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When I came across this book for just £3 I decided to purchase it for my eldest son. It is described as an educational game to help little one recognise letters, shapes, numbers and problem solving. As my son loves Cars I thought he would love this. I was a little surprised when I received this game as it was more like a spiral note pad in a plastic casing. It is very flimsy so I knew we would have to be careful with it to avoid the pages tearing. The pages are laminated to make them a little more durable but we have had a few rips since we started using this in October. At the top of the page on the plastic holder are switches that when pushed up and down display yes or no. The questions are asked underneath and the layout is fairly simple so little one can play easily. The idea is to look at the questions which all have yes or no answers, flip the switch to the correct answer and then check your answers once you have finished with the page on the left hand side of the book.
On the first page we are given an introduction to the characters. My son already knew the facts about each one but it is a great start to getting the children interested in this book. Then on every other page there are questions asked by a different character from the films. It starts off with the more well known characters but also includes just about any car that has ever appeared in the first film to bulk out the book. Pictures are well detailed, and all the scenes are well detailed and catch little ones attention. There are lots of pages to make up for the fact one activity spreads over two pages.
The game is very easy to use. On the left page are the answers to the questions so this needs to be folded and clipped into place so little one cannot see it. Then on the right page you have a different character asking around 6 or 7 questions. Each page has a theme so some will be numbers, others letters, others shapes and others teaser puzzles. The puzzles all differ in difficulty. So on one page red has to wash the number plates that are listed next to him. By using the flip switches at the top of the page little one has to decide if the names listed at the top of the page, match those on the right hand side of red. Other activities include looking at a jumbled word and deciding if it is listed above the page, and sorting which shapes are in a picture and which are not. This is fantastic for making this a little more interesting as it challenges little one.
My two eldest children do really enjoy this puzzle book. It is something a little different to an activity book, and something that we can sit and do together rather than them independently. I would not say it has received a huge amount of use and it does become boring after a few pages. This tends to be something that is read in short bursts but often. We have owned this since October and it still receives use. Some pages my son flies through as he knows them of by heart, but some of the more challenging puzzles still appeal to him. As I mentioned before around four or five pages have been torn off the spiral casing as it is being used.
The biggest let down of this book was a typing error. Now yes it is only one but I feel it is an important one as it relates to a character in the film. As I was reading the questions aloud to my son I asked him Can Chick Hills match these letters? As you can imagine I was stopped and told that is Chick Hicks mummy not Hills. On closer inspection it was Chick Hicks and so there was a major typo. Now this can be avoided and be read correctly by the parent but I just think it is a shame it was published with this mistake in the first place especially with a larger character in the first movie.
Recommended age range is four years plus which I think is about right. My son is five and although he can read some of the words I do need to sit and read the questions for him. The yes/no flip pieces are easy for little one to do and even my two year old son can change them. There are some more simple questions that my four year old girl can do, but on the whole she finds the activities difficult to complete and looses interest quickly. My son however loves them. He likes that there are easy ones that he can do independently, and although he says the others are too you can see him really concentrating on some of the more difficult ones.
This book has received a fair amount of use especially for the £3 I paid. I am not sure I would pay the £10 retail price to be honest as it is not fantastic quality and just a plastic activity book really. My son loves it because it is Disney cars and I do think it would suit a fan best. There a number of activities that differs in difficulty so it can appeal to a larger age range. I would suggest it for children aged 4-7 as I think this is who the questions are best suited for. An OK activity book, but not something I would rush to buy again.