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LeapPad
by LeapFrog
  Voted the No 1 Educational Toy and People's Choice Toy of the Year 2000 in the USA. The LeapPad is a revolutionary product, which literally brings paper books to life! LeapPad will introduce your child to the magic of books and learning. With an included 30-page "Leap into Learning" sample book, featuring reading with Winnie-the-Pooh, vocabulary with Richard Scarry, phonics, music and foreign languages, the LeapPad is a whole new way of learning to read. LeapPad phonetically sounds out letters and spells words, bringing characters on the page to life. The UK version of LeapPad has been completely rerecorded with British voices and complies with the National Curriculum. Your child will be enraptured by the 20 interactive learning games and activities included.
  More information and prices from:
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Surprise, Thomas!: A Thomas the Tank Engine Book (Chunky Flap Book)

by Wilbert Vere Awdry, Dwain Bell (Illustrator), Owain Bell (Illustrator)
  More information and prices from:
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Fisher-Price® Launches Major Learning Initiative with Shipment of Groundbreaking PowerTouchTM
learning system

Supported by "Learn Through Music" Platform for Toddlers

July 2003 (Newstream) -- Fisher-Price, Inc. a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT), today announced its first shipment of the much-anticipated PowerTouchTM Learning System to retail stores nationwide. The milestone shipment signals a significant expansion within electronic learning toys, a category the Company entered last fall with the best-selling new preschool learning toy* of 2002: Kasey the KinderbotTM, which continues to be strong in 2003. The launch of the PowerTouch Learning System will coincide with the introduction of a second learning system for younger children, Learn Through Music. Both systems use a combination of technological innovation and popular characters from entertainment to engage children and create a "hands-on" learning experience.

The PowerTouch Learning System uses breakthrough technology to provide the most natural way for children, as young as three years of age, to tap into reading and learning activities. Many teachers encourage early readers to follow along with their finger as they read or hear a story, a method called "finger-point reading." The PowerTouch System uses this same approach, using easy finger touch activation to let children learn reading skills by simply touching words and pictures with their fingers. This advanced technology eliminates the need for any tool or stylus to activate the electronics, allowing for an intuitive and seamless interface between the child and the book. The system features more than 60 learning activities in reading, phonics, spelling, music, math and more. Additionally, an interactive alphabet board built into the base of the system further enhances the development of early literacy skills for preschoolers.

The PowerTouch Learning System brings additional innovation to this type of book-based learning system with its "auto page detection" feature. An optical reader built into the base automatically recognizes which page the child has turned to, without requiring the child to remember to press a secondary button. This ensures that the child will always receive the appropriate response to the corresponding page they are exploring.

"There were people who said these advancements were unachievable," said Neil Friedman, president of Fisher-Price Brands. "The fact that the product will soon arrive on retail shelves is a tribute to our team of designers and engineers, not to mention the authorities in education and technology with whom we consulted. I believe that our investment in extensive R & D, coupled with the counsel of leading experts in literacy and early childhood education has resulted in a new breed of learning toy that parents and children will embrace."

Among the experts consulted during the development of the PowerTouch Learning System were: Doris Bergen, Ph.D., Professor of educational psychology at Miami University and author of several books on play and technology; Bettye M. Caldwell, Ph. D., Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and past president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children; and noted authority on early literacy, James F. Christie, Ph. D., Professor, College of Education at Arizona State University. Fisher-Price also conducted thorough "field" research, testing the new Learning System with over 750 children and parents across the nation to confirm its efficacy.

Fisher-Price also worked closely with Sesame Workshop to include a Sesame Street title in-packed with each unit. Sesame Street is a trusted name with parents and the characters are known and loved by children everywhere. The included title exposes children to Sesame Street's strong educational content, which is researched and developed specifically for preschoolers. As a nonprofit organization, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of Sesame Street products right back into its educational projects.

"PowerTouch has taken learning toys to the next technological level," said Jim Silver, publisher of The Toy Book and Toy Wishes Magazine. "Clearly Fisher-Price and LeapFrog are both companies to watch in the learning toy category, which is the fastest growing segment of the toy business. With these two industry leaders competing in the learning toy category, the consumer will reap the benefits."

The PowerTouch system is designed to grow with children as they become more fluent readers, with software and books that advance as children progress from learning to read, to reading to learn - up to eight years of age or second grade. The base unit includes two books: a Sesame Street® storybook entitled "Ernie's Neighborhood," and a school skills interactive workbook. In addition, there is a complete PowerTouch Library of books that feature favorite characters such as Elmo from Sesame Street(r), Clifford the Big Red DogTM, Blue's CluesTM, Dragon TalesTM and Arthur. The PowerTouch Learning System will be in stores in early September.

Second New Platform Helps Preschoolers Learn Through Music

Fisher-Price's learning initiative expands into the toddler segment, with Learn through Music, a second new platform that helps preschoolers, as young as 18 months, learn fundamental lessons through the repetition, rhythm and rhyme of musical sounds and lyrics.

Incorporating a wide range of lyrical and rhythmic devices, from songs and nursery rhymes to poems, raps and cheers, Learn through Music has been developed for the years when a toddler is just beginning to understand the building blocks of learning. Featuring children's favorite characters from Barney®, Blue's CluesTM, Dora the ExplorerTM and Sesame Street®, Learn through Music, available in September, helps preschoolers grasp and retain letters of the alphabet and counting, sharpen observation and deductive reasoning skills and more.

Fisher-Price, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT) and located in East Aurora, New York, is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world. Celebrating over 70 years of excellence in children's products, some of the Company's best known "classic" brands include Little People®, Power Wheels®, Rescue HeroesTM and View-Master®. The Fisher-Price brand includes some of the most popular and widely recognized character brands - from BarneyTM and Blue's CluesTM to Disney, Dora the ExplorerTM, Sesame Street® and Winnie the Pooh. The Company also develops and markets juvenile products called babygear (nursery monitors, infant swings, high chairs and more) that are designed to help families get the best possible start in life. The Company's web site can be found at www.fisher-price.com, providing valuable articles and resources to new and expectant parents.

*2002 retail sales in dollars, according to NPDFunworld TRSTS Service

Harry Potter School Books: 1-2

by J. K. Rowling
When first released to Muggles in March 2001, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages further enlightened Harry Potter fans about the dangers and delights of the wizarding world. Now these two charming works of non-fiction are available in hardcover.
  More information and prices from:
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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

by Judith Viorst
  Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in his hair. His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV! This handsome new edition of Judith Viorst's classic picture book is sure to charm readers of all ages.
  More information and prices from:
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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

by Judi Barrett
  The tiny town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers. Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Chewandswallow was plagues by damaging floods and storms of huge food. The town was a mess and the pople feared for their lives. Something had to be done, and in a hurry.
  More information and prices from:
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