* Prices may differ from that shown
At work we have some book people come round every few weeks and leave some sample books for us to look at and decide if we want to buy any, I always have a look to see what there is, they have quite a lot of children's books and they are so reasonably priced that if I see something I like I more often than not end up getting it as you cannot guarantee that it will be available the next time they come round.
One thing they recently had available was The Very Hungry Caterpillar Little Learning Library by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a book I remember reading at school so I was drawn to these books and decided to purchase them as part of Jayden's birthday present a few weeks ago.
The Little Learning Library consists of 4 books in the style of The Hungry Caterpillar book, the books I have come in a small cream Hessian bag with 2 fabric handles on the top.
On both the front and the back of the bag are the words Little Learning Library in multi colours with a picture of The Hungry Caterpillar just underneath, next to this there is a very small logo for the publisher Puffin.
The bag is slightly larger than the 4 books put together making it easy for you and your child to get the books in and out of the bag. I particularly like the way that these books were presented as it was a bit different to other books that Jayden has.
As I have said there are 4 books in the Little Learning Library, these are all in the form of square shaped board books, each book has 6 pages including the front and back cover.
The card that all of the books are made from is very tough and sturdy making them hardwearing and able to withstand the rough time they might get with children. The pages are thick which makes it easy for little fingers to cope with, Jayden finds it easy to turn these pages as he can easily grip and separate them.
All 4 books are in a similar style and designed to teach your child other aspects at the same as helping them to read and recognise different words. The 4 books are Numbers, Words, Colours and Animal Sounds.
*Numbers - The Numbers book has a plain white cover with the title of the book at the top in multi coloured writing, the rest of the front cover is taken up with a picture of 3 ladybirds, the pages of the book also have a plain white background making the writing and pictures stand out clearly.
Inside the book counts from 1 to 10, at he top of each page is the number, beneath this is a picture and underneath this is a description of the picture, for example "One Bear", Two Trees" Three Stars" and so on. The pictures are done in a way so that they look painted, the number above the pictures are in the same colour as the picture itself.
This book doest just help your child count from 1 to 10 it can also help them recognise numbers written as a number and also in word form, it can help your child to learn to recognise different objects such as different animals, star shapes, flower shapes etc.
Another thing that the book can teach your child is colours (although there is a Colours book in the set) So whilst this book is designed to teach your child numbers it can also help them to learn various other things as well.
* Words - The Words book again has the same plain white front cover as the previous book with the name "Words" written at the top in multi coloured letters and a picture of a red apple just beneath it.
Also the pages of the book are again plain white making the information on them stand out clearly and easy to read. This book is designed to teach your child to read and recognise various words such as Ball, Sun, Bird, Fire Engine and so on.
The majority of each page is taken up with a picture and written underneath it is what the object in the picture actually is. Again the pictures are in a sort of painted style. I would say that this book only really teaches words, however some of the pictures can be used to recognise colours for example red ball, yellow sun etc but for me the book mainly teaches word recognition and helps with actual reading.
* Colours - The Colours book in this set is the one which is I think is most closely linked to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It has the same white front cover with the same white pages inside. The title Colours is written at the top in multi colours with a picture of The Hungry Caterpillar underneath it.
All of the pictures are in the same painted style and are mainly on food or something linked to The Very Hungry Caterpillar and in a lot of the pictures The Caterpillar appears.
On each page there is a picture of an object, written underneath each picture is the word stating what the object is, each double page is one colour, for example there is a different picture on each page but they will be the same colour for example the first 2 pages show The Caterpillar and a leaf both of which are green, the colour is written at the top of one of the pages and in the colour.
This book is obviously aimed at teaching your child to recognise colours but it can also help with recognising objects and words helping to develop their reading ability.
* Animal Sounds - The Animal Sounds book is in the same style as all of the others with its white front cover and the title Animal Sounds written at the top in multi colours, the rest of the front cover is take up with a picture of a dog. Again the pages are all white with the pictures in same painted style as the other books.
In this book on each page is a picture of an animal with the sound that that animal makes written around it in different coloured writing, the name of the animal is written at the bottom of each page in black writing. Other than teaching your child animal sounds it will also help with reading/ word recognition.
All 4 books are aimed at helping your child learn and develop, they are done in a simple yet effective style, the pictures are bright and colourful so that they will capture your child's attention but they are not fussy and over complicated making easier for your child to concentrate on what the book is actually trying to teach them. Although each book is designed to help children learn one particular thing each book will also help to develop other skills.
