Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews


Joined October 2018

Pre-schoolA, 46 books
ASC, 1 books
My Timeline Follow

Was read to me 17th January '19

The Sea Saw
Author: Tom Percival
The Sea Saw is a lovely story of the adventures of a bear with the help of the Sea after a little girl Sofia loses her bear on a trip to the beach. The children were  captivated by the story and you could see how they felt sad for the Sofia and the bear as it is a relatable topic for them as they tend to lose (misplace) their bears at preschool regularly so seeing it was just like seeing it on a much larger scale to them. Some of the children saw how Sofia was feeling and shared how they feel sad when they can't find their comforter toys. It was nice to be able to talk about this with them and so nice for them to see how the story ended and showing them that things will always be in your memories even if you don't have it and that things will work out in the end. I thought it was really great that we got to see both the bear and Sofia's story throughout the book as it gave the children an insight into how they were both feeling and it was such a lovely twist at the end, needed a bit of explaining to the young children but they got it once it was explained. The characters in the book were brilliant and so relatable for the children. It was great how we could see the emotions of all the characters really stand out and the colours of the illustrations which seemed to match the mood which helped the children understand how they may be feeling. The illustrations are gorgeous and the colours and pictures are very good at setting the scene. When the children saw the storm and how the colours of the book had darkened they really noticed and became increasingly worried for Sofia's bear. It was very cleverly and beautifully illustrated. The children enjoyed the story The Sea Saw and its the most I've seen them concentrate so hard on a story in a while, they tend to like funny or comforting stories but this one really made them think and it was lovely for them to share their opinions on what was happening. The Sea Saw is such a beautiful story and definitely one I'd recommend as it has a fantastic message to share and one to get the children thinking about! 

Was read to me 9th January '19

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Author: Dr. Seuss
How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic Christmas book and one that everyone seems to have heard of but I'd never read (or watched the film) and so when I read this with the children it was as new a story to me as it was to them. The children were excited to start reading this book after some of them had heard of the new film which added to their interest. We read this book in small groups and the children really enjoyed listening and seeing the mischievous grinch trying to ruin Christmas, some of them thought it was funny seeing the grinch trying to steal Christmas and others were concerned as it would ruin Christmas for all the who's. We liked how it was a rhyming story and how it was funny and entertaining to read as even though I wondered if the children would listen for that long with only small pictures they really surprised me and were fascinated listening to the story throughout. We even had children passing joining onto our group wanting to listen which is a good sign! The characters in the book are brilliant and although the grinch is a troublesome creature having the contrast of Cindy Lou was very nice and the children all were that bit more interested when they first saw Cindy Lou as I think they liked seeing a young child like them being able to help save Christmas. The illustrations in the book are what I'd say are very typical of Dr Seuss and as previously mentioned I wasn't sure what the children would think but they were fascinated by them so the fact that they were all black, red and white didn't impact their viewing of the story which was lovely and they might not be full of colour like most children's books but they just worked. They thought the details like the dog as a reindeer was funny and seeing the grinch trying to fit things up the chimney! The end of the book and seeing how he grinch has changed and that who ville still had a great Christmas without all the materialistic things is a lovely message in the story and gave us a chance to talk about what Christmas is really about, some children still thought it was about presents but lots of them thought about it and can understand that it's more about family which is lovely. It is a lovely feel good Christmas book that we all enjoyed reading with a great meaning of Christmas, the perfect message to share with young children!

