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That's Not My Monkey - Fiona Watt

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Fiona Watt / Board book / 10 Pages / Book is published 2008-04-25 by Usborne Publishing Ltd

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      18.07.2013 15:13
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      A great series, looking forward to getting some more.

      ==Overview==

      I am a huge fan of books and wanted to buy some books for my little girl even when I knew she wouldn't necessarily understand or enjoy them, but having something to read to her where she could watch my face change and listen to my voice was a great idea and we started reading together from about 8 weeks old (about the time I'd come out of that "omg I have a newborn baby and get up at 2pm every day" phase). I specifically picked "touchy feely" books as I thought the textures would be a good idea for her so she could touch as well as listen. This book 'That's not my monkey' is one of a number (20+) of a series from Usborne who are well known for making quality children's books. Each book retails at around £5.99 but you can often get them on Amazon for around £4.

      ==My Opinion==

      This book is a board book which is great for small babies and even better for rough Toddlers. My baby loves to eat everything and it doesn't matter so much if she chews at this book compared to a softback book where she might get a paper cut. Having said that it has been chewed and flung about, the spine and book are in great shape which shows how well made and durable the books are. There are about 6 or 7 double page spreads in this book, each page has a different type of monkey picture on it which will be good for when a little one is older as it shows that there are different species. However, my little one is nowhere near that cognitive phase yet but it shows that the book will be useful for many years to come. Each page has a different monkey and part of the monkey is textured. Each page states "That's not my monkey....." and then goes on to explain why, so for example "it's tail is too velvety" - on this page the monkey's tail has velvet in it so the little person can touch the tail and experience the texture. Then next page might be "it's feet are too smooth" and the monkey's feet are made of a vinyl so your little one can experience that texture. The final page of the book identifies your monkey by saying "that's my monkey". My little girl absolutely loves this book, I suppose it must be the way I read the story and do difference tones and intonations with my voice, she is only 7 months old and claps and laughs every time I turn the page. She also likes to turn the page and then tries to put the book in her mouth again. I like that she listens to my voice and listens carefully to the words without too much distraction. I have begun to show her how to feel the textures with her fingers and after the first page, I see her feeling around the pages for the textures and she managed to find them and touch them after a few seconds which I think is brilliant. The pages are brightly colour with bold images.

      The only negative points for me are (1) the price and (2) the size of the textured areas. Firstly,
      I managed to get it on a very special Amazon Family deal which was 3 for £5 which is brilliant when you consider that these books have an RRP of £5.99. £5.99 in my opinion is too expensive and I think paying somewhere in the region of £3.50 would be more realistic, even though I do think they are well made and quality book. Secondly, some of the textured areas are quite small, particularly the velvety tail areas which makes it tricky for little fingers to find. Both of these points are minor negatives but I have knocked one star off for these reasons.

      ==Overall==
      I think this is a great series of books to introduce reading and words and pictures and textures to very young children. I also think there is much more mileage in the book yet and look forward to reading the book to my daughter for some years to come. Not to mention her facing lighting up with a beaming smile every time I say "That's not my monkey" - even when I don't have the book with me! We also have That's not my tiger and I plan to get a couple more in the series to vary things...mainly for my sake!

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        24.09.2012 11:57
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        Not good for little ones

        We brought this book for our daughter when she was about 1 year old.

        She loves book and she went through a phase or really enjoying these 'touch and feel books'

        Each page has a different type of monkey, with for example a soft tail, hairy eyebrows etc.

        It is nicely illustrated and is a nice simple idea for a story for very little children.

        The reason I have given this only one star is because when our daughter started teething, she would often try and chew on her books, this is one of the reasons we brought hard back books for some time.

        One day i noticed she had picked this one up and had chewed on the 'eyebrows' the little rough hairs were poorly attached and were coming out in clumps, she got the hairs in her mouth and the paper of the page had been scraped off by her front teeth.

        The book was ruined but more importantly we were worried about the safety aspect, the last thing you want little ones doing is swallowing horrible bits of hair.

        be careful if your little one likes to chew, this book is not very well designed for little ones who want to put EVERYTHING in their mouth!

