I'm sure most of us as kids had annuals around Christmas time on our favourite TV shows and characters. I know in the last few years, they have become more and more popular, and each year, whatever new show has started on Cbeebies, there'll be an annual for it come Christmas time. I know annuals like this usually have activities in them, similar to the children's magazines you can buy weekly, which she loves doing, so I thought getting her a couple of annuals to fill up her stocking would be a good idea.
Asda had an offer on not long before Christmas where the chilldren's annuals were 3 for £10. They are priced individually at £7.99, so this was a really good offer. There were loads to choose from, but we settled on her favourite Peppa Pig, and then chose Disney Princesses and Disney Fairies as she was just getting interested in those 2.
The Disney Fairies Annual 2012 has been her favourite and is the only one she has left from Christmas which she does not want to get rid of, even though it's all complete, all pictures are coloured and all activities are done
Disney Fairies launched in 2005 as a series of novels, all based around Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, which expands on the world of Neverland, and introduces readers to the rest of the Neverfairies, which we never met in the original Peter Pan. The Fairies' TV show started not long after the film release of 'Tinkerbell' in 2008, I'm sure any of you with young girls at that time would have seen or heard of the film, and the show is basically just a carry on from the film.
The cover of the book is hardback, and even though it is tough, it is lined with sponge, making it a bit softer, probably as the book is aimed at 3+. The book is set out into sections of each fairy. There are 6 fairies in Neverland, these are Tinkerbell, Silvermist, Rosetta, Iridessa, Fawn and Videa. Before we get to the sections the first page allows your child to write their name to state the book belongs to them. This gave my Daughter a proper sense of ownership; her words were her cousin couldn't nick it from her as it had her name in it!
The first page has a special letter from Tinkerbell introducing your child to the book and explaining how they will have such an adventure throughout the book. The next pages introduce you to each fairy with a small paragraph describing their personality and special magical powers. It's after these few pages where the book sections start.
Each section on each fairy begins explaining what kind of fairy they are, what their talent is and a bit more about their personalities. Each section has different activities, and there really are quite a lot of them, all very different too to keep your child entertained. Some activities include:
Using your initials to create your very own fairy name, mine by the way is Star Rose!
Word search - Bit hard for a 3 year old, so not something my Daughter has had a go at in this book yet. She is just starting to recognise letters, but cannot read, so without a lot of my help, this is hard for her, but obviously for older girls, it is fine.
Quiz - This is not very hard, and as the book is aimed at 3+. I'm sure a 3 year old can manage it, my Daughter can. The questions are just based on what you would have read to your child in the few pages beforehand, such as 'which fairy makes fireflies glow?' and 'which fairy can talk to animals?'
Picture Quiz - This shows a picture of a fairy and asks 4 questions. 'What is she holding' and 'How many butterflies can you see?' Very simple questions enough to stimulate a small child.
Decoders - This shows different fruits and flowers for letters and your child has to work out what the secret message says. Again, one for older girls, but with my Daughter, I just ask 'where's that flower' and she will point to the letter which represents the flower, so it's good with your help.
Matching a fairy to her shadow, dot-to-dots, mazes, which jigsaw piece is missing and draw your own fairy.
There are plenty more activities within the book, but from me listing these, I'm sure you get the idea of the kind of small activities it includes for children 3+. I think the range of activities is really good as every page features one. Also they range from easy to hard, so for a 3 year old, they need quite a bit of assistance, which is expected, yet for a 5 or 6 year old, there's enough to do and it osn'#t too easy as to bore them too much.
Each fairy section also contains a picture if that fairy to colour and a story about that fairy. The stories are set out in a comic strip style and are 4 to 5 pages long, so are just simple short stories.
The annual ends with your child able to fill in their own fairy story, where your child can fill in the blanks, such as 'my name is ___ and my special talent is _____' A nice little ending to the book.
I would definitely recommend you get the 2013 annual this Christmas if your Daughter likes the Disney Fairies or even if she has never come across the show, then it's worth buying if you think she will like them. The range of activities, as I mentioned are good for 3+, and will stimulate small children with assistance up to around 7 or 8 I'd say. Any older, I think this annual would be too easy or 'childish', but being aimed at 3+, I think it is just right.
You can usually buy annuals at Christmas in places like WH Smith and supermarkets. I got this from Asda, so I would assume they get them every Christmas. £7.99 is an ok price, but being a book your child may just complete and then throw away, £7.99 is dear. Some children might choose to keep it like my Daughter, but as I got mine 3 for £10, it is brilliant value and if she wants to chuck it soon, she can do as she has had 7 months of enjoyment from it already. I still have to read her one of the storie's from the annual the odd bedtime, so she is still getting enjoyment from it!