Was read to me 6th January '19

Snow (Mini Gift Edition)
Author: Sam Usher
Snow is a lovely book about an excited boy ready to go out in the snow with his grandad. I really loved this book as it's basically me on a snow day! I understand all too well the troubles and urgency this boy has to go out in the snow as this book is exactly how myself and my grandad act on a snow day. It doesn't snow much here so I never saw snow until I was a teenager and so I still get very excited even today and make my grandad go out in it but he's still never quick enough!   Aside from last year it hadn't snowed here for at least five years and so most of the children had only experienced snow once in their lives and so it's very new and exciting to them and seeing the boy have fun in the snow reminded them of the fun they had earlier in the year which was nice and one of those exciting times for them where they'd all say it at the same time as they were so excited to share what they liked about snow they couldn't wait their turn! The story is a simple story but perfectly shows the process children and adults have on a snow day which is enjoyable for the children to listen to and it shows very well the excitement the snow has brought the little boy. The illustrations are lovely and are brilliant at showing the atmosphere and how the young boy is feeling. The pictures at the end are especially nice and the children really liked how fun and creative they were as with even the best snow day we've not seen those! I thought the characters were fantastic and very relatable. I like how we really got to feel for the boy who so desperately wanted to be outside but it was great that it all worked out well in the end even if it wasn't exactly how he wanted. Snow is a really great book that made us all very excited and got the children talking about their experiences with all their friends, fingers crossed we'll wake up to some this year as it would be nice to reread it to them when it's actually going to snow as that would make the book even more exciting than it currently is (and it excited them a lot!)

Was read to me 6th January '19

Mince Spies
Author: Mark Sperring Illustrator: Sophie Corrigan
Mince Spies is a fun story of some mince pies (spies!) mission to find out who is ruining all of Christmases sweet treats. From the story it seems to be very similar to Supertato but the children never really noticed the similarities and were just enjoying the fun festive story. The children thought it was brilliant seeing the mince pies saving all their favourite festive foods and found it entertaining seeing them all acting as if they were superheroes. Some of the children were a little confused when they found the troublemakers and didn't know why nobody loved them which prompted asking the children how many of them liked sprouts, turned out to be about three out of thirty as they'd be asked "do you like to eat sprouts?" and they'd say "yes" and then I'd say "not the chocolate ones" and they'd all change their minds!   It was a good way to explain to the children about jealousy though and how they wanted to be like the gingerbread men that they all love. It was great to see Santa come in and share his knowledge and festive cheer, this excited the children from the moment they saw his boots! The characters in the book are brilliant and it's entertaining for the children to see all the Christmas treats come to life and going on adventures through the supermarket. The facial expressions on each of them is brilliant and especially as we get to see them change throughout the book and can see them all with different expressions is nice and to see they're all unique and tackle each situation differently. This also made the illustrations even better and it gave the children lots to look at. The cartoon like illustrations are so fun and full of colour for the children to look at. The children really loved this book and it made them happy to see the mince spies on a mission which is unlike what they've seen before, it also taught us all children love sprouts (at least when they're chocolate!)

Was read to me 6th January '19

Pick a Pine Tree
Author: Patricia Toht Illustrator: Jarvis
Pick a Pine Tree is a lovely story which follows the process of choosing and setting up a Christmas tree. It is the perfect book to read to children before putting up the tree as it is a fun way to show them what's going to happen and give them an idea of what the end result might look like to get them excited. The children really enjoyed this book and looking at all the fantastic pictures and seeing the tree become more and more like a Christmas tree as the story progresses. I like how the story is quite basic but has lots of detail into everything that's happening regarding the tree throughout the book with lots of descriptions of how everything looks or feels and it gave us a chance to ask the children if they'd put up their Christmas tree yet and whether theirs was similar to any of them in the book. It was nice that the words in the story rhymed as well as it meant it didn't feel like just a long list which I find some books can do but there was a purpose to all the descriptions and the children could see that in all the gorgeous illustrations which were just as detailed and beautiful as the story. My favourite part of the illustrations was seeing the children's eyes light up at the end of the book as that was very cleverly done, the children on the other hand loved the small detail of Santa at the end of the book. Although we don't get to know the characters in the book the way they are shown in the book are fantastic as it shows them having fun choosing and decorating a tree and makes it look like a lovely family activity which all the children liked and would point out look what they're doing, I've done that, which is nice as it's getting them thinking about their own experiences. Pick a Pine Tree is a fantastic book to read at the start of the festive season to get the children excited for Christmas and putting up the tree.