Storytime Kittens

Storytime Kittens
Storytime Kittens by Amy Rosenberg – Cobble Hill – 350 pieces

A puzzle full of kittens? I know, right?! Even though this isn’t my typical genre of puzzle image, it was still pretty darned enjoyable and I would recommend it – especially to multi-generational families who enjoy puzzling together.

Every time I assemble a Cobble Hill puzzle I am reminded of what a great quality product they put out. The linen finish on their puzzles gives not only a great hand feel, but cuts down on glare and make for such a pleasant puzzling experience. The pieces are thick, they fit together well, and the image reproduction is lovely. Why am I not assembling more of their puzzles? I have no answer to that right now – because I should be, they make me happy.

This is a “family puzzle”, which means that there are three different sizes of pieces. And this brand does it the way that seems most practical to me; large on one side, medium in the middle, and smallest on the other side. I have assembled family puzzles where the largest pieces are the outer edge and the pieces get smaller towards the middle – that makes no sense to me. The point of a family puzzle is that everyone can work together, but if the entire outside of the puzzle has to be put together before the smaller pieces fit anywhere, you cannot work together; you have to wait for one section to be finished before you can actually begin. Nonsensical in my book.

Even though I almost always work on family puzzles by myself, I like that Cobble Hill family puzzles are made so that everyone can work together.

Storytime Kittens 1

This side of the puzzle has the large pieces, and takes up the most space. I love the bright colors and fun image, it made for an entertaining assembly.

Storytime Kittens 2

You can see in this image how the pieces fade from larger to smaller, and it’s pretty seamless and well done. And even though we all know kitties aren’t my preferred animal for puzzle images this was some really beautiful artwork by Amy Rosenberg.

By the way, I’ve had sort of an epiphany about why I enjoy family puzzles so much; and it truly just occurred to me this morning as I was getting ready to type up this post. It’s the sorting! It’s the ease of sorting differently sized pieces that almost buoys my spirits. Sorting is the worst part of puzzles for me, even though my mild OCD requires that I sort; but having it made so much easier and faster because of the different sizes of the pieces makes all the difference. 😎

Aquatic Harmony

Aquatic Harmony
Aquatic Harmony by Chris Hiett – Sure-Lox – 529 pieces

Aquatic Harmony is an older Sure-Lox puzzle, so unfortunately the quality is quite lacking compared to the newer puzzles of theirs that I’ve assembled. It had very thin pieces, image lift on several of them, and some of the pieces weren’t completely cut through and couldn’t be separated.

Aquatic Harmony 1

It’s supposed to be a puzzle that the whole family can work on together, with three different sizes of pieces so that both young and older family members can participate. But the way this one is constructed, it doesn’t seem like it’s feasible for everyone to work together on their respective pieces. It’s designed so that the largest pieces are on the outside, going smaller into the middle; the smallest pieces can’t be connected to anything until the middle sized pieces are in place. I suppose they could be assembled by themselves and then placed into the puzzle, but that’s not always easy to do with a lesser quality puzzle like this one.

Aquatic Harmony 2

This is the puzzle with just the large pieces assembled. The middle pieces go next, working towards the center.

Aquatic Harmony 3

Now the middle sized pieces are all put in, and it’s time for the “adult” pieces to go in, right in the center.

This was a difficult puzzle, almost everything was blue, or shades of blue and white. The underwater section was the most challenging, even with the largest pieces. The image itself isn’t one I would choose for a family puzzle, it seems pretty demanding for a puzzle the whole family would be working on, perhaps a more colorful one would be better. This is all just my opinion of course, there are probably plenty of families out there that may think this image is perfect for the whole family to assemble.

I’d like to tell you I enjoyed assembling this one, but the truth is that it just wasn’t my pile of pieces. It’s not exactly a monochromatic image, but it certainly felt as though it was, and they are not a type of image I particularly enjoy. Image aside, the poor quality of the chipboard and the cutting makes this a puzzle that I can’t recommend. There are plenty of other brands out there that produce very good quality family puzzles, and my suggestion is to give one of those a try.