Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.
You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.
The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
I was sent Snails’ Tales for review (by the publishers). It’s a book with two tales, both about snails (believe it or not!). The first story talks about the snails in the narrator’s garden and what they spend the day doing. The second story is all about the snails going on holiday.
As an ‘educator’ I really liked the book. There is lots of prompts for the children to use their imagination and plenty of places where I could ask questions, I could see it being a really good book to do a whole project on- about snails mainly, but also about holidays, and travel, and about the environment around us. The style of writing was very conversational which almost makes it feel like you’re not so much reading as having a discussion. Plus the pictures are really nice and bright, just in themselves the pictures could lead to some great discussion, and the toddlers did show a lot of interest in the pictures.
In terms of the toddlers, it didn’t have the greatest reaction. The kids liked the pictures, and got quite engaged when I talked about them. The story itself however they did loose interest in, I think they were a bit too long for them. The first story- the one just about the snails being n the garden they were more engaged with. They did join in with some discussion, although in a fairly basic way. I think it was just easier for them to connect with than the holiday story. It contained the sorts of things they would see and do on a daily basis so it was easier for them to imagine, whereas some of them have never been on holiday, and those that have often remember little. Trying to prompt them to think where the snails was particularly problematic as 99% of the time their answers to where is he/she/it going? or where are you going? is “the shop” (really, that’s where they are going on the bikes, that’s where the helicopter or plane is going to), not really a holiday location!
I’ve given the book to pre-school now, who I think it will be better suited too, although I haven’t had the opportunity to see their reactions to it yet.
Buy from amazon: