Tag Archives: Books

Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants: Giles Andreae & Korky Paul

Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants: Giles Andreae & Korky Paul (Puffin Books, 2012)

Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants: Giles Andreae & Korky Paul
(Puffin Books, 2012)

Giles Andreae. Korky Paul. Do I even need to write more?! A delightful rhyming romp with bare bottoms, trademark Korky-creatures, a giant, knight, castle and golden underpants. Has “give to reluctant readers” stamped all over it 😉

Long ago there lived a king
Of majesty and fame,
The mighty king of England…
And King Colin was his name.

Alas and alack, King Colin’s pride and joy, his golden underpants, have been half-inched by a naughty giant. There’s only one thing for it, intrepid six-year old knight, Sir Scallywag and his trusty horse Doofus are on the case to return the pants in time for breakfast!

This is a slightly oversized picture book, so lots of room for the gorgeously detailed illustrations. Korky Paul is one of my favourite illustrators, packing the pages full of tiny details and humour. As to be expected, Giles Andreae’s rhyming scans well and ends on a great note for small children: you may be small, but you are still capable of great things.

Of Moose and Landscapes

The link may be tenuous but both these picture books are lovely, written & illustrated by stellar talents, and include a moose plus gorgeous natural backdrops…

This Moose Belongs To Me: Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2012)This Moose Belongs To Me: Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2012)

Somehow, this is only Oliver Jeffers tenth picture book. And although his style is distinct, and the books (the ones I’ve read anyhow) share a surrealism that just works, every one is so very different. This Moose Belongs to Me is a complete contrast to his last book The Hueys in The New Jumper, being full of colour and detail where the previous book was minimalistic.

Wilfred owned a moose. At least, Wilfred thought he owned a moose. The moose had other ideas.  In fact, the moose is just himself getting along with his life while others try to stamp ideas of ownership and rules onto him. These rules can’t contain nature and the moose carries on doing moose things in a beautiful landscape.

On the one hand, a beautiful and deep tale; on the other, a lightly surreal and humourous picture book. It works on many levels, or you can just drool over the beautiful painted landscapes.

Oliver Jeffers has the kind of talent where you’d probably buy his shopping list if he published it, knowing that it wouldn’t be quite what you expected and probably gorgeously illustrated to boot!

A House In The Woods: Inga Moore (Walker, 2011)A House In The Woods: Inga Moore (Walker, 2011)

This book is a slice of utter perfection, gorgeously illustrated and beautifully observed. There are too many details to love so my review will not do it the slightest justice, it really is a must-own book.

Two little pigs build a house of… Ooops, no, it’s not that story! But it does start with two little pigs – one builds a den, and one builds a hut. Except when they have unexpected (but friendly, and very welcome) visitors in the form of bear and moose who accidentally wreck their homes, the four friends set out to build their own house with the help of the beavers (because it’s too complex a job just for them). In two double spreads with minimal words and lots of picture, the beavers are shown felling trees (cue a conversation about how beavers use their teeth from a curious MG) and start to build (cue more discussion about how they’re cutting the leaves off to use the tree trunks, and yet more on house building – MG was really engaged by the themes in this book).

It is a perfect book for MG at the moment because her school has forest school sessions so she’s built dens in the woods with her friends, and their last half-term theme was homes so she’s been talking about types of houses (detached, terrace etc) and eras (“is it a Victorian house?”) and building their own houses from shoeboxes…

This is a lovely, non-threatening, friendly and co-operative story with lots of interest points to start discussions (“that’s a funny looking phone…”) It’s set in the anthropomorphic equivalent of times gone by, and we all love it. Highly recommended.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of This Moose Belongs to Me by HarperCollins Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

The Great Fairy Tale Disaster by David Conway & Melanie Williamson

The Great Fairy Tale Disaster: David Conway & Melanie Williamson (Hodder Children's Books, 2012)

The Great Fairy Tale Disaster: David Conway & Melanie Williamson
(Hodder Children’s Books, 2012)

It’s paperback publication day for this book today! The Big Bad Wolf is getting old, he’s got no huff and puff and is fed up of falling into hot water.

“What I need,” the wolf thought to himself, “is a nice relaxing fairy tale for a change.” So he scampered off into the pages of The Fairy Tale Book to find one.

Every tale has its own disadvantages (dresses! giants! bears!) and eventually all the tales roll together making a complete mess. A brilliant mess of fairy tales. I love ‘twists’ on traditional fairy tales and they are so much more meaningful now my girls are older and experienced in the traditional fairy tale. When they were babies, I think I exposed them (certainly MG) the wrong way round by reading more untraditional tales than traditional. Ooops. Now we can all enjoy them more, traditional and non 🙂

Sharing a book

One of the many things I love about this book, is that it is ‘gender neutral’ so can be enjoyed by boys and girls. Not something that has ever influenced my book buying (other than avoiding pink to start with – not now, and that’s a post in itself, but I recommend reading this post on gendered packaging from Nosy Crow) but something I am more and more aware of as my children grow.

Great fun, recommended by all the Chaos family, and we’ll be looking out for David & Melanie’s earlier The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster too.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Great Fairy Tale Disaster by Hachette Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

The Totally Terrifying Three by Hiawyn Oram & David Melling

The Totally Terrifying Three: Hiawyn Oram & David Melling (Hodder Children's Books, 2011)

The Totally Terrifying Three: Hiawyn Oram & David Melling
(Hodder Children’s Books, 2011)

It’s paperback publication day on Thursday (1st November), but I’m amazed we haven’t reviewed this book yet as we’ve had it since hardback publication a year ago. You can often find books before the official publication date and as it’s slightly Halloween-y, here’s the review to perhaps send you to your nearest bookshop searching for a copy…

Once there was a Dragon who was convinced he was TOTALLY TERRIFYING. One look at himself in the mirror and he nearly jumped out of his skin.

If you’re a regular reader you may be shocked to know that I am a huge David Melling fan… Yeah, okay, it’s somewhat obvious (Hugless Douglas Week for example…) This book is full of my favourite things David draws: Dragons! Witches! Trees! Everything! 😉

The Totally Terrifying Three: Hiawyn Oram & David Melling (Hodder Children's Books, 2011)

I could easily take the double spread above and frame it, it’s so wonderful. That is, if I could get past the sacrilege of destroying a book… It also neatly summarises everything in the story: the dragon, the witch, the giant, the toddler, and of course long-suffering Wiggles the dog.

The story follows a Dragon, who thinks he is too terrifying, so he leaves his neighbours and finds… A Witch, who thinks she is too terrifying (but neither the Dragon or Witch are terrified), so they leave together and find… A Giant, who thinks he is too terrifying (but none of the three are terrified), so they leave together and find… A Toddler, who also isn’t terrified… Which leads to some rethinking of their totally terrifying status, and a new three set out to scare… “absolutely NOBODY!”

It wasn't long before they came upon a Wich scaring herself silly in her magic mirror.

MG particularly loves humour in words like “scar[ing] the pants off people” and the fact that all the characters are basically just very silly and not at all scary. DG likes the brave toddler (and all the scary looking bits!) I love the details, as ever: look at what the dog and cat are doing in each picture; the trees (they need their own book); two bats near the witch’s hat at all times; the giant’s car and what happens when he stands up…

Hiyawyn Oram and David Melling are both deservedly acclaimed and this collaboration is a fine example of both their work. Other Halloween-suitable books by the totally terrific two (although not as collaborations) that we’ve already reviewed: The Ghost Library & Rumblewick and the Dinner Dragons.

1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, part 1

1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

I discovered 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up via @homedad when Fiction Fridays started almost a year ago. I loved the look of it so much that I asked for a copy for my Christmas present. Since then, I’ve flicked through it but not really read it fully but this post from Honey Bee Books has inspired me to look through the book more and see how many I’ve read, and how many we have in the house!

The book is split into age ranges: 0-3; 3+; 5+; 8+; and 12+. Unsurprisingly most of the books we have are in the 3+ and 5+ sections. My only problem with the age ranges (despite wondering why some books are in particular sections) is that the first section is 0-3 instead of 0+, because a lot of the books in there can be enjoyed by age 3+children too. However, that’s semantics and doesn’t detract from the lovely collection of books.

