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The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards

The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio was founded in 1989 as the only independent consumer review of children's media by child development experts Joanne Oppenheim and her daughter Stephanie Oppenheim. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awards have become a benchmark of excellence with consumers, toy makers and the media.

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Boat Works

Newest in a series of fold-out books that give little clues about the whole object that is slowly revealed as the small square page opens into a giant square image that is four times bigger than the original. Boat lovers will o-o-o-o and ah-h-h-h as they discover a rowboat, sailboat, ferry, tugboat, ocean liner and the harbor. This foldout format was also used in several Toyportfolio Platinum award winning books by the late Simms Taback from Blue Apple.

Bobbo Goes to School

Lily is having a bad day. She is not really helping her busy mom. Then to make matters worse she tosses her toy dog, Bobbo in the air and he goes flying off on top of the school bus. Will Lilly find Bobbo? A small adventure with just enough suspense to satisfy young listeners. 4 & up.

Body Actions

A look inside the human body with photographs overlaid with diagrams of the body's main systems. A simple clear text accompanies each of the photos and give young readers a beginning understanding of how the main body organs work to make us move, breathe, digest, and think. A lot of big concepts told in language that does not overwhelm.

Brio Adventure Tunnel

Model: 33481
PartNumber: BRI-33481
Founded in Sweden in 1884, Brio makes the highest quality wooden toys that have delighted children and created happy memories for generations. Both educational and fun, Brio's uncompromising focus on design, quality and craftsmanship create toys of lasting value that stimulate creativity and imagination. Engaging play and learning are integral themes in all Brio toys, satisfying a child's educational needs and growing with them through their various phases of development. It's a train tunnel worthy of the best amusement parks. Bring your Brio wooden train set to life with the Adventure Tunnel. It has four "real world" sound effects that are magically triggered every time a train passes through. The sounds can also be activated by pushing the button on top of the mountain. The catwalk on the mountain top is perfect for Brio character to stand and enjoy the view. This tunnel fits seamlessly with all Brio wooden railway sets.

Brothers at Bat

Based on a real family with 16 children, twelve of them boys, who all loved the game of baseball. In fact, there were enough brothers to form a baseball team--and then some. This family takes place at a time when girls rarely played on baseball teams. Back in the 30's and 40's the Acerra brothers toured the country playing as a team, with a break for WWII, when six of them served in the armed forces. After the war they began to raise families of their own, but continued playing the sport they loved. They played their last game in the 50's and then in 1997 they were honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame. An interesting slice of baseball history. 7 & up.

Bugs: A Stunning Pop-up Look at Insects, Spiders, and Other ...

A fascinating pop-up journey into the hidden world of insects, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies.

Larger-than-life bugs spring from the pages, peek out from behind flaps, and hide under tabs, inviting young entomologists to marvel at the mind-boggling variety of arthropod life. What reader can resist a chance to look inside a cockroachs body to see how it works or open a wasps nest to see whats inside? Useful information (why does the world need bees?) and scientific trivia (which beetles are strongest and fastest?) pack every page, while exquisite art and dramatic pop-ups bring the world of bugs to teeming life.

Bunnies By the Bay Blooming Blossom Buddy Blanket

Blooming Blossom is an over the top lovie with her floppy ears and textured plush head and arms. Her head is attached to a grand pink plush embroidered blanket that is lined and ruffled with white satin. The might be a major diva if bunny lovies starred in operas.

Bunnies by the Bay Hopscotch Blossom

A sweet little six-inch bunny with fat legs that make it easy to clutch and light but soft to the touch. The under-stuffed body is filled like a beanbag at the bottom, so the doll can stand or be handled or tossed with ease. The bunny's head is in contrasting white velour with stitched features. A good choice for first lap games and one baby can grasp once she starts to reach out and take hold of things. Newborns and up.

Bunnies By the Bay Lily Mae

Sweet Lily Mae, a soft green froggie wears a petal tutu and purple ballet slippers that do not come off. Lily is a lot cuter in person than her photo shows. She has stitched features and a beanbag bottom that allows her to sit without toppling over. Her skinny legs and arms are easy for tots to grab. She is machine washable and tumbles dry on low heat. Newborns & up.

