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Touchy Feely over and over!
Touchy-feely ABC - Fiona Watt
Member Name: Lools_24
Touchy-feely ABC - Fiona Watt
Date: 29/03/12, updated on 31/03/12 (49 review reads)
Advantages: Lovely bright illustrations, textured sections on page, very durable
Disadvantages: Quite Expensive, heavy for a small toddler to pick up
Since they were around 9 months old I have loved reading with my twin boys and they have from a young age loved books. Their book collection is large however with most the early books that I bought for them I tended to go for the more interactive books with textured sections for my boys to touch. One of these early purchases was the Usbourne Touchy Feely ABC by Fiona Watt.
The book is described to be a "delightful ABC book with textured letters and illustrations to help children learn the alphabet.
The Touchy Feely ABC is basically a bright and colourful book about 25cm by 25cm square and around 4-5cm thick. The alphabet is spelt out over around 8 double pages and each letter has a different texture for a child to feel as well as a word and picture that is "touchy feely" with some form of texture to it. Each of the double pages has a tab at the top which clearly shows what letters are contained on this page so children (and parents) can skip to the favourite pages easily.
The cover price of this book is £9.99 which although I feel this is a lovely book and very well made and robust at £10 this is quite an expensive book. The Usbourne Touchy Feely ABC is sold in Waterstones, ELC and Mothercare for £9.99 and in my inexperienced state of book buying I purchased this book from ELC during a 3 for 2 offer on books. However after browsing different stores and websites Asda and Tesco sell this book for around £6-7. Amazon also sell this title for £6 which I feel is very good value.
The Touchy Feely ABC has no real story to it. It is just a book that spells out the alphabet and has a collection of words and pictures on each of the pages. The front cover is really bright and attractive and I feel is what sold this book to me as it stood out on the shelf next to the other children's books. The cover is mainly yellow with a simple friendly looking zebra on the front and an image of a tree and a son. The cover is slightly smaller than the back board of the book so that the tags around the top edge and right hand side edge do not protrude. There are 4 tabs on the top of the book and 4 tabs on the right hand side of the book so you can easily skip to certain letters and pages. We tend not to do so however I think that this is a nice touch especially for older toddlers and children.
On each of the double pages there are 3-4 different letters therefore 3-4 different words and textured illustrations. What I really like about this ABC book are the words for the particular letters are quite basic and common words that a child will use for example A is for apple (and there is a picture of a shiny apple and B is for B and there is a furry bee picture next to the word). Some other ABC books we have seem to illustrate random words that I feel a child will not use or be able to recognise from everyday life but this is not the case for Touchy Feely ABC. Although there are 3-4 images on each of the pages I do not feel the page looks cramped or overcrowded. The textured sections do vary and although each of the images included some form of texture there is usually one letter from each page that is the focal point and has the most texture or appeal however all of the images are bright clear and easy even for a young toddler to recognise what they are.
Obviously as this is not a story book it is more educational than entertaining but my boys found this entertaining both as babies and as toddlers. I started reading this book to my boys at around 9 months old. I would say the word and initially run their hand over the textured sections on the page. However within a matter of weeks they understood and remembered that the pages of this book were textured and would reach out and touch the pages on their own. This would cause a lot of delight and giggles and thy particularly liked the fluffy sections on the owl and on the zebras tail.
I do feel that this book has a lot of developmental and educational benefits. On a basic level it is a book that encourages a child to explore with their hands and offers touch and visual stimulation because of the bright colours and textures. For older babies and toddlers it introduces words and gets them to recognise different objects and encourages speech development. From around 15-16 months I would say a word and ask my boys to point at that object on the page. As they got older and nearer 18-20 months they would copy the word I was saying so I do feel this book helped to add words to their vocabulary. Now at 2 years old they still enjoy reading this book and they can the most of the words in this book and also make sounds for different animals or say where we can find certain objects (for example if you ask them where the apple is they will say "fruit bowl").
Although I did feel paying £9.99 was a lot for this book I have been really impressed with the durability of this book and after over 1 year of regular reading including my boys reading it on their own it is still in almost as new condition. The pages are made from hard cardboard so this is essentially a board book and the pages cannot be bent and neither can the tabs along the top of the book. Even though the touchy feely sections on each of the pages have been touched over and over by my boys they have suffered no wear and tear. The fluffy sections on some of the pages do not look matted or tatty and even when pulled hard bits of fluff do not come loose.
I would definitely recommend this book to other parents of children under the age of 2-2 and a half. Even though it does seem quite an expensive book it is very robust and after over a year of regular reading from my boys who play roughly this book still looks as new so it has been worth the £9.99 cover price, although I would recommend shopping around to get it cheaper. I think this is not only a very educational book it is also very entertaining because of the bright coloured pages, illustrations and textured sections so great for even young babies. My only criticism if any is that because it is quite a large (heavy) book it maybe robust but for young children if they pull it off a bookshelf onto themselves it can cause some tears! But a purchase that I definitely wouldn't cry about!
Summary: An interactive bright ABC book for young children