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        20.06.2011 23:08
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        a great book

        This book is a favourite on Hope's bookshelf and it was actually the very first book she was bought. When she was just a few days old I remember her being given this book as a present and I thought it was a strange item to buy a newborn considering her lack of ability to hold anything or focus on anything especially something so heavy but within a few months this book had been well loved and now we have collected more in this series.
        That's not my...


        The That's Not My series is published by Usborne books and they are 'touchy feely' by this i mean there are various interactive elements to the book which is great for young children to help them explore different textures which helps them to develop their sense of touch. There are various titles in this range which seem to be being added to at all times. Some of them are unisex, some aimed towards a particular sex and others are special books for certain times of the year. Titles include:

        That's not my puppy
        That's not my tractor
        That's not my dolly
        That's not my angel
        That's not my snowman
        That's not my bear
        That's not my car
        That's not my dragon

        So if your child is enjoying one book from the series then you have plenty more to go through! They are available in libraries too so you can hire them instead of having to buy all the books in the series which would get expensive! They are written by Fiona Watt who also writes lots of other toddler/baby books which have an educational and interactive element to them. I never realised how many she has written until recently and we have acquired quite a lot, all of which Hope is very impressed with so a big thumbs up from her!

        **What the books entail**


        The books have a few aims and these are to entertain your child, to help your child develop and to help your child understand the world and use their imaginations. I don't think it is ever too young to start looking at books, the sooner you introduce books to a baby the better as they only know a limited world and books are a great way to show them different concepts and to have them understand what a book does. I hadn't really thought about it before but books have certain 'rules'- they are read from left to right, the pages have to be turned in order etc and this is important for a child to understand. Each book is 8-10 pages long making it only a short read which is ideal for young children who's minds can wander easily and become distracted. It is also good for parents who may not have the time to sit down and go through pages and pages of the same story over and over again.

        The books in this range are of the same idea and design, whichever book in the series you get it will follow the same pattern; The main focus (in this book a monkey) is on each page, although it is a different one from the previous page. The words "That's not my it's X is too X" is shown on each page and the interactive element is whatever the X is, so for example "That's not my monkey it's feet are too squashy' and on the page you will find a monkey who's feet have a squashy plastic on them for your baby to interact with.

        What this means is that when your child turns the page they will be told about different parts of the body, different textures and will be able to learn what that texture feels like due to the interactive element on the page. This is a great way to stimulate their sense of touch as well as their motor skills as they learn to guide their hand to the particular element and to stroke it, prod it or whatever.

        The book also shows your child that there are variations of items out there so that every car doesn't look the same, not ever monkey is the same, every puppy differs and so on... this will help them to understand that the world contains many different things and to help them look for differences and similarities.

        **That's Not My Monkey**


        On this book's front cover is a big smiley looking grey monkey with a big face and little eyes. On his shoulder sits a white mouse. This little mouse appears on every page of every book in this series so is a little theme that your child can look out for. The monkey is the main focus on the front page, there is little around him to distract a young child's eyes from this main focus. In the background there are green leaves but these are only subtle and just mean that the greyness of the monkey stands out even more so your child won't be distracted which is very important as this book is aimed at children of a very young age who have limited concentration and can easily be distracted by things. The words "That's Not My Monkey..." which is also the title leads into the beginning of the story as the words "it's ears are too soft" are written at the bottom of the page. The monkey's ears are made from a fleecy type material which your baby can interact with.

        Throughout the book this same story is told "that's not my monkey..." And then an explanation as to why the monkey on the page is not theirs. There is always a body part which is interactive including fluffy eyebrows on a big gorilla, a fuzzy tail, squashy feet...

        On each page the monkey is the main focus with the backgrounds being quite plain and mainly just one colour. This really helps your young child to focus on the story and not be confused or over stimulated by all other information. The little mouse appears on each page although is never referred to. The monkeys are always what is focussed on and are always big and bold.

        On the final page the story is slightly different with: "That's my monkey! His tummy is so soft!" and so the story finishes with the correct monkey being found.

