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.

50 Scents of Grey

50 Scents
50 Scents of Grey by Lucia Heffernan – Eurographics – 500 pieces

My daughter fell in love with this image when we were shopping, so obviously I had to get it. (I wanted to interject here to tell you what a good mom I am for purchasing this puzzle to make my daughter happy, but the truth is I probably would have gotten it anyway. I am afflicted with a severe and non-treatable case of PADS. 😎)

It was fun to assemble, and I was thrilled to see that there was more than one piece shape. The previous Eurographics puzzle that I assembled only had the one shape, luckily this one had some variation. The box says it’s a “family puzzle”, which I thought meant several different sizes of the pieces, but that wasn’t the case. I’m not certain what makes it a family puzzle, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t the image.

My daughter says I should frame this puzzle, she tells me she would love to hang it in her house – it makes her laugh.  Unfortunately I had already disassembled it by the time she replied to my text, so it looks like I’ll be putting it together one more time for my baby girl. I hope she likes it.

50 Scents 1

After the “easy” parts, all that was left was all blue and all red pieces. Thankfully there were several piece shapes and shades of color to help put these sections together.

50 Scents 2The scratch and sniff part was my favorite – how silly and cute/gross is that? This is a great little puzzle with interesting shapes and very good quality; it’s fairly easy and quick to put together, but still enjoyable.

I’ll be reassembling this puzzle for my beautiful daughter so she can display it in her house. I hope it makes her smile and think of me whenever she looks at it; and I hope it doesn’t get her dogs too worked up. 😉

Animal Planet

Animal Planet
Animal Planet – Majestic Puzzles – 400 pieces

This is a “Family Puzzle”, it has 3 different sizes of pieces so that the entire family can help assemble it. To be honest I’ve never assembled one with the family, I’ve always done them either alone or with mom. I’m such a puzzle fanatic that I enjoy puzzles for all ages, and a family puzzle has all of them in one box – perfect!

Majestic Puzzles is a new brand for me, and I was impressed with the quality. The pieces were thick and fit together very well. It’s randomly cut so there are a nice variety of shapes and it made for an interesting and challenging assembly. The image reproduction is beautiful with clean lines and bright colors and no blurring or fuzziness. All in all it’s a great quality puzzle.

I sorted the pieces by shape and then assembled it the same way, starting with the largest pieces.Animal Planet 1

It’s odd to have all the kids pieces around the edge. Most of the family puzzles I’ve worked have them all on one side. If you truly want the family to work together it seems more ideal to have big pieces on the left (for example), medium pieces in the middle and smallest pieces on the right. If the whole family tried to work on this one it would be difficult for those working on the smaller pieces to connect them to anything until the kids had finished the outside.

Animal Planet 2

I sorted by size, but obviously I didn’t get all the pieces in their correct piles, there are a few holes. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between a smaller medium sized piece and a larger small piece. (I hope that made sense) 😉

I enjoyed this puzzle much more than I anticipated, the image was challenging and beautiful – a lovely combination. Jungle scenes aren’t usually images I would choose, but the different piece sizes made it more interesting and the beautiful reproduction and great fit made it quite fun. If you come across a family puzzle by Majestic I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Review: Chocolate Sensation

This post is sponsored by Puzzle Warehouse.
Chocolate Sensation by Ali Mocabee – Springbok – 400 pieces

With my favorite candy holiday coming up in just a couple of weeks, what better time to assemble some candy puzzles? Chocolate Sensation is the first family puzzle from Springbok that I’ve put together – it was very entertaining, and quite unusual too!

I’ve put together family puzzles from several different manufacturers, and find them engaging and fun to assemble. If you’re not familiar with a family puzzle, they have small, medium, and large pieces in the same box so that the whole family can work together to assemble the puzzle. I enjoy them very much even though I’m working solo most of the time. Puzzle Warehouse has family puzzles from many different companies, with many images to choose from; Click here to see all the family puzzles currently in stock.


For the most part, family puzzles are set up the same way; with all the large pieces on one side, medium pieces in the middle, and smallest on the other edge. I found it interesting that this puzzle was set up completely differently; the largest pieces were on the outside (the entire edge), with the pieces getting smaller towards the center. I don’t have a preference for how family puzzles are set up, I just found it curious that this is the first time I’ve seen this. Although if the family is supposed to work together on the assembly, perhaps this isn’t the best configuration. Most people assemble puzzles starting with the edge, so once the edge and the first inside row are completed the kids would be done; all that would be left is for the adults to continue working towards the center. Just my opinion, of course.

Springbok puzzles are good quality, with thick pieces that fit together very well (if at times too tightly for my taste), and beautiful image reproduction. The random cut keeps you on your toes, and the interesting shapes mean you never get bored. Their catalog is varied with everything from Americana to sweets and holidays; piece counts start at 36 pieces for their Alzheimer’s puzzles to 2000 pieces for the very brave! Check out all the Springbok puzzles available at Puzzle Warehouse, you’re sure to find something interesting and beautiful.

The assembly wasn’t as difficult as I was thinking it would be, and it went together pretty quickly. The M & M’s weren’t as much of a challenge as I thought they’d be, and the chocolate non-pareils were much more challenging than I assumed! It was an extremely tight fit (which I’m not a fan of), so much so that I was able to take my usual standing-on-it’s-edge picture…


Overall, I enjoyed Chocolate Sensation and had fun working with the 3 different sizes of pieces. The image is bright and colorful, and has me looking forward to the day AFTER Halloween, when all the candy is 50% off! 🙂


  • Title:                  Chocolate Sensation
  • Artist:                Ali Mocabee
  • Brand:               Springbok
  • Piece count:     400 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 21 x 27 in. (53 x 69 cm)
  • Purchased:      N/A, sent for review


  • Board:               Very good
  • Cutting:             Very good
  • Image:               Very good
  • Box:                   Average
  • Fit:                     Good, extremely tight
  • Puzzle Dust:     Moderate amount
  • Piece cut:          Random cut
  • Piece shapes:   Very good variety
  • Finish:               Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended


I received this product at no cost in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.