Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

2019 – The Year of Poppy and Sam

28th November 2019

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2019 has been a huge year in the book world but one brand that has really stood out to us this year is Poppy and Sam.

Originally launched in 1985 as Farmyard Tales, the stories of Poppy and Sam at their home on Apple Tree Farm have been loved by families for over 30 years. This year Usborne relaunched this classic children’s brand with new books publishing throughout the year and storytelling events nationwide.

We thought we’d share the details of all the fabulous Poppy and Sam books that have published this year as well as some of our favourite reviews for each book. This should also help inspire your Christmas shopping as the books make perfect stocking fillers for little ones!

Toppsta
2019-11-28
2019 – The Year of Poppy and Sam
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Poppy and Sam's Animal Hide and Seek

Join Poppy and Sam as they play hide-and-seek on Apple Tree Farm! With flaps to lift and lots of furry and textured patches to explore, this book introduces the popular characters from Apple Tree Farm to very young children. A delightful book for adults and children to share.

‘This was one of the first Poppy & Sam books I bought for my daughter, when she was a baby, and it’s still very much loved now. It really is a lovely way to introduce the joys of textures and flaps in books. As with all Usborne books it is great quality and sturdy for excited little hands. The flaps are a great size and there’s at least 3 different textures on each double page. Each page is very engaging and a brilliant extension on any little one’s interest of the farm. There’s lots to spot and count which provides lots of conversation and supports language and numeracy development. My daughter will also happily take this off the shelf and enjoy this independently studying the pictures very carefully. She loves counting all the eggs and chicks on the hen pages. Nice starter to meet the lovable characters before moving into the stories that they appear in.’  Read to Zog, age 2


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Poppy and Sam's Animal Sounds

Poppy and Sam are feeding the animals at Apple Tree Farm, and they're a noisy bunch! Little children will love hearing the farm come to life as they press the pages of this entertaining book, to hear Curly the pig, Woolly the sheep, Rusty the dog and more. At the end you'll hear all the noisy animals at once, accompanied by a jolly tune.

‘Blaine loves this book, the buttons are super easy for little ones to press by themselves. It helps toddlers and young children learn to associate what sounds come from what animals and farm vehicles. Not only can you search for the little yellow duck on each page but if you have a tractor loving child like my little boy you can also look for a little red toy tractor on each page too. On the last page there's a surprise for your little one once they press the button all the animals start making a noise and a tune starts to play. Every time Blaine hears the tune at the end of the book he starts singing Old Mac Donald had a farm.’ Read to BlaineFord, age 2


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Poppy and Sam's Animals Sticker Book

Join Poppy and Sam for a wander around Apple Tree Farm to meet all the animals who live there, including favourites Rusty the dog, Dolly the horse and Woolly the sheep. There are lots of scenes to decorate, including the stables, snowy fields and a summer show, and over 150 stickers to bring the pages to life.

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Poppy And Sam's Bedtime

It's the end of a busy day on Apple Tree Farm. Join Poppy and Sam as they say goodnight to all the animals, including Woolly the sheep, Curly the pig and Daisy the cow. With touchy-feely patches, flaps to lift and the Little Yellow Duck to spot on every page, this charmingly illustrated book is perfect for sharing with little ones at bedtime. 

'Poppy and Sam's Bedtime is a sturdy board book with lovely touchy-feely elements and hidden lift-the-flap details on every page. Children will love these tactile interactive aspects which really help them to get involved with the book. Slightly older children will also enjoy searching for the yellow rubber duck on each page. The brightly coloured illustrations are cheerful and fun. There’s lots to look at and loads of cute farmyard animals too. The book is perfect as a bedtime story but it’s lovely to share at any time of the day.’ Read to Samuel, age 3


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Poppy and Sam's Fingerprint Activities

Join Poppy and Sam for lots of fingerprinting fun in this entertaining activity book, with its own brightly coloured inkpad of seven colours. Decorate the scenes with flowers, chicks, piglets, rabbits and much more. There are simple instructions showing how to fingerprint each scene and the book has a spiral binding so that it lies flat.