Do I agree with them all? Of course not! My 1001 would be different, but this 1001 is varied and covers a wide range whereas I’d possibly be more narrow having a preference for fantasy 😉

Starting backwards, because we have the least books in the older sections, here are the books from 1001 children’s book that are currently under my roof…

There are 270 books in this section. I have read 15 of them. We currently have 12 in the house.

I was quite surprised how few books I’d read in the 12+ section considering I thought I liked YA, but it seems a lot of what I like comes in the 8+ section. I’m also surprised to see Mister Monday (Garth Nix) here because to me it is more of an 8+ book; also I would have put Sabriel in the 12+ section but that’s nowhere to be seen. I think Nix’s Old Kingdom series definitely deserved a place and am surprised that the Keys to the Kingdom was chosen instead, much as I also love them.

Many of the 12+ section are classic novels which I never really enjoyed (e.g. The Three Musketeers, Little Women, The Call of the Wild…) or more modern teenage reads that I am too old for (e.g. The Illustrated Mum, Noughts and Crosses, How I Live Now).

For the collected books in the picture above, included in the 1001 list were The Hound of the Baskervilles; The Fellowship of the Ring; and The Dark is Rising. We also have the full Northern Lights and Bartimaeus trilogies plus all seven Keys to the Kingdom books. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and Private Peaceful (Michael Morporgo) missed the photo call.

There are 362 books in this section. I have read 68 of them. We currently have 46 in the house.

This is the largest section which doesn’t surprise me as there is a huge difference between the average eight year old and the average eleven year old – the transition from primary to secondary school for a start. The range of books is therefore quite extensive.

I’m surprised to find The Wolves in the Walls (Neil Gaiman ) and Der Struwwelpeter (Heinrich Hoffman) in the 8+ section as I’d put them younger. Well, not so surprised by Der Struwwelpeter I suppose but The Wolves in the Walls is definitely a 5+ book (younger in this household!)

Missing for me are Jane Yolen’s Dragon’s Blood, a book series that stayed with me for so long that I searched it out to re-read in my twenties (and must read again now); The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye which in my opinion is the perfect fairy tale; personally I prefer Coraline to The Graveyard Book but I am in a minority; also there are no Diana Wynne-Jones which seems a huge oversight.

For the collected books above, included in the 1001 list were: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (we also have as illustrated book); Through the Looking Glass; The Borrowers; and Cirque du Freak. Others that we don’t quite have are The Thousand and One Arabian Nights (we have an adaptation illustrated by Jan Pienkowski); Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare (my mum has it ready for when the girls are older, we have Usborne Stories from Shakespeare plus a collection of adaptations as well as the Complete Shakespeare and two illustrated by Arthur Rackham!) and D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (we have several other myth books). Comet in Moominland (Tove Jansson); Gargling with Jelly (Brian Patten) and The Demon Headmaster (Gillian Cross) missed the photo call.

Part two will take me longer to collate as we have so many! I may split 5+, 3+ & 0-3 into separate posts.

Friday Pick{ture Book}: When I Dream of Christmas

When I Dream of Christmas: Oakley Graham (Top That! Publishing, 2012)

When I Dream of Christmas: Oakley Graham
(Top That! Publishing, 2012)

I know, it’s still October and you’re only just starting to think Halloween thoughts but even though there’s still 66 days until Christmas; there’s 6 weeks until 1st December and the Advent countdown which this book would be perfect for! Also I tend to collect for Christmas early so I can completely avoid shopping in November/December 😉

Each double page of When I Dream of Christmas consists of a gorgeous Christmas image on the right and simple humour-filled text on the left. I especially love that the main text font is an easy to read font (i.e. the ‘a’ is a circle with a tail rather than the more complicated print ‘a’; ‘b/’d’/’p’/’q’ are easily differentiated; capital ‘I’ and lower-case ‘l’ easily differentiated etc) which works well for handwriting practice too. MG loves to copy text from books to practice her handwriting.

