“ Genre: Junior Books / Author: Phoebe Beinstein / Paperback / 24 Pages / Book is published 2009-05-05 by Simon Spotlight „
This Christmas I was adamant that I was going to - instead of buying anything for my daughter that caught my eye - buy practical stocking fillers that were going to last longer that the duration of the Christmas break. Because of this my daughter received a lot of books off Santa this year to replenish her book shelf, one of those books being this Dora the explorer book called "Swim boots swim!"
This book, as you may have guessed is based around the very popular television programme Dora the explorer. This particular story sees Dora and boots going on a swimming trip to the beach but there are some complications along the way. Firstly we learn that boots cannot swim. Dora soon fixes this however by arranging to meet with marina the mermaid who can teach boots to swim once they get there. The second problem they face however is actually getting there.
The story follows Dora and boots as they try to find their way to the beach. The book is written very much like it is shown on the television. The map tells Dora and boots which way they need to go, this involves going through some obstacles, in this instance for example Dora and boots need to go over the flying fish bridge and then find their way through the silver sand dunes to get to the beach.
This book (rather than just being a story to read) very much involves the reader is various activities. For example as Dora and boots get to the flying fish bridge it asks to the reader to say the colours of the fish as they go under them, the book them proceeds to list the colours in both English and Spanish. Other activity's involve a maze, completing this will help Dora and boots find their way through the silver sand dunes and then towards the end of the book there are steps to complete to help marina the mermaid teach boots how to swim.
I really like how this book involves the reader as it allows my daughter to feel more involved in the story. Throughout the whole book the words are directed at the reader, as though it is talking directly to the reader rather than telling a story. This makes the book feel a little more personal to my daughter and she absolutely loves it, she is forever answering the questions asked, for example it asks "will you come too?" It then has a small break in the words for you to answer and is then followed by "Great let's go!"
The book in terms of quality are in my opinion its only let down, the book feels extremely thin and the pages feel very delicate and easily breakable. Another small issue with the quality are the pictures, although there are large and detailed pictures that cover the entire page they just seem like bad quality and look faded and a little bit grainy. This isn't a huge issue however and the quality is definitely reflected in the price. Saying that however the cover of the book is very glossy and shiny and the bright and attractive pictures make up for the disappointment inside.
Altogether there are 12 double sided pages in this book making a total of 24. The book is also more picture based as the pictures are what tell the story the most. There approximately around 2 sentences on each page making this story rather short. Despite this however, there is still enough to make the story interesting and entertaining and as there are several activity's in this book it takes about 15 minutes to read.
This book has proved a great hit with my daughter, being the only Dora the explorer book that she owns she constantly wants to read it. On average we read it at least two times a day and she is so far not showing any signs of getting bored of it. I also find this book entertaining; at least I find my determination to improve my Dora the explorer accent quite amusing. I do find the Spanish parts hard to understand as in all honestly I have never tried to read Spanish before. Some of the more challenging looking words either get brushed over completely or sometimes when I am feeling brave I will attempt to put words like " Vamos a nader" into some form of speech with the result being some form of gibberish! However on the plus side there isn't too much Spanish in the book and it can easily be left out as most of the words are at the end of the sentences.
All in all, despite having some qualms with this book I would definitely recommend it to Dora fans. Due to the simplicity of this book I would suggest that it be suitable for pre-school children or those of a young age, I think this book maybe too simple for older children. This book can be bought on amazon for a very reasonable £2.57. The book is available in paper back and comes in one size being 8x8. The author of this book is Phoebe Beinstein.