Hallmark is a brand I’ve always liked for greetings cards, they have great designs and are of a good quality so I was pleased to try out some of their new interactive gifts aimed at children. We received the Until We Hug Again teddy bear along with two interactive storybooks, All Aboard and Fairy Grandmother.
The Interactive story books come complete with batteries. They are operated by an on/off button on the top of each one and they work by reacting to certain lines you say within the book. Each page highlights the last line in a different colour and this is to prompt you to read this line clearly as the book will respond and often ask the child a question as to what to do next. You need to make sure your child responds clearly and quite quickly to enable the book to keep interacting.
All Aboard is a book about a train journey to Celebration city with Connor the conductor. Connor interacts with you, getting you to make decisions about which way to go, or to point out where something is. The book usually gives you two options and depending on your answer will respond accordingly. Unfortunately a cow gets stuck on the track but with your help, you can get the cow to move to allow the train to continue it’s journey.
Miss M who is 6 was really excited about reading A day at Fairy Grandmother’s. The brightly coloured illustrations immediately caught her eye and she actually did quite well at reading the story herself. The story follows your adventure as you visit the Fairy Grandmother at her castle and get to choose what to eat and help her look for her lost wand in her garden full of delightful sweet treats where you even come across a friendly dragon.
Both of these Hallmark interactive books would make excellent gifts for children. We have been really impressed with them, they really engage the children in the storyline and it’s a really unusual and different concept for a character in a book to respond to things you say and ask questions. My children both enjoyed the interaction and couldn’t wait to hear what was said next. The books are a good, large size too being just slightly bigger than A4, and all pages are full colour with bold interesting pictures, plenty to look at and talk about.
The Until We Hug Again bear is a fantastic idea, a great gift and would be really special if you ever had to be apart from a little one, whether it’s just for the weekend or longer. The bear was an instant hit with Miss M who hasn’t stopped cuddling him. The quality of the bear is really good, it’s well made and feels lovely and soft to touch. Standing at around 11 inches it’s a good size too.
The bear has the ability to record a message that can be played by pressing the heart on the bear’s tummy. To record a message you simply press the record button on the foot and say your message. This will then play back each time the heart is pressed and a new message can be recorded at any time. If you want to save the message you have recorded you simply slide a switch in the battery compartment to lock it.
I recorded a message for Miss M to tell her I love her and wishing her a good nights sleep. She takes it to bed each night for cuddles and can listen to my voice whenever she wants. She has really taken to this bear and it has come everywhere with us. A truly special gift for a child, ideal for parents or grandparents to give to a child close to them.
We’ve really enjoyed all these Hallmark interactive gifts. As you can see below the Until We Hug Again teddy has had trips to the park and the children enjoyed listening to Nanny reading them the interactive books and she was just as impressed with them too!
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the Hallmark gifts in order to write the review.