Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews


Aged 5
Joined April 2018

Favourite book EVER is What the Ladybird Heard
AnnaMP, 7 18 books
HugoMP, 5 13 books
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Was read to me 16th January '19

Author: Alan MacDonald
We love a bit (OK, a lot!) of Dirty Bertie in this house - every story we read has us in hysterics and this one is no exception.  I will warn you, though, you'll be scratching for the rest of the evening after reading it!

Was read to me 11th January '19

Author: Harriet Brundle
My husband and I were very keen to introduce different faiths and cultures early on in our children's lives, to give them a better understanding of the religious beliefs and cultural traditions of those around them. As our children are young, we agreed that any 'teaching' needed to be done with a light touch, and be informative and interesting. While looking around for appropriate reading material, we came across the 'Your Faith collection' series, this Christianity book being one of 6 books in the collection (the others being Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism. The books are bright, colourful and the size of picture books.  Each book starts with a simple definition of religion in general and then goes on to explain about the particular religion being covered.  Further chapters cover subjects such as core tenets, places of worship, special ceremonies and celebrations, religious books, and a few short facts.

I like these books because they are factual, engaging, easy to understand and short enough to read through in 5 minutes or so, depending on the amount of questions I get asked.  They have prompted lots of interest from the kids, both specific to the religion we have been reading about, and more generally, such as wanting to know if it's ok to celebrate our friends' festivals, if they are of a different religion to us.  That's exactly what we wanted to achieve - curious and engaged family discussions about faith and its place in our lives - and so these books have been a definite hit.

Was read to me 11th January '19

Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits: Book 1
Author: Julian Gough Illustrator: Jim Field
Bear and Rabbit: Rabbit's Bad Habits basically tells the story of the emerging friendship between Bear and Rabbit, and how both their lives are enhanced because of it.  Bear teaches Rabbit about friendship and also saves his life, and Rabbit reciprocates with his knowledge of gravity and poo...  OK, not exactly a fair trade, but Bear seems to be a magnanimous sort of lady.  The children loved the story and, as I expected, they though the sections about poo were hilarious.  Their favourite line, without a doubt, was "Eat the other kind of poo?" said Rabbit.  EAT THE OTHER KIND OF POO? That's DISGUSTING!" which had them in hysterics.  It is regularly requested at bedtime albeit be warned, with all the laughter involved it isn't that easy to settle the children down afterwards!

Was read to me 11th January '19

The Big Book of the Blue
Author: Yuval Zommer
We love factual books in our house and the The Big Book of Blue is one of our favourites.  It's packed full of information about marine life and is truly brought to life by Yuval's amazing illustrations.  As the title suggests, it is big - 35 cms by 24 - and each double-page spread focuses on an array of different sea creatures from whales to seahorses, dragonets to sea snakes.  I particularly love the fact that while the interesting and quirky snippets of information are written in simple-enough language for an emerging reader to be able to manage (when we first bought this, my son was on Purple level at school and he was able to read lots of this), there is enough information included to satisfy and interest an older reader.  It also discusses the different ocean families and their features, marine habitats and introduces some of the issues facing our oceans, such as plastic pollution, overfishing and global warming.  As my son is a huge fan of books where he has to spot things, he was very pleased to find that a sardine-spotting game has been included throughout the book and he really enjoyed the 'fishy phrases' glossary at the back.  Brilliant for both reading independently and sharing (the size really helps in this regard), this would make a super gift for any child or family interested in sea life or nature.

Was read to me 10th January '19

Dave Pigeon
Author: Swapna Haddow Illustrator: Sheena Dempsey
I have to say that this is one of the funniest children’s books I have ever read to the kids – if Dave and Skipper don’t make you laugh, then quite frankly you haven’t got a pulse.  We loved everything about it.  It’s highly illustrated with brilliant black and white graphics by Sheena Dempsey, and the story is effectively told by the 2 hilarious pigeons who could give the best comedy duos a run for their money.   There are so many layers of ‘funnyness’ in this book: the ‘speech bubble’ banter between the 2 birds; the superbly witty writing throughout; Dave’s constantly revised cunning plans (or are they Skipper’s?); and the chapter titles, our favourite being ‘The Chapter that I, Dave Pigeon, Have Decided to Call Chapter Eight’. A warning, though, I had to stop reading this at bedtime because the kids ended up laughing so much that they couldn’t then get off to sleep!