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Author : Andrew Davenport 2009
Published : Penguin Group
ISBN : 978-1405905398
Available from 1p used or £1.00 new (Amazon UK)
In The Night Garden is a narrated show aimed at pre-school children. It is shown on Cbeebies twice a day and is based around a magical night garden and follows various colourful characters.
"In The Night Garden Busy Day" is a 16 page, hard cover book. This isn't a normal book though - it is "a pop-in-the-slot storybook". There are 17 press-out pictures which can be slotted in to the pages to create different stories. Each double page features a different scene from the show.
"The Tombliboos are running after..."
"Time for Makka Pakka to wash..."
The opposite page has basic drawings and words which indicate which picture should be slotted in to complete the scene. The pictures can be stored in a pouch inside the front cover of the book. Pictures vary in size and shape and have the character or item name printed on them.
I bought this book for my son from the charity shop and paid 69p which I feel is very cheap as that rrp is £7.99. My son enjoys In The Night Garden so I knew he would love this book. It is quite a heavy, chunky book which withstands toddler tantrums. The book (like all the other ITNG books), is extremely bright and colourful throughout. There is limited writing in this book except for the small sentence at the start of each scene. The bulk of the book is bold coloured pages with simple drawings.
Our book had all the pictures already popped out and stored in the pouch. I find the variation in size of the pictures is good and they are all designed to slot into any space in the book. The pictures are colourful and reflect the appearance of each character well. My son appreciates that it isn't just the characters that are included - there are slot pictures of Iggle Piggls blanket, Makka Pakkas stones etc.
This book is well designed and is very fun. Boo can create his own scenes and always has fun making up new stories. The scenes are similar to what would be seen in the show and reflect the different activities that the characters carry out in the show. Children can relate to this and it makes it easier for them to make up scenes. With there being 17 different pictures, there is plenty of scene options and the is endless amounts of stories which can be discovered.
The pictures can be slotted in very easily and stay put. It is possible to put all the pictures in then read the full story from start to finish. The pictures are very easily misplaced though as we have discovered. Boo forgets to slot them back into the pouch and they seem to pop up in toy boxes and under the sofa etc. There are a few Iggle Piggle pictures so deciding which one to use adds an extra option to the book.
The pre-selected scenes are good and feature all of the characters. Makka Pakka gets to wash his ball with his uff uff, Upsy Daisy gets to sing to the other characters, most of them get to dance etc. There is room for up to 3 slot pictures on each page and the created scenes can be very interesting. My son was impressed that the more unheard of characters were included - the Wottingers that is. The Haa Hoos and the different vehicles also make an appearance so everyone is there which is fun!
*~*Lets Play A Game!*~*
Whilst Boo prefers to use this book alone (he can chill out for a good 15minutes with it) and can do so easily, we often play with the book together. I usually place all the pictures on the floor or table and we will go through the book together and identify which picture goes where. We then play a game where Boo has to indentify the correct slot picture from the table and slot it in. We find this fun and it keeps us amused for a while.
We really love this book. It isn't one that would make good bedtime reading due to the lack of wording in it though would be ideal to take out when visiting or to play with when waiting for a meal to be served. It does hold Boos attention and he loves it. It isn't a story book really.
It is worth noting that this book is designed for children over the age of 3years due to the slot pictures. I wouldn't say they would cause a choking hazzard or anything though supervision should always be carried out anyway.
I would recommend this book as a gift to any ITNG fan and it is very cheap from Amazon.
Thanks for reading x