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by Rebecca Odes

The recent explosion of high-design kids gear has been hard to ignore and "Designed for Kids: A Complete Sourcebook," by Phyllis Richardson, culls the greatest hits of the modern kids marketplace into one hefty hardcover package. With its textbook-ish format, the book seems aimed at design professionals rather than consumers but for anyone on the hunt for smart kids stuff it's an excellent, wide-ranging selection.

From the ubiquitous Bugaboo and Baby Björn to the obscure (a convertible Aprica play gym that seems to be unavailable anywhere), the book is chock full of stylish products for the junior set. There's lots of creative work from independent designers, some of whom do products for grown ups as well, including Mohr Polster from Austria and Inke from the Netherlands. The book is pretty interesting from a cultural observation standpoint, too. Until five years ago, you couldn't find a bouncy seat that wasn't covered with pastel duckies or teddy bears. We've come a long way, baby…at least when it comes to décor.

"Designed for Kids: A Complete Sourcebook" is available at Amazon.

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