Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hallmark Interactive Story Buddies and Be a Part of the Story Books {Review, Giveaway & Coupon Code}

Hallmark logo
Oftentimes when I finish reading a good book, I close it and have to reflect for a minute.

First, a little about the plot and the characters and the twists and turns that occurred that I didn't see coming. Inevitably though, my mind tends to wander to thinking about the author. How did they come up with these ideas? What is it like knowing the full story at the beginning and having to fill in the details? What does it feel like to hold your own book in your hand?

Because truly, there's just something pretty incredible about books. The story, the imagination, the adventure, it's just all there. So, really, how can they be made any better?

Thanks to Hallmark, that has happened. Because a book is great... but it's just a book, until it becomes an experience with the Hallmark Interactive Storybooks and Interactive Story Buddies.

Hallmark interactive story

Although they are best known for greeting cards, ornaments and television programming, at the heart of Hallmark is what they're really about: relationships and the emotional connections their products and experiences represent.

More than just being there to celebrate the happy moments and provide sympathy through the difficult ones, Hallmark wants us to focus on the simplicity of what their motto so clearly points out: Life is a Special Occasion.

After bringing books to life last year with their Hallmark Recordable Storybooks, Hallmark has since expanded and added new features to its collection, giving families more opportunities to bring home the innovation and uniqueness of these products.

Most recently, we were able to start celebrating the holidays early with two new characters found in Bell the Interactive Story Buddy and A Visit to the North Pole.

Hallmark review

If you've ever wondered what your child's face would look like if, while reading from their favorite book, one of the characters suddenly spoke up, Interactive Story Buddies can provide that amazement and joy. After all, cuddling up to read a book with a stuffed animal is pretty great on its own... but having the animal join in? Well, that's just magic!

Bell Interactive Story Buddy

I immediately appreciated that Bell came fully prepared and ready to go right out of the box. There was no setup or installation required, simply remove the packaging tags and press the power button on her ear and you hear a message that she is ready to hear her story.

Hallmark Bell Story Buddy

As we opened Bell's Big Move, the bright colors and cute illustrations had already caught our attention and we marveled for a minute on just how sweet Bell looked and how fun it was that she was in the book while also being here with us.

Hallmark Bell's Big Move

If the girls suspected that something was up with our soft Bell plush, they didn't let on and instead were content to pet her head gently. I began to read normally... and when I came to the first specially-marked sentence ("Bell was one pretty puppy!"), she chimed right in with a few cute barks!

Both girls' faces lit up and they continued to listen while watching Bell intently for her next story addition. From a dog-barked version of "Thank you" to an "I love you" to more little yips and woofs, Bell has over 40 responses that really turn a regular book into something so much more.

As an added bonus, there are actually four ways to interact with Bell — through this and other interactive books, the included read-along CD, online story time at Hallmark.com/Bell and to the Bell's Big Move app. How great that my girls can enjoy cuddling and hugging Bell (while seeing her magically chime in to the story) while listening to it on-the-go on the iPad or on their own with the CD.

Hallmark book on CD

When we haven't been spending time playing with Bell, my kids have both been big fans of our Be a Part of the Story book, A Visit to the North Pole.

Hallmark Be a Part of the Story

Transforming traditional story time into an interactive adventure, Hallmark's newest storybooks remind me of an updated, extremely fun version of the Choose Your Own Adventure books of my youth.

I simply read the story aloud and, when the special lines are spoken, Santa himself chimes in with a question or choice for my girls to answer.

Hallmark A Visit To The North Pole

Once the child answers (they have four seconds to speak before Santa Claus will just continue with the story), the tale continues and actually takes into account the choice that has been made! Each time we have read our Be a Part of the Story book, both girls look at me in amazement as they almost get to have a conversation with Santa and determine the plot!

Hallmark Christmas book

This holiday season, Hallmark has yet again found a way for families everywhere to embrace what truly matters most — spending time and creating lasting memories with loved ones. Each of these would make incredibly thoughtful gifts that can be enjoyed throughout the holidays and long into the future.

Bell the Interactive Story Buddy (as well as her male counterpart, Jingle) retails for $34.95, while A Visit to the North Pole sells for $24.95. There are also many other characters and titles to choose from to be sure that the lucky child in your life can have the one(s) that will fit best.

