Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Say Cheese

Say Cheese

Spring 2011 Puzzles
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Popular Playthings
Price: $19.99

This nifty little brainteaser provides 50 increasingly difficult challenges (and the solutions as well) that will consume kids who love a good puzzle for hours. A one-person game, it consists of a good-quality plastic grid, five short blocks of "cheese" and two long "cheeses," each with a little mouse whose grinning face appears on one side and its tail on the opposite side.

To start, choose one of the challenges from the booklet, which illustrates how to set-up the cheese blocks with mouse tail up on the grid. Each challenge specifies the number of turns you can take to succeed. Each turn requires you to "roll" a cheese block on the grid until the puzzle is solved-and all of the mice are facing upward.

The first few challenges prime players for the more difficult ones by introducing them to basic ways to flip each piece to its right side. Challenge number 50 requires 50 turns and is super hard. Everything else falls somewhere in between. The size and concept of this brainteaser is great for home or the backseat of the car, and the concept will force kids to think ahead a few turns or so, just like in chess. Cheesy chess, but it's brainwork that's fun.

Don Oldenburg   ©2011 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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