Review: First Trip to the Beauty Shop

First Trip to the Beauty Shop by Norman Rockwell – Kappa Books Publishers – 500 pieces

I did it! I actually finished the worst quality puzzle I’ve ever worked with. Sometimes for some reason I can’t explain I just have to finish a puzzle even if it’s horrible to work with and frustrating as hell. This was one of the those puzzles – I have no explanation for my stubbornness, I just had to finish it!

Kappa Books Publishers mainly deal with books, and I would encourage them to stick to publishing. This puzzle was terrible quality; the pieces were the thinnest I’ve ever worked with, and the fit was absolutely horrible with pieces seeming to fit everywhere. When the pieces were “connected” properly you could just pull everything apart with very little effort – even when the entire puzzle was complete I could pull gently on both sides and it would separate. Even the box was terrible quality; you had to cut it to open it, and once you did the bottom section just fell apart. It was made of extremely thin cardboard and the corners weren’t taped or held together in any way – once I lifted the lid it all just fell open.

The only good thing about this puzzle was the image reproduction. It seemed very true to the original and was adhered well to the chipboard. I’m sorry to say those are all my positives.

IMG_4656 (2)

This was my favorite section of the puzzle to assemble, there’s just something innocent and adorable about it. I think the image itself is part of the reason I stubbornly refused to abandon this puzzle; I just wanted to see it complete.

I wasn’t planning on completing the dark blue sections at the top and the bottom, but by the time I was finished with the image itself it seemed a shame to give up. And I knew if I separated the pieces by shape it wouldn’t be too difficult. I was right, it wasn’t that bad; and I surprised myself by not needing hubby’s help to do it. I am pretty proud of myself for finishing it!

Please, if you love jigsaw puzzles, do not buy any manufactured by Kappa Books Publishers. The quality is terrible, and you deserve better.


  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† First Trip to the Beauty Shop
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Norman Rockwell
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Kappa Books Publishers
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†500 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 18 x 11 in. (46 x 28 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† Thrift store, unopened


  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Poor
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Fair
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Thin, flimsy, very small
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Poor; extremely loose, pieces seem to fit everywhere
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Small amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Some variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays mostly flat

Overall Rating:      Poor quality, not recommended

Norman Rockwell Update

Made some good progress!

Yesterday’s post got so many comments about this puzzle in particular that I thought I would update it this morning – I made some excellent headway on it. ūüėé

This is hands down the absolute worst quality puzzle that I’ve ever worked on, but I am stubbornly determined to assemble the image itself at the very least. I will most likely not finish the top and bottom edges or fill in the blue, it will be too frustrating. Hubby wants to work on those, so I will absolutely leave that to him – he’s just as stubborn as I am. If the top and bottom sections don’t get done though, I don’t really care.

The only full image of the puzzle on the box is about 1 x 1.5 inches – way too small to give any assistance. Whoever designed this box obviously doesn’t assemble jigsaw puzzles, how in the world is such a tiny image supposed to help you? I had my laptop sitting next to the board yesterday and brought up the image on the screen – that was a huge help!

I’ll try and do a little more work on it today, but it’s obviously going to take several more days to put the whole thing together. Whenever it gets done is fine with me – I’m in no hurry at all.





Puzzles in Progress

First Trip to the Beauty Shop by Norman Rockwell

I’ve got two puzzles in progress at the moment, I can’t seem to get my brain to settle on just one. This first one mom found unopened at the thrift store for 39 cents. The box is extremely small for a 500 piece puzzle which means the pieces are quite small as well. Once we opened the box, we saw that the quality was less than optimal – very thin pieces with an unbelievably loose fit. Ugh. I started assembling it at least 2 times before and put it away because I wasn’t in the right mood to deal with the poor quality.

I’m not sure why I’m in the mood for it now, but at the moment I really want to see this puzzle assembled; partly because nowhere on the box is a picture of the entire puzzle image – frustrating! And if I’ve got 2 puzzles going I can take a break from the horrible quality of this one and work on one that isn’t as annoying


Well Head by Richard Welker

The image on this puzzle is much brighter and easier to work with, and even though it’s a Ceaco puzzle the quality is many times better than the Norman Rockwell puzzle (which is made by Kappa Books Publisher). The fit is much nicer and the pieces aren’t nearly as thin.

So I’ve got 2 puzzles going, but for some reason neither of them is my newest wooden puzzle that was my anniversary present. I’m not sure when my weird old lady brain will be in the right mood for that one. I think it’s partly because I’m missing working on puzzles with mom; I haven’t been able to have any puzzle/visit days with her for the last 3 weeks. Every puzzle is much more fun when mom and I work together, and a new wooden puzzle is something we both love to assemble.

We won’t be able to have our visit day this week either, so perhaps I’m just too bummed about that to start on the new Liberty puzzle. We’ll have to wait and see I suppose.