Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: New Animal Fun!

I missed last week’s Kitten Corner so here’s a round up of some lovely books we’ve been reading recently, which all turned out to be animal themed! All of these books were sent to me free of charge by the publishers, but all opinions are my own.

Flip Flap Zoo by Axel Scheffler, from Nosy Crow

This zany mix-and-match book is great fun! It’s a little bit advanced for my one-year-old, but the adults in the family have been having a great time mixing up the top and bottom halves of animals to create weird and wonderful creatures. We particularly like the sloose (part sloth, part moose)! Each half of the animal is drawn to line up with all the possible bottom halves, and vice versa, creating a really entertaining set of pictures in Scheffler’s unique style, and there’s a four line poem accompanying each half, which makes for some funny reading both in their correct and unusual formations. It’s hard to read this one straight through, but hilarious to dip into and out of.

Build by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Pau Morgan, from Little Tiger

This is a new instalment in the Little Nature series, which feature creatures and plants from the natural world on 100% recycled board. I love this more sustainable take on books and would love to see more publishers adopted recycled elements. We’ve previously enjoyed Hatch and Grow from this series, and Build is a lovely addition to the series, looking at nests, hives, webs and dams with the same soft colours and simple facts. Cut-outs are used cleverly in each scene, adding interest, and they’re a great jumping off point to start an interest in the natural world. One of my favourite series.

Tiptoe Tiger by Jane Clarke, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup, from Nosy Crow

I’m a big fan of Nosy Crow’s Neon Picture Book series, which combines seriously bright artwork with great interactive stories. I’ve reviewed Leap Frog before, and a lot of what I had to say there holds true here too: I adore Teckentrups eye-catching, sweet artwork, and the way it depicts the busy-ness of the jungle. The story follows Tara the tiger cub as she bounces around the jungle before bed, getting into sticky situations that the reader has to help her out of by reminding her to tiptoe. The narrative encourages you to count, roar, and do various gestures, so it’s sure to be an engagingly fun read, but it winds down nicely to Tara’s bedtime (with hopefully a similar effect on a child!). Super sweet and very pretty.

Ladybird, Ladybird, What Can You See by Pintachan, from Little Tiger

This series is a smash hit in our house, with its large, easy-to-hold flaps, jaunty rhymes, and fun, bright artwork. This time Ladybird is looking for other minibeasts, who are each hiding behind something interesting, and there’s also a huge mirror at the end to spot yourself in, too. This gets kudos for having one of the cutest spiders I’ve seen in a picture book! It’s a simple format, but it really works.

Noisy Animal Search and Find by Lauren Crisp and Thomas Elliott, from Little Tiger

This is probably my toddler’s favourite out of all of these! Every page is packed with different animal illustrations, and buried among them are two that make sounds. The buttons are easy to set off for little fingers, and the range of sounds, from a traditional lion’s roar to a rather strangled sounding walrus, are the cause of total delight. The sound clips are about as non-irritating as they could be, and they don’t last too long, which will be a relief to adult readers. I really hope there are going to be more books in this series, as it’s brilliant!

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