Category: Books

Abigail the story buddy

Hannah (3) wasn’t feeling very well. She was lying (laying?) around on the lounge looking miserable.

Knock knock.

“Mommy, there’s someone at the door.” She told me excitedly as she perked up for a little bit.

“Hannah, there’s a package for YOU!!!”

I helped her open it and watched her little face light up despite feeling horrible when she saw the soft furry bunny inside.

“Is this for me Mommy?” She asked.

“Yes sweetie, she’s for you! The box said her name was Abigail.


“Look, she has a book too.” I told Hannah.

“Can you read it to me Mommy? Pllleeeeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeeee?”

Hannah sat on my lap with Abigail next to her as I read Abigail’s story.

At the end of the page, Abigail spoke.

“She TALKS mommy!” Hannah was so excited. “She’s listening to the story too!”

Abigail would say something relevant to the story on nearly every page.  Each time Hannah got excited.

When we were done with the story, Hannah got up, with a sudden burst of energy and pulled Abigail in all directions, tossing her in the air, helping her “do gymnastics” just like in Abigail’s book.

We read Abigail’s book, The Balance Beam, many times that day. And many times since. Hannah can’t get enough. She sits for the entire reading without getting bored, and sometimes for 2 or 3 readings back to back, each time as excited when Abigail talks as the last.


-Abigail doesn’t say random things, she actually responds to phrases from the book
-Kids LOVE that Abigail interacts with the story
-Durable (Hannah was throwing her up in the air, and she can’t catch very well…)
-Comes with a book
-Reasonably priced
-Makes kids want to read
-Can purchase more books that Abigail will respond to


-Subsequent books are a little pricey at $9.99AU each

To buy Abigail (or other interactive story buddies, such as Cooper the Bear) in Australia, click here

To buy Abigail in the US/Canada, click here

*I received Abigail for free for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.



Personalized Children’s Book

Hannah loves reading. She is partial to anything with Mickey Mouse and gets me to read this 50-something page book about Mickey and friends having a picnic. All. The. Time. Sigh.

I dread when she asks me to read that book. I’m just over it. I’ve read it to her about 1 million times. And that is quite enough, thanks. But she still asks for more, and I know that it’s beneficial for kids her age to hear things over and over and over again. Did I mention sigh?

But how to steer her away from the dreaded Mickey book to something else? Something new. Something different. 

I got an email asking if I’d like to review a personalized children’s book. A book that actually has Hannah’s name in it. And some of her friends too.

I was very excited. Surely she’d switch from wanting me to read Mickey all the time to wanting me to read the new book? Plus it’s cool. They didn’t have such coolness when I was a kid.

The book came a couple of weeks before Hannah’s birthday. I chose a Sesame Street book as she knows the characters and does quite like Elmo even though I had to take the voice box out of her tickle me Elmo because it creeped her out. It was pretty creepy. I’ll give her that.

I decided to save the book for her birthday. I thought it would make a great present.

Unfortunately, it somehow got missed when I brought her presents out from under my bed and since Grandma bought her nearly a thousand birthday presents (fine, that is a little exaggerated), I didn’t notice until the next day when I suddenly remembered that I couldn’t recall her opening her awesome personalized book.

So she didn’t get to open it on her birthday, but she did get to open it the next day. Kids don’t usually get presents the day after their birthday, so she was pretty excited.

I held off on actually reading more than the first few pages of it to her as I really wanted to tape it. I wanted a video of her excited little face when her name and Daniel’s name and her best friends name came up over and over again in the book.

But video taping and reading involves either a tripod, or an Aaron to hold the camera. Plus Daniel would have to be asleep so he didn’t knock down the tripod and try to eat the camera (seriously, he would), or jump on Aaron as he tried to film. He’s cheeky like that.

Yeah, I never got around to the filming.

I was itching to read the book to her, so I gave in one day and just did it. Without the filming.

“It was a busy day on Sesame Street. Everyone was preparing for the big art show. Hannah Thomson, age 3, from Sydney, NSW was coming to judge the show.”

