My First Story Writing Book {Book Review}

If you’ve been inspired by National Storytelling Week or you’re simply hoping to encourage your little storyteller to grow in the craft, there are a number of books on the market that offer just that. We recently bought My First Story Writing Book from Usborne books to work through during the week and we loved it so much, I wanted to share it with you.

My First Story Writing BookRead more: My First Story Writing Book {Book Review}

Can I Eat That {Book Review}

We love books in general, but interactive books are a double bonus. Can I Eat That by Joshua David Stein, illustrated by Julia Rothman is one such a book.

Each page of Can I Eat That  features different food stuff, with the reoccuring theme  being ‘is that something I can eat?’Can i eat that

It’s a fantastic book for kids that like putting things in their mouths or up their noses!Read more: Can I Eat That {Book Review}

A First Book of Animals {Review}

I’ve long been a fan of Petr Horacek’s illustrations, and will happily admit that it was knowing he was the illustrator on Nicola Davies’ A First Book of Animals that made me reach for this one. But in fairness to Nicola Davies, I’d best start with her.

A First Book of Animals is the second in Nicola Davies’ series, following on the success of A First Book of Nature . It contains over 50 different animals in five sections – big and small, colours and shapes, animal homes, animal babies and animals in action. Ms Davies actually graduated in zoology, but I imagine she would have done as well in a literature degree, because the book has a beautiful, dreamy quality to the text. I adore the use of poetry and descriptive writing which is bound to not only make children fall in love with it, but help them remember what could otherwise be dry facts.

First Book of AnimalsRead more: A First Book of Animals {Review}

This Is Not A Book – Book Review

We love books, and while they don’t rock the blogging world, they’re great fun for the kids and they keep our house overflowing with books shelves stocked. The most recent book in our collection is being released for sale today, and it’s called This Is Not A Book.

It really isn’t, by the definition of a book. I mean, it doesn’t have a story, or words, for that matter, but it has pages and it’s bound on one side, so you know… it is a book.

Anyway.

This Is Not A Book is probably the most unique book concept I’ve seen in a while. It has 32-pages but each image is a double page spread. There’s a picture of a monster, a piano, a laptop, butterfly, fridge, tent and so on, but the nature of it lends itself to interaction. It turns the book into a toy, which is rather awesome.

This Is Not A Book Laptop

For example, give the children the book, and they immediately start tapping on the ‘laptop’ page, ‘working like Mommy!’.

Turn a few pages to the piano, and they’re banging out a tune. The butterfly went flitting around the room, the monster almost ate Aviya up in one huge gulp, the fridge turned into an (online!) restaurant order. My favourite page is the tent. Turn the book into a triangle shape, and you’re inside a tent.

This is not a book review pianoThis is not a book review piano

I think that’s what “author” (illustrator? is it an author for a book with no words?) Jean Jullien was going for. He says about the book, “This Is Not A Book is a toy with many pages! Playfulness is something that I hold very dear as it encourages us to experiment and challenge our surroundings. This Is Not A Book is an invitation to do just that

It so is that!

There’s just one thing about the book that bothers me. The tightrope walker. If you’re looking down on a tightrope walker, you’re not going to see the clouds. If you’re looking up at him, he’s not going to be hanging upside down. See?

This is not a book

But the children love this book. It’s meant to be for 2 – 4 year olds, but even my 6 year old is crazy about it.

This Is Not A Book is available today for £6.95 on Amazon.

My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book – Book Review

If there’s one thing that was going to be an indisputable winner in this house, it was always going to be My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book*, which we received as part of our Parragon Book Buddies mail this week.My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book

What we love about My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book

Well, where to start! My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book gives you 128 pages of fairy tale themed activities. The book is shaped (rather than just a square book) which always adds a fun element, for whatever reason, and is as you would expect, full of colourful illustrations. while it’s clearly a fairy tale book, it doesn’t feel overly girlified, meaning it’s not sickly pink. It stood out to me that the background of the cover is blue, which I really liked, subtle though it is.

The book is divided into four chapters – The Three Little Pigs, The Princess and the Pea, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. Essentially this means that the activities, games, searches, mazes, colouring, counting games, drawing activities and more are all themed along the story. Each page contains a line of the story, and there’s an activity for each page. Each story has similar activities, but they are themed on the different stories, so it doesn’t feel terribly repetitive. Added to which you’re unlikely to do the whole book in one sitting, so that’s not a problem at all. Noticeable in this book was the absence of stickers, which seem to be a staple of all activity books, but the children didn’t miss them and I didn’t miss peeling them off the living room floor.

This book would be great for cold and rainy evenings, or great if you’re headed somewhere on a road trip this half term. Or in fact just as a screen break during what promises to be a rainy half term! It’s sure to be a winner with fans of fairy tales, and will provide a good few hours of entertainment.

