Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Jrh

Joined May 2016

Favourite book EVER is Matilda
  1. #22 of 3792 reviewers for 2 year olds
  2. #28 of 4475 reviewers for 3 year olds
  3. #41 of 5955 reviewers for 4 year olds
Group
ASC
ASC, 1 books
Pre-schoolA
Pre-schoolA, 32 books
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Wrote a Review 6th December '18

Book pages A Pirate Christmas: The Nativity Story
A Pirate Christmas: The Nativity Story
I read it to Pre-schoolA aged 2 to 4
A Pirate Christmas is a unique story about Pirate Dad and his son who after being left to keep an eye on the boat end up reading one of Pirate Dad's old books The Nativity. 
I really liked the sound of this books as whilst The Nativity isn't a particularly exciting story for the children as they seem to prefer books about Santa it is done in a unique way so that the children still get to learn about the story of the nativity but with a fun pirates perspective. It gave us a chance to talk about whether it seemed familiar to them because of our nativity show we'd been practicing for and having the pirates commentary on the nativity was nice as it was relatable to them as I'm sure they'd all been wondering why they chose to ride a donkey rather than take a car, for example, so it was nice to open up conversations with them about the small things we tend to ignore as adults. I liked how there wasn't too much commentary by the pirates as that would have been confusing for the children but it was nice to see the pirates story at the start and end too. The children were very pleased at the end that they got what they wanted and liked seeing the guinea pig watching out to sea through it. 
The characters in the book are great and with them being pirates it really drew the children to the book as they all wanted to read the pirate story. It was nice to have the focus on Pirate Dad, Joe and the guinea pig as we got to see them enjoy unpirate like activities but still got to see what their opinions of the nativity were and the children were pleased to see all the other pirates join in nearer the end of the book and have some fun! The illustrations in the book are not bright and colourful like many Christmas books but the colours work very well for the pirate theme. The illustrations were still so lovely and it was nice to see the pirates looking at the nativity book as it kept them in keeping with the story. A Pirate Christmas is a great Christmas book and perfect for introducing children to the nativity through characters they love, the children really enjoyed the pirate aspect and it was a great way to start discussions on the nativity which they may not have had if they didn't have the pirates perspective to guide them!

Wrote a Review 5th December '18

Book pages Busy Elves
Busy Elves
I read it to Pre-schoolA aged 2 to 4
Busy Elves is a great board book for toddlers. It is a short and basic story about the elves getting ready for Christmas but the best part is all the interactions throughout the book. The children loved how they could push, pull and slide so they could move the presents and santa along so it seemed like they were helping them. It's one of those books that when left to read it alone they'd fight over who's going to do the push / pulling next which is a good sign from the children that they enjoy the book. Because of this aspect and the self explanatory story it is a great book for the children to read to themselves as they can work out / make up the story from the pictures. The illustrations in the book are very bold and bright which the children love and it is very pretty and festive to look at. We had fun looking for the mice on each page and seeing what they had to say and what questions they had to ask and by them asking the questions it really got the children concentrating more on the pictures to see if they could find the answers. The elves in the book were brilliant and I liked how all the little elf characters in the books looked different as it meant all the children could find one that looked similar to themselves in some way whether that be by their hair style, colour or skin colour, it's nice to have diverse elves when traditionally they all seem to look the same. Seeing all the animals pop up throughout the story was fun for the children to look out for but of course they're favourite character was when they found Santa! The children have really enjoyed reading Busy Elves and whether they've read it as a group or to themselves it is a fantastic book for younger children that has made them happy and excited for Christmas!

Wrote a Review 4th December '18

Book pages How to Hide a Lion at Christmas
How to Hide a Lion at Christmas
I read it to Pre-schoolA aged 2 to 4
How To Hide A Lion At Christmas is a lovely story about a lion who recognises that his owner Iris is sad when he is left at home over Christmas. The children were very excited to read this book and as one of them said "lions are my favourite animal!" I think seeing a lion in a Christmas book made it a unique and fun story to listen to as it's not a traditional reindeer or wintry animals story. 
I think it was brilliant that it was the lion that decided he wanted to make Iris happy and find his own way to aunties house as it made for a fun perspective on how a lion could and manage this journey and was entertaining to read when he found things a bit of a struggle like with the suitcase or keeping himself hidden. Although the children didn't vocalise it I could see they were most concerned for lion being separated from Iris and I imagine it reminded them of times when they've been separated from their comforter toy. 
The character of the lion was a fun character as it was interesting for them to see what lion would do in the situations he got himself into and how he felt. The children particularly enjoyed when lion roared and started showing a lions personality. It was nice to have Iris as a friendly and loving character as it made the children so much happier and more pleased for her when they were reunited. 
The illustrations in the book are lovely and it's really nice how they show things from the lions point of view so the children could really get a sense of how he was feeling.
The book made the children feel happy as it was a fun and heartwarming story for Christmas. According to one child the best bit was when lion fell off the roof, he said "he should've had his skis on!"

Entered a Giveaway 4th December '18

Book pages Placeholder Book
Where's Wally? The Spectacular Spotlight Search
For Ages
5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10
No. of Copies
11
End Date
4th Dec '18
Open to residents of Republic of Ireland & United Kingdom

Wrote a Review 3rd December '18

Book pages Snowball
Snowball
I read it to Pre-schoolA aged 2 to 4
Snowball is the story of a lonely snowball that falls down a hill and hence gets bigger and bigger as he rolls down. We were looking forward to reading Snowball as having read previous Sue Hendra books we had a feeling it was going to be a funny read! 
The children thoroughly enjoyed seeing what silly thing snowball was going to roll over next and seeing him not just roll over some things but having them as a hat for example was a fun way of seeing him get into more troubles on his way down the hill. I really liked how the story rhymed as I find it keeps the children more engaged in the books and with the funny words and pictures they really enjoyed seeing snowball grow. 
The illustrations in the book are fantastic, like all of the authors books they are bright and colourful and there is so much for the children to see. I particularly liked the page of just snow as it was an effective way to prove the point of the story and surprised the children to see the page was blank. 
Although we never really got to know the character of snowball it was great fun to watch and it allowed the children to work out how snowball was feeling which is really great as he had some fantastic expressions throughout the book and it's good to be able to show children how they are different and he is feeling different feelings. I think what really made the book great was when we got to the end of the story and one child said "aww, he's got some friends!" which made us all feel better for snowball. Snowball didn't disappoint, the children loved the funny story of snowball and we can't wait to read more of Sue Hendra's books in the future!