This book was one of last years Christmas presents for my youngest son, who was then 2 and a half years old. It is a sound book, and it features the characters from the CBBC TV series, Zingzillas. We had seen the Zingzillas at the Sheffield Christmas light switch on, and the kids had both been enjoying watching the TV series, so I thought they would love this book. I am partly right there.
Good points about this book:
It is bright and colourful, featuring all the well known characters from the TV series, alongside 18 different buttons that are to be pressed as you read through the story. 7 of these are phrases said by the characters, one is the countdown tune from the show, to tell you how much time is left, 8 are instruments played by the members of the Zingzilla band, one features all the characters in the band saying 'That was the best Big Zing ever',and the last one plays the theme tune from the show.
The book is hardbacked, and quite large. The main pages of the book are almost A4 in size. As tall, but not quite as wide. You then have the sound panel the full length of the book. I like this as it seems sturdier than some other sound books we have had in the past. It is made from quite a thick paper too, so we have not experienced any damage to the pages in the book from reading it, though as it is so big, we mostly read it together rather than either of my kids reading it alone. I would say it is more toddler proof than some other books we own.
The buttons are all relevant to the story, and on each page, there are at least 2 buttons to press as you read through the story, and on the busiest page, there is 7.
The story features the Zingzillas neighbour, Todd, discovering his doorbell is broken. The Zingzillas set out to find a suitable sound to replace the broken door bell, trying out different combinations of their instruments before the last coconut falls and it is time for the Big Zing. This is not one I have seen on the telly, and I have seen a fair few of these episodes, however it is still in keeping with what happens in the show. It is nice it is original in the book, as it is less boring for me that way.
Negative points about this book:
I think in some ways it is a bit too big. It is hard to comfortably hold it with children sat near enough to you to press the buttons. The story is also a bit too long to hold kids attention the whole way through. You are going to be sat there at least 20 minutes before you get through the story, and by that time the kids are just fidgetty and wanting to press any button rather than listen some more. It is not really a book for 2-3 year olds, even though they are the age group that watch these programmes.
It was quite pricey. It was £12.99 when I bought it. It is now a more reasonable £9.00 on amazon. You might find it even cheaper in a cheap book store. It kind of is worth it because it is good quality, but it has not been played with as much as I thought it would. Too long to be a favourite, too good to be relegated to the back of the pile never to be read.
Overall, it is just above average I would say, as it is well made, but not enough thought has gone into making it toddler friendly. A 5/6 year old might be better suited in terms of concentration span for the book, but by then, they have moved onto more grown up characters.