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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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Animal Books!

I realised the other day that a lot of the books we’ve been reading recently have had an animal theme, so here’s a little round up! All of these books were sent to me for review by Little Tiger Books, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Sea by Patricia Hegarty and Britta Teckentrup

This book is full of gorgeous underwater scenes and enchanced with cool cut-outs that reveal different creatures on each page, which makes it feel full of depth and mystery! It’s accompanied by rhyming text that tells you a bit about each of the fish and animals, and has an overt moral about keeping the sea clean to protect ocean life, which is very important. All the sea creature favourites are here, from sharks to manatees, and kids will love spotting them in the detailed background as well as when they’re the focus. A very pretty read!

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Ancient History

Just a few books today, but they all ended up on a historical theme! These are all perfect for slightly older readers as they have more delicate and intricate flaps and plenty of interesting historical info to learn – so let’s take a look! All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Find Tom in Time: Ancient Rome by Fatti Burke

I’ve already said I’m a huge fan of this series (my review of Tom’s adventures in Ming Dynasty China is here, and Ancient Egypt is here), and I was really looking forward to the Ancient Rome book as that’s my area of expertise! This Where’s-Wally-esque book is a fabulous peek into the past, covering loads of different areas of Roman life in bright, chaotic detail with the added fun of looking for Tom and his cat Digby! You could pore over this for hours to find all the fun little tidbits hidden in the scenes – it’s a great addition to the series!

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: More Books About Feelings

This time on Kitten Corner I wanted to highlight some beautiful picture books that tackle the subject of feelings, friendships, and other emotional issues – there’s been a gorgeous selection published recently, so if you’re in need of a book that speaks to your and your little ones’ hearts, this is the post for you!

All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions!

Sometimes by Stephanie Stansbie and Elisa Paganelli

Published by Little Tiger Books on 1st April 2021

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Illustrated Books for Slightly Older Readers!

I have just a few books in today’s Kitten Corner round-up, but I think that this is one of my favourite kinds of book – gorgeous, informative picture books with tons of detail for confident readers who need a bit more meat in their stories! All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions!

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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.

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Funny Picture Books!

This time on Kitten Corner I wanted to take a look at a few of the funniest new picture books we’ve been reading recently! If you’re after zany situations and humour-filled illustration, then read on for some of my favourites from the last couple of weeks.

As always with these posts, any books I received for review will be marked with a *, but the fact they were sent to me doesn’t affect my opinions!

Don’t Mess with Duck! by Becky Davies and Emma Levey*

Published 4th March 2021 by Little Tiger

Duck just wants some peace and quiet, but every pond he tries is filled with irritating neighbours! He’ll have to learn to compromise and tolerate others if he wants to settle down somewhere… The story is good fun, with a lovely moral about making friends and not demanding the impossible. The art is hilarious, as Duck tries pond after pond to find his sanctuary – I particularly loved seeing him bothered by macaques in the hot spring! I feel like this would be great for fans of Oi Frog! and its sequels – it’s not a rhyming book, but the combination of grumpiness, humour, and rules just gives me a similar vibe. It’s a lot of fun!

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Books About Feelings!

This time on Kitten Corner I’m featuring a selection of books that look at a range of emotions, good and bad, through sweet animal stories. If you’d have asked me a couple of months ago, I would have said that was quite a narrow niche to find books in, but it just so happens we’ve read quite a few recently! As always with these posts, any books I received for review will be marked with a *, but the fact they were sent to me doesn’t affect my opinions.

Love by Emma Dodd*

Board book published on 14th January 2021by Nosy Crow

Oh, this is one that will make you cry if it hits you on the right day! This is a sweet, simple rhyming book that describes lots of different things that love is all about, accompanied by beautiful art of two rabbits, a baby and an adult. There are no genders assigned to either rabbit, and no explicit mention of who the adult rabbit is to the child (except in the blurb, where it says “mummy”, but I wouldn’t tend to read that with a child), so this would be a beautiful one to read together no matter what your relationship to your young reading partner is – mum, dad, grandparent, or any other caretaker, this book makes it clear that love is simple and pure and brilliant. It’s a beautiful book in both sentiment and illustration, and one I’ll be buying for many people, I think.

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