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This book was bought for Hope for Christmas and it is a lovely book which we read together, it has pop ups in it which are cleverly done and so always read this together and never leave Hope alone with it as it isn't very toddler tough. Despite it not being amazingly toddler friendly I still give this book 5 out of 5 stars as it is so lovely the way it is made and we both enjoy reading this.
This book is a large book. It is 24cm by 26cm so almost a square. The front and back pages are very thick board and then the pages inside (6 in total) are made from card. Because it is a large book it is difficult for toddlers and young children to be able to hold for themselves which makes it more appropriate for parents to sit and read this book with them this is no bad thing considering that the pages are made from card and not board. Young children have a way of managing to rip and crumple up pages of books so board books are usually best for this age group, because this isn't board it is better for you to supervise your child whilst they are reading this and also it is a good way to teach your toddler that books should be treated with care instead of the usual heavy handed way that they deal with things!
The front page
On the front page of this book is a very large, cute looking sheep! The title of the book- The Very Silly Sheep is written on the top of the page in white and the background of the book is sky blue. The sheep has a cheeky looking smile on it's face and is munching on some flowers. At the sheep's feet is some grass as well as some more flowers and there are brightly coloured butterflies around it. In the top right hand corner are the words 'fantastic pop up fun!' so that you know before opening it that there are pop ups inside.
The front of this book is extremely appealing. The sheep is so large and cute looking that you can't help but look at it and then when you see it is a pop-up book you almost feel compelled to look through the pages. It was this endearing front cover which drew me to this book in the first place and then lead me to buying it.
+++ Inside +++
Inside this book we get taken on a little journey through a farm yard where we meet lots of different animals who are all doing various things. The words on the pages talk us through what the animals are doing and what sounds they make. Each page shows a different farm animal on bright backgrounds and with lots of pop up and 'moving' parts. By moving parts i mean things such as wings that flap when you move the page, heads that nod when you move them and socks that lengthen when you open the page wider.
On page one we meet the hen and her chicks who are all cracking out of their eggs from all different angles- we have chick bums in the air, wings sticking out, little beaks showing through the cracks in the eggs. As the page opens the hen leaps up from the page and is high above the eggs looking as though she is mid flight. She pops right up out of the book whilst the chicks bob in and out of the eggs as you move the page. Words such as 'crack' and 'chirp' are written beside the eggs.
"Lots of farmyard animals are hiding in this book, waiting to pop out at you so come and take a look! Hen and chicks. Mother Hen is in a flap, she'll have a busy day, as one by one her eggs go crack her chicks pop out to play!"
On page two we meet the cow who is a tired looking creature chewing quite happily on some flowers. There is a lovely orange background where there are lots of bees flying aruond and some very bright purple flowers. When the page opens it is the cows face which lifts off the page and the wider you open the page the large the flower becomes in her mouth.
"Moo! Cow. Slowly munching all day long, lazily cow chews. Then sticking out her flowery tongue she bobs her head and moos!"
This page teaches chidlren about the sounds which cows make as well as what they do- we all know about cows chewing the cud and that they are always munching something and this book teaches children about this from a young age whilst capturing their attention by having the bright colours and the large pop up head of the cow!
This page we get to meet the horse who is rather manic looking with a very wide mouth and many teeth! This page i think will either make your child love or hate it! Hope is actually quite afraid of this page! The background is purple and the horse is white so it does stand out a lot! The pop up elemet of this is the horses body, head, tail and legs. The legs kick off the page and the head moves up and down when you move the page which is quite startling so I think is the reason why Hope prefers that we skip this page out!
"Horse, happy horse loves showing off- he prances kicks and plays. Tossing back his handsome head, "Hey look at me!" He neighs!"
So again this page teaches children about the sounds that the animal makes and the various antics that this animal gets up to which is educational and fun.
Now this page is a fun page with lots of sounds that you can make along with your children! It is the page of the goose who is splashing about in the pond along with some frogs and dragonflies! The goose pops up out of the page and it's wing flaps when you open the page wider. It's orange with a very smiley mouth and has the word 'splash!' written beneath it which is a fun action and sound to make with your child.
