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Date Books for Yuppie Puppies

December 18, 1986

Milk and cookies at three, babe. But I can only give you fifteen, then I have a meeting with Jimmy at the bike rack.

It's a complicated world we live in, even for children. In recent years, grown-ups have taken to keeping track of their business and personal lives by carrying around those fat date books with entries for meetings, networking telephone numbers, trips and work projects.

So why not a daily organizer for kids? Harper House, which makes the Day Runner for big folks, now offers the Play Runner. It's a junior version of the adult book, for tots on the go.

The date book includes sections for writing down friends' phone numbers, big plans for after school and (ugh!) homework. The front page is devoted to vital personal information like "What is your hobbie (sic)?" and "What do you want to be when you grow up?" There's a place for the owner to draw a picture of himself or herself for identification purposes. And there's a coloring book in back.

Felice Willat, the president and founder of Harper House, designed the Play Runner for her children, Harper, 6, and Amber, 4 1/2.

"I started teaching them calendar skills and I started thinking that a calendar would be very useful for children of their age," Willat said. "Not only are they keeping their little friends' phone numbers in there, but they can also get a picture of what the week looks like. I see it as an educational, fun product."

Willat had her nanny, Julie Ross, do the artwork, which consists mainly of drawings of Winston and Butler, who are mice.

"It's for yuppie puppies," Willat said.

The Play Runner sells for around $25 at department stores throughout Los Angeles.

Unlike the adult version, the Play Runner does not come with a space to keep a checkbook. Kids probably use mommy and daddy's credit cards, anyway.

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