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Camping Out is my favourite book in the series of twenty Usborne Farmyard Tales by Heather Amery. The story centres around the fun and adventures of two children Poppy and Sam who live on Apple Tree farm. One day a car stops and a family ask to camp on the farm of course Mrs Boot says yes. After seeing the visitors put up their tent Poppy and Sam do what every child would want to do they want to put up their own tent. It is here that the fun begins but I don't want to spoil it for you. The story Camping Out always makes my son laugh and reminds us of our many trips to the New Forest. Heather Amery yet again wrote a short story that will grip a young readers attention over and over again. In this story the Dad makes a rare appearance. I love the fact that it is Mrs Boot who is the farmer as you would expect the farmer to be male. The story has been written with young children in mind and so the text is kept to the minimal and a large bold font is used. At the top of the page you will find a simple sentence and at the bottom there are more detailed sentences. This has been written like this so that young readers can read the top and parents the bottom part. If a child only reads the top sentences the story still makes sense therefore giving a new reader a real confidence boost. I would really recommend these books for parents with babies up to children who are starting to learn to read. The beautiful illustrations by Stephen Cartwright are so appealing to children of all ages and remember to look out for the hidden duck on each page. The books rrp is £3.99 each but if you are considering buying more than one then look out for deals on sets as I bought the set of twenty books for £18. I have also noticed these in my local library if you were not sure about purchasing them.
My son and I have always been a huge fan of the Usborne books and especially the Farmyard Tales series. We have a large selection of the books some of them just been the normal size books, some in the mini size and some of them are the sticker book version. This year we are going on our first camping holiday with the boys (wish me luck!) so this particular story from the Farmyard Tales series seems to have become a bit of favourite one with my son. Up until recently I have never actually done the sticker bit with him and have just read the story as it is but now he is three and a half I felt it was about time we had a go. If you are unfamiliar with the Farmyard Tales series it is about a family who live on a farm called Apple tree Farm. There is Mrs Boot and Mr Boot the farmers and their two children Poppy and Sam and a dog called Rusty. Each book involves an adventure which usually revolves around the farm or surrounding area. The stories are nice and short but very fun for a little one to keep their attention. They are also great for children who are beginning to read as the sentence structure is very simple and often quite repetitive. This particular story is called 'Camping out'. It begins with a family coming to the Boots farm to camp in one of their fields. Poppy and Sam decide they would like to camp too so mum puts up a tent for them. All is going well until their cow Daisy tries to pay them a visit but gets spooked by Rusty the dog. She ends up pulling the tent and it falls down leaving Poppy and Sam without a tent so they go back to the farm house. My son loves the story and finds it funny. He did ask if a cow would pull our tent down when we go but I reassured him there wouldn't be any cows where we are going. Reading this story does get my son slightly excited about our holiday! The sticker book itself is larger than the general story book. It is just not quite A4 size so is best to used at a table or on the floor. It has a total of sixteen pages and a double page spread of the stickers. The text in the book is big and bold making it easy for little ones to attempt to read it. The illustrations are lovely with plenty of action going on in them. Like I have mentioned as well as it being a nice story to read it is also a sticker book. It comes with fifty lovely stickers on a double page spread in the middle of the book. This allows you to remove it from the book with ease so you can lay it out on the table for your child to be able to look at it better. The stickers are to be used throughout the story where there is a word missing in the actual text and has been replaced with a grey shaded picture your child must find the right coloured sticker to go over it. As well as a picture the sticker also has the word underneath it to fill in the text. As well as the picture stickers there are also sixteen 'I found the duck!' stickers with a picture of the Farmyard duck on it. On each page of the story is a hidden duck in the picture. Once your child has found it they can have a sticker. My son loves finding the duck in the picture. It is a bit like an easy baby version of Where's Wally! As my son is three and a half he found the sticker replacing job quite simple and enjoyed himself although he was a little upset he couldn't do it again. He loves finding the duck in the picture too and I feel it gives a little bit more excitement to the story. My youngest son is twenty one months and he too enjoys listening to the story but as for the stickers we haven't even tried he doesn't have the concentration he would need to do it. I was lucky to find the sticker books as a set for a fantastic price quite a while ago. You can buy this particular sticker book on Amazon for £3.59. Although the stickers can only be done once the story can be read over and over again. It is a lovely simple story.