        **Toddler tough**


        The book is a board book so it is toddler friendly. A board book may be heavier than ordinary paper pages but it is not practical to be given to a baby or toddler as paper pages can easily be ripped by curious hands as well as scrunched up and also cause paper cuts. Board pages are thick so are easier for little hands to get hold of and turn. They will also withstand being thrown around, gnawed on and even having the odd drink or two spilt on them as they are pretty much wipe clean. The board book means that this book is quite heavy so when you are giving it to your baby you wi ll have to help them hold it. I think Hope was about 8 months old before she could hold this by herself without dropping it and it banging her on the head!

        **Conclusion**


        I think that these books are great and I do really like this monkey one. I think I will always have a like for it considering it was Hope's first ever book. She began to be interested in it around 4 months old where I would hold the book for her and guide her hands to the various parts. Within a few weeks she was moving her hand by herself to the places and knowing instantly when i moved the page which parts were the interactive elements. By 8 months old she was holding the book herself and attempting to turn pages. Now at 2 years old she holds the book and reads it to dolly and guides dolly's hand to the interactive parts!

        The book has taught Hope about how books work- how the pages turn, how you read the left page first then the right... it captured her attention right away as it was bright with colourful backgrounds but didn't dazzle her with information and too many images so it was great at keeping her focussed. The interactive elements made the book more appealing as she could get involved with the book without being able to read.

        The book doesn't tell a fascinating story, it is actually very simple and straight forward which is just what this age group needs, they have a limited attention span so a complicated storyline would just confuse them and lead to a young child being bored so it's been very well put together and thought out.

        The books are available from many shops as well as online and retail at £5.99 which I think is perhaps a little pricey but you can often find them for cheaper or on offer if you buy more than one. Having said that even if you did pay full price then you will get a good couple of years of love out of this book- like I say Hope started looking at this at about 4 months old and still reads it today now she is nearly two and a half!

        Whenever it's bed time and we read a book Hope always chooses a book off her shelf and it's usually one of the That's Not My... books and this one seems to be her favourite one. It's nice how it's neutral so a girl or a boy could enjoy this so I know we will definitely get lots more use out of it when Baby B 2 comes along. Even though we read this regularly and have had it since the early days it's still in great condition, which is due to the board book being such good quality.

        I definitely recommend this book, the monkeys are so friendly and cute looking that it's great. It's nice to have a rather different animal for Hope to look at instead of all the usual dogs and rabbits that seem to feature in books! So if you're looking for a way to introduce books to a baby then this series is a great way to do that. Usually at Christmas time shops have these books on offer as 3 for 2 or something similar so it's well worth buying them then!

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          26.05.2011 08:35
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          Monkey themed story from the Fiona Watt "That's not my..." range

          Since my twin boys were 9 months old I have been keen to read with them. At 16 months old they now have quite a collection of books, which is made up by a number from the Fiona Watts "That's Not My....." Range. I refer to my boys as monkeys so it seemed quite fitting to purchase the "That's Not My Monkey" book from the series.

          The cover price of the "That's Not My Monkey" book is £5.99 as are the other books from this series. Personally as much as I like these books I think this is quite expensive. However Asda sell a number of books from this series for £4 and you can also purchase a number of titles from this series, including the "That's not my Tiger" book online from Amazon for £3.50. When I purchased the "That's Not My Monkey" book ELC were offering a 3 for 2 offer on this range.

          The book is published by Usbourne, written by Fiona Watts and illustrated by Rachel Wells as are the other books from the "That's Not My..." series.

          The book is a sensory book meaning that there are lots of different textures to explore as you read. On various book websites they advise these books are suitable for up to 3 years. I think because the story is very basic and short this is probably about right, older children would find these a little too basic.

          The title of the book "That's not my Monkey" is repeated on the first four pages as to why there is a reason as to why it's not the correct monkey. These include the monkey's tail being too velvety, with a page with a soft tail to touch, smooth feet with squashy feet to feel, hairy eyebrows with fuzzy eyebrows to feel and a fuzzy tongue with a rough Velcro like tongue to feel. On the last page the monkey is the correct one. The story states "That's my monkey ...it's tummy is so fluffy". And the monkey has a furry tummy. This is lovely for babies to touch however the fur is probably likely to some wear and tear and could become matted if being touched by sticky fingers or a drooling baby. Also my only criticism of the book if you read others in the series in that this is a very similar ending and reason to the others in the series for example in "That's not my Teddy".