‘With Blaine being off for the Easter Holidays this Fingerprint activity book has been amazing in keeping Blaine entertained. We have never tried any activity book like this before and we have found it very simple and fun to use. Each page has different scenes for your little one to decorate...You don't need any extra materials such as water or paint brushes which is great if you want to take this book on a day out with you. It has its own brightly coloured ink pad which has seven colours to choose from. Blaine sometimes became frustrated when he wanted to use the same finger to paint with but wanted a different colour, I found that thankfully it was extremely easy to clean off the ink with wet wipes or with water. There are also simple instructions on each page on how to create different shapes and animals with your fingertip which after showing Blaine first how to do them he could easily create these himself.’ Read to BlaineFord, age 2


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Poppy and Sam's Easter Egg Hunt

Poppy and Sam are searching for Easter eggs on Apple Tree Farm. Children will love looking through the peep holes in this charming book to discover the colourful eggs, following fingertrails to trace the flight of a butterfly or bee, and spotting Daisy the cow, Clucky the hen and Rusty the pig along the way.

‘Absolutely love Usborne books and we love Sam and Poppy's adventures. This is a super cute Easter egg hunt book...Sophie really enjoyed this book. Perfect Easter gift.’ Read to Ellielebugjnr, age 3


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Poppy and Sam's First Word Book

Each page in this delightful book features a scene full of things to spot and talk about on Apple Tree Farm, from feeding the hens and mending a tractor to having a picnic. There are opportunities for little children to practise their numbers and counting and talk about colours, and a Little Yellow Duck to spot on every page.

‘Great addition to the Poppy and Sam series! Although my daughter's vocab is quite good there were new words for her to learn and it was great to also have the option for her to find the object on the page as well. Definitely recommended!’ Read to myka, age 2


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Poppy and Sam's Farm Animals Magic Painting

Bring Poppy and Sam's animal friends to life by adding water to the black and white pictures in this charming book. Create beautiful colour scenes of Rusty the dog, Woolly the sheep, Clucky the hen and all the other favourites.

‘Blaine was so surprised with this book, he loved adding water to the pages and was shocked when vibrant colours magically appeared on the page. There are so many different scenes for your child to pick from to paint including flying kites, a scarecrow, collecting eggs and feeding the pigs. There is also a handy flap which you can use to stop the paint seeping through to the page beneath which is fantastic for little ones who can be generous with the amount of water they put on their brush. Read to BlaineFord, age 2


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Poppy and Sam's Sticker Book

Young children will love exploring Apple Tree Farm in this delightful sticker book, containing over 130 stickers. Scenes to complete using the colourful stickers provided include Dolly the horse's field, Curly the pig's pen, Mrs Boot's hen house and more, and there's a Little Yellow Duck to spot on every page too.

‘My daughter loved this sticker book! It was great to have pointers as to what she could do on each page which meant she was far more engaged than other sticker books where she just places stickers at random! She also loved having stickers of lots of different sizes. Really nice book – kept her entertained for ages!' Read to myka, age 2


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Poppy and Sam's Wipe-Clean Summer Activities

Join Poppy and Sam for lots of summer fun in this activity book, perfect for helping young children develop their observation and pen control skills. Join the dots to make a tent, spot the differences between rock pools, count bunnies in the garden and lots more. Durable, wipe-clean pages mean children can enjoy the activities again and again.

‘The children both love this book, they have both been able to share this book with the ability to wipe clean and start again. They love the puzzles and being able to clean away on their own if any mistakes are made. The pictures are colourful, bright and eye-catching. Much fun had by all.’ Read to Bob’s, age 6 & to Xander, age 4

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Poppy and Sam's Noisy Train Book

Join Poppy and Sam for a steam train adventure full of fun sound effects. Press the buttons on each page of this exciting book to hear sounds that bring the story to life, including Rusty the dog barking, Dolly the carthorse neighing, and the steam train puffing along the tracks and tooting its horn.

