“ Genre: Junior Books / Edition: Brdbk / Hardcover / Reading Level: Ages 4-8 / Book is published 2007-03-06 by Priddy Books „
This was one of the first (set of) books that I actually bought for my daughter, when she was perhaps a few months old (so nearly 3 years ago). This was back in the day when I could go into a shop and pick something up for her and not worry about adding to the ever growing mountain of toys and books at home - at this time she had a small plastic box of toys, and a very small amount of books - these days we have piles of toys and books in every room in the house...sigh.
Anyway, it caught my eye because it looked like a nice little trio of books in a nice sturdy little white box. We already had a single book from this range and I knew she enjoyed looking at that one, so I was keen to add to her collection by purchasing this set. I seriously cannot remember how much we paid for it, but I remember being very excited by how cheap it was (I bought it from one of those discount bookstores) and was convinced I had got myself a bargain when the RRP on the box was £9.99.
The books themselves are very child friendly; they are small, but not miniature like some kids books, they have a lovely soft to touch cover, sort of spongy I suppose, and the pages are made from thick card. All surfaces are wipe clean, which is perfect for me because my youngest constantly has sticky fingers and constantly looks at these books.
Each book has a different theme (Words, Things That Go, and Animals), but they are all laid out in more or less the same way, and they are all simple picture books. The pictures in each book are photographs rather than illustrations and each double page spread usually has a large picture with some smaller ones dotted about, and there is usually a baby amongst them (except for the Things That Go book!).
I will give you an example from each book here:
The page is called 'Going Out' and there is a large photo in the middle of a baby sat in a buggy, then there are 4 smaller photos around this, some wellies, a flower, a leaf, and a tricycle. These are obviously all items you might see if you were to go out. Each item is clearly labelled. The smaller items are highlighted by coloured circles.
**Things That Go:
The page is called 'In The Air' and there is a large photo of a passenger plane, and 3 smaller photos, a propeller plane, a helicopter, and a space shuttle. Again all items are clearly labelled, and the smaller ones are highlighted with coloured circles.
The page is called 'At The Zoo', and there is large photo of a blue parrot, and 4 smaller photos, a lion, rhinoceros, giraffe and a monkey. The page is laid out in exactly the same way as the ones I have described above.
All three books are lovely, the photos are really clear and because everything is done on a white background, everything really stands out, which is perfect for their target audience. Most things in the books are from everyday life (a few examples are pets, farm animals, cars, rescue vehicles, farm vehicles, baby clothes, toys, flowers, food, feeding equipment, bath time...etc) and are things that you would want your baby to learn about, although there are some vehicles in the Things That Go book which even I have never heard of (such as a forage harvester and a skid steer????).
They are brilliant for babies, as well as older toddlers because there are that many things for them to look at on each page; something is bound to catch their eye. These have been a firm favourite with both my children. My eldest has more or less outgrown them now, but my youngest (15 months) is really enjoying them at the moment.
I have found that we have so many books now, that some get pushed to the back of the bookshelf and get forgotten about, but these have never been discarded or lost, they have always been around every day, and I can honestly say that I think they are a great learning tool for kids. My eldest learnt a lot of her words from looking at them.
I think the thing with them is that there is no story there at all, because it is just picture after picture after picture, and yes it does get boring when you are looking at them every single day, but if you are looking at them with your child every day and saying the words, then they are bound to learn something! My eldest daughter definitely did. My youngest, is not quite as quick to speak the words, but she still seems to know what most things are on each page. If I ask her to point to something she generally gets it right. I think it must be the way they have displayed the pictures and laid out each page, which must really appeal to children and make them have a thirst for knowledge and hunger to learn!
I remember on Christmas Day last year, my youngest daughter sat amongst a pile of wrapping paper and a mountain of new toys...reading these books...yes these old books that she had not just unwrapped, but these old books she knew and loved and couldn't go a day without, even though she had lots of new things to play with.
I cannot rate these books highly enough and I feel like I haven't said enough about them in this review to make everyone see how much I like them, but I don't want to ramble on forever...
One last thing, they are also really well made because they have been on the go in our house for nearly 3 years with two children, and are still in lovely condition, no peeling pages or broken spines; the only damage that I can see is a few teeth marks here and there, so they are obviously very good quality and not just thrown together.
These would make a lovely gift for a new baby, or as a 1st birthday present, or a just generally. I would say they are ideal from about 4 or 5 months up to 2-3 years depending on the child's interest and ability.
Do your children a favour and buy them this lovely set.
Available from Amazon for £5.56 new, or £6.89 used (strangely enough).