          The book has a green background with bright, colourful and clear illustrations on each page which clearly shows different monkeys and I feel is engaging for young children and babies. At 9 months old when I started reading these books to my boys they seemed to be drawn to the bright colours of these books, more so than books with smaller more detailed illustrations. When we read these books at 9 months old, my boys did not really understand the story or were able to touch the different textures themselves. I would run their hands over these sections of the page which would make them squeal with delight. From about 15 months old they were turning the pages and reaching out to touch the sensory sections of the book. On a number of occasions I have found them to have taken this book off the bookshelf and be sat with it running their hands over the various sections on the pages. When reading this book I would always make a monkey noise and ask my boys what noise a monkey makes. From about 13 months old they would point at the book at make a "ooh ooh ooh" imitating a monkey.

          The book is made from a thick hard wearing and durable cardboard. The outer cover is made from a wipe able material which is means if sticky fingers get onto the books any marks can easily be removed. There is also a textured section on the front of the book. Each cardboard page is around 3mm thick which makes it impossible for children to tear the pages, either by accident due to uncoordinated movement, or when fighting over books which is a regular occurrence in our house. The spine of the book is also very durable meaning even if it is bent over on itself pages do not fall out or the book is ruined by doing so. The thick pages also make it very easy for little hands to turn the pages.

          "That's not my Monkey" is a great book for young toddlers as it is bright and engaging and introduces a number of different textures. Although aimed at children up to 3 years old it is quite a basic story therefore a 3 year old may be interested in it but I would say this is best to purchase for children aged between 1-2 years. For parents these are a good purchase as the books are hardwearing, fun and have a happy ending!

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            23.02.2011 12:14
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            an excellent starter book

            In our household we have a collection of the Usborne Touchy feely That's not my range. It began with a friend buying us the That's not my bear for my eldest son and took off from there. The books are a little bit simple for my eldest son now who is three but my 17 month old still loves them and they are long enough for his concentration.

            That's not my monkey is not the latest addition to our collection but never the less it seems to be my youngest son's favourite. This is quite fitting really as he is a little monkey! His enjoyment of this book may have something to do with my eldest son's impression of a monkey which has my youngest in fits of giggles.

            The size of the book is lovely and fits nicely on my son's knee. It measures roughly 17cms by 17cms and is quite light. I have found in the past some books have been too big and heavy for my son to hold. As he is becoming independent this is quite important for him.

            It is a board book and is fairly chucky and robust for a young child. A couple of our books do have little teeth marks on the corners from when my son has decided to chew them but this is hardly noticeable. The pages are nice and easy to turn over and both my son's have managed this from an early age.

            This particular book is about a monkey. There are ten pages to the book and each double page spread has a monkey on it. It actually starts on the front cover of the book with a monkey on it with soft ears. Each monkey has a textural piece on it for your child to feel. We have from a velvety tail, to a fuzzy tongue to a fluffy tummy and more. My son looks forward to the next page and what he can feel next.

            All the illustrations in the book are lovely, bright and bold. The pictures are very simple and the monkey is the main focus. My son's have always been drawn to the textured area on the page. The text on each page is also big and bold. The text is repetitive and I have found my older son repeating it after me recently.

            A little added extra my older son started to enjoy the older he got was a little white mouse that appears on all the pages of the That's not my range. He would point the mouse out every time. My youngest son has yet to start doing this but I have pointed it out to him. At the moment he just likes to feel each page.

            I started to introduce these books to my son's when they were both around six months. I think it is important to start introducing books to your children at an early age and I have found these books have been great for this.