‘We loved this book, the illustrations are bright and colourful with a lovely story. My little man loved pointing to the different things on each page and making the noises for the train and the animals. He also loved finding the duck hidden on each page but the best thing about this book, in his opinion, was the noisy buttons with sounds throughout the story!!’  Read to HudsonC, age 3


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Poppy and Sam's Rubber Stamp Activities

Join Poppy and Sam for lots of rubber stamping fun in this entertaining activity book, with its own brightly coloured inkpad of seven colours. Decorate the scenes with hens, sunflowers, goats, pumpkins and much more. There are simple instructions showing how to fingerprint each scene and the book has a spiral binding so that it lies flat.

‘On each page you need to find the duck then rubber stamp it.  Comes supplied with a brightly coloured inkpad of seven colours.  A real entertainment as it is so interactive. Ideal for pre-school children.  The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, really bright and colourful on every page with lots of farmyard scenes.  Fabulous book, would make a great present.’ Read to Violet1, age 4


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Poppy and Sam's Animal Stories

Welcome to Apple Tree Farm, where every day brings a new adventure for Poppy and Sam! This collection of ten delightful stories includes a curious piglet, a naughty sheep and a silly sheepdog. Each story features charming illustrations by Stephen Cartwright, and there's a Little Yellow Duck to spot in every picture too.

‘This is a delightful book which contains 10 animal stories on Apple Tree Farm. Each story is a nice length to ensure a young child remains engaged. The illustrations are beautifully done and I love that there is a duck on each page for children to look for as it allows them to look at the book on their own. I would definitely recommend.' Read to Ccub, age 2


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Poppy and Sam's Halloween Party

Rusty the dog has gone missing! Can Poppy and Sam find him in time for their Halloween party? Little children will love looking through the peep holes and touching the textured pages in this charming book with bats, pumpkins, spiders and the adorable animals of Apple Tree Farm to spot on every page. And of course, the little yellow duck!

‘This is a really cute Halloween book that both of my girls thoroughly enjoyed. The pages are thick card and the book itself is a great size for small hands to play with. Perfect for celebrating Halloween with little ones!’ Read to Olivia2016, age 3 & to Amelia2018, age 1


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Poppy and Sam's Lift-the-Flap Christmas

It's Christmas Eve at Apple Tree Farm! Peep under the flaps to find out what Poppy and Sam are doing to get ready for Christmas Day. Poppy can't find Ginger, her kitten, but maybe you can see where she's hiding! An interactive book for children to enjoy during the festive season, with delightful illustrations from Stephen Cartwright.

‘A lovely well designed book. My daughter loved opening all the flaps and seeing what was happening at Apple Tree Farm on Christmas Eve. Each page had a number of flaps and there was lovely detail with even Christmas Cards to open and read on the side, from some of the well known characters. My daughter particularly liked opening the doors to the sheds to see all the animals tucked away in bed. She was excited to look behind the flaps and see what was happening in the scene. It has been designed very well and it is illustrated brilliantly with lovely shiny pages. The flaps add something to the story and help to set the scene. We also liked the addition of Poppy’s new Cat to find as well as the yellow duck...I think this is the best lift the flap book Annabelle has!’ Read to LittleStar, age 3


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Poppy and Sam's Wind-Up Tractor Book

Little children will love to wind-up the tractor and watch as it whizzes around the tracks. There are three much-loved Apple Tree Farm stories to bring to life - Scarecrow's Secret, Runaway Tractor and Tractor in Trouble - and each story includes sturdy tracks embedded in the pages and press-out Farmyard Tales characters to complete the scenes.

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Poppy and Sam's Wipe-Clean Christmas Activities

Join Poppy and Sam for Christmas at Apple Tree Farm with this delightful activity book, filled with festive mazes, dot-to-dots, matching and other wipe-clean activities. The simple puzzles help young children develop essential observation and pen control skills in an enjoyable way.

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Poppy and Sam's Bedtime Stories

Snuggle up with Poppy and Sam, and enjoy these ten gentle tales of their adventures on Apple Tree Farm. Stories include a runaway tractor, a journey on an old steam train, a camping trip and lots more. Each story features charming illustrations by Stephen Cartwright, and there's a Little Yellow Duck to spot in every picture too.

‘Fantastic book. Joshua absolutely loves bedtime stories.’ Read to joshua2018, age 1


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