"Goose. Crashing down into the pond, it's silly, clumsy goose. The frogs have learnt to stay well back each time he's on the loose!"
It's nice to see that the goose has been given some little characteristics which is good for children to use their imaginations and the frogs on the page give you a chance to introduce other animals and teach your child about the noises they make.
This is my favourite page! It is the page with the sheep on and they all look just as cheeky as the one on the front! There are four sheep altogther but only three pop up. They are munching on flowers like the one on the front page and have a blue background with several bees flying around. One of the sheep's heads pops right up and out the top of the page and when you move the page their tails move which is very cute! The words on this page teach you about the noises they make as well as how they move and how they feel:
"Sheep. The woolly sheep are chewing they're standing in a row, a cheeky one then bounces up and bleats a loud "Hello!""
This is a rather cheeky page which introduces you and your child to the goat! The goat is standing in a field which has a washing line and it is trying to pull a sock off the line, again teaching children that goats like to eat anything! The goat's head and tail pop up off the page along with the sock and when you move the page the sock lengthens or shorteners. This page always makes Hope laugh!
"Goat, goat is always hungry, wanting something new to munch. Socks and shirts and underpants- he'll eat them all for lunch!"
This is teh last page and the background is a dark purple with stars so is showing that it is now night time. The animal which we see is the sheep dog with it's tongue hanging out and it's ears flapping wildly! The head, ears, tongue and feet pop up out of this page and as you move the page it's ears and tongue move. There are also some birds drawn on this page with the words 'tweet tweet' beside them so again another word and sound for your child to learn.
"Dog, sheepdog leans up on the fence and gives a friendly bark. He watches over all his friends as the farm grows dark. Stars shine down upon the farm so wish your friends goodnight, in barns and fields they close their eyes curl up and cuddle tight!"
+++ Opinion +++
This books is a great book which is very well crafted to ensure that your child experiences pop up fun in it's best possible way! It does give my 2 year old daughter a lot of entertainment and fun although she is sometimes startled by the horse when it pops up out of the page!
Whilst reading this book your child is able to learn about various farm animals. They are able to learn about the noises they make, typical traits (such as the goats eating anything and the sheep dog being friendly) , where they live and also what they feel like as the words describe their coats.
The words in this book are large and black and they are in rhyming couplets which really attracts children's attentions. This is a very easy book to read and the way that they rhyme mean that children can very quickly learn the words themselves. We have read this to Hope several times since Christmas and already she is beginning to pick up on the rhythm of what we are saying and i am sure that if she could speak properly she would be reading it along with us! There aren't really any complicated stories or anything for your child to focus on and try to understand in this book which again is a very good point because so much is going one with the pop ups and the big bright pictures so if there was a complicated story it may be hard for them to follow.
The pop ups are very cleverly done, they do impress me with how they work and just how well they do actually pop up from the page. Because pop ups are involved in this book it means that you do have to be careful when young children are reading this as they can easily be a bit too curious and end up ripping the card which can then ruin the way an animal pops up. We have to keep this book out of Hope's reach although she is a very gentle toddler she still would get carried away by this and end up ripping it so we have to be careful. The book is rather heavy though so she does struggle to hold it for herself so when she does have this book we do have to help her with it anyway.
This is a lovely book that really does provide entertainment and fun for your child. It introduces them to various farm yard animals and their noises and environments. It also shows your child that books are fun and helps to teach them about turning the pages and anticipating new things on each page. When we read this before bed it provides us with a lovely few minutes as we enjoy seeing the different animals and watching Hope's reaction as they pop up and fascinate her by how they do so!
I really recommend this book as it's a lovely one to read along with your child. On the back page it says not suitable for under 3 and i think this is because of the pop up nature of the book, there is no reason why a child under 3 can't enjoy being read this book as far as I can see. We bought it from Marks and Spencer's for £8 and I have seen it on Amazon for around £6.50. There are others in the series such as 'the very busy bee' so there are others that you can choose too.
