Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Spring-y Board Books

It’s tentatively starting to look like spring here and I’m so happy to see some sunshine! Today I’ve got a selection of board books that felt really spring-like to me, full of baby animals and outdoor activities. All of these books were sent to me free of charge by the publishers, but all opinions are my own. Let’s get to it!

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

As you’ll probably know if you’ve been reading these posts for a while, we’re a big fan of the Peekaboo series and this latest instalment is no different! These are wonderfully bright, simple interactive books that feel a little bit more advanced than the ‘Where’s Mrs X’ series by the same author (which no longer hold my toddler’s attention, while this series is still something we read a lot! The one thing I don’t like about this particular one is the use of ‘froggies’ and ‘chickies’ to match the meter of the text, rather than ‘frogs’ and ‘chicks’ – for a kid who is being taught the proper words, that’s just weird and confusing. It’s happened in one or two of these books previously but only once per book so I’ve kind of just been rolling my eyes, but two seems annoying. Just pick something else that fits the rhythm, don’t mangle words! But this one does get bonus points for having ducks and umbrella’s, two of my son’s favourite things, and on the whole it is as lovely as previous books.

Very Noisy Baby Animals by Becky Davies and Gareth Lucas, from Little Tiger

The squishy, chunky, rubbery buttons in this book are absolutely perfect for little hands – they’re so satisfying and easy to press. Plus, it’s great that they’re very visibly linked to the noises they make, which helps with learning to link each noise with each animal. The story is very simple, about the animals’ day, and my one criticism is that the buttons needing to be in the same place each time, and being so big, means there’s not a lot of variation in each spread. But really, the focus is all on those lovely squishy buttons and the fun animal noises, so it does exactly what it needs to do to be attention-grabbing and adorable!

Peek Inside: Farm by Becky Davies and Fhiona Galloway, from Little Tiger

This interestingly-shaped book is a great one for older toddlers, with loads of things to do on each page, from peek-through flaps to hunting for different items. There’s a cute four-line rhyme and lots of inset question bubbles that mean you can really spend as much time on each page as attention spans will allow. The artwork has a really cosy feel to it, and makes the farm seem really fun, and the giant flaps mean really you’re almost getting four different pages per spread! The flaps are perhaps a little bit delicate for younger kids, as they’re only thin card, but I liked that the cutouts in them give you multiple grabbing points. Overall this is a really cute book, and I’ll be on the lookout for more from the illustrator.

Meekoo and the Muddy Farm by Camilla Reid and Nicola Slater, from Nosy Crow

This is a book that makes a lot of noise, so you’ll know right away if it’s one you want to bring into your home or not! Telling the story of a little bear in yellow wellies who visits a farm, each spread has a different sound clip from a lamb drinking milk to a tractor whirring. The story feels a little more substantial than some board books, though not quite to picture book level, so it’s a good one to really get into reading aloud; unfortunately it makes my son very upset when Meekoo gets his welly stuck in the mud (complete with slurping and splatting sounds and a little ‘uh-oh!’) , but that’s not the fault of the book! I’ll try again with it in a few months, because it’s a lovely book.

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