            These books can be a little expensive but you can often find them on great deals. I can't remember how much we paid for this particular one but I know we got it from a big supermarket when they had them on an offer. They are available on Amazon as well. They retail at £5.99 which I do think is a little steep to be paying for a book. It is currently on Amazon for £3.70

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              18.10.2010 15:40
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              That's not my monkey

              I was browsing books the other day with my parents to find a new one for my little girl to read. It was going to be a present from my parents and so they wanted a say. I pointed them towards the, "That's not my..." books. My little girl loves these books and has quite a few of them now. The range is published by Usborne books and are described as "This delightful series of board books is aimed at very young children. The bright pictures, with their patches of different textures, are designed to develop sensory and language awareness. Babies and toddlers will love turning the pages and touching the feely patches."

              We settled upon the That's not my Monkey" book as I love monkeys and one if the phrases in the story matched my dad exactly. He has quite bushy eyebrows that we all make fun of and one of the phrases was, That's not my money, his eyebrows are too hairy!" Perfect, just like my dad and so decision made on what book to buy!

              This book is like all the other books. It's A5 size and a robust board book so it'd hardback and chunky and can withstand lots of banging, chewing, etc. This book is wonderfully bright and colourful. The front of the book is a vivid green colour and has a picture of a cute little brown monkey and the first phrase goes, That's not my monkey.... his ears is too soft. The book then goes on and on each page there are different sensory elements that little kids can touch and feel which will allow your little ones to touch and feel them and get used to different textures and feelings. We see a monkey with different elements to it. The books goes on to say, "That's not my monkey, its tail is too velvety, its feet are too smooth, like I've said above its eyebrows are too hairy and its tongue is too fuzzy. On the end page we find that, "That is my monkey .... its tummy is so fluffy!"

              It's a really cute story, especially if you have a little monkey and one your little ones will want to read again and again. I think the beauty about these books is that the storyline is short and sweet but is enough to capture the imagination of little ones. My parents bought this book for £5.99 in Waterstones but they also sell them in Mothercare or on the internet too.

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              14.10.2010 23:32
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              thats not my monkey book with colourful and textured pages

              My mum bought this for my son for £4.99 from tesco on one of her usual shopping trips. Thats not my monkey is another book to the popular series of 'thats not my...' which are great books for young children.

              All of the books from these series' are very bright and colourful and feature different textiles on each page for your child to touch and feel which I think helps to keep there attention. An example of this is after you read the page such as 'thats not my monkey, its tail is too velvety' your children would then feel the monkeys tail which as it says feel velvety. The book has hard pages which makes them last longer in my opinion as we have had several books which have paper pages and my son has ended up ripping them where as with these hard pages that cannot happen. There are 10 pages in total so it is not too long for young kids and is a good size for them to carry.

              Overall I think these are excellent books which help to develop kids sensory skills with all the bright colours and textures which can be found through out the whole book. A great priced book 10 out of 10.

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                20.08.2010 21:26
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                I only wish I had bought these earlier.

                Ages: Baby -6

                While I have always loved books in general and children's books in particular, we never really tried the touch and feel books until recently. Our first was a dinosaur book that the boys just loved, so I bought "That's Not My Train" which was also a big hit. Today in Tesco I saw a deal too good to pass up. They had a set of 3 That's Not My.... Books for only £4. to make it even better they also have a buy one get one free offer going so I was able to buy a needed set of workbooks for my son, plus the set with this book, all for £6.

                My sons are ages 2 and 5 and both boys enjoyed this book, although the older one listened to it 2x and the younger one just wanted to read them over and over and over again.

                Th book is sturdy board book with 10 pages. Each page has a simple but nice drawing of a monkey with the words "That's Not My Monkey" and another phrase describing some feature, such as the tail or feet and the texture. The card is cut away on each page to reveal a different texture, like fuzzy, hairy, or smooth. I found both boys enjoyed feeling the textures. Of course being a book about monkeys I felt obliged to add the usual monkey sounds, along with chest beating and jumping about for the one that looked like a gorilla. The background illustrations are very simple but nice, and there is a mouse on each page that very young children can point out as well.

                This is a really fun book to share with very young children. An added benefit is that the text is so simple the five year old can read most of it, and will soon have learned the words he can not yet read. I do think it's use as an early reader extends the age range a bit. I do wish I had discovered these books when my sons were younger though as they would be perfect to introduce babies to the fun of reading. Even so, they are certainly getting a lot of fun from them.