A Bright Star

*apologies for quality of picture, lighting not good enough*

There are so many pages of this book that I want to share, it’s hard to choose a favourite! The descriptions make me smile as we read through the book, and MG and DG love all the different Christmassy items as well as the glittery cover. We are feeling quite festive already, but I’m putting the book away until December now!

Always hang out a stocking for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. Never hang out dirty socks as this is considered quite rude and can make your presents smell like cheese.

With twenty-seven double page spreads, this is a very substantial book that is still easy to read all the way through to children but also can be dipped in and out of one page at a time. It covers both secular and Christian elements of Christmas and I think will appeal to all religious backgrounds who want a humourous and not-particularly-factual coverage of the festive season!

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of When I Dream of Christmas by Top That! Publishing for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

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Friday Pick{ture Book}: I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back: Jon Klassen
(Walker Books, 2011)

I have been meaning to buy this book for months, but I decided to wait for the paperback and what a very long wait it has been… This book is absolutely worth the wait on the one hand, but oh how I wish I’d got it earlier on the other! If you’ve read any other children’s book blogs in the last year, you probably already know about this book and the story but are maybe wondering if it can really be as good as everyone says it is? It can, and it is.

This is a simple story of a bear looking for his hat. He walks along, asking every animal he meets whether they’ve seen his hat, to which they invariably answer in the negative (if at all).

“Okay. Thank-you anyway.”

Then he realises that he has seen his hat on the way. Did you notice it as you went through the story? Did you listen to what the rabbit said? This book is wonderful for children to sit up and take notice. It does have a fantastically macabre twist making this a book very much fun for adults to read as well as children.

I Want My Hat Back - Jon Klassen

Image (c) Jon Klassen, taken from http://www.burstofbeaden.com/

I also love how simple the text is, it is possible for MG to read quite large chunks of this book although because of the repetition she tends to race ahead and have to stop and look again where the words actually change (this is a good thing, getting her to concentrate on what she’s reading instead of just guessing all the words!) It works well as an early reader. All the text is speech, who is speaking is differentiated by the colour of the text: subtle and effective.

The bear may love his hat; we love this book. Jon Klassen‘s second solo creation, This is Not My Hat has just been released in hardback and I will be adding it to our shelves very soon…

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Friday Pick{ture Book}: Three Month Roundup

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed choosing my books every Friday, and am hugely greatful to everyone who has joined in. This post is a roundup of the first thirteen weeks of Friday Pick{ture Book}.

In future, I’m going to avoid numbering the weeks (other than mentally), and depending on how popular the linky gets I will also try to do a roundup like this every three months, or a selection if there are too many 🙂

