It's a pleasure for me to be able to feature a local artist. Gunther Keil has been creating folk art and wooden toys for more than 30 year in his Wild Apples workshop. He creates wooden animal toys, push and pull toys, rolling toys, Noah's arks, puzzles and play sets out of local hardwoods including cherry, oak and walnut. Everything is smooth and natural and so beautiful; really, the pictures don't do the toys justice.
We reviewed Roley Poley Animals, a Bunny Bank, a Rabbit Pull Toy, and the Bunny Garden Play Set.
Linnea proclaimed them all "Booeeful." She immediately claimed the Rabbit Pull Toy ($13.95) for her own. (And, please focus on the toy and not the mess; we had popcorn for snack.)
Linnea is watching me type. She says she likes the wheels, but says the string is like a tag. I'm not sure what that means. It must be a three-year-old thing, but she's been having a good time walking the bunny. I think it would make an even better gift for a toddler.
The bunny bank bank was very popular. You could put the bunny bank ($18.00) with a few dollars and a play silk in a basket. My kids love banks.
Arielle has a piggy that I received at my baby shower before she was born. Linnea is jealous. She loves putting my coins in the bank. What I love is that the bottom unscrews. Too many piggy banks have the plug that comes out when they get full - or they don't come out and you break your fingernails (and perhaps the bank) trying to get to the money inside. The girls are putting my pennies in the bank.
And, feeding it carrots. Cute!
Linnea had fun making the bunny bank play with the similarly-sized case of the Bunny Garden Play Set ($67.00).
The Bunny garden Play Set is just beautiful. I love the little details: pumpkin, carrot, lettuce, little red cardinal, sun flower, squirrel, bunny... and they all store in the bunny box. Again, just put this and a play silk in a basket and you are set!
Arielle and Linnea had such a great time with this. When it is not being played with, it makes a nice spring decoration for a nature table.
We like bunnies, but if your child prefers Easter Dinosaurs, check out the Brontosaurus Habitat. And, browse the Wild Apples site for plenty of other dinosaur options.
Finally, we reviewed the Roley Poley Animals ($4.75 each). Linnea liked the chimpanzee best.
She had lots of fun with all the "animal cars". These make a nice little addition to an Easter basket and are the perfect size to carry in a purse or diaper bag.
I can't emphasize this enough, it is all even prettier in real life.
(Pssst.... If you look at the picture on his website, you will see that Gunther Keil looks an awful lot like a very famous toy maker.... hmmm... and this is pretty far north.... The toys look like he might have elvish helpers.... What do you think?) Kidding aside, thank you very much Gunther Keil and thank you Wild Apples.