Toy Blog - Toys, Parenting, and Kids

Creations by You IlluStory won the 2010 Parents Choice Award

SheKnows Parents’ Choice Awards
SheKnows Parents’ Choice Awards is choosen by their readers’ opinion on specific products. SheKnows wants to give the readers information to make best decisions. All products or companies in nomination are reviewed by SheKnows and handpicked for each category. Each winners are determined by an organic voting process performed by their SheKnows readers.

Make your own Book!

Give your child the thrill of being a published author! Budding authors simply write and illustrate their story using the markers and special book pages included in the kit. We even include our own unique Story Web to help author’s plan the essential elements of a story. The completed story pages are mailed to us in the postage paid envelope provided, or the book can be made entirely online using our Internet drawing and writing tools. In just a few short weeks you’ll receive back a professionally typeset, hardbound book your author will want to show everyone! Finished books include a title, dedication and “About the Author” biography page to give it a truly professional touch.

IlluStory is a multi-award winning children’s activity kit and perennial best seller because few products, if any, can build as much self esteem and excitement for reading and writing. The quality of our finished personalized books are a tremendous value and reward any level of effort. Consequently, an ever growing number of families have made publishing with IlluStory an annual tradition. Extra books can be ordered and are the ultimate gift for family and friends, especially since each extra copy can be separately dedicated to the recipient. Ages 5 to adult.


Happy 40th Birthday to the Very Hungry Caterpillar

He has really aged well, hasn’t he?!?! Eric Carle’s classic book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is celebrating its 40th birthday today. The book is a much-loved children’s classic featuring a caterpillar that eats and eats, leaving holes in everything he munches on, until finally he grows large enough to become a butterfly.

The Very Hungry Google Logo

The Very Hungry Google Logo

Even Google jumped on board with one of their famous logos! It features the caterpillar on top of various pieces of fruit, with the holes in the letters becoming the signature mark of what the caterpillar has eaten.

Eric Carle is a former art director who later became an author and illustrator. He has more than 40 books currently in print, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, his most famous work.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Stuffed Animal

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Stuffed Animal

ABC Game

ABC Game

We carry a variety of Eric Carle toys, including several based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar book:

You may also wish to visit Eric Carle’s official website for more information about his life and work.

What We’re Reading – My Eight Year Old’s Top Five Books

These are my son’s top five choices right now…in no particular order, of course!1.  Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case by Donald J. Sobol – This is a collection of short mystery cases that are solved by the young Encyclopedia Brown.  I think my son loves this book because each chapter is a complete mystery story.  He has several of the books in this series, and he loves the fact that stopping in the middle of the book doesn’t mean he’s stopping in the middle of the story.

2.  …If You Grew Up With George Washington by Ruth Belov Gross – We initially got this book to help us out with a project for President’s Day, but it is a wonderful book. It details life in colonial times and tells of George Washington’s life.  The pictures complement the information well, and it is set up in a “question/answer” style of writing. 

3.  Will We Miss Them? by Alexandra Wright – this is a great nonfiction book about thirteen endangered species.  Each two-page spread tells about the fascinating creatures – how they live, why they are useful, what they can do.  At the end of the book, there are some tips to protecting animals from extinction.  It is a GREAT book to read anytime, but we love to look at it before and after we visit our local zoo.

4.  The Human Body Inside and Out illustrated by Andy Morrison – published by The Book Studio, this pop up and pop out book is full of illustrations of parts of the body, from a pumping heart to moving muscles.  Tons of “body facts” can be found on each page.  My son loves human anatomy, so this book is right up his alley.

5.  Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey – let me preface this choice by saying this:  it is HIS choice.  I am not a great fan of the Captain Underpants series, mainly because I find the stories shallow, full of potty-humor, and not very thought-provoking.  That being said, they are a good springboard for reluctant readers, especially boys.  My son loves the comic book feel of the stories and the fact that he can whip through one in about an afternoon.

What We’re Reading – My Three Year Old’s Top Five Books

1.  Truck Jam by Paul Stickland.  This is an AMAZING pop-up.  The words and phrases on each page are easy enough for young kids to mimic, and the rhyme and rhythm creates a wonderful atmosphere for reading and singing it again and a again.  The pop ups are amazingly intricate with a dump truck that dumps, a fire truck ladder that extends and a hood you can peek through to see the engine!

2.  Elmer’s New Friend by David McKee.  We received this book and accompanying stuffed “Elmer” doll as a new baby gift from a family friend.  I put it on a shelf, not giving it much thought, but my younger son was immediately drawn to the colorful elephant.  The mirror in the back of the book is all but destroyed from being kissed and hugged, colored on and painted.  It is a refreshingly sweet book to read aloud, and the pictures are bright and colorful.

3.  Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  I haven’t found an Eric Carle book yet that my boys don’t like (we even have two copies of A House For Hermit Crab to accompany our hermit crab pets), but this one is definitely one of my youngest’s favorites.  We even play “caterpillar” when we’re eating, and sometimes it is a great way to get him to eat things he wouldn’t otherwise try!

4.  Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss.  Full of sounds and poetry, this is a GREAT read-aloud book.  It is verbal and loud, and it is a wonderful way to awaken your child to the noises and sounds around them.

5.  Put Me In The Zoo by Robert Lopshire.  While this one is listed and number five on the list, it is certainly not the least.  My son can recite this one, word for word (just like Mr. Brown Can Moo).  We are now on our second copy, and I’m sure the third will be forthcoming as well.  The simple words and bright colors make it appealing to young readers.  Besides, who doesn’t love a bear-ish creature with spots that change color?

What are your child’s favorite reads?  leave a comment and let us know!

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