Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Summer Fun!

This week’s round up is full of seaside-y, sunshine-y fun for you and your little readers! All of these books were sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own.

Peekaboo Sun by Camilla Reid and Ingela P Arrhenius, from Nosy Crow

We’re big fans of this chunky, bright series and its excellently designed sliders. This newest book is full of summery goodness in Ingela P Arrhenius’s fabulously appealing style. I love the little faces on everything, and my toddler loves getting involved to change the pictures – and as always, the big mirror at the back is more nicely made than any other series. A real favourite.

Where’s Mr Pirate? by Ingela P Arrhenius

Another guaranteed win for us, from the same illustrator! The big felt flaps in this series are put to great use as parts of the pirate ship, and it’s as well-made and sturdy as previous entries in the series. I was a little disappointed with the choice of things to uncover, as it seems strangely heavy on animals – a parrot, a monkey, and a shark, as well as the titular Mr Pirate – where I would have liked to have seen more members of the pirate crew. These books are painstaking in their equal representation of male and female characters, and it seems a missed opportunity to me not to have Mrs First Mate or Miss Bosun, if the pirate captain needs to be a man for the sake of the series’s symmetry. My toddler, however, blissfully unaware of the societal need for female pirates, is enchanted by the monkey, so I can’t complain too much.

I’m Thinking of a Sea Creature by Adam and Charlotte Guillain and Lucia Gaggiotti, from Nosy Crow

We loved the Jungle Animal version of this book, and the Sea Creature one is even more delightful! There’s quite a lot of text in these, with a substantial rhyming couplet about each animal and then a question, so this should entertain for a little longer than some of the simpler interactive books available. The artwork is beautiful and much more detailed than the cover suggests, and the sliders are really well integrated, letting the animals peep out from various cool hiding places – they really feel like you’re spotting them as they swim into view. A very cute series!

Look What I Found at the Seaside by Moira Butterfield and Jesús Verona, from Nosy Crow

One for slightly older readers, this is a picture book that sits somewhere between fiction and non-fiction. You follow along with the children as they comb the seaside for interesting treasures, and there are lots of little notes and lists pointing out things you can spot in the scene, and on a real beach, from shells to crabs to stones to feathers. There are lots of little facts peppered around the gorgeous, detailed illustrations, and the book talks about using all your senses, not just your eyes, so there’s a lot to enjoy. I appreciated the note at the back to leave the beach as you found it and not take too much, though I think this message could have been a lot more prominent (it’s tucked on the last page after the story has ended) and stricter – if everyone just took ‘a shell or two and a couple of small pebbles’ that would add up to a lot. But still, this book was written in collaboration with the National Trust, so it must be okay, and it’s wonderful to see a book that encourages a really hands-on approach to investigating interesting things.

3 thoughts on “Kitten Corner: Summer Fun!

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