New #PlayTestShare Giveaway!

I am delighted to be hosting another round of #PlayTestShare, courtesy of the lovely and generous folks at Raincoast Books!

Open to Canadian residents, ages 18 and up, one lucky person will have the chance to win one of the amazing #PlayTestShare items below! I had the chance to play and test out the Ghost Story Box
 book as well as pore over the Star Wars Super Graphic
, so you will see some photos and get my thoughts on those two items. Read on for even more information about all the #PlayTestShare items on offer and how to enter the giveaway!

Ghost Story Box
Based on a unique and original format, this game contains 20 story-telling puzzle pieces printed on both sides. Each piece can be interchanged or flipped over to allow for all kinds of plot twists and turns, and there are even two alternative endings! When all the puzzle pieces are used, they stretch out to over 8-feet long to tell your own mega ghost story!

Perfect for Halloween- or any fans of adorably illustrated ghost stories!- the Ghost Story Box is a wonderfully unique take on a family-friendly puzzle. As per the description, the game contains twenty double-sided puzzle pieces, all of which can be used interchangeably. There are ‘start’ pieces and ‘end’ pieces, but however you put a story together is totally up to the player! This game is like a wordless picture book come to life in a fragmented puzzle format: there are multiple stories, multiple directions and so many intriguing, funny, or peculiar ways you can piece together a story! You can see from one of the images in the slideshow below how I started piecing together one storyline involving a young girl who accidentally sits on a ghost! This game makes for enjoyable family time, and if you have a child who likes creative, inventive play (and making up stories!), this is an awesome game to share and have fun with.

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Star Wars Super Graphic
Graphic-design guru Tim Leong presents STAR WARS trivia via playful pie charts, bar graphs, and other data-driven infographics. From a Venn diagram of Yoda’s idiosyncrasies to an organizational chart of the Empire to a line graph of Grand Moff Tarkin’s management decisions, STAR WARS SUPER GRAPHIC shines a new light on the much-adored universe. Equal parts playful and informative, this visual love letter to the vast STAR WARS universe will enchant fans of all ages.

Star Wars fans out there, this is a pick for you! The Star Wars Super Graphic is an infographic-based book that contains everything Star Wars. From bar graphs, pie charts, organizational charts to closer looks at characters (for example, what are R2-D2’s thoughts?), this is a very cool, funny, new and different kind of Star Wars book. I’ve read my share of Star Wars books (and we have a collection in our household!), and I don’t have anything quite like this. I must admit that I have a soft spot for infographic-based books and visually-based odes to various subjects (there’s something so aesthetically pleasing about this format to my librarian brain…), so, yes, I really adore this book! This is an unusual, fun, keepsake kind of book that would be perfect for a Star Wars fan.

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The rest of the terrific #PlayTestShare items:

Say Zoop!
The newest book from Herve Tullet magically responds with bursts of color and moving shapes, empowering children by letting their imaginations liberate and direct each page’s reaction. Tullet’s books define the genre of participatory bookmaking, encouraging readers to explore and interact with the physical book in all its dimensions. The reward is tremendous: a journey of whimsy and sheer fun that extends well beyond the book’s pages.

After Dinner Amusements: Family Time
This is a fun little twist on classic games and activities and offers easy amusement during family dinners, holiday gatherings and road trips! This miniature deck of cards features fifty thoughtful and playful questions about the past, present, and future – a great way for family members to connect and learn new things about one another.

Animal Friends on Parade Puzzle
From a gorilla in a party hat to a hedgehog rat-a-tat-tatting on his drum, these animal friends from different habitats-the jungle, farm, woodland, and Arctic-know that togetherness is something to celebrate. Featuring twelve double-sided uniquely die-cut pieces by artist Junzo Terada, this fun puzzle offers (nearly) endless combinations, providing hours of entertainment.

Donner Dinner Party
Who’s safe when there are cannibals hiding among you? That’s the question at the heart of this fast-paced game of social deduction in which cannibals and pioneers face off in a fight for survival. Set in the winter of 1846, players are members of the ill-fated Donner Party wagon train, stranded atop a mountain with no food. Rowdy, outrageous, and full of deception, this party game packs a delightfully wicked twist!

Make and Move Mega: Dinosaurs
Press out, slot together and play with your very own T-Rex, Triceratops, Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Pteranodon. Created by talented paper artist and engineer Sato Hisao, each of these detailed 3D models comes with easy-to-follow assembly instructions. No scissors or glue required!

Travel Matching Game
Mix and match with this classic matching game, which includes 36 robust, jumbo-size cards featuring charming illustrations by Greg Pizzoli that will have kids ready to pack up their bags and explore the world! Children will adore pairing colorful images of suitcases, taxis, stop signs, and other classic travel imagery as they develop memory, concentration, and identification skills.

Royal Bingo
This majestically illustrated bingo game features portraits of 64 royal icons from around the world. Spot famous faces like William and Kate, or meet some less familiar figures such as the playboy prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein. Each royal is further brought to life in an accompanying booklet, which details their personalities, foibles, gaffes and romances. Who will reign supreme?

Giveaway Info:

The contest is open to Canadian residents only, and entrants must be aged 18 and up. The contest will run from September 20, 2017 to September 28, 2017. One winner will be randomly selected at the end of giveaway via Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to respond by emailing me at fabbookreviews[at]gmail[dot]com, confirming their name, their mailing address, and their ONE (1) giveaway prize pick. The winner has 48 hours to email me with their prize pick and Canadian mailing address, or another winner will be chosen.

