I’m sure Aunt Lara laughed, nay, cackled to herself when she stuck the copy of “Splish Splash- A Book of Five Jigsaws” in amongst the other children's books she was giving to Sally and me. She probably pulled it out from the bottom of a well where she threw it years earlier after it was passed on to her by some other parent driven insane by its madness.
It’s a pretty book. And there are jigsaws on the inside! Five of them. It’s like buying one jigsaw and getting four extras with a book thrown in for good measure.
This book is pure evil. Innocent at first, but over time it begins to gnaw at your soul.
First off, once your kid figures out that there is more than one puzzle, they will take out the pieces to multiple puzzles and mix them up. This requires you to sort out the puzzle pieces by color and, well heck, even though the illustrator had at least 1.45 million colors to choose from, they chose to make two of the puzzles blue and two orange, so you have to carefully pick through and guess which puzzle they go to.
Once the pieces are separated, it’s time to build the puzzle. I’m sure your little genius has a photographic memory, but my kids are not that smart and require the puzzle box top to remember what the sleeping lion looked like. This devil’s tome decided to put the photos of the puzzles on the back of the book and for some reason my kids decided that they have to turn the book upside down to see the back which dumps all the pieces back on the floor.
Once we did figure out to just close the book to see the back, there seems to be a bit of a problem with the 16 puzzle pieces in that many of them fit quite nicely together, even though they are not supposed to. For an adult, this isn’t a problem. But it’s as complicated all get out to a kid.
Daddy - “Those pieces don’t belong together, Ann.”
Ann - “But they fit.”
Daddy- “The picture doesn’t match.”
Ann- “But it fits.”
Daddy- “You win. The lion’s ass is in his mouth.”
Sally- “What was that?”
Daddy- “The lion’s laugh comes from his mouth.”
Sally- “You are fired.”
Here is the biggest pain in the ass. Normal puzzles come in a box. You take the pieces out, build the puzzle and then throw them back in the box when it is time to clean up. These book puzzles come already put together, you take them apart, and then build them again to put them away. This is all well in good in a perfect world, but in my world, guests are coming over and we need to clean up the living room. If this book is out, it means that the pieces are all over the place. With a normal puzzle, we’d tear apart the 20% of the puzzle the kid built before he got bored and throw it in the box with the other pieces. With this book, the pieces don’t have a place to hide. The pieces cannot be crammed in between the pages and tucked away. You have to build the puzzles to put the book away. Well, first you have to sort the five different colors, then build them and you are completely screwed if you drop the thing on the ground and watch as five puzzles slide out and intermingle on the floor.
After spending ten minutes working together to sort and build, Sally and I decided to throw the book out. Then at the last second I stopped from pitching it in the bin and said, “Let’s save this and give it to your cousin once she has kids.”
So now the book waits.