At the mention of her name, age, and town, she lit up. There was no way the name was a coincidence when all the other info unique to her was there too. She knew it was about her.

“Hannah was bringing Daniel, Violet, and Annie to help her.”

She giggled a happy, excited little giggle at the mention of her brother and two friends.

Hannah loved hearing about her day on Sesame Street, since kids her age think the world revolves around them. She even paid attention to the whole book without getting bored, felt relaxed enough to poop on the potty while I read it to her (anyone who reads my other blog would know what an accomplishment that was).


-Reasonably priced
- Great keepsake
-Well made with thick paper and hard cover
-Fun to read (even for the adult!)
-Would appeal to all kids as all kids like hearing about themselves


-Only ships to U.S.
-The font used is not the best. It could have looked a lot better with a different font.

KD Novelties has a wide range of personalized books available from adventure  to holiday and religious  to super heros.

To order your own personalized book, click here.


Books – What to Expect Series

Over 3 years ago:

I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. Again. Sigh. Not because I needed to pee (Although I did need to pee. As usual…), but because my nose suddenly decided once again to evacuate some blood. Onto my pillow. Sigh. It was becoming a daily occurrence. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Sometimes embarrassingly at work. Once right in the middle of a dinner I was having with about 20 other women from my church (whom of course were all then fussing over me and wondering if I was ok. “It’s fine. I told them, happens all the time.”)

The first time it happend, I thought it was just one of those things. A random fluke. Then it happened the next day. And the next. I started to get worried.

But then I read my weekly instalment of What to Expect When You’re Expecting . I read that nosebleeds are common in pregnancy.  Phew. Not usually to the frequency of mine, so I took myself to the doctor, and he wasn’t worried. I continued to get near daily nosebleeds for my entire pregnancy. Then, Hannah was born and it stopped (thank goodness!).


I was contacted to review the What to Expect series.

What? It’s a series? Maybe I’m just silly, but I didn’t know there were more books beyond What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and What to Expect The First Year. Yeah, there’s also What to Expect the Second Year, What to Expect the Toddler Years, THE WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING PREGNANCY ORGANIZER, What to Expect Before You’re Expecting, and What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting.

Also, there is a website. Totally didn’t know about that either.

I certainly wish I’d known about What to Expect the Second Year when Hannah was 2. I remember when I was pregnant with Hannah excitedly reading the relevant chapter of What to Expect When You’re Expecting every single week. I loved finding out all about how she big she was, which organs were forming when, what she was doing, if what I was feeling/experiencing was normal, and just filling my head with everything baby.

I also had What to Expect the First Year. Every month after Hannah was born I’d read up on what was normal, what wasn’t, what she should be doing, what I should expect, dangers, etc. Without those books, I would have been like a blind man trying trying to read a non-braille book. I’d never been a mom before. I had no idea what I was doing.

I didn’t know that they shouldn’t eat honey before the age of 1 because of botulism. Or that it’s normal for babies to poop many times a day, or once every few days. They’re all different.

The What to Expect Series is a wealth of information that every parent should read and have on hand to look things up when in need (like ‘Uh-oh, does my baby have a fever? Wait, what should their normal temperature be?’).

Not only do the books have the week by week sections (pregnancy), and month by month sections (The First year, The second Year), but they also have special sections with first aid info, and other vital information. I will definitely be reading What to Expect the Second Year each month when Daniel turns 1.


-Broken down into relevant chapters based on gestation/age
-Extensive information
-Special sections for Dads
-Special sections for additional info such as first aid
-Written by Experts
-Exciting to read
-Comes in Kindle format
-Helpful with the second pregnancy/child as by the time you do it all again, you’ve forgotten what should happen when!


-Hmmm…It’s kind of hard to think of any.
-Hard to find time to read the books when you have more than one kid (does that count as a con?)

Wanna win a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect The First Year, and What to Expect The Second Year? Of course you do! There are 2 prize packs to be won (1 copy of each book for 2 lucky winners).

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