                For anyone interested in the set at Tesco the other books are: "That's Not my Puppy" and "That's Not My Bear".

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                  11.08.2010 17:50
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                  Can you find your monkey?

                  Todays nursery outing to the library bus found the children picking up yet another book from the 'Thats not my......' collection. Todays its 'Thats not my monkeys' turn to be passed around the group.

                  As the children have had these books before they know the basics of how they go every page beginning 'Thats not my' they know to add 'monkey' to the sentence as the picture of a monkey is infront of them and they know the next bit is going to be either 'his' 'her' or 'its' so they can get that far on their own with no adult input so they have 'Thats not my monkey its tail is too soft' they guess feeling the tail. The word used is 'velvety' but its a good guess and its nice to see them having ago alone. The story then goes on to name the monkeys other body parts feet too smooth / eyebrows too hairy / tongue too fuzzy before finding their monkey whos tummy is so fluffy.

                  This book is written by Fiona Watt I say written it is the same as the others just with a different animal and it is illustrated by Rachel Wells. It is said to be suitable from Birth the youngest child in my care is 1 and a half the eldest 5 and they all enjoyed this book today. Its well illustrated lots of bright colours to hold the childrens attention and the variety of materials used for the body parts makes the children discuss their senses together. From this book they are learning to use their senses, discuss findings with others, a start to use their memory to link past experiences to this book i.e. recalling how the other 'Thats not my...' books go and reading the story to themselves and others in the group.

                  A lovely book for sharing with others. We are lucky that a library bus stops right outside our nursery so the children always get a variety of books to choose from. The rrp price on it is £5.99 however it can be picked up on Amazon for around £3.

                  Recommended 5 stars.

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                    10.06.2010 13:48
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                    A good fun book to read with a small child.

                    "That's not my monkey" is one of the Usborne series of touchy-feely books aimed at babies and toddlers. There are quite a lot of books in this series, and because my son likes them so much he has a collection of about half a dozen. "That's not my monkey" is one of the firm favourite in our house.

                    "That's not my monkey" contains a lovely collection of brightly coloured pictures, which are visually appealing to small children. We are introduced to six different monkeys with various touchy feely patches, in the search for our monkey. On the front cover you find a chimp with soft, furry ears. The front cover reads "That's not my monkey. Its ears are too soft." This theme continues throughout the book. We come across a brown monkey, but its long tail is too velvety. Another monkey is pictured leaping between the trees across double pages. However, this isn't our monkey, because its feet are too smooth. My personal favourite is the gorilla, with very hairy grey eyebrows. There is another chimp, licking its lips whilst eating a banana. This isn't our monkey, because its tongue is too fuzzy. Finally we find our monkey on the last page. It's a plump orang utan with a large fluffy tummy. This one is definitely my son's favourite. He sits and rubs his own tummy after stroking the orang utan!

                    Like the others in the series, this book with its brightly coloured pictures, simple words and touchy feely patches is certainly engaging for babies and toddlers. My son loves to feel the patches on each page. He also enjoys finding the mouse, which appears somewhere in all of the pictures. I also like the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for my son to learn whilst enjoying the pictures in this book. For example, we are able to explore colour, texture and body parts in a fun way.

                    The Usborne touchy-feely series have been well designed for toddlers. These board books are tough and durable. The corners are curved and the pages are thick and strong. It's difficult to peel the paper off the card, and the touchy feely patches are all well attached and integrated into the book. The books have a strong binding, which can withstand pages being bent right back. My son can be extremely rough with his books and toys. However, his Usborne books show few signs of wear and remain in a readable condition after months of constant reading.

                    These books have an RRP of £5.99, which I find a little expensive. However, you can frequently find them on special offer in supermarkets and they are generally cheaper on line.

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                      08.06.2010 12:22
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                      A great way to introduce babies to books

                      Usborne touchy feely books are a great way to introduce young babies to the wonderful world of books.

                      That's not my monkey... is a hardback book and is about 6 inches wide by 6 inches long and about an inch thick.

