reviews
Reviews
Review: ‘Man With a Pan’ by John Donohue
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OVERALL:

7.5

Man With a Pan
Parent Rating5
Kid Approval2.5
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Publisher(s): Algonquin Books
Author(s): John Donohue
Genre(s): Non-Fiction / Cooking

Back in February, we shoveled you over to a Time interview with John Donohue, the “Stay at Stove Dad.” Donohue’s back with a book out that’s a great read for kitchen-savvy fathers, called “Man With a Pan.” I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but if your dad’s into cooking, this would be a great Father’s Day gift.

John was nice enough to send a copy out to 8BitDad, and unfortunately, reading it took me longer than expected. I was planning on giving it a skim and letting you guys know it was a “wonderful jaunt through food and fatherhood.” But then I started reading it and, well hell, if this book isn’t one of the most easy-to-read, interesting fatherhood AND food books, I don’t know what is.

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Review: snakebyte MiniMote for the Wii (by Sunflex)
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OVERALL:

9

snakebyte MiniMote
Parent Rating4
Kid Approval5
Platforms: Wii
Manufacturer: Sunflex

The Review (Giveaway at the bottom)

When my wife and I first let our son play Wii Music, he loved the fact that he could swing the controller and make his avatar play the piano. The controller, however, was towering out of his hands – and when I’d try to point to a button for him to press, he had to put down the nunchuk attachment and press the button with the other hand. Though he was just fine with the idea, I knew eventually, when he wasn’t just swinging his arms and making noise, he’d need either bigger hands or a smaller remote. My problem was then having to decide between expensive hand-transplant surgery for my son, or having to crack open a Wii remote and mod it to be shorter.

Or, I could just Google “mini wii remote”.

Sunflex had the answer: their snakebyte MiniMote, which is 25% smaller than Nintendo’s original remote. Sunflex’s remote can, according to their website, “be used by people with small hands and assures them the same control, comfort and game play as those with larger hands.” What a great idea – and thank god, I didn’t have to keep saving my pennies for my kid’s hand-transplant surgery.

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Now that the current-generation Nintendo DS is sailing out the door and the 3DS is just a couple of days away from kicking us in the eyes with 3D handheld gaming, we thought we’d go back through some of the best DS games for fathers and kids – that you’ll probably end up playing even when your kids aren’t around. Also, your pocketbook (do people even have those anymore) will be pleased to know that the 3DS does in fact play DS cartridges – so if you do get your hands on a 3DS this weekend, you don’t need to feel pressured to buy a launch title if there’s not something that immediately grabs your fancy.

Pro Tip: Something will grab your kid’s fancy, so stick around for a couple of upcoming Nintendo 3DS game previews after our look at some excellent last-gen DS games you can enjoy with (or without) your kid.

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Review: H2-Whoa! Water Drawing Board
Review: H2-Whoa! Water Drawing Board
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OVERALL:

9.5

H2-Whoa!
Parent Rating4.5
Kid Approval5
Release Date: May 10, 2010
Publisher(s): B. toys

There’s something pleasant and organic about doodling with the H2-Whoa! by B. toys. It could be because the H2-Whoa! has no moving pieces, or maybe because it doesn’t make any obnoxious noises. Maybe it’s because you don’t need anything “extra” to operate it.

The H2-Whoa! is an awesome alternative to the typical magnetic doodle-boards, and I’d wager to bet lasts twice as long.

5

Mostly-Accurate Book Review: Llama Llama Red Pajama
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OVERALL:

9.5

Llama Llama Red Pajama
Parent Rating4.5
Kid Approval5
Release Date: May 5, 2005
Publisher(s): Viking Juvenile
Author(s): Anna Dewdney
Genre(s): Children

We’ve all heard about the importance of reading to our children as soon as they claw their way out of our wives’ vaginas. When you’ve got a small baby, any old video game magazine will do – babies just need to hear phonetic sounds and hopefully see a couple of colorful pictures. Later on, though, toddlers need something interesting to keep them involved. Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Red Pajama is a sing-songy rhyme about a llama with maternal separation anxiety. Your toddler will love it, and you’ll love teaching your children about mommy’s midlife crisis. You and your child will bond in fear of awakening mommy’s inner beast.

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Quick Review: LEGO Creator
Quick Review: LEGO Creator
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OVERALL:

8.5

LEGO Creator
Parent Rating4
Kid Approval4.5
Release Date: 1998
Publisher(s): LEGO
Product Link: Buy It Now!

Any dads out there ever go strolling through the toy store with the kids and COMPLETELY MISS the LEGO aisle? When I was a tyke, the LEGO aisle was the first place I wanted to visit when it came time to blow my allowance on cheap plastic garbage from China.

I recognized a few years ago that I started passing by the LEGO aisle, losing interest in the highly-detailed model sets that seemed less like LEGO and more like snap-together models of Toy Story figures. I’m not sure when LEGO began making a brand-new specialized piece for every tiny detail of the sets (instead of the old interchangeable blocks) but I’m pretty sure it coincided with the success of the LEGO video games. I guess once they showed kids that their LEGO people figures had smiling teeth instead of passive grins, and could bend their arms to crack a whip, the simple brick-and-block models had to go. Bummer.

That’s why I was so jazzed to find the fresh line of Creator model sets by LEGO. Finally, LEGO sets that look like LEGOs!

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Variety.com Gives Dads Oscar Attention

With moms of Oscar contenders being encouraged hired to tweet about the show, Variety writer Timothy Gray suggests we pay dads a bit of attention. “It’s appropriate because 2010 was filled with meditations on life with father — or without him,” says Gray. He mentions that many of the 2010 “best picture” nominees deal with father issues, including “The Kids Are Alright,” “Winter’s Bone,” “True Grit,” as well as the mind-melding “Inception.”

Gray discusses the possibilities of why cinema examined fathers in 2010, suggesting that maybe the directors, who grew up in a Darth Vader “Luke, I am your father” (oops, sorry about that spoiler) generation, now are fleshing out the issue themselves. Is it a re-evaluation of the role of fatherhood? Is it an answer to other gender politics? Are we looking for a father figure in an economically-and-politically-lost time? Has it been going on and we’ve been missing it? Who knows.

Gray mentions, among many others, more 2010 movies from other categories that deal with father issues, such as: “Iron Man 2,” “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” “Shutter Island,” and “Tron: Legacy.”

Was 2010 the year of the dad in cinema? Or was it just when we, the viewers realized that fathers played such a big part in movie plots?

Variety

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Since it’s Presidents Day, your kids are out of school. But if your boss is a real American, he’s making you work, just like George Washington had to on his birthday. If you’re one of the lucky dudes that got to bring your kids to work, DadLabs has you covered.

I wish this video was longer.

Big Lebowski? Does your dad let you? Is he alright with that?” Too true, DadLabs. Too true.

Sauce: DadLabs

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