Plus, while you're over browsing and shopping at Hallmark.com, be sure to take advantage of their special offer to save money on your customized greeting and photo cards! From now until January 1, 2013, simply enter the coupon code BLOG30 at checkout and you'll save 30% off of your personalized greetings order!

Thanks to Hallmark's generosity, one person will soon get to enjoy the sweetest husky pup you'll ever meet as well as chat along with Santa, because...

One lucky person will win a Bell the Interactive Story Buddy and a Be a Part of the Story: A Visit to the North Pole from Hallmark (total ARV $60)!

Hallmark holiday giveaway

(Enter with the Rafflecopter form below. If you have any questions or problems entering, there is a video tutorial found here that can help.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to Hallmark for providing a Bell the Interactive Storybuddy and a Be a Part of the Story: A Visit to the North Pole for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.  

240 comments:

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Amy and Luke said...

As unoriginal as it might sound, my favorite holiday story is Twas the Night Before Christmas. This has become special to me b/c my 3 year old has been reading it all year and has it memorized.

Monica said...

I love baked ham, Christmas is the only time we have it.

Thanks!

Magela said...

I love Christmas cookies... all of them.

Mary Tran said...

We like "the night before Xmas".

Kelly Massman said...

Little Drummer boy is a favorite of mine!

shelly said...

I love sugar cookies
donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com

Carolyn said...

My favorit holiday food is my moms refrigerator fudge..:)

julie said...

Snickerdoodle cookies

Kim said...

I love my uncle's punch he brings to Christmas Eve every year. But my favorite Christmas show is the 70's Frosty the Snow Man with the Claymation people. I just love those shows!!!!

sheila musselman askins said...

i just love the song Baby It's Cold Outside and Jingle Bell Rock!

wigget said...

i love baby it's cold outside and i'll be home for christmas

Sandy VanHoey said...

I love watching Rudolph. Seems with my kids and now the grandchildren, I have done that for year and years now

Kelly R. said...

I love sugar cookies!

Shannon Ro said...

My guilty favorite is I love the Mariah Carey version of "All I want for Christmas is you" I crank it in my car and sing when I am alone

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apple blossom said...

chocolate covered cherries

Cassandra Eastman said...

I love Jingle Bells, it's just a classic! And my favorite holiday food is a good Pumpkin Roll, yum!

scottsgal said...

fave story and show was the Grinch
msboatgal at aol.com

danielle t. said...

Favorite movie to watch is the Grinch Who Stole Christmas! Oh and have to watch The Christmas Story 24 hour marathon also!

jmajor4870 said...

i love everything about christmas. jingle bells is my favorite song

Anonymous said...

I love Twas the Night Before Christmas! kim(at)kimberlychance(dot)com

Wild N Mild $$$ said...

I love candy canes!
Jennifer Rote
wildnmild4u at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I love Rudolph the red nosed reindeer !natbelinsky@verizon.net

Kira said...

Right now we are really into Elf on a Shelf and the movie!

Frugalista Mama said...

We love Twas the Night before Christmas

Faride said...

I love the story of the birth of Jesus. (Nativity Story)

Chelsea said...

We love The Grinch around here :)

J @ IHeart-Motherhood said...

My family favorite to bring out around the holidays is the Polar Express :)

AStarrA said...

I love the song O Holy Night

mummytotwoboys said...

My favorite song is Santa Claus is coming to town and my favorite food it Christmas pudding
mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

Kristina S said...

Favorite holiday song: Away in a manger

Ken Ohl said...

prime rib can't be beat

Gina F. said...

I like Frosty the Snowman movie. (Happy Birthday)

I also love Christmas sugar cookies and my homemade fudge at Christmas time.

ginaferrell3 at yahoo dot com

Kayla said...

My favorite holiday food is my grandma's Martha Washington candy.

Bethany C. said...

This seems kind of random, but I really like Sheryl Crow's cover of 'Blue Christmas.'

captainliss40 said...

My favorite song is Oh Holy Night.

Anonymous said...

My favorite song is Silver Bells.

sflickinger at rocketmail dot com

Kathy Davis said...

I love Christmas decorated sugar cookies.
Kathy Davis
kdavis1@centurytel.net

Kathy Davis said...

I like Thanks, Mail Carrier on Facebook as Kathy Newsom Davis.
Kathy Davis
kdavis1@centurytel.net

Kathy Davis said...

I like Hallmark on Facebook as Kathy Newsom Davis,
Kathy Davis
kdavis1@centurytel.net

Brittany said...