Bunnies By the Bay Peanut Buddy Blanket

A special lovie for baby to hold. This one has a blue plush elephant head with satin lined ears, and blue satin lined polka-dotted plush blanket instead of a body. Newborn and up.

Bunnies By the Bay Tadbits Buddy Blanket

An unusual lovie, Tadbits is a soft shade of green plush with embroidered eyes and smiling mouth. He's a lot cuter in person than his photo...unless you don't like frogs. His head and long arms are attached to a soft blue embroidered blanket that is lined in blue satin. He is sort of the Frog Prince type, ready for hugging. Infants.

Calico Critters Adventure Tree House

Get your critters ready for real adventure in this three level tree house with a two-story slide, a cabin on top, and ladders for getting up and down. There is a swing big enough for two to share as well as a bucket on a pulley for getting supplies up and down with ease. There is plenty of room inside for cozy living. You can combine this setting with the Lakeside Lodge vacation house. Like all settings in this line, the animals and furniture pictured on the packaging are not included in the set, but sold separately.

Calico Critters Border Collie Family

Mama, Papa, brother and sister Border Coolies are done up with faces in crisp black and white markings. Also new this season, an Outback Koala Family. Mama is carrying the newest little one in a soft fabric backpack while their toddler size child is able to walk along with Papa. These are charming posable figures to use as props for the Calico Critter settings or for pretend play with blocks and other mini-settings.

Calico Critters Ice Cream Truck

Model: CC1447
PartNumber: CC1447
Calico Critter families love when the Ice Cream Truck rolls into town! Includes soft serve ice cream machine, 2 ice cream cone holders, 3 scoops of ice cream (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate), 3 waffle cups, 2 waffle bowls, 3 servings of soft ice cream (strawberry, vanilla, vanilla/chocolate mix), 3 waffle cones with 1 scoop of ice cream (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate), 1 waffle cone with 2 scoops of ice cream (chocolate & vanilla), ice cream scooper, 2 spoons, ice cream menu, and decorative stickers. Critters sold separately.

Calico Critters Lakeside Lodge

A small summer house of logs with an orange roof; perfect for vacation living. Instead of beds there are two hammocks and a loft with ladder. It has a raised entry and a terrace with a hot tub, plus a clever little upstairs balcony--just right for critters to use for viewing the great outdoors. In fact, this small house might be just the right scale as a dollhouse to keep at a summer cottage. Although it is shown with furniture and critters on the box, they are not included, but sold separately. The Lodge can also be combined with the new Treehouse, making a miniature setting of grand proportions.

Calico Critters Motorcycle and Sidecar

Model: CC2320
PartNumber: CC2320
The Calico Critters Motorcycle and Sidecar is the cute motorcycle for Calico Critters. Includes Marvin and Maggie Mulberry Raccoons figures. Also features goggles, 8 bumper stickers, 2 driver licenses, 2 maps, magazine, motorcycle manual, club membership card, and 2 helmets with motorcycle straps for safety. Motorcycle steers, has tires that rotate, and 2 compartments for storage.

Kids ages three and up can take Marvin and Maggie Mulberry out for a ride with the Calico Critters of Cloverleaf Corners Motorcycle and Sidecar. The set included Marvin and Maggie Mulberry raccoon dolls with matching riding helmets, and the motorcycle and sidecar have rotating tires and a working steering wheel. You can store their miniature magazine and maps in the motorcycle's two storage compartments. The set also includes motorcycle helmets, driver's licenses, and bumper stickers to decorate the motorcycle and sidecar.

Calico Critters of Cloverleaf County Motorcycle and Sidecar
Take Marvin and Maggie Mulberry out for a ride on the red-and-beige motorcycle with sidecar. View larger.

Handlebars Steer and Tires Rotate

The red-and-beige motorcycle with sidecar has rotating wheels and can be steered by the handlebars. Both raccoons fit comfortably on either the motorcycle or sidecar.

Includes Raccoons Marvin and Maggie Mulberry

The set includes two raccoon dolls with clothes and matching riding helmets. Marvin Mulberry is dressed in a riding jacket, scarf, pants, and riding goggles. Maggie wears a flowered dress and a pink scarf. Both raccoons' arms, legs, and heads are movable, and both figures fit comfortably on the motorcycle and in the sidecar.

