushies that they offer. Now, I'll be honest, I didn't quite know what to expect. I really am not good with measurements and figuring out how big things really are. However, this Moonman was quite a bit larger than I expected!
Now, if you push on Moonman's belly, his head lights up and it plays a lullaby (which you can kinda tell with my picture of Will and Moonman). Will likes walking around with him (and let me add that is kissing him not biting him in the second picture!).
Now, this Nana Star plushy is a huge hit with both kids. Its cute, easy to carry, and even has bloomers on under the skirt (yes, I checked). Madison immediately made the connection between the doll and the books. She talks about Nana Star quite often now. You can also tell that this is not a small doll either.
If you need a great children's gift, this is the way to go. The books are for 3 (aff)-7 years olds and they have such a postivie message. In some of the books to come, they will learn about good manners and courtesy, friendship and fun, and giving and sharing just to name a few. Now, if you'd like to win a copy of these books and plushies for yourself, they are running an awesome contest. All you need to do is comment on their Got Lemons post and tell a story about how you turned lemons into lemonade. The best story they get by July 7th will win you a copy of the books and they will also donate a copy of the books to your favorite school, childcare center, library, children’s hospital, or doctor’s office. How awesome is that?