                      The outer cover is bright green with a drawing of a monkey. The book starts before you even open the front page, as the monkey's ears are made of a textured fluffy material and following on from the book's title -That's not my monkey... at the bottom of the page it says "its ears are too soft"

                      The book is 10 pages long. Each page is made from thick card and will stand up well to being chewed by teething babies.
                      Each double page has a big picture of a monkey and a textured insert. The wording always starts the same way - That's not my monkey - and then goes on to say why, e.g. Its tail is too velvety/ Its feet are too smooth/Its eyebrows are too hairy.

                      Babies will love the textured inserts and very quickly learn to look for the part of the page that they should feel.
                      The book ends by saying "That's my monkey! Its tummy is so fluffy.

                      The illustrations are bright and simple and very appealing to babies. Each page has a little mouse on it, so another game as your child gets older, is to look for the mouse.

                      This book is suitable for girls or boys.

                      The full retail price of this book is £5.99, but I paid £3 for it when it was on offer in Tesco, which I think was a good price for a sturdy, interactive, fun baby book.

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                      06.06.2010 14:44
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                      A lovely series, but not one to collect all the titles

                      That's not my monkey is another in the popular "That's not my ..." series. It follows the usual formula: a front cover and four double-spread pages each with the text "That's not my monkey. Its X is too Y", ending with (WARNING - spoiler to follow!) a double page "That's my monkey! Its X is so Y."

                      In this case, the X...Y pairs are: ears...soft; tail...velvety; feet...smooth; eyebrows...hairy; tongue...fuzzy; and tummy...fluffy. Each page has a patch to feel that illustrates the thing mentioned, made of fluffy, smooth or rough material.

                      As in the other books in the series, the pictures are attractive, clear and simple, and the monkeys are shown on brightly-coloured backgrounds. Another constant is the presence of a little mouse drawn on each page. The reasons for this are never explained with regard to the scenario - rather surreally, is this mouse the owner of the monkey, or does the zoo have a problem with vermine?

                      My daughter loves these books. They were an instant hit from six-months old, and she immediately found the areas to feel on each page. And they're well-made: after six months they've proved themselves able to withstand a barrage of chewing and throwing.

                      There are some downsides - there's no story to speak of so they're not very exciting for the adult reading, and after this, books with no patches to feel may disappoint your little one. In this case the patches could be more interesting if they had more variety, with the materials for soft, velvety, hairy, and fluffy all being fairly similar.

                      The series is also something of a cash cow for the authors, with so many similar titles released. We received this as part of a gift mini-library containing two other books ("... teddy" and "... puppy"), and the three are very similar. I would recommend just getting two books from the series, probably this one or "... teddy", together with one of the more interesting versions, like "... dragon" or "... monster" (which are my favourites in the series - reviews to come soon).

                      As a taxonomic aside, the book seems to include pages with a gorilla and an orangutan, both of which are apes (tail-less primates more closely related to us) rather than monkeys. But you can save the systematics lecture for when your little love is a bit older.

                      To sum up, these are interesting books for young children that stand out from traditional two-dimensional titles. They're also very reasonable in price. Just don't go overboard and buy the whole series.

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                        25.05.2010 13:15
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                        A great way to interact with your child

                        Book Info:

                        Name: That's Not My Monkey
                        Author: Fiona Watts
                        Released: 2008
                        Series: That's Not My ...
                        ____________________________________

                        There comes a time in every person's life where books become highly interesting. Usually it starts in childhood and as my daughter reaches sixteen months old, that special curiosity, that wonderful interest has now begun. Choosing books for a baby/toddler can be more daunting than it first seems, but I happened to stumble upon this book in my local WHSmith. Now the test begins. Did it capture my little one's attention?

                        Upon reading the book, which really only consists of ten pages, you are quick to notice that there isn't actually a story. I've got to be honest, I was quite surprised at this, as naïve as I sometimes am, I thought all books had a story. Upon reflection however, why on earth would a book marketed for babies have a story? Each page has a picture of a monkey on describing why it isn't 'my' monkey until the very last page where 'your' monkey has been waiting all along.

                        If you think about the advantages of this, one: it holds their attention simply because it is that simple. Over complicating a book aimed at someone who cannot even string a full sentence yet would obviously result in boredom. And two: by repeating words and reusing the same sentence albeit for one or two words, teaches them the basics for forming a sentence. After counting the words (yes, I am that sad) I found that actually there were only eighteen different words used.