Calico Critters of Cloverleaf County Motorcycle and Sidecar
Store maps and more in the motorcycle's storage compartment. View larger.

Two Storage Compartments Hold Accessories

The motorcycle and the sidecar each have a storage compartment. Your child can store the raccoons' magazines, Cloverfield driver's licenses, Cloverleaf Corners maps, motorcycle manual, and other accessories for the Mulberry family's road trip. The maps, magazine, and bumper stickers have tiny-but-legible text and graphics.

Designed with Attention to Cloverleaf Detail

Our testers found that the motorcycle is made of durable plastic and steers as advertised. The raccoons are flexible, fuzzy, and feature real cloth attire, while the reading material and other accessories are detailed and closely mimic their real-life counterparts. The maps and magazine are flimsy, but they do feature tiny text and graphics that can be read with a magnifying glass.

What's in the Box

Motorcycle with sidecar, Maggie and Marvin Mulberry raccoon figures with clothing, two motorcycle helmets, two motorcycle goggles, decal sheets, and reading material sheet.

Calico Critters of Cloverleaf
Motorcycle & Sidecar

At a Glance:

  • Motorcycle has steering handlebars and rotating tires
  • Marvin and Maggie raccoon figures include clothes
  • Raccoon figures have movable arms and legs
  • Two storage compartments hold miniature maps
  • Set includes goggles and two motorcycle helmets

Age/Weight Requirements:

  • Three years and up

Assembly Requirements:

  • Some assembly

Camping: A Mr. and Mrs. Green Adventure

Beginning readers will giggle as they read about the Mr. Green's ridiculous ideas of what to take on a camping trip and his fears of going too far from home. One of a new series about a droll couple who just happen to be alligators. Also good fun, Fishing, another amusing adventure in which Mrs. Green seems to think that Mr. Green has the better side of the boat and the better fishing pole, since he keeps catching fish and she does not. A light breezy new series for beginners. Level 2.

Captain Cat

Captain Cat loves cats. He foolishly trades valuable objects when he sees another cat. As a trader he is something of a failure until he visits an island where they are having a problem that he and his cats can solve. Inga Moore's folktale style art matches her amusing story (unless of course, you are squeamish about a few pages that feature the demise of many rats.) There's a good yarn here that will make for entertaining reading.

Captain Underpants And The Revolting Revenge Of The Radioact...

Model: SB-9780545175364
PartNumber: 9780545175364
A world without UNDERPANTS?!!!

When we last saw our heroes, George and Harold, they had been turned into evil zombie nerds doomed to roam a devastated, postapocalyptic planet for all eternity. But why, you might ask, didn't the amazing Captain Underpants save the boys from this frightening fate? Because Tippy Tinkletrousers and his time-traveling hijinks prevented George and Harold from creating Captain Underpants in the first place! Now, having changed the course of human history forever, they'll have to figure out a way to CHANGE IT BACK.
Could this be the end for Captain Underpants?!!

Captain Underpants And The Terrifying Return Of Tippy Tinkle...

Model: SB-9780545175340
PartNumber: 9780545175340
Tra-la-laaa! Captain Underpants is back in an all-new epic adventure that's the zaniest, funniest, outrageousest, and time-travelingiest yet!

When we last saw our heroes, George and Harold, they were under arrest and headed for prison. Then Harold foolishly uttered the fateful words "What could be worse than going to jail for the rest of our lives?" and changed the course of human history.

In this ninth epic novel, Dav Pilkey takes readers back in time to the carefree days of kindergarten, when the worst thing George and Harold had to face was NOT evil mad scientists or alien cafeteria ladies but a sixth-grade bully named Kipper Krupp, the nephew of their clueless school principal. And because George and Harold don't actually invent Captain Underpants until fourth grade, the two clever kindergartners are on their own -- using their brains to beat the bully.

Hold on to your UNDERPANTS -- the Captain is back!


