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This Giveaway is CLOSED, congratulations to our winner Kim!
Welcome to ABC & 123's Summer Prize Picnic's Big Kick Off!
We're excited to start our summer featuring Frecklebox, a company that has been wonderful to work with. Their mission is the educate and entertain, and Frecklebox's personalized products certainly do deliver! As former elementary teachers, we know that literacy begins very early on; the sooner you begin reading to and with your child the more likely he or she will be successful at independent reading. Independent reading is the foundation for all academic areas.
Frecklebox has numerous options for personalization. They have books, coloring books, puzzles, posters, journal books, place mats, stickers, and growth charts. Many of their products would make great party favors and coordinate so you can have matching sets.
Personalized materials encourage children's excitement for reading and build self esteem. Not only are they a valuable teaching tool, personalized books also become special keepsakes as your children grow.
The rhyming text, offerend in Frecklebox stories, is beneficial to use with early readers, using a teaching technique called Cloze Procedure. Using small sticky notes you can cover the second word in a rhyming set. Aas you read the sentences your child can try to fill in the covered word. As they guess the missing word reveal one letter at a time figure out if they child has made the correct guess.
As an example from Frecklebox's Hip Hop Howie book:
"Riding down the street
He thought he heard a sound
Down by his ____."
Discuss possible rhyme choices: meet, beet, feet, sleet
Reveal the first letter.
"Down by his f___."
Go through the possible rhymes again and see which one fits.
Reveal the subsequent letters until they are all showing.
Re-read the rhyming sentences together.
Frecklebox was a very generous sponsor, they sent sample books to both families and made sure each child got their very own book. At Katie's Nesting Spot's household, we were fortunate enough to get the Saves the Planet book to preview.
I was especially interested in this title, because I am always looking for nonfiction books to add to our home library. Interesting nonfiction books can be hard to come by for young children. They are often too simplistic or far too advanced to hold my daughter's interest. Plus, I noted around Earth Day, the lack of books on this topic. The brightly colored photographs and rhyming text quickly and easily captured her attention. In fact, the day after we got our copy in the mail she was already singing lines from the book.
Here is the front cover of our book and the personalized dedication page. You can add your own text on this page, you do not have to choose from a small selection of prewritten dedications. My daughter's name has been edited for privacy. Through out the book, her name is featured predominantly on each page twice, once in the text and once in the accompanying picture.I liked the unique and creative ways that her name was incorporated into each photo, on the page above her name is spelled out with lots of little surfers. On others her name is created with clouds, bees, or added onto things like a bar of soap, bike license plate, recycling box, and a trophy.
The text rhymed and was full of easy things children can do to help save the planet such as turning the water on and off, riding your bike instead of driving, recycling, turning off the lights, and protecting the bees that pollinate our flowers and fruit trees. I found the activities, text, and picture illustrations very age appropriate for her, yet interesting enough to also be a book suitable for early elementary children.
I think one of the best features of the book, has to be the extra effort put into the design. We got a paperback and the entire book is laminated. That means if your child is like mine and spills things repeatedly, it's not a problem to just wipe it off and it's as good as new. I know, we've had three spills and spaghetti marks so far. This also makes the book extra sturdy for little hands that might otherwise tear the pages.
Frecklebox has a wide variety of products to choose from and besides our book we also received from a personalized puzzle for ER and a personalized journal with my name on it.
We got a twenty piece Horses puzzle, which just happens to be the exact one I was thinking about getting ER for her upcoming birthday, so getting it was a nice surprise! It was a big hit with my daughter as she is fascinated by horses and ponies. I love it when you can find activities that match interests. It is a too advanced for her to complete on her own, she'll be three in July, but she enjoys helping us a lot and wants to, "Make my ponies," over and over. Her name is spelled out in the clouds.
I also got this very colorful and handy personalized notebook, I like the zebra print a lot. It has a transparent plastic cover and the first page beneath it has my first and last name on it along with the pattern. What makes this notebook extra special is that my name is even on each page inside, along with writing lines, which I greatly appreciate. It's a nice size and fits well in my bag so I can pull it out and jot down notes as needed. The plastic cover makes it very durable.Here is an example of a notebook preview from Frecklebox's website. The previews available on Frecklebox are excellent! You add your child's name to any product they carry and see it. There is no guess work. I normally do not use my daughter's first name on this blog or on my personal one, but I considered sharing unedited photos for this review. However, the previews available on Frecklebox are of such high quality that I knew each of you could see their products, personalized for your own children on their site. Therefore, I did not feel blurring her name would take away from showcasing the products as you can see them over there.
