Celebrating Motherhood Giveaway #21- Made Here Baby

New Amacom book uncovers over 400 U.S. companies that produce safe, high-quality children’s products.

“A wonderful, much welcomed, and well-organized resource for parents, grandparents, or just about anyone shopping for the little ones in their life.”

AMID recent recalls of millions of imported children’s toys because of toxic materials and shoddy manufacturing, America’s addiction to cheap plastic action figures and sparkly princess bracelets has finally been shaken. And just in time too. Researchers with the nonprofit Ecology Center tested 1,500 toys this past holiday season, and found that one in every three items contains medium to high levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, or arsenic.

The best way to ensure the quality of toys is to ensure that they are manufactured at home, using reliable safety and quality standards every step of the way. That’s not easy when 80 percent of the world’s toys are made in China. But for parents who are willing to bypass the cluttered aisles of the big-box stores, they’ll find that local manufacturers, craftspeople, and entrepreneurial parents are producing some of the safest, highest quality, and most long-lasting toys, puzzles, clothes, furniture, bedding, sporting equipment, baby gear, and more.

The Essential Guide to Finding the Best American-Made Products for Your Kids (AMACOM; May 14, 2009; $17.95 Paperback) by Bruce H. Wolk uncovers more than 400 companies devoted to making safe, high-quality children’s products in the United States, from customized wooden biplanes sold directly from the artisans to well-known brands like Britex car seats, which are manufactured in Charlotte and sold widely through retail stores.

Most of the companies highlighted though, are small, environmentally-friendly enterprises that are not always easy to find. Author and product developer Bruce Wolk tirelessly tracked them down, examined their merchandise, and talked with their founders. He pinpoints the best of the best, with succinct descriptions of what each company makes, compelling facts or founding stories behind each, and essential information on how to buy the products. Plus, this practical book includes lively interviews, engaging anecdotes, and helpful appendixes that identify companies committed to green or organic manufacturing, and enterprises that are owned or founded by women.

is both an invaluable resource for parents who are concerned
about the safety of their children’s toys, and a powerful wake-up call to those who have succumbed to the lure of buying yet another cheap plastic trinket to quiet the kids. After all, it’s not just wasteful and annoying to have all that junk around the house, but with high levels of lead, mercury, arsenic, and PVC lurking in so many toys—it’s potentially lethal.

About the Author:
Bruce H. Wolk has developed more than 50 products for the children’s, natural foods, and pet products industries. He is currently director of marketing for a national research and promotion board serving the needs of hundreds of American companies. He has written for numerous hobby, trade, and general interest publications. Wolk is a staunch advocate of American manufacturers of handcrafted wooden and fabric toys, and women-owned American manufacturing companies and a proud uncle and godfather. He lives in Denver.

WIN: 24/7 MOMS and Author Bruce H. Wolk are giving away one copy of Made Here Baby! book to one mom. To enter for your chance to win, enter your name and email address in the box below and you will be signed up for today’s giveaway as well as be added to the 24/7 MOMS E-list (if you are not already a 24/7 MOMS subscriber). Winner will be chosen on May 16th using random.org.

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