Newest Review: ... book reminds me of the others he has done as it it has the same almost square pages and is printed onto really thick paper that is id... more
Farmyard fancy dress foolery
Fancy Dress Farmyard - Nick Sharratt
Member Name: cha97mw
Fancy Dress Farmyard - Nick Sharratt
Advantages: sturdy flaps, thick paper suitable for toddlers, lovely rhyming book with great pictures and text
Disadvantages: kids get too big for it after a while.
Now my kids have reached the grand old ages of 4 and a half and 6 I was pretty sure that they were past flap books, but by the way they enthusiastically picked this at our last library visit, I was slightly proved wrong.
This is a 2011 book written and illustrated by Nick Sharratt. Sharratt has worked previously with people like Julia Donaldson, as well as producing books on his own such as Hippo Has a Hat, and Chocolate Moose for Greedy Goose. There is something in his style that is reminiscent of Donaldson in that he likes to use rhyming text, and his books that I have read feature animals and lots of bold colourful illustrations which really seem to appeal to young children. Pairing this with flaps, he is onto a winner.
This particular book reminds me of the others he has done as it it has the same almost square pages and is printed onto really thick paper that is ideal for younger children. Also, a key thing for this book is you are not dealing with flimsy flaps glued onto the page of text. Each flap is actually bound into the book and is just a shaped page covering an image on the page behind. So instead of a double page spread, you get one page of text, then a page with a fancy dress costume flap, which is then followed by an illustration of a farmyard animal that looks like a 'normal' animal that a child should recognise. When I say normal, I mean an illustrated cartoon animal, not a picture of an animal.
For each animal's costume, there is firstly a paragraph of 4 lines of rhyming text. Each one starts with 'There's a party at the farmyard', before saying something about the party, such as they are all in fancy dress or there are balloons or tasty things to eat. There is then something about the particular costume you can see, such as the astronaut who goes to the moon.
I found this book quite enjoyable as it is well written, and I feel there is a lot there to talk about with a child. There is description of the party and the costumes, so you can talk with your child about what they have done at parties or what they could dress up as, and then there is the vocabulary for the animals too. Because of the way it is presented, you are also having fun while you are reading through it with your child. I always find rhyming books really grab my children's attention and they find them really enjoyable. I also feel that they learn a lot about describing things and words that do rhyme when they read this sort of book, and that is a good thing when they get to school and have to start writing and describing things themselves.
I would say that this book could be suitable for children from about 2 years old to round about my youngest son's age of 4. It might be ok to read this with slightly younger children if they are not too rough with the pages. My eldest was only 18 months old when he first got hold of some of Sharratt's other books, and while they got a bit crumpled they were firm favourites.
The RRP on this book is £6.99. This is worth that, as it is something that would be read to death in my opinion as it is well known that young kids love repetition. It is published by Alison Green Books. I don't think you can go wrong at all with this sort of book for young children.
Summary: Another brilliant book from Nick Sharratt. If you love Donaldson's books, you'll like this.