                        I actually think the way the sentence has been formed is very clever, despite finding myself memorising it in my head whilst laid in bed after a marathon ninety minutes of reading it over and over again. By taking a body feature and giving it an adjective teaches them about describing words without them actually realising it. This is helped by the 'touchy-feely' element of the book.

                        The front cover, for example, has a picture of a chimpanzee with the statement 'That's not my monkey ... its ears are too soft'. The ears are then made using that ultra soft carpet like material that even make us adults go 'ooh' when we walk across barefooted. By touching the ears, they soon become accustomed to that feeling representing 'soft' and when they feel anything else similar that too is recognised as being 'soft'. The same goes for the other materials in the book including suede (velvety), Velcro (rough) and bristles (hairy).

                        The pictures are obviously the most important feature within the book giving the children visual stimulation. They are nice and big with a huge black outline to give the monkeys a 'look at me' characteristic. Apart from a few branches in the background, not much else appears. This is therefore a little limited because backgrounds can give further educational appeal. For instance the reader can say 'where is the ... flower?' etc and teach the child to identify other objects as well as the main subject of the book, monkeys in this case. Of course a monkey appears with a banana on one of the pages. Nice to see stereotypes being introduced to kids at such an early age. Backgrounds are actually made up of bright primary colours. They did capture my daughter's attention and it certainly gave her plenty to notice.

                        The main disadvantage is simply that kids love to put things in their mouth. Some of the materials used if pulled hard enough to tend to rip or come apart. Not good if your child puts carpet in their mouth. As well as being made a strong cardboard type material, the simplest solution is to make sure it is read with adult supervision. Though being made of the strong kind of card gives it a sort of sturdiness and hardiness to make it last a while. Pages cannot easily be ripped.

                        The bright pictures capture the eyesight, the patches of material give the fingers new sensations to touch and the quick short sentences appeal to aural awareness meaning that it has the fantastic balance of education and entertainment. It is a great way to interact with your child with both reading and touching. It does perhaps need some more detailed backgrounds and the material in the mouth option is a worry. Though I may moan about the amount of times I do have to read it, there is great pleasure to be had in seeing a big smile appear on my daughter's face. It costs £5.99 which I suppose is a little bit too much for so few pages and compared to some children's books I've seen, but it is a fair amount to see the excitement light them up.

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                        13.01.2010 19:30
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                        A good buy

                        This range of books is fantastic for little ones, I sit and read to my 6 month old every day and he is really noticing the different textures and colours in these books now. Every page has a different feature that 'my monkey' doesnt have, for example 'Thats not my monkey his tail is too velvety' on this page the tail of the monkey is made of velvet. They are designed to develop sensory and language development, I really think it will help him as he gets older. It is full of bright colours. The book ends with 'my monkey' saying thats my monkey his tummy is so fluffy, and the monkey on this page has a soft furry tummy.

                        Also the book is very short so when your little one starts learning to read it will be easy to read, short paragraphs with lots of repetion.

                        It is a board book so very durable for young babies too, my little one grabs hold of the pages all the time as we read.

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                        30.11.2009 11:43
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                        Lovely book to get little one interested in touchy feely

                        I bought this as part of a box set in Tesco (£5 for 3 of these books - including That's not my puppy and That's not my teddy). Great value considering RRP for each book is normally £5.99!

                        I'd seen these at a friends house and in the shops so bought the set for my 6 month old son.

                        There are 5 pages plus the cover which is also part of the book. Each page has a picture of a monkey with a different part being touchy feely. Each monkey is also different in colour and type so it keeps baby interested.

                        Eg. first page is a chimp with furry ears and the title is 'That's not my monkey, its ears are too soft'. This goes on throughout the book with 'its tail is too velvety', 'feet are too smooth' etc until you get to the last page where it IS their monkey.

                        Pictures are done in very vibrant colours, not too much wording and lots of things to look and point at on each page.

                        Book is part of Usborne's touchy-feely book collection.

                        A great buy to get little one involved and interested.

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