I've been wanting to make a quiet book for the boys for ages, after having been inspired by all the crafty tutorials being posted on Daiso FB groups and Pinterest. However, while I've accumulated tonnes of felt, I've yet to make any, simply because making a quiet book is time-consuming, and time to craft isn't something I have right now.
So imagine my delight when Cecilia from Royal Rae sent over this busy book from her shop! Royal Rae stocks handcrafted toys carefully curated by Cecilia and her husband, and sells busy books of various themes. I was quite impressed with the quality of the busy book that we received: the words are embroidered and not printed, which ensures that the text will not fade with time, and care was taken to include texture and colour for a multi-sensory learning experience. The pages are made of cloth, and not felt, which I prefer, since felt tends to attract more dust, and the book can be handwashed if dirty. They are rather light, and compact, which makes them ideal for bus and train rides, as well as when you're travelling overseas!
I loved the activities incorporated into this 14 page book, from easier activities like peeling off and sticking on pieces with velcro...
... to putting things into pockets. (Baby J and Lil J simple love the cat and dog in this train! Baby J even makes both of them kiss each other.)
There's also other interesting aspects, such as a clock with movable hands, and a mitten (I thought the mitten idea was too simple, but all the boys, Junior J included, wanted to have their turn stuffing their hand in!).
This page though, was my kids' favourite: unzipping the pea pod to reveal three little peas inside. There was a scramble and some fighting because the older two wanted to put the "baby peas" back into their mama, while the youngest just wanted to hold the peas balled up in his hand!
There were some more complex activities that make the book more challenging for the older ones, from lacing, tying a ribbon, buttoning and using snap buttons, and threading a belt through a buckle. These were too hard for Baby J to handle, but nevertheless, the easier activities kept him happily busy for quite a long time.
Baby J in his enthusiasm though, managed to pull off one of the shapes attached to a snap button, and I wrote back to Cecilia to feedback about it. I was quite impressed with her response, as she immediately offered to send us a new book, as well as a self-addressed envelope so that we could return the old book (so that she could feedback to her supplier). She mentioned that this hasn't happened before, and that sewing standards for the books are high as they are also exported to Japan. That incident aside, I do agree that the books are pretty well-made, and are actually really affordable, especially if you compare them to the handmade versions on Etsy that can go for over $100 per book!
All in all, I was really pleased with the book, and this is coming along with us for all future overseas trips. And we will be purchasing more, as gifts as well as for our baby to come!
I'm pleased to share that Royal Rae is generously sponsoring one "How to Count" busy book for a giveaway on the blog! Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter in the giveaway (don't forget to sign up for their mailing list, as that also entitles you to a $5 sign-up voucher for your first time purchase above $20). For more information, do visit the Royal Rae website, as well as "like" their FB page to keep updated on their products and promotions.
Disclaimer: We were sent the busy book for purposes of this review, and no monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.