My son has a few pop-up books in his collection and this is definitely one of his favourites. At 20 months, he is a massive fan of animals and books so this combines two of his favourite things nicely. This book is a large hard back book with pop-up animals and rhyming text. It is lovely for toddlers although we always look at this together as the pop-ups are very fascinating to my son but at the same time very fragile - not a great combination for toddlers! The book is part of the Peek-a-boo pop ups range which is a lovely range (we also have The Very Cheeky Monkey). It retails at £6.74 on Amazon, which is quite expensive for a toddler book but I would say it is worth the money as the pop-ups are very intricate.
The book itself is quite large and so, when opened, it is too big for my son to hold. Each double page features a different farm animal with a bit of rhyming text (four lines) about that animal. The illustrations are amazing - really detailed and colourful and the pop-ups bring the book to life. The pop ups are really well designed and thought out and are probably amongst the best I have come across. The animals featured in this book are those you would find on a farm - sheep, cows, chickens - there is even a goose and a sheepdog. The sheepdog is my son's personal favourite as this really seems to jump out the page.
At the moment, my son is not too interested in the rhymes on each page - the pop ups and illustrations seem to capture all of his attention. The bright colours are stimulating and the animals all have big eyes and smiley faces which are really appealing to babies. He loves to turn the pages and squeals with joy as the animals jump off the page at him. He also likes to count the animals on each page, so it offers educational benefits beyond the learning about animals too. When my son gets older, I know he will enjoy the text a little more - he already likes the rhythm of this (when he gives me a chance to read it without turning the page too quickly!). I love the rhymes though, they are very clever and not 'forced' at all.
The pop ups, by their very nature, are delicate and could easily be ripped by little fingers. Especially as your child becomes inquisitive as to how they actually work! Even a small rip could ruin these though and make them unable to work so it is worth being mindful of this.
Overall, this is a wonderful, fun pop-up book and definitely worth adding to any child's book collection. It was a lovely gift to receive and I will be purchasing it for friends children too as my son gets so much enjoyment from it.
Pop-up books are some of my favourite books for my little girl and she loves them too and one of our favourites is The Very Silly Sheep from Marks and Spencers. M&S do a really lovely range of children's books, I always find them big, bright, colourful and full of lovely illustrations and this one is no different.
The book starts off by telling you that, "Lots of farmyard animals are hiding in this book, waiting to pop out at you, so come and take a look!" I think that's a really nice introduction to a book and one that gets my little girl really quite excited about what is coming next, it's a nice way of getting you ready for the upcoming story.
That phrase is definitely true as the book is full of all your favourite farmyard animals in lovely poses and pop-ups. We start with the hen and her chicks. The chicks are wonderfully cute and are all popping out of eggs going crack and chirping as they come out. THis is a really good way of incorporating the pop up with the chicks popping out of the eggs. Over the chicks there is the big mother her who herself is a wonderfully big pop out that comes to life when you open and shut the page. Along with each set of animals there is anohter rhyme to tell you all about what they are doing. Each is four lines and works really well as a ongoing poem throughout the book.
On the next page we find a wonderful brown cow who is munching on flowers. She pops out of the centre of the book and there is a flower that moves in and out of her mouth when you move the page so you can tell your little girl/boy all about eating and what cows like to eat.
A Great big white horse playfully kicks his back legs out of the book on the next page and swishes his wonderful tale all with a great big grin on his face.
There is a goose on the next page, almost flying out of the book as his wings flap back and forth when you open and shut the page. He's a clumsy goose and the splash of the water and the look of surprise on the frogs faces is great.
We find the very silly sheep on the next page along with three of his friends, they are all baaing and bleating and we learn that sheep are wooly and how they speak. I find this a really nice way of showing my little girl what noises sheep make.
The next page is one of my favourites where we see a goat eating the clothes of the clothing line. He has a sock in his mouth and as you open and close the book the sock gets longer as his pulls it off the line.
The final page is my favourite of all the animals as we say a wonderfully cute black and white sheepdog who just screams out love me, play with me, he is so cute and the book ends by telling us that, "Stars shine down upon the farm, so wish your friends goodnight. In barns and fields, they close their eyes, Curl up and cuddle tonight," very cute and I think a nice book to also read before bedtime.