Friday, October 29, 2010

Play All Day!

The sub-caption is A Really Giant Book of Punch-Out-and-Play Games, Toys, Finger Puppets, Boxes and More!  There's a reason they chose to print that on the front cover, because it's a very accurate description of what you'll find inside. Gosh, I love Taro Gomi.  He has proven himself the king of curbing boredom with his big books of Scribbles, Doodles, and Squiggles. This book takes a slightly different direction by making the play three-dimensional, though I can see how Punchies may not have been the best title. 

This isn't just a book of flat objects you punch out. These are three dimensional play things that really go the distance (hence the title ... Play All Day) after they have been removed. Drum up a game of Ring Toss with the stand up target and two sets of patterned rings or put together a set of the Treasure Boxes to create your own game. There's an awesome set of finger puppets that includes people and animals as well as smiling flowers and trees. One of my favorite is the Zoo Animals - the legs are pieced separately and attach to the bodies, so the animals stand unassisted.
This is the sort of book that is a true gold mine on a rainy stay-in-the-house sort of day or any time you are in need of a quiet activity. I like that the activities are quite varied - make a string of hooked monkeys, put together some picture frames, or set up an entire village. All the pieces are made from heavy cardstock, and the tabs on the constructed boxes are nice and wide, making this a durable set when treated properly.  There are very few printed instructions, but the tabbed pieces are clearly marked, so it is more a matter of punch and go!
Even though you may have already assumed this, it bears mentioning that the illustrations are the usual delightful sort we expect from Taro Gomi.  Bright colors, sweet expressions and a wide variety of activities are waiting inside the cover. Although the play things are pre-printed, they still require a healthy dose of imagination when used in play. This is a terrific book guaranteed to jump start all sorts of creative play. 

Review copy provided by Chronicle Books. 

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