Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews


Joined October 2018

Pre-schoolA, 77 books
ASC, 1 books
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Was read to me 19th March '19

Jump and Shout
Author: Mike Dumbleton Illustrator: Peter Carnavas
Jump and Shout is a fun book of some children's day as they go to the park. The children were excited to read this book as they really liked the look of the front cover and the fun the children were having. This fun the children had was carried on throughout the book with a couple of words on each page explaining what they were doing, a lot of the time which were all action or describing words. This meant that the story itself was very short when being read to the children but would be great for children who are starting to read as there are lots of clues in the pictures as to what's happening. The illustrations are brilliant and show just how much fun the children are having throughout there day. The children liked looking at all the details in the illustrations and he particularly enjoyed the pages at the park and they were excited to tell everyone if they'd done the same as the characters at the park. We never really got to know much about the characters as there weren't many words but it didn't impact our enjoyment of the book as it was all so clear in the illustrations for the children. We really enjoyed Jump and Shout, it wasn't very long or detailed a story but it made the children happy and interested in the book and so that's a great story for the children!

Was read to me 18th March '19

The Dinosaur Department Store
Authors: Richard Merritt , Lily Murray
The Dinosaur Department Store is a brilliant story of a young girl, Eliza Jane, who decides she wants a dinosaur as a pet for her fourth birthday. The children love dinosaurs and so were very excited to be read the story, especially after they saw all the brightly coloured and fun looking dinosaurs on the front and back covers. The dinosaurs throughout the book are fantastic and it's so nice to see some different and more unusual dinosaurs than books usually show, there is still the T.Rex but there are so many more. I particularly liked how they were all at the back of the book with how to say them as that is a struggle with dinosaur books but as a nice extra detail each dinosaur has a framed picture of itself which was fun for the children to see as they all started to decide which one they liked the best. The story itself was very easy to read with the rhyming text which is what most of the children prefer and what keeps them most engaged in the story. The character of Eliza Jane was such a fun character and it was nice to see a girl wanting a dinosaur as too often dinosaur books are stereotypically boys. The illustrations in the book are fantastic! The children loved how it was full of such colourful and detailed images, especially of the dinosaurs who we got to see being a bit mischievous which wasn't always mentioned directly in the story. I like how in the end we see Eliza Jane thinking of someone other than herself and considering other feeling in an unexpected twist. Overall the children loved this book and they were so excited to see what happened to Eliza Jane and the dinosaurs throughout, I'm sure this is one of those books that the children will want read again and again and I enjoyed reading it so much that I wouldn't mind rereading it repeatedly either! 

Was read to me 17th March '19

Rupert Builds a Nest
Rupert Builds a Nest is a fun story of Rupert and his friends who discover a nest has fallen out of a tree whilst they are playing in the forest and realise they need to get the nest back before the eggs hatch. The children were attracted to this book by the bright colours of the cover and the fun looking bear (of which I don't think they knew was Rupert) but after we started to read the story they quickly lost interest. The story is very long and has paragraphs of writing on each page, the left page being a picture and the right page entirely writing and I think this was far too much for the children to keep their attention and a lot of it seemed unnecessary writing anyway. It could still have been a great book with only a few lines on each page and still had the point got across. The children liked certain characters in the story but they didn't really get to know who any of them were, I think it was kind of just expected that everyone knew who Rupert bear was. The illustrations in the book are brilliant and show clearly what's happening in the story with bright and colourful images but by the time we'd finished reading the previous page the children had little interest in the next one as there wasn't enough in the pictures to keep their attention for that long. They did enjoy seeing the eggs hatch at the end and the surprise of what was inside them though. I don't think this is a great book and it left the children pretty fed up of listening, of there was a lot less writing though it would be a whole other story!

Was read to me 11th March '19

Author: Hannah Whitty Illustrator: Paula Bowles
Superkitty is a brilliant story of a small cat who wishes to be part of the Sensational Superheroes but is always left with the boring jobs as he's too small and cute to be a superhero. The children absolutely loved this book. They love pretending to be superheroes so I thought they'd enjoy reading about Superkitty and that it would be great at making them think about judging people and their abilities and it is such a great way to do so. None of the children thought kitty shouldn't be able to join in because he was small and cute. Something great for them to learn as a lot of the time the children unintentionally exclude children in games because they think they're too young when they are no different in age and so it'll be nice to remind them of Superkitty if they forget that we should allow everyone to take part regardless so they can have a go. The children loved it when they all set off on the mission and found it funny seeing all the animals getting distracted, we would let them guess which animal was distracted on each page before reading and they particularly loved finding bear (I won't spoil what he was up to though!) The characters in the book are fantastic and it was great that they all had different strengths and personalities as it shows that everyone is different and the children liked how they were animals as it was easy to recognise which character was being talked about in the story. The illustrations in the book are fantastic, from the bright and colourful superhero agency to the darker blue colours of the nights end of the mission, they were the perfect contrast and set the book beautifully. Seeing the animals is always fun for the children too. 
I think the highest praise for Superkitty comes from a child today. We read it before the weekend but today (Monday) the child asked for a story at snack, as they often do, and so I headed off to the box of library books and before I'd even picked any books up she said "no, we don't want those books, we want the Superkitty one!" I think we'll be reading this book daily at snack for a long time, I am so pleased that they all enjoyed the book so much, even those that aren't always bothered about books and would rather be playing!

Was read to me 11th March '19

Princess Poppy: Please, please save the bees
Author: Janey Louise Jones
Princess Poppy Please Please Save the Bees is a fantastic book highlighting why we need to take care of and think about our environment and how it might effect our wildlife and especially the bees. The children were very excited to read this book as they loved the cover and recognised she was a princess without being read the title. The children liked seeing all the fun things Poppy and her friend got up to and when they were asked if they knew where the bees were they said they didn't know either and they were just as inquisitive as Poppy was as to what had happened. As we made it to the end of the book they started to understand and when asked again at the end of the book how we could help the bees they all excitedly shouted out the answer. We loved the characters in the book as they are all so realistic and relatable for the children but it was also great to see how inquisitive Poppy was on the matter as it kept the children interested in the story and it helped the story flow well with her repeating the same question throughout the book. The illustrations in the book are gorgeous and the children loved looking at all the details. They particularly enjoyed finding the wildlife from the back of the book and it was a good opportunity to learn some of the names of the creatures (some of which I didn't know!) We really enjoyed reading this story and it was great to see bees shown in a positive way in the book and showing there importance to our environments as some of the children did mention how they were scary and just out to sting us but this gave us a chance to explain what there actual purpose is and that they're not out to harm the children unless they think they're being harmed them self. We look forward to getting out and helping the bees by planting lots of flowers and putting the tips the book gave us to help the bees into practice.