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I bought this book for Hope for her second birthday as we already have one in this series called The Very Silly Sheep which she loves. It is a book full of surprises and excitement and although it's best you supervise your child with this book at all times it is a fantastic, very different book indeed.
This book is a pop up book and has card pages not board which makes it not a very toddler-friendly book, however, if it was made from board then the pop up element wouldn't be possible and I do think that the toddler age is the most appreciative of pop ups. Toddlers, however, are quite heavy handed so they may pull at the pop ups and rip them or manage to get paper cuts on them. It's important therefore that you sit with your child whilst you are reading this so you can explain not to pull at the animals and help them to appreciate that books should be looked after. After sitting with Hope a few times with this book I am now confident that if I left the room and this was lying around she wouldn't rip it.
The book does have a board front and back which is useful, if drinks get spilt on it it can be wiped clean and it stands up well on the book shelf. This book has 9 very colourful and exciting pages in total all of which contain a very large pop up of a 'snappy' kind of animal. It is quite large at approximately 20cm x 20cm so it can be difficult for little people to hold this themselves but it does mean that the pop ups are very effective indeed!
The front cover
The front cover to this book is very appealing to little children as it's bright and looks friendly. It shows a big green crocodile sitting on some orange sand with blue sea above him and some bugs flying around him like a brightly coloured dragon fly. In the top right hand corner is a little cut out bear with the words "peek a boo pop ups!" showing it's part of these series. It's definitely a very appealing book, perhaps it is more aimed at boys but I don't think it matters, I think toddlers of any sex can enjoy looking at snappy kinds of pictures!
Page one is a bit of a surprise and is definitely an animal which Hope and I haven't come across in any of her books before making it quite an educational book indeed! As you open the page three big piranhas jump off the page with big wide mouths full of teeth, they have big menacing orange eyes and look very angry! The back ground of the page is dark blue sea and has a few little orange and red fish swimming around.
"Lots of swampy animals are hiding in this book, waiting to pop out at you so come and take a look! Beware the big pirhna fish they're looking for their lunch, their pointy teeth are very sharp and make a mighty crunch!"
This page is really effective as the piranhas do look very angry and the words "Crunch crunch" are written in bold writing around them. As you open and close the page their mouths open and shut. Hope always jumps back when we open this page but she isn't afraid of it which surprised me!
When you open this page another animal is there to surprise us which we haven't met before- the water buffalo! He is brown with lots of long hair, big yellow horns with a little bird sitting on one, a big pink tongue which he sticks out as you open the page and a very colourful background of water with lots of insects on. His face is what pops up off the page, it doesn't pop out as much as the piranhas do but this makes it more effective, Hope likes to point at his tongue and copy him by sticking her own tongue out too!
"Water Buffalo. His pointy horns look scary, But he's really soft and slow, who is this dopey giant? It's the water buffalo!"
I like how the words explain a bit about what this animal is like, explaining how he does look scary but actually he's just a big dopey animal who likes to splash about! It does help to show children what these unusual animals are like which they probably won't have come across before.
This page is the crocodile page and the reason why we bought this book in the first place as Hope loves snap snaps. When you open this page a very large mouth pops up out of the page with rows of sharp yellow teeth! The crocodile has quite angry looking narrow eyes and part of his body and leg pop up too. He is on the same backround as the front page so it's quite colourful, the insects also on this page look a little afraid of him as they cling onto the reeds around them.
"Crocodile is clever, he creeps up close to you, then gives a cheeky croco-smile and jumps out with a boo!"
Although this animal is quite scary the words try to make him seem friendly! Hope laughs whenever we open this page and finds it fun to put her finger in his mouth as we open and close the page so it's like he is biting her, this always results in lots of laughter!
This is a much less frightening page! It is the page of the flamingo! They are bright pink and are shown standing on one leg. They're necks and bodies pop up from the page with their heads going right above the page. This is probably the one page which has taken a bit of battering because the necks and legs which stick out are only very thin so they have been creased a bit by Hope when she has explored this page but they still pop up! They have a bright green background making it a very dazzling page.
"Flamingo and her fluffy friends love dancing every day they lift their pretty heads up high and practice bird ballet!"
The words create a bit of a story for children to use their imaginations and picture these birds doing ballet.
This page shows us the Warthog which is a rather funny looking animal indeed with his grey skin, big mouth, tusks and funny ears! His whole body jumps off the page with his ears wriggling when you open and close the pages. The background shows other worthogs playing in the brown mud against a dark blue sky with words 'munch, slurp burp' written around them.
"Warthod and her family just love a muddy lunch, they splash and splash together as they slurp and burp and munch!"
Hope has learn to make slurping noises since we have read this book together and I'm sure it's because when Daddy reads this book with her he likes to act out the noises this animal makes!
This is a very effective pop up which really leaps right off the page at you! It's a frog and dragonflies! The frog is lime green and sitting on a lillypad which also pops up off the page. WHen you open this page fully the frog is really popped up far from the page which is extremely effective. It's a very colourful page with the blue water behind the frog really making the lime green of this animal stand out effectively.