Though fond memories of the original black and white illustrations linger, David Macaulay's revised text with full color illustrations will have a new life with another generation of readers. Reborn with digital drawings drawn with felt-tip markers and colored pencils, Macaulay's work remains a visual feast. Castle, originally published in 1977 brings us once again to Lord Kevin's fictional castle and retraces its planning and construction. If you are lucky enough to have the originals, they are treasures to keep. For new history and architecture buffs, this and his revised Cathedral are special gifts for 10 and up.


Though fond memories of the original black and white illustrations linger, David Macaulay's revised text with full color illustrations will have a new life with another generation of readers. Reborn with felt-tip markers and colored pencils, Macaulay's work remains a visual feast that shows readers how builders of the 12th, 13th and 14th century created such timeless triumphs of beauty. Cathedral, originally published in 1973 won the Caldecott Honor, NY Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year and ALA Notable Book awards. If you have the originals, they are treasures to keep. For new history and architecture buffs, this and his revised Castle are special gifts for 10 and up.

Cats vs Dogs Game

A fast playing card game that reinforces the concept of more and less as well as bigger and smaller. Players each put down one card at the same time. If there are two cats and one dog, the cats win, but the person whoput down the cat with the largest number wins the cards. If all the cards are cats the one who put down the biggest number wins. It's a new twist on the game of War and the object is to wind up with all the cards. 5 & up.

Ceaco Life on the Farm Floor Puzzle

A giant 2 X 3 foot floor puzzle features a cow and calf on one side and a farm scene with tractor and farm critters on the other side. There are 24 big pieces that are ideal for beginners. Unlike adult puzzlers, kids like to do their puzzles many times in order to gain mastery over the challenge. The two sided idea is an added value that will give the purchase extra play value. You'll need to introduce the concept that there are two sides and perhaps sit with your child to help turn the puzzle pieces right side up to start. Giving beginners strategies for putting together the outside frame is also helpful to build their confidence as well as their competence. Marked for 3 & up. This may make better sense for your 4 & up.

Ceaco Pinkalicious Floor Puzzle

A giant 24-piece floor puzzle that is two sided! So, you get two puzzles for the price of one. This one features the popular storybook chracter Pinkalicious. On one side she is having a picnic and on the reverse she has made cupcakes. Unlike adult puzzlers, kids like to do their puzzles many times in order to gain mastery over the challenge. Youll need to introduce the concept that there are two sides and perhaps sit with your child to help turn the puzzle pieces right side up to start. Giving beginners strategies for putting together the outside frame is also helpful to build their confidence as well as their competence. Marked for 3 & up. This may make better sense for your 4 & up.

Cell Lock-Up

We generally do not cover non-toys, but this is a clever device that locks up cell phones for a set amount of time. It is one way to get everyone at the dinner table to talk to each other instead of their screens or to play a game together or read a book out loud after dinner where everyone is focused. Maybe not a toy, but one that allows a game to be played in real time with real people who are not plugged in or just half there. This is not widely available, but you can find it online.

Charley Harper's Sticky Critters

A collection of more than 170, durable, reusable, vinyl stickers of various sizes and colors come with a booklet that shows how to make a variety of animal critters. The geometric stickers are in solid and patterned pieces. The box has a two sided playing board for arranging the stickers. Copying the models in the booklet calls for visual discrimination and dexterity. Once kids have experience with this they will probably try their own designs. A good choice for quiet time. 5 & up.

Chicco 3-in-1 Music Band Table

Model: 00005224000000
PartNumber: 00005224000000

Chicco Music Band Table

A fun brand new table complete with 8 manual activities. The Music Band Table offers 3 activity centers to allow babies to play together and promote the development of musical awareness. This 3-in-1 fun electronic activity table is packed with manual and sound stimuli, electronics and light effects with three removable musical instruments. The three stations include a Drum which allows you to create rhythm, teaches you to play in time with the tune, and composes songs, a Maraca with manual activities, and a DJ Console to scratch records like a real DJ! These 3 stations also allow children to play together, encouraging socializing from an early age.