The friendly Boot Family are back again with yet another adventure. This time its one with a twist where the reader gets to complete the story using a myriad of colour stickers to fill in the gaps making this a very reader friendly book. The placement of each sticker is prompted by a simple line drawing so even the youngest of readers can manage this without assistance. The addition of the stickers results in a flowing story where the simple joining words can be read alone and the stickers aid as memory prompts to the more complex words which are provided under each sticker. Once agin Usbornes trademark little yellow duck is hiding on each page and theres an I found the duck sticker for that too which my children loved, fortunatley with 10 provided theres enough for everyone. This particular story follows the arrival of a group of impromptu campers who come to stay at Apple Tree Farm. Poppy, Sam and rusty the dog help them to find a suitable spot to pitch their tent and then help with the errection and the setting up of equipment before persuading their father, Mr Boot, that they'd like to camp too. After many tries they finally manage to pitch their tent and settle down for the night when Daisy the cow comes to visit with disasterous results. This large paperback is 16 pages long with over 50 stickers retailing at £3.99. Its available in a smaller paperback without the stickers or the extra fun for the same price or as a mini sticker free paperback for £1.50. Sticker book
'Camping Out' by Heather Amery and Stephen Cartwright is one of twenty titles in the Usborne Farmyard Tales mini edition series. All of the stories revolve around Apple Tree Farm and the family that live there; Mr and Mrs Boot, Poppy and Sam and their dog Rusty. In each book the children have an adventure joined by the rest of the family or some of the other characters who live in the village. In this story Poppy and Sam decide that they want to go camping. the idea comes from some holidaymakers asking if they can camp in a field at Apple Tree farm. Poppy and Sam and their mother and father help the campers set up camp and get settled in. Poppy and Sam decide that this looks like fun and ask their father if it is ok for them to camp too. Rusty goes with them and they settle down for the night under their tent. It isn't long after when they hear a noise outside, it is Daisy the cow, she pokes her head inside the tent and gets scared by Rusty barking. So what happens next? Read the book to find out! This story has a humorous ending to it. As do many of the Farmyard Tales series of books. Each of the Farmyard Tales books has a little yellow duck to find on each page. This is an added bonus and fun, interactive task for children to do. My son loves to find the duck and can often find him before I do! It encourages the children to look at the pciture and scan the pages looking for the detail. Each of the Farmyard tales stories have a unique writing style. On each page there are two sections to the text. A shorter, more simple sentence at the top of the page followed by a longer and more detailed sentence at the bottom. These stories are suitable for beginner readers (5years plus) and so when reading together with your child, first talk about the pictures and then encourage your child to read the first sentence, followed by you reading the more detailed sentence. For younger children you can read in different ways as well. If you want a very short story just read either the sentence at the top or at teh bottom of the page. For a longer story read both. Always remember to talk about the story with your child, looking at the picture as these are very well illustrated stories that will tell the story alone. These books are great for reading at bedtime and also for taking away or out with you. They are nice and small so fit into a handbag easily. The book isn't just to read as there is the find the duck option too. It will keep your child entertained for a long time. I always take some of these books when we go away for the weekend or travel for longer in the car, they don't take up much room so you can easily take a variety. I would recommend these books for both boys and girls. Their educational value changes as a child gets older. My son is 20 months and so I read the stories to him but for older children they can begin to read the story themselves using the pictures (making up a story) or starting to read the text. These books are published by Usborne books. They are only £1.50 so not only lots of fun and a great story to read but also a bargain!