Why are all of your reviews positive?  Do you like everything you receive?
No, far from it actually.  But, some time ago I read an interview with a NY Times book reviewer who answered a similar question.  She said, and I’m paraphrasing her, that people are already NOT reading enough (or at all) and that she didn’t need to write a negative review to further encourage that behavior.  Along those same lines, many folks already have a sour opinion of kid’s music (and books) and I have zero desire to feed the misconception that kid’s music sucks.  Because it doesn’t (or doesn’t have to).

Do the Bear & Mouse (my children) have to love a CD, book, toy, movie, or iPhone app in order for it to be reviewed on OWTK?
The short answer is no, but it does help if they dig the material as well.  I’ve reviewed kid’s books without ever reading a word of the text to my girls.  I’ve also reviewed music without diving in too deeply with my daughters.  That said, it helps me get excited to dedicate the time to write a review if they are bouncing around, singing along and spending time paging through liner notes together.  If a piece of music, book, toy, movie or app can bring us together as a family, that is a very good thing.

What’s the secret to getting my product reviewed on OWTK?
Well, if I told you it wouldn’t really be a secret, now would it?  To be honest, there is no secret formula.  I fancy a good-looking product, with artwork and an overall presentation as good as the music/book/toy/movie itself.  A big part of the equation is time & place, stuff totally out of your control as an artist or PR representative.  Probably not what you want to hear, but it’s true in my case.  As a SAHD, I have only so much time and I might just not be in the mood for what you’re pushing at a particular time.  And, because of the sheer volume of stuff I receive, I may never get a chance to revisit your product.  This part sucks, I know.

So, if my CD cover art is a hideous mess, it has no chance of getting a review on OWTK?
Not necessarily, but the music better be stellar.  And if it is, it begs the question; why don’t you value the first impression of your awesome music enough to spend some time and energy on the artwork?  Seriously, you’ve some explainin’ to do!  If you’re a musician in need of some talent in the illustration/presentation/marketing department, send me an email using the contact form on OWTK.com, I may be able to put you in touch with some super people that could lend a professional hand.  I’d be happy to connect some of the dots for you, to help you make a product that stands out and gets noticed (for the right reasons!)

How do I get my product in your hands for review consideration on OWTK?
That’s an easy one!  Send me an email using the contact form on OWTK.com.  Keep the pitch short and sweet.  Tell me what you’ve got, why it’s awesome and, if applicable, what age group(s) would get the most enjoyment out of it.  Then, I’ll be in touch.

Should I follow up with you after I’ve sent my product in for review consideration?

Sure, after a couple of weeks if you haven’t heard from me and/or haven’t seen a review on OWTK you can (and should) send me a follow up email.  But anything more than that is probably overkill.

Okay, you’ve reviewed my product (yay!), can I quote OWTK?

Of course you can! But please do not take the entire text of the review and paste in on your site or Amazon.com or anywhere else.  Take a quotable sentence and run with it, trying to always link/point back to the original review. Oh, and credit OWTK or Out With The Kids.  Thanks!

Whoa! OWTK covers Wii, Xbox Kinect, NDS, 3DS and the gaming world?  When did this start?

Aren’t you perceptive! Yes, as of Fall 2011 OWTK covers the wide world of gaming, focusing on Wii, NDS, and Xbox Kinect.  For this piece of the kid culture and media puzzle, OWTK has brought on a staff writer, a West Coast correspondent if you will.  Meet Cooper McHatton; teenager, LEGO connoisseur, and gaming expert.  Follow him on Twitter @CooperMcHatton.

You’ve written for iVillage.com, Time Out New York Kids Magazine, Curious Parents and StopBuyingCrap.com, will you write for my magazine/website?

Maybe!  Let’s chat.  Send me an email through the Contact page on OWTK.com.