Aaaarrgghh, Spider! – Lydia Monks (Egmont) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
Alphabet Explosion – John Nickle (Landmark) reviewed by Menai Newbold
The Big Katie Morag Storybook – Mairi Hedderwick (Random House Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
Black Dog – Levi Pinfold (Templar Books) reviewed by Read it, Daddy!
Brave – Disney Pixar reviewed by Menai Newbold
Catch Us If You Can-Can – Alex T Smith (Hodder Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
The Champion Hare – InteractBooks LLC (InteractBooks LLC) reviewed by Capptivated Kids
Class Two at the Zoo – Julia Jarman & Lynne Chapman (Hodder Children’s Books) reviewed by BookARoo
Colours – Shirley Hughes (Walker) reviewed by Mini Bookworms
Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo! – Emma Chichester Clark (HarperCollins Children’s Books) reviewed by Mini Bookworms
Denver – David McKee (Andersen Children’s Books) reviewed by Read it, Daddy!
Dogger – Shirley Hughes (Random House Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
Duck Sock Hop – Jane Kohuth & Jane Porter (Dial Books) reviewed by Menai Newbold
Ella – Alex T. Smith (Scholastic) reviewed by Overdue Books
Farmer Duck – Martin Waddell & Helen Oxenbury (Walker) reviewed by Hertfordshire Mummy
The Fearsome Beastie – Giles Paley-Phillips & Gabriele Antonini (Maverick Arts Publishing) reviewed by The Little Wooden Horse
Grandma Bendy – Izy Penguin (Maverick Arts Publishing) reviewed by Read it, Daddy!
The Green Line – Polly Farquharson (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books) reviewed by Mini Bookworms
Haunted House – Jan Pienkowski (Walker) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
A Hundred Cartloads – Devika Rangachari & Bindia Thapar reviewed by Menai Newbold
I Like It When… – Mary Murphy (Egmont) reviewed by Menai Newbold
In the Forest – Sophie Strady & Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud (Tate) reviewed by The Little Wooden Horse
The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble – Angela Mitchell & Sarah Horne (Maverick Arts Publishing) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble – Angela Mitchell & Sarah Horne (Maverick Arts Publishing) reviewed by Natasha Worswick
Miffy’s Garden – Dick Bruna (Egmont Books) reviewed by Capptivated Kids
Monkey & Me – Emily Gravett (Macmillan Children’s Books) reviewed by Overdue Books
The Monster at the End of This Book – Jon Stone & Michael J. Smollin (Random House) reviewed by Capptivated Kids
The Monster Machine – Nicola L Robinson (Pavilion Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
Monstersaurus – Claire Freedman & Ben Croft (Simon & Schuster Childrens Books) reviewed by Mini Bookworms
Mother Goose Remembers – Clare Beaton (Barefoot Books) reviewed by Mini Bookworms
Muffin and The Birthday Surprise – Clara Vulliamy (Orchard Books) reviewed by A Mummy’s View
Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! – Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children’s Books) reviewed by Capptivated Kids
Owl Babies – Martin Waddell & Patrick Benson (Walker) reviewed by Hertfordshire Mummy
Rhino? What Rhino? – Caryl Hart & Sarah Horne (Hodder Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
The Scallywags – David Melling (Hodder Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
Six Dinner Sid – Inga Moore (Hodder Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
Stuck – Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books) reviewed by Bookaholic Mum
The Super Sandwich – Catherine Vase (Campbell Books) reviewed by Menai Newbold
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes – Mem Fox & Helen Oxenbury (Walker) reviewed by Menai Newbold
The Tiger Who Came To Tea – Judith Kerr (HarperCollins Children’s Books) reviewed by Menai Newbold
Tip – McKee Readers (McKee Readers) reviewed by Menai Newbold
Topsy and Tim at the wedding – Jean & Gareth Adamson (Puffin) reviewed by Menai Newbold
Wanted: The Perfect Pet – Fiona Roberton (Hodder Children’s Books) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
Where’s My Sock? – Joyce Dunbar & Sanja Rescek (Chicken House) reviewed by Bookaholic Mum
Winnie’s Dinosaur Day – Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul (Oxford University Press) reviewed by Child-Led Chaos
The Wrong Book – Nick Bland (Scholastic) reviewed by Capptivated Kids

Click on the image above or here to see all links visually in Blogpinner. Huge thanks to:
Menai Newbold
Capptivated Kids
Mini Bookworms
Read it, Daddy!
Overdue Books
The Little Wooden Horse
Bookaholic Mum
Hertfordshire Mummy
A Mummy’s View
Natasha Worswick

Friday Pick{ture Book} #13: The Monster Machine

The Monster Machine: Nicola L Robinson (Pavilion Children's Books, 2012)

The Monster Machine: Nicola L Robinson
(Pavilion Children’s Books, 2012)

I can’t remember who choose this book. Whether is was me, or MG, or DG. I do know we saw it on a wander through Blackwell’s and we all liked the look of it so it came home with us…

Monsters are made of lots of things… Slugs, bogies, toenail clippings, sprouts, earwax, spiders, and some special dust and goo from Dad’s cupboard.

This is such a fun book, there’s the intricate steampunk-esque Monster Machine, monsters of all shapes and sizes, the kind of dad every kid would want to have, fun, inventiveness and a lovely ending for your little monsters!

We all love: the ingredients that go into making monsters; the inventing and machines; and best of all the different shaped and sized monsters. I particularly like this spread where the monsters are researching and finding out where they come from. It’s a lovely way of showing learning is fun, can be done in many different ways and something that might encourage little monsters to look up something they’re interested in.