My Giant Fairy Tale Activity BookWhat we don’t love about My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book

Honestly, looking for something to dislike in this activity book would be being pedantic. There’s nothing in it that was offensive or not to like. Except maybe Hansel and Gretel’s candy house. It made me want to lick the icing off a cupcake. Bad Hansel and Gretel.

Where can I find My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book?

Published in December 2015 by Pavilion books, My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book has an RRP of £9.99, and is available at that price from Amazon. The Book Depository has it for £4.71 delivered.

Fire Station Activity Book and Playset {Book Review}

The most recent delivery from Parragon for our Book Buddies review is the Fire Station Activity Book and Playset. It arrived a few days before Christmas, and since we were a gift down we wrapped it up and popped it under the Christmas tree for Aviya (3 year old). On Christmas morning, when she opened it, she did look particularly underwhelmed, but then she’s never been particularly into fire stations.  When we actually opened it up, however, she loved it.

Fire Station  Activity Book and Playset

In the box there is a 32- page A5 sized activity book with puzzles, with a lot of ‘count to 3,4,5’ type activities. It’s a lovely little booklet, with full colours and bold pictures and everything that appeals to a toddler.

Along with that however, were three (or four, I can’t remember now) sheets of press out card cutouts that when built together, form a fire truck, a fire station, a bunch of fire men (and women), a fire house dog, a tree with a cat up it, and a fire hydrant.Read more: Fire Station Activity Book and Playset {Book Review}

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Michael Foreman – Book Review

Pavilion have released a new version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated by Michael Foreman.

Alice's Adventures in WonderlandThe traditional story in this new version of Alice in Wonderland is the same story we all know and love, as Alice falls down the rabbit hole, making her life ‘curiouser and curiouser’. The story has all the well loved characters, including the mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat, but Foreman has put his very own spin on it, as an artist is wont to do.

As compared to the bold and bright pretend world of a cartoon Alice in Wonderland this version is slightly darker in it’s rendering of Alice, but at the back of the book the illustrator explains his reasoning for this – he uses a picture of the actual child that inspired Alice, a girl called Alice Pleasance Liddell as the starting point for his Alice, which I think is unique and such an amazing way to pay respect to a literary character and the author.

Another thing I don’t think I’ve seen before is that the illustrator makes the real world sepia-toned, while Wonderland is in full colour.Read more: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Michael Foreman – Book Review

A Christmas Carol – Quentin Blake – Book Review

Quentin Blake is probably best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahls’ books, so it was a really pleasant surprise to find out he’d illustrated something new – if you can call a book by Charles’ Dickens new, that is! Quentin Blake has illustrated A Christmas Carol, which we were recently sent as part of the Paragon Book Buddies program. I was so excited I set it as our reading book for December, to be discussed at our children’s book club in January.

Quentin Blake A Christmas Carol

The book is beautifully illustrated. I mean, if you like Blake’s drawings, you’re going to love these because they are as true to Blake’s drawing style as you’d hope and expect.  There are a few pages with no pictures, but most have at least one and some even have two to a two page spread, so there’s no shortage of illustrations to enjoy.

I’m sure everyone knows the story of Scrooge, with the death of his partner Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, future and present that visit the grumpy old man, and how their appearance in his room changes pretty much the rest of his life.Read more: A Christmas Carol – Quentin Blake – Book Review

Spot A Lot Animal Escape Book Review

Spot a Lot

Spot A Lot Animal Escape is such a fun book. It’s not the sort of story line that’s going to win any awards, but it’s not an A-Z story either, in fact, it’s sort of 3-in-1.

The first is the two-lines per page story of a zoo where the animals have all escaped their cages. One giraffe, two elephants, three gazelles and so on, to ten, so it’s a classic counting book for little ones.

They have to “search” for the animals on each page, and in the case of say the giraffe, it’s an easy find, but some of them are a lot more tricky than the others!

As well as that standard book, each page also has a few additional ‘treasure hunt’ style questions – like “find three mice” or “find the missing shoe” – that give you a second run through the book, following something different, and looking for different clues and ‘treasures’.

And then, just when you think you couldn’t squeeze any more out of the book – there’s a third ‘search’ trail: on each page find the turtle, which gives the book a third run through.

My girls are 5 & 3 and they both enjoyed the book and were excited at finding their treasures.

Spot A Lot Animal Escape is available at Amazon UK*, Amazon US* and The Book Depository* who offer free delivery world wide.

SpotMy girls were really keen to draw circles on the page – spot the difference style – but I didn’t really want them to. Instead I Googled relevant images and made a ‘sheet’ so that they could circle what they were finding as we went along. You can print the Spot A Lot Animal Escapes Work sheet here if you’d like to use it!

Spot A  Lot Animal Escapes Work sheet

*We were given a free copy of this book as part of the Paragon Book Buddies program. Our thoughts are our own.