Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Learning New Things

These two books are perfect for toddlers starting to explore the world around them; one helps you with words, and one with practical skills. Both books were sent to me free of charge to review, but all opinions are my own!

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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.

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Really Informative Books for Older Readers

Okay, that’s a clunky title, but I wasn’t sure how else to round up the absolute smorgasbord of information in these gorgeous illustrated non-fiction titles. Little knowledge-seekers will be in heaven with these! All three books were sent to me free of charge, but all opinions are my own.

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: A Selection of Cats!

As you know, I am very much a cat person, and I’m always on the lookout for books featuring cats, in any age range. We’ve recently loved Mooncat and Me, which I reviewed here, and here are four more books for little ones that have cats! All of these books were sent to me, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Cat Chat by Dr Jess French and Penelope Dullaghan, from Nosy Crow

This is a wonderful introduction to the body language of cats! Each page has a brilliantly expressive illustration of a different cat, and a rhyming description that explains simply what each cat is feeling (“Say hello cat/let me go cat” for example). I think this will be invaluable as a tool to show my toddler when it’s safe or unsafe to approach our cat, which is something I’m hyperaware he needs to learn – Tomte is a gentle giant, but he’s still a cat with claws and teeth! I like that there are more detailed explanations of how to interact with cats at the back of the book, with an emphasis on when to leave cats alone and how to get them to feel comfortable with you – it has just the right balance of teaching kids to be wary while also acknowledging that they probably badly want to touch the cat! I’m very impressed with this, and will be glad to have it on hand for the future. Highly recommended for those who own both cats and toddlers.

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Board Books Galore!

Where’s Mrs Doctor? by Ingela P Arrhenius, from Nosy Crow

We adore this series! I’ve reviewed several of the Felt Flaps books here before (Where’s Mrs Queen, and Where’s Mrs Car, to mention a couple), and the series goes from strength to strength. This hospital themed book is particularly lovely – I’m so happy to see a female doctor and paramedic and a male nurse, helping break down persistent stereotypes, and it’s also fabulous to see the diversity of skin tones across both medical staff and patients. The artwork is bright and simple, and the felt flaps are SO grabbable – plus there’s a lovely mirror at the end!

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Diggers and Rockets

Things that go vroom are having a real moment in our house, so I thought I’d round up a few books about building sites and spaceships that are sure to entertain a little one who loves to see how things work! All of these books were sent to me free of charge for review, but they’ve been extensively road-tested (pun intended!) and all opinions are my own.

Curious Kids: Stars and Space by Christiane Engel, from Little Tiger

This book is gorgeous. It’s full of beautiful pop-ups that have everything from galaxies to astronauts springing to life in beautiful bright colours. It’s jam-packed with facts, too, and between the delicate pop-up mechanisms and the level of information, this is definitely one best suited to slightly older kids who can a) be trusted not to tear it and b) understand the vocab and longer sentence construction. It would make a great read-together book, too, and will definitely have budding astronauts spouting off space facts. The artwork is really vibrant and appealing – I particularly love the pop-up of a comet racing through the stars. And bonus points for featuring female astronauts as well as male. This is a delight of a book.

How it works: Rocket by Amelia Hepworth and David Semple, from Little Tiger.

Keeping with the space theme, here’s a book aimed slightly younger in both construction and writing style, but still full of cool facts and illustrations! This one is a little bit sturdier, more of a traditional board book, and each page has a shaped cut-out that reveals slightly more of the rocket – it’s a really cool way to show the rocket shedding parts as it travels. Again, we have a balance of male and female astronauts, which is great to see. There’s also a little mouse to spot in each picture, which adds some fun! I really enjoyed the bright, bold artwork, and would love to get hold of more in this series.

Make Tracks: Building Site by Johnny Dyrander, from Nosy Crow

Moving on to something a little more earthbound, this book has such a cool concept! Each spread shows you a vehicle you might find on a building site, and explains about its job and its machinery, and then has a page with an embedded track that you can move that vehicle around using a sliding disc. It’s very clever, and hugely fun for little fingers to “drive” – a couple of the tracks have central islands that can be pulled off quite easily, and I admit I’ve had to take the glue-stick to a couple of pages, so this is probably one to save for toddlers who are past the ‘pull everything as hard as you can’ stage. That’s not to say it’s not well-made or well-designed because it really is, it’s just always a possibility with moving paper parts. But for little ones who can play gently, this will provide an enormous amount of entertainment!

What Can You See on a Building Site? by Kate Ware and Maria Perera, from Little Tiger

This is another book that puts cutouts to great use, with sneak peeks at all different stages of a building site. Each spread is full of fun details to spot and simple explanations of the jobs, machines, and tools you might find on a building site – it shows much more than just diggers and bricklaying! There’s a few building sites near us, so it’s nice to be able to point out things we might have seen on our walks. There’s also a different cat to find in each scene, which is an addition which will always make me smile! The pages are nice and thick so even with the cut-outs, it feels like it will withstand a lot of poking and pulling – I think this one will keep holding interest as the building sites nearby keep changing!

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: More Fabulous Flaps!

We’re still absolutely loving interactive board books chez Cup of Tea, so here’s a little round up of some of the newest flappy favourites on our shelves! All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Where’s Mrs Car? by Ingela P Arrhenius

The latest book in the Felt Flaps series is another winner! These are so simple, but so well-executed, with five large and tactile flaps that babies will love to grab. This one, as you can probably guess, features an array of cute vehicles, and the mirror at the end is a particular favourite. Definitely a series to get your hands on if you need to entertain a little one!

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