Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: More Interactive Books!

Flaps are still king in this house, so here’s a round-up of a few new board books with fun interactive elements! All the books in this post were sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own (or accurately reported, in the case of my little one!).

Hatch and Grow by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Pau Morgan

Published by Little Tiger on 4th March 2021 and 1st April 2021 respectively

The books in the Little Nature series are made of 100% recycled board, which is genius – as a parent I’m very concerned about the amount of plastic and other waste babies and toddlers create. It seems pretty much unavoidable, so I’m thrilled that this series proves that something more eco-friendly is possible, and it definitely doesn’t mean the quality of the books has been sacrificed – these are beautifully made and feel substantial. I love the more muted colours that come from being printed on the recycled paper, and the cutouts make this fab for a baby who likes to be in control of page turning. There are a couple of sentences on each page which offer simple facts, as well as the lovely illustrations, and I appreciate the nature themes; Hatch looks at four creatures who hatch from eggs (chicks, tadpoles, caterpillars, and turtles) and Grow focuses on plants and the animals and people who grow them (a squirrel plants an acorn; bees pollinate flowers; a bird drops a blackberry; a boy plants a tree). They’re calm, beautiful books, and will inspire curiosity about the natural world from the very beginning.

Bear and Mouse: Birthday Party by Nicola Edwards, illustrated by Maria Neradova

Published by Little Tiger on 4th March 2021

This book combines flaps and sliders, so you never know what you’re going to get! It has quirky, vintage-feeling illustrations that are full of details to pick out, and a simple story about Bear’s birthday party that will be a lot of fun for kids to join in with – you can open presents with a flap, or help Bear blow his candles out with a slider. It’s super cute, and chunky enough to withstand quite a lot of interaction – definitely a good bet for little ones who are a bit rough on books.

Where’s My Dinosaur? by Becky Davies, written by Kate McLelland

Published by Little Tiger on 4th March 2021

This is a lovely book that incorporates lots of different textures into a dinosaur hunt! We follow the shiny, smooth footprints to a variety of creatures with feelable skin, teeth, and claws, but the dinosaur’s hiding very well behind a big flap! This is on the lighter side of interaction, more akin to the That’s Not My… books with feely patches, but its bright colours and fun animal illustrations will keep kids engaged, and the different textures are a lovely touch to make this feel special (no pun intended).

Crab by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Fhiona Galloway

Published by Little Tiger on 1st April 2021

This naughty crab is snapping his way around the ocean and spooking lots of different-coloured sea creatures! I really like the clever cut-outs, which get smaller and smaller throughout the book (you can see all the way through to the back from the front cover!), but it does mean that the spreads feel a little bit samey, since Crab is in the same place on every page to make the effect work. But if you encourage kids to spot all the details that have changed, this is a great introduction to colours – every page is bright and snazzy, and feels full of life. The rhyming story is very good fun, and the pesky crab is enjoyably naughty!

I Can Learn My First Shapes: Busy Day by Lauren Crisp, illustrated by Thomas Elliott

Published by Little Tiger on 4th March 2021

I’ve never seen another board book with this kind of interactive part – a set of spinning discs to match shapes with on each page! It’s a clever design, if a little bit fiddly for really little kids. Each page introduces a new shape as the lions go about their busy day, and the discs fit through cutouts on the side so you can spin them to find a matching picture. I really like the cute lions, and the rhymes (though a little saccharine in places) are sweet and engaging. There are questions tucked in at the side of each page, so this is a book that rewards a thorough poring-over and should spark good discussions about shapes and about daily life.

Little Hen, Little Hen, What Can You See? by Amelia Hepworth, illustrated by Pintachan

Published by Little Tiger on 4th March 2021

And saving one of the best til last… This fun flappy book has been going down a treat! Little Hen is looking around the farmyard for the other animals, who are hiding behind flaps that feel really substantial and easy to grab. This would be great for really little ones, as all the moving parts are really sturdy and easy to get your hands on. The art is bright, chunky and characterful, and the colours are really pleasing to my eye – the backgrounds are plain but really nicely complementary to the animals. The final spread hides a mirror, and a much bigger one than I’ve seen in other board books, and for some reason this is hilarious to my baby, so we always end this book on a big smile.

I’d love to know if you have any recommendations for board books with interactive bits – we can’t get enough of them!

5 thoughts on “Kitten Corner: More Interactive Books!

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