“ Manufacturer: ELC / Age: 3 Years+ / Type: Crafts „
I have been really pleased with the way my six year old daughter has taken off with reading and for the last year it has not been at all unusual to discover her with her head in a book. I've noticed just lately as well that her enthusiasm for reading has really increased and she loves writing letters and stories on any scraps of paper she can find. This is why, when I spotted the 'Make Your Own Book' kit in the Early Learning Centre I thought it would be ideal for her and bought it as a Christmas extra. I was right, because as soon as she unwrapped it, the box was open and she was busily writing her first novel!
The kit was priced at £9 in the ELC but is currently on offer at £7.20. It consists of a very nice quality hard cover book with fourteen pages for your budding author to write in. Inside the front cover there is an 'about the author' page to fill in with lots of information. The rest of the pages are set out so that there are a few lines to write on and a larger area in which to provide an illustration. Although I like this, I do feel that perhaps too much space is devoted to the pictures and it can seem a little restrictive for children who want to write more. It would have been nice also to see a variety of layouts throughout the book.
There are also provided four character sticker sheets, two alphabet and number sticker sheets, six felt tip pens, some glitter glue and a page of instructions. In some ways the instructions are not really necessary, particularly as far as my daughter was concerned because she just wanted to get on and do her own thing. However they do provide some suggestions about how you might organise your book or story. Everything is of a good quality and the stickers are all bright and colourful. The picture stickers show different little characters and also some schoolroom objects so could be very useful for writing a book about school. However, I am sure that most children will just choose to make a book about whatever they want to.
Although you could argue that you could just provide your child with some paper and pens, there does seem to be something a bit special about this book. My daughter loved it and could not wait to get started. She is a happy writer though but I also feel that it could motivate more reluctant writers too with the idea of creating their own books especially if it was a project that a parent and child could share together. It is a nice way of stimulating creativity - both as a writer and as an artist!
The suggested age range is for between three and eight years and there does not seem to be a particular bias towards either sex. I do think though that it is probably best suited towards the middle of that age range though as older children might find the lack of writing space too restrictive and younger children will probably need a lot of support. My daughter loves it though and is very proud of her first book which is called 'The Boy and The Girl and The Cheeky Monkey'. Maybe I shall write a review of that one day when it reaches the best seller list!