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My daughter loves everything Mickey and Minnie Mouse and loves nothing more than watching a bit of television on Disney Junior. For that reason, Nan and Grandad bought her the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse sing along book, complete with CD for Christmas. Looking today on The Works website, it is reduced costing £2.99.
I was made up when she opened this present, because it looked perfect for her and as she's reached the stage of dancing to music, I also thought the included CD was a great idea to encourage those newly found dance moves. The book is a hard backed book, with thin board pages and a sleeve situated behind the front cover to keep the CD in. As our little one is 19 months, I always tend to keep the CD away from her reach rather than in this sleeve, as there is no fastening to keep it in place and I assumed that she'd end up breaking or damaging it if I left it in there.
The book was advertised on the front as including '10 songs from the original shows'. My daughter's personal favourites on that channel are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McSftuffins, but I'd say that there are over ten different programmes shown on the channel from the viewing that we've seen on and off across a number of months. As that was on the cover, I made the assumption that a lot of these shows would be included. I have to admit though I very disappointed at the selection of songs. There are sure enough 10 songs, but they are very limited - being only from three of the channel's programmes. The shows included in the book are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Jake and the Neverland pirates. Furthermore, when I first flicked through the book and saw that the songs were from only three shows, I at least expected those shows to be their biggest ones. I would consider Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake to be two big hits, but I have always considered Handy Manny to be a fill in kind of show really, as I've never really seen merchandise sold for the show, whereas there are plenty of other shows on the channel such as Doc McStuffins, that you can buy a wide range of goodies from and I assume are more popular with viewers.
There is more than one song from Handy Manny - there are two from that show, three from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and a huge five from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I can understand there being three from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as I would consider that to be the biggest and most original show on there but it would have been far better in my opinion to swap a couple from Jake and one from Handy Manny for some of the other programmes to give more of a selection. Songs include the theme tunes from the shows and the Hot Dog Dance from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - there are ones for Jake that I've never actually heard.
The book itself has a nice layout. It includes plenty of pictures of the characters that my daughter likes to look at and point at when we're reading through it. The book takes the form of a songbook rather than a storybook whereby every double page covers a song from the three shows and shows the words to the song, with hyphens to show where words that should be sang longer than others. It's quite handy to have the book as now we know the words to the songs, before we just hummed to a lot of them! My daughter's words are quite limited at the moment, saying a number of words but not phrases or sentences, so she isn't at the stage where she can sing along and join in, but they are songs that she hears quite often. I think it's helping her to learn words by seeing them written down and also hearing played via the CD and on TV whenever she gets to watch them. The CD plays each of the songs and lasts for around 15 to 20 minutes in total. We usually just play a couple each time, rather than the whole thing because sometimes it can feel a little repetitive.
The only downside in terms of the layout is the sizing of words. As the full wording to each song is written on one double page and the book is only around 20cm x 15cm, the wording is quite small so it's not ideal for her age range - I would say that it's probably aimed at children a bit older than my daughter but under 5 years, as I'd say the channel itself is.
Overall, taking into account the current price, I would recommend this provided you and your child aren't bothered with the limited selection. The book is a nice one to look at and is a great one for actions and movements as well as words and reading - I don't think my daughter is bothered by the song choices (she dances to them all!). I've rated it 3 stars - a couple off because I don't think it would have taken much to add more songs into the book or swap them for others to give a larger range.
Thanks for reading :o)