You can even see, preview, and read an entire book before you purchase it. I can be picky about literature and I like to know I am getting a quality piece of literature before I buy it. I really don't like plunking down any money without knowing exactly what I am getting, so this was my favorite feature of their website. I've looked into getting personalized products for my daughter before and most sites do not have this feature.
What's a summer picnic without some after dinner reading material? This little one thinks the books is the picnic! I was thrilled with the opportunity to kick off our summer prize season with Frecklebox!
Every fall in my second grade classroom we kicked off the year by creating name books. The kids adored creating the books displaying their special name. Frecklebox products meet kids enthusiasm for reading personalized material right at their level.When the package arrived at our house my kids could not wait to see what adventure their book would take them on. What would their character do? Where would they go? Where was their name hiding on each page?
We previewed 3 different genres. Gavin, my 4 year old learning to read-er, got the book Hip Hop Howie and his pal Gavin. The fiction book is about the adventures of Gavin and Howie the frog. This specific title focuses on key sight words, rhyming, and word families. This is perfect as Gavin is able to work on reading his book independently. His favorite page displays his name spelled out in the sky by a group of black flies.
Anne Hope, the 3 year old wants to be able to read-er, has the fantasy book Anne Hope and the Unicorn. As we read her story she loves to read her name whenever we come to it. She also likes the "eye spy" version of looking through the book to count how many times her name is displayed in the pictures. Her book is especially girly with pink, purple, flowers, frills, and a fancy unicorn. Anne Hope was especially thrilled with seeing her name in print as it is often difficult to find her "whole" name printed on personalized items.
Gibson, my 6 month old exploring books reader, got the book My Name is Gibson. Each page displays his name in a photo of a place in nature. I love the non fiction quality of the pictures in his book, although their is still a story. Before the book arrived I was hesitant about letting Gibson have the book until he was older, but it is perfectly fine to hold up to his chubby fingers, drool and all!
We also received a Racecar puzzle, personalized with this speedy mama's name. The 20piece puzzle is a hit at our house, and provides just the right amount of challenge without the frustration. The puzzle box is also very sturdy for storage, unlike many in our puzzle closet that collapse when they are stacked on top of each other. I also noticed that the packaging was perfect for wrapping. When shaking the box it didn't sound like a puzzle. You all know the kids who guess their presents as they open them, and you know how obvious puzzles usually are when you shake. Not this one!
What do I LOVE about Frecklebox?
~The quality lamination is chew proof and sturdy.
~The illustrations are very bright, cheerful, and kid friendly.
~The personalization is included throughout the book in different fonts, uppercase letters, and lowercase letters. This is important as it teaches the kids to recognize their name in different formats.
~Hardbound books are also availabe.
~There are a variety of genres available in the product line.
~The process of personalizing and ordering the books is very user friendly.
~The option of adding a personalized dedication is a special feature.
Interested in Frecklebox?
Buy it! Visit their site and make a personalized product today!
Win it! Frecklebox is giving one of ABC & 123's reader's a free personalized product of their choice! The giveaway will be open now until midnight Sunday May 31, 2009 EST
To Enter: You MUST go over to Frecklebox's site, browse their fabulous selection of products, and then come back and leave us a comment as to which product you'd choose if you won.
To Earn Extra Entries: You MUST do the first option, described above FIRST and then you can choose additional methods from the choices below. A separate comment MUST be left for each additional entry.
~Follow our blog, remind us if you already do!
~Post our Summer Prize Picnic Button, let us know so we can come check it out
~Post about the Frecklebox giveaway and leave us a link to it
~Follow us on Twitter AND Tweet about the Frecklebox giveaway. Then leave us a link to your tweet.
~Make a purchase from Frecklebox during the time the giveaway is open
Don't forget this Thursday is our first Picnic Table Talk! Come on by and link up, introduce yourself to everyone, and visit other members of our community!
Disclaimer: We received our products from Frecklebox, free of charge in return for writing a review of their products and hosting a giveaway on our blog. We want to stress that our opinions are genuine and no effort was made to influence them by the company.