Archive for the ‘The Power of Play’ Category

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - March 6

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $5.97, Was $29.95. Save 80%!

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Today (3/6/12) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (3/7/12).

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One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Feb 28

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $2.97, Was $14.95. Save 80%!

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Today (2/28/12) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (2/29/12).

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One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - 1-10-12

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012


One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $5.97, Was $29.95. Save 80%!

Click http://www.chinaberry.com to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Today (1/10/12) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (1/11/12).

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The Small Moments

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Whenever I’m asked if we sell educational toys or books that build self-esteem, I wince a little inside. As parents, we all want academic excellence and healthy self-esteem for our children. But when I hear about parents feeling pressured to ”enrich” their children’s lives with systems to teach babies to read or DVDs that ”teach” toddlers self-esteem, I wince.

Not an ”educational toy” was in sight last weekend as my grandson busied himself creating a robot from a cardboard box. Taking a quick break to watch me use my curling iron, he asked what the stand on the bottom of the iron was. I showed him how it elevated the iron off the counter, preventing it from being burned. Later that afternoon, when he was having a difficult time getting his robot to stand by itself, he rigged up something that enabled it to stand perfectly. When I asked how he thought to do that, he reminded me of the curling iron stand. Little did I know my explanation would become an educational ”tool.” But that’s the point. Educational tools and toys are pretty much free for the picking whenever we choose. Sadly, they weren’t chosen for a little girl I was walking behind recently. When the girl lagged behind to smell some beautiful flowers, her mother harshly admonished the girl to ”STOP IT!” As the mom resumed chattering on the phone, talking about how her daughter was just diagnosed with allergies, the now-skipping girl began singing, ”I have allergies, allergies!” When she interrupted her mom, asking, ”Mommy? What’s allergies?” the mom exploded with, ”I AM ON THE PHONE! What is WRONG with you?!!!”

Ironically, never have we been so inundated with books and tools to give children a head start cognitively and to boost their self-esteem and confidence. But in the case of this little girl, how many interactive DVDs and educational toys will it take to undo the message her mom was sending? In pondering the different learning experiences of these two children, I began thinking about the importance of parenting between the lines. In other words, when it comes to raising children, it’s not so much about the big stuff — the trips to amusement parks, the enrichment programs, and the array of expensive toys and technology. It’s about the little moments in between that help prepare our children to navigate the world.

The winter holiday season is full of big moments, but let’s not forget all the small ones our children are absorbing — how we respond when they ask if reindeer have wings or if they can help wrap presents. My hope is that we use these small moments to stop and listen to our children’s questions and remember that no thing can ever replace the value of connecting with our children when it comes to educating and building self-esteem.

Last Day for FREE Standard Shipping!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

TODAY is the last day to get FREE STANDARD SHIPPING on your order of $75.

Coupon details: Clicking any of the links in this email should pre-populate the coupon code field in your order. If you find the box is empty, simply enter code c75ships and your FREE STANDARD SHIPPING will be applied when your merchandise total is $75 or more.

http://www.chinaberry.com/email/web_version.cfm?tid=411100801

One-Day Tueday Mystery Item - Oct 18

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $3.97, Was $19.95. Click http://www.chinaberry.com to see today’s specially-discounted item. Today (10/18/11) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (10/19/11). Limit one per customer. Shop Now!

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - August 30

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $2.97, Was $14.95. Click http://www.chinaberry.com to see today’s specially-discounted item. Today (8/30/11) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (8/31/11). Limit one per customer. Shop Now!

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - June 21

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $2.97, Was $14.95.

Click http://www.chinaberry.com to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Today (6/21/11) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (6/22/11).

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Leonard B. Stern, Creator of Mad Libs, Dies at 88

Friday, June 10th, 2011

By MARGALIT FOX, The New York Times

Leonard B. Stern, an Emmy-winning writer, producer and director for television whose frantic search for an adjective one day led him and a colleague to create Mad Libs, the game that asks players to fill in blanks with designated parts of speech to yield comically ________[adj.] stories, died on Tuesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 88.

His death, of heart failure, was announced by his publicist, Dale Olson.

As a writer, Mr. Stern received two Emmy Awards, in 1957 for “The Phil Silvers Show” (a k a “Sergeant Bilko”) and in 1967 for “Get Smart,” on which he also served as executive producer.

Like Mr. Stern, Mad Libs — bound tablets of stories with blanks in strategic places — has a show-business pedigree. First marketed in 1958, it was born by way of “The Honeymooners” and introduced on “The Steve Allen Show.”

Mankind has been playing with language for as long as there has been language, and Mad Libs is assuredly not the first game of its ilk. In 2007, NPR reported on an Edwardian precursor called “Revelations of My Friends.” A slim volume published in London, it contained a set of stories, each masked with an overleaf. Players wrote designated words (“Place,” “Colour,” “Well-known person”) through cutouts in the overleaf, then lifted it to reveal the completed story.

But Mad Libs is undoubtedly the first such game to attain wide commercial success. Now comprising 120 volumes, the series has sold more than 150 million copies, according to its publisher, Price Stern Sloan, an imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group. Since 2008, more than two million Mad Libs apps, which let the game be played on iPhones and iPads, have been downloaded.

A children’s game show based on Mad Libs was broadcast on the Disney Channel in the late 1990s.

Mad Libs was conceived in 1953, when Mr. Stern was writing a script for “The Honeymooners.” As he recounted in interviews afterward, he was casting about for a particular word. His friend Roger Price, a humor writer, happened by.

“I need an adjective,” Mr. Stern said.

Mr. Price obligingly supplied two: “clumsy” and “naked.”

Mr. Stern laughed out loud. The word was intended to describe the nose of Ralph Kramden’s boss.

The men realized they had a commodity. But no one would touch it: Mad Libs was too gamelike for book publishers and too booklike for game manufacturers. So in the late 1950s they published it themselves, storing the first printing — 14,000 copies — in the dining room of Mr. Price’s Manhattan apartment. He ate standing up for the next several months.

By this time, Mr. Stern was a writer for “The Steve Allen Show.” He persuaded Mr. Allen, who adored wordplay, to use Mad Libs to introduce his guests, with audience members furnishing the missing words.

“Steve would ask the audience for a noun, or an adjective,” Mr. Stern told The Washington Post in 1994. “I’ll never forget: ‘And here’s the scintillating Bob Hope, whose theme song is “Thanks for the Communist.” ’ ”

With that, Mad Libs sold ________[adv.], like hotcakes. A friend, Larry Sloan, joined the partners in the early 1960s to form Price Stern Sloan.

Leonard Bernard Stern was born in Manhattan on Dec. 23, 1922, and studied at New York University.

After an early marriage that ended in divorce, he wed Gloria Stroock, an actress. She survives him, as do their children, Michael and Kate Stern; two grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Mr. Price died in 1990.

Mr. Stern was a creator or co-creator of several television series, including “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster,” “Run Buddy Run” and “He & She.”

He also created, directed and wrote for the hit Rock Hudson-Susan Saint James series, “McMillan & ________[noun].”

New Arrivals from the Chinaberry Summer Catalog

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Sneak Peek! Before you get your summer catalog in the mail… you can see all our new items right here: http://www.chinaberry.com/new.cfm?tid=629060405