Christmas cookies!

Ryan said...

my favorite story is how the grinch stole christmas

rypm25@aol.com

Heather McDougle said...

i love rudolph the rednose reindeer

Cserafini said...

Jingle Bells!

s said...

Oh Holy Night is my favorite song

Madeline said...

Little Drummer Boy is my favorite song

aperry said...

Frosty the snowman is my favorite holiday book

*Mirage* said...

My mom passed away last September of cancer. She made an awesome huckleberry cheesecake for Thanksgiving. It just doesn't taste right when anyone else makes it.

Crafty said...

I love reading The Night Before Christmas to the family on Christmas Eve.

kellyr78 said...

I like gingerbread cookies.
kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

Michelle Dehowy said...

Walking in a winter wonderland.

Johni ODell said...

pumpkin pie with mocha whipped cream

Susan Hoffman said...

I love the song Angels We Have Heard on High.

Anonymous said...

iced sugar cookies!

leia617 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Patricia Wojnar Crowley said...

My favorite Holiday story is Nestor the Long-eared Donkey!

The Riebeek Family said...

I love the movie Polar Express, The Santa Claus and white Christmas

michelle riebeek

michellehaskell@gmail.com

casaflamingos said...

favorite food is pumpkin pie

Julie said...

I love THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS story:)

jmatek AT wi DOT rr DOT com

Dave said...

I love Frosty the Snowman song, and pretty much listen to holiday music anytime I can (in teh car, etc)--I just love it and I know some people hate it....

entered as davis in rafflecopter

Megan said...

I love Mickey's Christmas Carol.

debijackson said...

jingle bell rock

trisha said...

Christmas cookies, sugar cookies are my fav

Kimberly said...

I like the book 'twas the Night Before Christmas
Kims2312@verizon.net

SharpTeethOfLove said...

I love White Christmas -Jenna O

Terra H. said...

My favorite song is Silent Night and my favorite food is candied yams. Thanks.
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anastasia said...

I'm a fan of Christmas ham :)

enizete said...

My favorite holiday is Xmas and everything that comes with it; decorations, food, family & friends

Growl Tiger said...

I love chrismas carols and the really old classic holiday cartoons

Kristina said...

I love the Song White Christmas

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Christmas sugar cookies! thank you!!

Carrie Phelps said...

At my house we love the Grinch, I have it recorded and we watch it year round.

Anonymous said...

"WHITE CHRISTMAS'
OLD FASHIONED, LOVE THAT SONG.

jimpat34@broadstripe.net

Stacey V said...

I love Alabamas "Thistle Hair the Christmas Bear." Brings back such great memories from childhood!

mmc123456

Cjnedrow said...

I love gingerbread or ginger cookies!
cjnedrow at gmail dot com

Jessica Snook said...

My favorite holiday food is gingerbread with whipped cream on top.

Nicole Lancaster said...

My favorite holiday food is Honey Baked Ham.

Lloyd Family said...

my favorite holiday story is "the christmas box"
jenny lloyd

jcwega27 said...

red velvet cake
jessicawedwards@gmail.com

Connie Gruning said...

My favorite holiday tradition is opening a package on Christmas Eve which always manages to mysteriously be a pair of new pj's.
Connie Gruning
CGruning at aol (dot) com

bloomerbear said...

Best Holiday Story is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thank you

jenspurg said...

Love Silent Night and O Come, All Ye faithful.
huntandride@hotmail.com

Baby Teagan Explores said...

Best story Twas the Night Before Christmas

babyteaganexplores at gmail dot com

MamaStace said...

My favorite holiday food is green bean casserole

Nathansmommy619(At)aol(dot)com

Stephanie Larison said...

Frosty The Snowman for sure! :)

Brittney said...

i loved my grandmas turkey gravy made from drippings. no one can make it like she did.

brittneydejajason at gmail dot com

cbowlingtn said...

Silent Night

Anonymous said...

twas the night before christmas! trishbazin(at)yahoo.com

Jay said...

My fave song is O Holy Night!
rbjj32825[at]lycos[dot]com

LuckyGranola said...

My favorite holiday food is homemade fudge! Yum!

Kayla said...

We love to read the Christmas story straight from the Bible. :)

Kristin Bumford said...

MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS STORY IS HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, BECAUSE WHEN I WAS YOUNGER MY DAD WOULD READ IT TO ME THE WHOLE WEEK LEADING UP TO CHRISTMAS

Leslie Galloway (LesGalloway //at// hotmail //dot// com) www.facebook.com/GallowayLeslie said...

My favorite holiday dish is "Tipsy Sweet Potatoes"

Facebook Name: Leslie Galloway (www.facebook.com/GallowayLeslie)

Anonymous said...

My moms sugar cookies r amazing

Violet101580@yahoo.com

Brigid Pitts said...

My favorite holiday story is the story of Jesus' birth. My dad always reads it aloud on Christmas Eve. :)

LesleyfromWI said...

I love White Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I love sugarcoookies!

Annie said...

Chocolate gravy and biscuits on Christmas morning... Mmm!

Michelle O. said...

Homemade cinnamon buns and hot chocolate for breakfast on Christmas morning.....yum!

Kelly H. said...

I always love to get chocolate covered cherries around the holidays.

nicole / Twitter: BTHM1 said...

the cajun night before christmas

Melissa O. said...

I don't remember the name, but I used to watch it as a kid every year. It was about a donkey with very long ears that was teased and forced out of his home. His mother died protecting him in a blizzard. I don't remember too much except that he was chosen by Joseph and Mary to take them on their journey and he got to be a part of Jesus' birth. I wish I could find that movie, but I don't remember the name. It was done in that doll like stop animation that the Story of Santa and those other awesome Christmas movies.

Jorie said...

The Night Before Christmas of course!

Cheryl Chervitz said...

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for myself.

cindy said...

Hmmm its hard to pick I guess its between Halloween and Christmas those 2 are my favorite holidays!!

mtbears819 said...

jingle bells

Darcie Decided said...

Jingle Bell Rock is my favorite Christmas song!

♡♥♬ Louis ♬♥♡ said...

holidays = baked apples here
Thank you for hosting this giveaway

Louis
pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

one frugal lady said...

bread pudding!
onecheaplady@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Let it Snow and homemade fudge!
wrensbigtrou@yahoo.com

Sonja said...

I love making gingerbread cookies with my son and hearing him sing Christmas carols like Jingle Bells.

sue said...

My favorite food is all the holiday desserts!

Sandy said...

Fav song, "All I Want For Christmas"

Priscilla Benavides said...

My favorite Holiday food is cookies!
priscillavbenavides@yahoo.com

Lina said...

I love having christmas sugar cookies!

Mirm said...

I like turkey!

kim burnett said...

white christmas by ELVIS!

Seeryus Mama said...

12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser

Cassandra Holdeman said...

I love the song Silent Night it is a wonderful reminder of our Savior's birth.

Kim said...

My girls would love these!

Kate Fuller said...

My favorite Christmas song is Winter Wonderland.

Saver Sara said...

My favorite holiday treat food is English Toffee that I make. Yum!

KPort207 said...

love christmas cookies

kport207 at gmail dot com

Chantel said...

I love the song "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day". :) And the entire Handel's Messiah!

savy said...

green tamales!!!

Jazz C. said...

Roast Beast :)

juliea said...

fave food is fruitcake, since this is the only time of year we see it here in the states

Sweeter the berry said...

OMG, My fave at the holidays is sweet potato pie. Yummmy. letessha@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Hallmark came out with another character (Bell) that can interact with Jingle and your child, watching the specials on Hallmark has become tradition!

Liz said...

Hark the Harald Angels Sing

Nicole said...

I love Pumpkin Pie!!

Tanya said...

My son loves books, so I'd love to win this!

Barb S. said...

Favorite song is "One Child" by Natalie Grant.

Kristen said...

My favorite is All I Want For Christmas Is You.

Renee G said...

I love pumpkin pie.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Natalie U. said...

I love pumpkin cream cheese rolls
pedidentalasst at yahoo dot com

Andrew L. said...

I love Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas Morning :)

Sherrie Maloy said...

Pralines that my grandma makes are my fav!

Courtney B said...

i like 12 days of xmas

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

ape2016 said...

My all time fave Christmas song is One Little Christmas Tree by Stevie Wonder.

april yedinak

Hope said...

I love , All I want for christmas is you!! and I love fudge :)

Kimberly said...

I love Bing Crosby's White Christmas!

Marysa said...

We love Little Drummer Boy and decorating sugar cookies!

dispatcher_kristy said...

jingle bells :)

Jennifer T. said...

