This little gem from Folkmanis is quickly becoming a staple birthday present around these parts for kids aged 3-5.  What I like best about it is that it is essentially a “dollhouse” without being too girly or princess-y.  Speaking from experience, that’s hard to find. I’d probably be more likely to buy it for a girl than a boy, simply because my boys aren’t too keen on soft stuffed toys (other than at bedtime), but it’s completely non gender-specific. 

Once you detach the six little animals from the tree, they can be used as finger puppets or tiny stuffed animals (the tree itself can be a puppet!). It comes with facts about sequoias, and would be an excellent teaching tool. There’s loads of pretend play possibilities and no batteries are required. Simply insert imagination.

Grade: A
I have feedback from people who have received it saying it is one of their favourite toys and much played with. However, I can see how people who don’t enjoy imaginative play might be challenged by what to do with it. Maybe that’s a good thing, though.