The monsters [..] made a discovery.

The Monster Machine (and Nicola) have their own website and blog too, with some more monstrous monsters, but Nicola’s website is a must-visit packed with examples of her art. Wonderful fun for all monster lovers and their monsters 😉

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Learn With Hello Kitty: Alphabet Letters & Starting to Write

Learn With Hello Kitty

The lovely people at Harper Collins have sent us two Hello Kitty workbooks. I have mixed feelings on workbooks but MG and DG like to play school and they like to have workbooks to use.

DG is at a stage where she’s only just starting to control her pencil strokes and producing circles and lines on purpose rather than just squiggles (I try not to compare her to MG who could write her name at the same age!) MG loves to write but some practice with forming letters on top of her story writing and schooling would be useful to her.

I also have mixed opinions about these two workbooks. Both books are luscious, with lots of colour throughout so they stand out from many other workbooks. Hello Kitty is a familiar character and instantly recognisable so these books are attractive to young children. There is also a Numbers book which we haven’t seen plus three dictionaries in the series. Matching stationery can be easily found for those who want to co-ordinate!

Starting to Write is aimed at 3-5 year olds and is pitched perfectly at the age range, starting with tracing straight lines, moving through curves and shapes before showing the correct formation of the lower case alphabet. The pages are colourful and inviting, there are lots of stickers (including several oversize characters) and the letter size is big enough to be clear on how to form them and uses a primary font that differentiates between b/d/p/q easily.

Alphabet Letters is also aimed at 3-5 year olds, but I think it’s more useful as an activity book than an alphabet learning tool. There is a page for each letter of the alphabet but no consistency between the activities, for example only a handful of pages offer the opportunity to write the letter. Each page is cluttered and it’s not clear from the picture what letter is being highlighted. The font used does not clearly differentiate between b/d etc and uses a straight line for l without a tail. The ‘l’ page also uses a very curvy font for handwriting that, to me, completely defeats the object of the entire book. Using the same font as the letters to trace in Starting to Write would have been preferable.

There are no guidance notes for parents on using the phonic sounds for the letters, which is the best starting point for children to understand the correspondence between the marks on paper and the words we speak. Some of the examples are not simple phonetic words (e.g. ice cream starts with the letter name sound rather than the letter sound; xylophone doesn’t have the /ks/ sound, although words starting with x are awkward…)

I really don’t think Alphabet Letters succeeds as a book to “learn your letters” but is an enjoyable activity book with lots to talk about in the pictures and plenty of stickers to use too.

I used both books with DG because MG is on the outer end of the age range for the books and would get less out of them whereas DG is very much at the start of the alphabet & writing experience. MG would still get something out of the writing book as some of her letter formations are out (e.g. backwards) but I’d prefer to use the whole book with one child!

DG really enjoyed the pictures and talking about everything in them. She proved to me my thoughts about Alphabet Letters. It was enjoyable for her as an activity book with lots to talk about and stickers to stick but trying to concentrate on one letter was impossible given the cluttered pages, she also found it hard to find the illustration of the example word for some letters because they weren’t obvious. As an activity book to colour, stick, draw and talk about the pictures this book is lovely, but I wouldn’t recommend it as an alphabet teaching book.

Conversely Starting to Write does the job perfectly. DG and I have gone through the whole book talking through the pictures with her pointing things out, and she’s traced some of the lines with her fingers. At the stage she’s at, she needs more fine motor practise to control her pen strokes, although she can do circles and lines but I stuck to following lines with fingers to start. This book will last us for a very long time going through all the different activities, and the colourful pictures are very appealing to DG.

These are visually appealing, fun books that don’t feel like workbooks and have lovely stickers too. I would recommend looking for them in a real bookshop rather than online to see whether they suit what you’re looking for but DG and I have had fun using them together.

Disclaimer: We were sent copies of  Learn with Hello Kitty: Alphabet Letters and Learn with Hello Kitty: Starting to Write by Harper Collins Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.