The Little Learning Library can be used by children of all ages, Jayden just over a year old and he really likes these books, he will happily sit and look at these with me and my Husband, he loves the bright colours of the pictures and will point at them and touch the pages.
Although Jayden is very young and has no concept of reading as yet he is learning all the time and by reading these books to him and showing him the different numbers and pictures as well as the words it will help him to develop his reading and counting skills as he grows. Personally I feel it is never to early to start reading with your child and helping them to learn and develop.
As I have mentioned I bought this set of books from the book people that bring books to my works, however I have seen this same item available from other book stores such as Waterstones, although the way they are displayed is slightly different, at Waterstones they come in a display box rather than a Hessian bag. These books are sold for £4.99 and this seems to be the case in most places, although the RRP on the tag states £15.00 which personally I feel is very over priced. I feel that £4.99 is a very good price for these 4 books.
Jayden has had his Little Learning Library for a few weeks now and he really seems to enjoy the books especially the Animal Sounds one, although there is no story to them he does seem to enjoy them and will indicate he wants another one after the first on is finished.
The books are of an excellent quality and although the style is simple is it effective. All of the books are done in the same style as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the pictures are bright and colourful with the writing being large ideal for children to read.
I like the fact that these are board books as it makes it easier for small hands to cope with, Jayden will sit and turn the pages of the books and does not struggle at all.
I would highly recommend these books, they are ideal at helping your child to learn and are something you can read together or alone, the books are very reasonably priced and will last your child for quite a long while and can be used from an early age.
This Eric Carle Little Learning Library was an impulse buy for my daughter sometime before Christmas last year. It was priced at £2.49 so I just couldn't resist, anything below £3 always catches my eye.
I bought it because we have a few 'little libraries' at home, In The Night Garden, Peppa Pig, Cbeebies...amongst others, and my youngest daughter has some sort of fixation with them, but I was thinking that she doesn't actually learn anything from them, so I thought this might be educational for her, as well as fun.
What you get is 4 little books contained inside a solid cardboard box which is open at one side so you can slide the books in and out. The first thing I noticed was that it is much better quality than the other ones we have. The cardboard is much much thicker and will not be destroyed if someone sits on it or stands on it (someone of the child variety anyway - a 15 stone lump may have a certain amount of impact on the box). It also cannot be dismantled, as our other little library boxes have been.
The books inside are just simple picture books, Words, Numbers, Colours and Animal Sounds.
Animal Sounds, Colours and Words are all laid out in the same way, a picture on each page with the word underneath. The Numbers book is slightly different in that it starts off with 1 item, then 2, then 3...all the way up to ten. Things you will find in these books include a caterpillar, leaf, fruit, insects, animals, and vehicles...all the usual sort of stuff you find in baby picture books.
The illustrations are all classic Eric Carle, slightly unusual, and dare I say, a little bit abstract? I'm sure most of you out there will be familiar with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so you will know what I mean when I talk about his unique way of drawing. To be honest I am not particularly keen on his style of illustration, but this has in no way stopped my daughter from enjoying these books.
The books are very simple to look at and obviously quite eye-catching for children, I think this is due to the white backgrounds on each page which really make the items stand out. There are only 10 items in each book (or should I say 10 pages because sometimes there are more than one item on a page, depending on what we are looking at).
The books are really chunky too and a good size for little hands, also a good size for big hands, I find them quite easy to look at with my daughter. Because the pages are quite thick, they are easy to turn despite the books being small. They also have a wipe clean feel to them, so it will be possible to keep them in some sort of good condition despite their popularity with my sticky fingered daughter.
I keep small books like this in a small box, because our book shelf is already overrun with my elder daughter's books, and these small books just tend to end up all over the floor. So they are kept in a box, which my youngest daughter goes straight for most mornings, and it's this little collection that she likes to get out first.
She loves to look at the pictures and hear the words as I say them to her. She also likes to look through them all on her own. I'm not sure whether this is because of the size of the books and they are just a nice little size for her to be able to handle on her own without getting into too much of a fuddle with them, or whether it's because the pictures genuinely attract her attention.
Either way, she loves them and I think it's safe to say these are currently her favourite.
Currently on Amazon for £3.38
Available in Tescos for £2.49 (last time I looked)