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED- big thank you to everyone who entered!

The winner is… JENNIFER P.!

If I haven’t heard from the randomly drawn winner in 48 hours, I will select another winner.



Click here to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter!

I received copies of Ghost Story Box and Star Wars Super Graphic from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review and for the purposes of this giveaway. Thank you! Opinions and comments regarding the titles are my own. Prizes provided by Raincoast Books.


Back to School Giveaway with #PlayTestShare!

It’s back to school time!

I am delighted to be hosting a special Back to School Giveaway, courtesy of the lovely and generous folks at Raincoast Books!

Open to Canadian residents, ages 18 and up, one lucky person will have the chance to win TWO of the amazing #PlayTestShare items below! I had the pleasure of testing out and playing with To the Ocean Deep colouring book and Alain Grée Animal Matching Game, and I get to share my impressions- and some pictures- with you! Read on even more information about all the #PlayTestShare items on offer and how to enter the giveaway. You can also check out this fun post on the Raincoast Books blog to take a look at some more of the items!


Alain Grée Animals Matching Game
It’s an animal menagerie! Kids will delight in this classic matching game, featuring the timeless art of beloved French picture book illustrator Alain Grée. It’s the perfect opportunity to identify favorite animals, and to discover new ones. Large, sturdy cards are ideal for small hands, and the game play of discovering 18 different animals builds memory, concentration, and matching skills.

I don’t know what it is (perhaps the reassuring orderliness?), but since I was little, I have adored matching games. My little one (now a toddler) must clearly follow my lead as she was delighted by the beautiful artwork on the pieces of this matching game- “Oooh, what’s that?!”. Grée’s illustrations remind me a little bit of Richard Scarry’s work- there’s just something about that nostalgic coziness! This matching games is an absolute keeper. Sure to charm both adults and children, this is a straightforward game- easy to set up, easy to play- that makes learning about different kinds of animals so much fun. I just love this one and had a great time playing and looking at all of the various animals in the set!



To the Ocean Deep, illustrated by Sarah Yoon
Climb down to the depths of the ocean in this amazing fold-out coloring book, the longest in the world! Color an amazing tower, all the way from a boat bobbing in the waves, past sea dragons, mermaids, aqua robots, and sharks, to reach the deep ocean floor. Hours of fun for coloring enthusiasts of all ages.

Colouring book fans, this really is an epically-sized delight for you. Colouring books seem to have seriously infiltrated the market the last few years- even popular series like Sherlock and Doctor Who have their own series of colouring books! I have a few colouring books of my own, and as the ones I have personally chosen tend towards the slightly unusual or funny, I absolutely adore To The Ocean Deep. It is indeed fifteen feet in length when folded out, and the pages are fabulously detailed, filled with intricate designs. You could spend hours upon hours crafting and colouring (or spend hours just looking at the incredible details) to make something truly spectacular out of this colouring book. Very cool and unique!


Read on for more #PlayTestShare and how to enter the giveaway…

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Spring Break Fun and Giveaway! #PlayTestShare

Happy Spring Break!

I am delighted to be hosting a special Spring Break Fun giveaway, courtesy of the lovely and generous folks at Raincoast Books!

Open to Canadian residents, ages 18 and up, one lucky person will have the chance to win one of the amazing #PlayTestShare items below! I had the pleasure of playing with and testing out an interactive board book called ABC Word Play and a Flora and Friends Matching Game, and I get to share my impressions- and some pictures- with you! Read on even more information about all the #PlayTestShare items on offer and how to enter the giveaway.


ABCABC Word Play (Chronicle Books)
A hands-on alphabet extravaganza! The letters of the alphabet come to life in this bright, graphic, and delightfully interactive ABC novelty board book that pairs early learning with captivating play. Just punch out the oversize neon letters and assemble the simple words featured on each spread, or spell new words. It’s the perfect way to play, spell, and learn, from A to Z!

I had such a fun time trying out this bright and beautiful book! When my eighteen month old saw it she said (and I quote): WOWWWW! She proceeded to help me punch out all of the letters in the book and uttered another WOW at the end. Not only easy on hands and fingers (both big and little), but also meticulously and artfully crafted, this game was a real treat to test out. As you can see in a picture below, the pages with punch out letters, face a page full of suggested words to spell out.  Sturdy, engaging, vivid as well as educational and fun- a big thumbs up to the ABC Word Play game!






Flora and Friends Matching Game (Chronicle Books)
From the Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flamingo, and the two follow-up books, Flora and the Penguin and Flora and the Peacocks, this classic memory game stars Flora and her feathered friends! Delightful storytelling and artwork from Molly Idle celebrate the joy of friendship, all while building memory, concentration, and matching skills.

Bookish confession time here: I am a huge fan of Molly Idle’s picture books and thus a huge fan of her artwork. When I saw that there was a matching game for kids with Flora illustrations…Well, to borrow from Friends funnyman Chandler Bing, could things BE any better? Let me tell you, this matching game lived up to my expectations. With larger-size playing cards than I have seen in the majority of matching games, Idle’s magnificent artwork of Flora and her animal friends just glows. My daughter toddled over to take a look and was immediately fixated on the drawings. Another WOOWWWW was uttered! A special treat for lovers of Idle’s books and art, and a treat for anyone looking for a stand-out and stylish matching game, the Flora and Friends Matching Game is aces.





Read on for more #PlayTestShare and how to enter the giveaway…

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