Chicco Music Band Table
Chicco Music Band Table
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Great for early socialization.
Great for early socialization.
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Play areas are removable for fun on the go.
Play areas are removable for fun on the go.
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Drum to the beat.
Drum to the beat.
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Shake the maraca.
Shake the maraca.
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Scratch like a real DJ.
Scratch like a real DJ.
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  • 3-in-1 electronic activity table is packed full of fun manual activities.
  • 3 removable musical instruments include a Drum, Maraca and DJ console.
  • Drum with 3 different play modes: Create rhythm, teach to play in time with the tune, and compose songs.
  • Maraca with manual activities.
  • DJ console scratches records like a real DJ.
  • Flashing lights and entertaining tunes and sound effects.
  • Ideal for promoting musical awareness.

Chicco Aquarium Spinner

Model: 00070074000000
PartNumber: 70074

Chicco Baby Bunny Rattle

A bright yellow rattle has an easy to grab hollow body and a head with two ribbon "ears." Turn it over and there's a small peek-a-boo unbreakable mirror. The ring shape body has ridges and chewy parts. Also from Chicco, a Baby Mouse rattle with a turning wheel and chewy tabs.

Chicco Koala Rattle

An easy to grab yellow koala bear holds on to a bent branch with two green leaves that will slide and rattle. The happy face on the koala is good for tracking before baby can even take hold of the rattle. Chicco makes a similar black and white Panda rattle that will be used the same way and will attract the attention of newborns who see the high contrast of black and white before they see colors. Also, a similar easy-to-grab Baby Birdie is done in bright red with licks of green, royal blue and yellow. It has tail feathers of orange satin ribbons.

Chicco Sit 'n Ride Train

Model: 00005480000000
PartNumber: 49796054804
Chicco Sit n' Ride Train
Chicco Sit n' Ride Train
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Chicco Sit n' Ride Train

This favorite traditional train has been transformed as a new ride on! Our updated train offers lots of fun with an electronic panel on the steering wheel that includes lights, sounds and mechanical activities to play with. Featuring two modes of use to follow baby's growth: 1. Walker 2. Ride on. Complete with a compartment to store baby's favorites Chicco toys.

  • New ride on train that offers lots of fun while helping develop baby's motor skills and imagination
  • Electronic dashboard with lights and sounds and manual activities to play with
  • 2 modes of use: 1. Walker 2. Ride on to follow baby's growth
  • Includes a handy storage compartment under the seat
  • Requires 2 AA Batteries (not included)
  • Age: 12M+
Early walking fun.
Early walking fun.
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All aboard.
All aboard.
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Chicco Toby Push 'N Go

An easy-to-activate floor toy to motivate crawling. A child-powered rolling toy with a spinning ball inside the body of Toby, a spotted pooch. The ball has a quiet rattling sound and just a small push sets it in motion. For cat lovers, there is an orange and yellow cat called Tom Push 'N Go. 6 months & up

Chicco Tom Push N Go

An easy-to-activate floor toy to motivate crawling. A child-powered rolling toy with a spinning ball inside the body of Tom, an orange and yellow cat. The ball has a quiet rattling sound and just a small push sets it in motion. For dog lovers, there is an spotted pooch called Toby Push N Go. 6 months & up


As always with Hiaasen, there's action, suspense, humor, and plenty of wacky fun in the Everglades-of course. This time Wahoo Cray's dad has a job with a TV reality show and the ridiculous star manages to disappear in a downpour. Bring it home in hardcover ($12) and or the CD to introduce them to Hiaasen. Older kids will also know the narrator's work from shows such as Dawson's Creek, How I Met Your Mother, Ugly Betty, and others.

Christmas Wombat

Slept. Scratched. Slept. Indeed, it seems like Christmas will be just another day for the wombat . . . until she smells carrots! In this charming picture book, the star of Diary of a Wombat goes head to head with Santas reindeer in competition for carrotsand wins. Then, as an accidental stowaway on Santa's sleigh, she learns that carrots are internationally available. No wonder she isn't hungry for treats on Christmas morning! Engaging illustrations delightfully complement the spare text in this unique, wombats-eye view of a favorite holiday.

Chronicle Animal Rummy

Tuck these into your travel tote for playing simple matching games. Players each begin with eight cards and draw from the pile to make sets of three matching cards. The object is to be the first to get rid of all your cards. These are over-sized colorful cards illustrated by Bob Barner and labeled with animal names. 5 & up.
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