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We've had this book in our home library for a year now, and surprisingly it's still in one piece.
The book is called The Very Funny Fish and is by Jack Tickle. It is part of the Peek-a-Boo Pop-Ups range and published by Little Tiger Press. The price on the back is £8.99.
It's a hard back book with thick cardboard pages; there are 7 double page spreads in total, each with a large pop-up. From the title (the very funny fish) you might have already guessed that the book is all about sea creatures.
The first page introduces you to the theme of the book:
'Lots of deep-sea creatures
Are hiding in this book,
Waiting to pop out at you,
So come and take a look!'
Then there is a rhyme (similar to that above - 4 lines) on each page describing each creature. The text is very simple and brief but tends to highlight the main features of the creature, so at least the child will learn something as well as enjoy looking at the pop ups.
The creatures you get to see throughout the book are as follows:
The entire book is all done in lovely vibrant colours and is so eye-catching for a young child. My daughter loved looking at this book as soon as she opened it and a year later she still adores the pictures. There is a lot of contrast between the colours on each page which really makes the illustrations stand out and it's beautiful to look at.
I was really impressed with the actual pop-ups. A pop-up book when I was a child was a rarity, but now they seem to be everywhere but don't always seem to be good quality, but this however is brilliant and long lasting.
The first one is the Ray and when you first open the book you see his underbelly but as you fully open out the page he swoops down and you then see his top side, and his little tail pokes out at the top. If you flap the book open and shut he bounces up and down. I love the way he comes out of the book at you, it's very impressive and brilliant for children.
The Angelfish are next and as you turn the page the 2 fish seem to swim from the right to the left. To be honest, these aren't as impressive as the Ray but they are very brightly coloured and do come off the page slightly to create a 3D effect.
Then we move onto the Whale. Now I wouldn't exactly describe this as a 'Pop-up' but as you turn the page his tail moves up the book (as if it's breaking the surface of the water) and his mouth opens slightly.
Next is the Anglerfish, this is one of my favourites in the book. The entire page is black, apart from a few weird looking fishes that look as if they are glowing. Then in the centre are the wide open jaws of the Anglerfish which clamp shut when the page is opened fully. Then you can obviously open and close his mouth if you open and close the book. He also has a big dangly light coming from the top of his head which comes right out of the page as you open the book.
Then comes the Lobster. He is bright orange and his big claws open and close as you move the book which I think is good, my daughter likes to move his claws and shout 'snap snap snap!' Which is also part of the rhyme on this page (so she must have been listening!)
The squid is a very peculiar looking creature, as you open the book his weird pointy head looms out from the middle and stands tall with his pink tentacles flapping about at the bottom. I'm quite surprised that a squid was in here because it's not something that I would have thought a child would know. But still, my daughter soon picked up on it and likes his big pointy head.
Finally we come to the Clams. This is my favourite page in the book, because there are not one but three pop-ups! Three Clams with their mouths open wide, and they open and close really well when the book is opened and closed. Apparently, according to the rhyme on this page, clams like to sing, so we have a thing where we make the clams sing songs, which my daughter finds amusing, especially since she can open and close their mouths.
The pop-ups themselves are made from strong cardboard and seem to be fixed to the page really well, we have had no accidents so far and I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old in the house! And also, it's not one of those books that when you close it the pop-up parts don't fold back up in the correct way and end up poking out of the side of the book, they always go back to where they should.
And on looking at this book now, I have just noticed that there is a goodbye rhyme at the end (I have honestly never noticed this before!) It says:
'Wave goodbye to all your friends,
Down in the ocean deep.
The fish have splashed and played all day
And now it's time to sleep'.
The fact that I have only just noticed this rhyme just shows that this book just makes you completely focus on the fun pop-ups on each page. Most of my daughter's books I now know from memory, but this one I don't because we don't often actually read it, it's more that we look at the pictures and mess around with the pop-ups. Don't get me wrong, we have read the text on various occasions, but my daughter would rather have the book herself and make up her own stories or make the creatures talk to her.
In my opinion it's an excellent book, it's really well made, the colours are bright, the pop-ups are eye-catching and fun, the text is brief but it also rhymes to make it more interesting for young children. It's just a great all round book for children, it provides a lot of entertainment.
As I said before, the price on the back is £8.99 but it is currently available from Amazon for £5.43.
If fish are not your thing then there are plenty of other books in the series available on Amazon including:
The Very Busy Bee
The Very Friendly Firefly
The Very Messy Monkey
The Very Silly Sheep
The Very Dizzy Dinosaur
The Very Funny Frog
The Very Ticklish Tiger.