My fave holiday treat is peppermint bark.
jtmagmom73(at)gmail(dot)com

Jackie said...

My favorite holiday food is Christmas cookies.
Thank you!

Tamar said...

I like latkes and sufganiot (Hebrew for jelly donuts). I'm breaking the norm here and adding my Chanukah treats. ;)

Jan Messali said...

My favorite holiday food is Baked apples. We make them every Christmas morning.

Amy V said...

my fave christmas food are our homemade cookies!

polly said...

love our christmas decorated sugar cookies & fudge!

closoccerchick said...

Christmas shoes!

Jen F said...

Jingle Bells and Christmas cookies that my daughter and I made!

jenblogger7 at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Away in a manger and peanut butter blossoms are my favorites

deb.rumball@gmail.com

Rita M said...

I can't get enough of Transiberian Orchestra's Canon.

Growl Tiger said...

My favorite holiday song is the First Noel

Debra said...

bread pudding with warm lemon sauce

Jenn said...

My favorite holiday food is pumpkin pie.

Christine Jessamine said...

i love jingle bells and fruit cake

christinejessamine at hotmail dot com

Clarke & Lewis said...

I love the Christas story about Baby jesus and my fave song is Frosty the Snowman

Danielle Lima said...

frosty the snowman

Jessica Rose said...

My favorite Holiday song is Christmas in Dixie!

Lena said...

My favorite holiday food is a pumpkin roll!

Brooke Adametz said...

My favorite holiday food is pumpkin pie!

Lorrie said...

So many favorite Christmas carols to choose from! Probably would choose "Joy to the World" or "Silent Night".

shebebes said...

I LOVE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE :)

(SHAYNA)

shebebes@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I love Silent Night
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Jenny said...

I like "Winter Wonderland" a lot and I hum it from time to time during the season for no reason at all!

Christie said...

My favorite Holiday song is O Holy Night

Angel said...

peppermint bark

Sharon Schoepe said...

My favorite holiday song is Mary Did You Know

Lynn said...

Very cute!

kim.marie said...

Carol of the Bells. Sausage Balls!

ReggieMann said...

It's the most wonderful time of the year - Andy Williams

Adrianne B said...

Favorite Holiday Song is The Holly and the Ivy. Favorite holiday food is RUM Balls!

Whitney said...

Peanut Butter Balls are my favorite!

Kim Kihega said...

I love Here Comes Santa Claus!

Jake - April McAnally said...

The Little Drummer boy

natalie rose machowski said...

My favorite holiday food i iced christmas cut out cookies

Jo said...

I love home baked Christmas cookies!
jofo120 at yahoo dot com

sohamolina said...

I like SIlent Night

Diane52 said...

I love baking holiday cookies and lighting he Chanukah candles
Diane Baum
esldiane@gmail.com

Amanda said...

Love divinity

pauline15 said...

I always look forward to enjoying my mother's brazilian food every year. She only makes it once, on christmas eve and if your not there, your really missing out!
pauline15_01(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cindy said...

Christmas cookies-love them all

Anonymous said...

Jingle Bell's is my fav song.
shawnac68@hotmail.com

katychick said...

apple pie and here comes santa claus
tcogbill at live dot com

Kari Flores said...

I love Away in the Manager and my favorite holiday beverage is Eggnog.

Valerie Taylor Mabrey said...

Love the holidays and hot chocolate by the fire
vmkids3 at msn dot com

harolde said...

Jingle Bells is my favorite Holiday song.

hd6719@gmail.com

Alison said...

I love gingerbread cookies and anything to do with peppermint.

giggedygeekmum said...

"It Must Have Been the Mistletoe"

paula michele said...

I love Silver Bells!

Paula Michele Hafner

sandra davis said...

i love jingle bells

Gennie Lancaster-JayGennie05@aol.com said...

Joy To the World is my favorite Christmas song!

Jennafer211 said...

I like Christmas cookies, any kind. Thanks!

Charlene said...

Silent Night is my favorite song :)

shirley H said...

silent night



cpsnsamples@aol.com

lmurley2000 said...

my favorite food cherry delight

lmurley2000@yahoo.com

Tylerpants said...

I love peppermint bark! tylerpants(at)gmail.com

tracey said...

i love little drummer boy
ty
rc name rochelle johnson

WWillows6 said...

I love Silent Night and Rockin Around The Christmas Tree.

Lisa Garner

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