"Look who's playing leapfrog with the darting dragonflies, bouncing on his springy legs frog leaps up to the skies!"
i like how these words describe the two animals really well and really does reflect the picture on the page.
I think this page is actually one of Hope's favourites as this is definitely a pop up and a half! It's a pelican who's huge beak pops right of the page so much so that it's often biting Hope on the nose which she finds very funny! The pelican has a big yellow beak with a blue fish inside, a white body and is against a bluey, pink background with lots of brightly coloured fish jumping around. When lying flat this pops out by a good 15 cms so you can imagine it's effect it has on Hope when you open it up and out it pops!
"Pelican loves playing games she opens her huge beak, and all her fishy friends jump to play at hide and seek!"
This little rhyme makes her seem like a fun bird, that she is actually just playing with the fish and not eating them which is good for children so they don't become upset by it! It's a very effective page which Hope loves!
This is the final page and is a different kind of pop out as it doesn't pop out that much. It is a chameleon so again a rather different animal to what we're likely to come across in other books. This chameleon is bright orange with red stripes and sits against a green leaf. When you move the page his scales change and his eye rolls. It doesn't pop up very much, the effect on this page is more about the scales changing.
"Colourful chameleon looks such a crazy sight, his skin is orange then turns red just like a traffic light! The animals splash all day long, it's super swampy fun! Then they snuggle up to sleep beneath the setting sun!"
This is a lovely ending to the book which has been full of surprises and fun throughout!
I think that this book is fantastic and extremely very well done. I like how the animals are along the swampy theme so that all the animals are very different to what we usually come across in books. The different animals mean that you can teach your child about what other animals are out there in the world and it helps to give your child variation too instead of always reading about puppies and rabbits!
These kinds of animals are very effective to be pop ups and they work really well with some being quite menacing and scary with big mouths and teeth and others being more friendly like the frogs and flamingos!
These pop ups are extremely clever and effective, they do literally jump off the pages at you and create a good reaction from a young child. Hope always finds it funny when the pelican's beak jumps out so far it bites her on the nose! I haven't come across a pop up book which stands out like this one, these really do jump right off the pages and it amazes me how they fold up so that the book lies flat despite the amount of card inside it!
The wording in these pages helps to detract from the fact some of the animals may be a bit scary for young children, instead they enable children to use their imaginations as they picture the animals dancing and creeping up on people. They also are quite educational as they show and explain the environment in which the animals live.
This book provides a lot of fun but it should really be read with an adult present as it can be easily torn and ripped which would take a lot of the fun out of this if the pop ups no longer work properly. Although Hope is now trusted with this book we do keep an eye on her when she is playing with this just in case she does decide to start exploring how it works and ends up ripping it.
This book cost £7.99 which is fantastic value for money when you think about how educational it is, how entertaining and how extremely clever it is. I am extremely pleased with this book as it has provided Hope with lots of enjoyment already and I know it will be a firm favourite for a lot longer yet.
You can buy this from Amazon as well as other books in the series such as The Very Busy Bee and The Very Silly Sheep. Written by Jack Tickle this is a fantastic book.
A few years ago I worked in a primary school and we would regularly have book sellers who would come and leave a pile of books in the staffroom for us to browse through and hopefully buy. At the time my son was only one or two and as such I would often pick up books to add to his collection. It was here where I came across The Very Clever Crocodile book.
The Very Clever Crocodile is a pop up book by Jack Tickle. You can buy it on Amazon for £5.43 and this is a hard cover book. I believe this book actually cost me £3.00 from The Book People however. It is produced by caterpillar books and was published in 2006.
On the back of the book we are told "Crocodile is clever, He creeps up close to you, Then gives a cheeky croco-smile, and jumps out with a BOO!" The next part tells us that the swamp animals in the book are brought to life in pop ups that toddlers will adore. T his was certainly the case for my son. He adored these books and the fact that the pictures jumped out at you.
Inside the book we first meet the piranhas. There is a little bit about piranhas. My son used to giggle but run away as I would pretend to snap at him with these piranhas. We go on to meet the large water buffalo, the crocodile, the messy warthog, the frog, the pelican and the colourful chameleon.
In my opinion the pop out parts of this book are absolutely wonderful. They really do jump out at you on the page and are large and vibrant. The illustrations in the book are great and are really full of colour which I like. The writing style is simple and you only have a few short sentences per page about each animal which is enough for a toddler to listen to.
My only small negative is that as the pop ups are so large if your child gets hold of the book and doesn't take much care the pop ups can bend out of shape a bit, or in some cases tear slightly. This doesn't detract hugely from the enjoyment of the book but is something to be mindful of.
There are other books in this series and I will be reviewing a couple of them soon. In summary I would definitely recommend this book for children around the two years age range as I think they would really enjoy them.