Tag Archives: picture book review

Children’s Hour: Nemo’s Friends


Children’s Hour is a  feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

Nemo’s Friends  is one of those let’s make sure parents don’t feel guilty for buying Disney books by making it educational books.

The story is pretty much none-existent. It basically lists Nemo’s friends and gives a fact about that friend, like ‘is a blue fish’ or ‘is a small fish’. The kid’s like it because it’s Nemo, and possibly because they can feel the achievement of knowing which fish is the blue fish etc.

One thing I do like about it is that there will be more sea creatures on the page than the one mentioned so the kids do have to use their knowledge to find out which fish is the fish being talked about.

In terms of story enjoyment, and adult enjoyment it’s pretty low. Even so this is the book other that ‘I Want My Potty’ that the kids seem to want to possess, so it obviously holds some charm. For me it is a way of getting them engaged in knowing things like colour and size, so whilst I don’t find it enjoyable to read, it is at least useful.

Buy it:

Board Book (new and used from £0.01)

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Children’s Hour: What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby?


Children’s Hour is a  feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

I’ve read What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby?  to the toddlers a few times now, and it’s pretty popular. It’s a fairly simple story, the baby is crying and car, duck, dog and cow are trying to make it stop, with little success.

It’s a repetitive story. Each animal makes a suggestion of what to do, and they do it, whilst making their noises, but still the baby goes ‘Boo-Hoo-Hoo’. The kids like the noises, especially when I ‘cry’ boo-hoo-hoo, but I’m surprised that they’re not yet joining in with the repetitive bits. We also managed to stay quiet after reading so we didn’t wake the baby (if only we could manage this when some of the other toddlers are sleeping!).

In general I would say that after 2 it would probably be to basic, but it could work for younger children.

The edition we have is dual language Romanian and English, but you can get it in just English and in other dual languages

Buy it:

Paperback (new and used from £0.01)

Board Book (new and used from £0.01)

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Children’s Hour: Mr Big


Children’s Hour is a  feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

When I picked up Mr Big  I was a little unsure as to the length for the toddlers, but we needed something new and interesting, so I offered this and another new book (which will probably be next week’s Children’s Hour), and they picked this one.

Ed Vere is also the author of Banana which was very popular with the pre-schoolers, but very reader dependant. ‘Mr Big’ tells its own story. The story is about Mr Big who is so big that everyone is scared of him, and all he wants is some friends. Mr Big buys a piano, and the beautiful music he plays lets everyone see his soft side.

It’s a beautiful story about not judging by what you see, about emotions, about the importance of friends, and the beauty of music. You could probably write an adult book on the same themes if you padded it out a bit.

Anyway, yes the kids did miles better with it than I thought they would. They actually listened (or at least most of them) and the only way really they didn’t sit nicely was because they wanted to leap up and see the pictures and point at things- which you can’t really say is a bad thing.

Ed Vere’s pictures are bright, and beautiful, and engaging, they really helped the kids to see Mr Big as a person and to want to know about him (him being a monkey probably helped too)

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: I Want my Potty


Children’s Hour is a  feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

We have got quite a few toddlers potty training recently so it was time to get out I Want My Potty.  It’s a book which has been popular with plenty of toddlers over the years I’ve been working at the nursery, but this particular group seem to be obsessed.

The story follows The Little Princess as she learns to use the potty, and how she grows from disliking it to finding it fun. She does some silly things with the potty, which I know some readers wouldn’t find helpful, but our kids find it funny, and you still talk about whether that’s what we do with a potty which gets a conversation going.

In one scene The Little Princess decides to wear the potty on her head! Two of our toddlers did this with our play potties and came to show me laughing and saying they were the princess! (I wish I could show you a picture, it was so cute!)

They have also taken just to carrying this particular book around. Not necessarily to read, more to possess (oh little budding bibliophiles!)

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.94)

Hardback (£4.99)

Kindle (£4.49)

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Children’s Hour: My Mum


Children’s Hour is a  feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

When I was in pre-school earlier today one of the children came to show me My Mum, I have seen it before, but never discussed it on here. She first wanted to show me all the pictures and told me the story in her own words, then she asked me to read it.

The story is pretty simple. With each picture there is a description of what the child’s Mum is like “My Mum is as soft as a kitten, and as tough as a rhino” with the pictures showing Mum like that. The pictures are obviously the Mum because they wear the same pattern as her. Each section ends with a variant of “She’s really nice, my Mum” which gradually makes Mum sound even better.

The combination of pictures and the repetitive formula make it an easy story for the kids to read to themselves, but isn’t so repetitive that it’s boring. The pictures are beautiful and well thought out.

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.99)

Hardback (£5.99)

Kindle (£4.99)

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Children’s Hour: Mr Bear Says ‘Can I Have a Hug?’


Children’s Hour is a  feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

Mr Bear Says ‘Can I Have a Hug?’ (or Owl as one of our children calls it) is just right for our current group of toddlers, quite a few of whom don’t have the focus for a longer picture book. I managed to read this and another in the same series before I felt they wouldn’t focus for any longer. In this one Mr Bear is looking for someone to hug, but nobody i quite right. The spider is too small, the owl’s feathers make him sneeze, but baby bear is just right.

It reminds me a little bit of the That’s not my… books, but with more variety of descriptive words. The kids loved it when we acted out hugging the different animals, which made this one more popular than the other.

Buy it:

New (from £706.99)

Used (from £0.01)

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Children’s Hour: The Time it Took Tom


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
The Time it Took Tom has been fairly popular with the toddlers, and more popular with the pre-schoolers.

In the story Tom finds a tin of paint, and decides to paint to living room…completely! The story talks about the time it took, and the time the events after took.

The toddlers like the simpler parts of the story as Tom is actually painting, but they tend to loose interest in the longer bits that describe how they fixed it. It’s a good book to talk about time, and there is a lot of extra story in the pictures as you see Tom’s Mum out of the window.

The pictures are by Nick Sharratt and of the style which tends to be popular with kids

Buy it:

Paperback- new or used (from £3.40)

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Children’s Hour: Dinosaur Kisses


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
I’ve read Dinosaur Kisses to both toddlers and pre-school, but it went down better with the younger ones.

The story is about a dinosaur who sees a kiss and wants to copy, but keeps getting it wrong.

It’s very simple, probably too simple for a pre-schoolers, at least I think that’s why they appreciated it less. The toddlers though liked all the noises included in the narrative, and found it funny when the dinosaur got it wrong.

Personally I liked the pictures which were very cute. and I had imagined it as being more a book for the toddlers than the pre-schoolers.

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.99)

Hardback (£11.99)

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Children’s Hour: I’m Not Sleepy


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
I’m Not Sleepy is another story about our favourite Baby Owl. I borrowed it from the library because the toddlers love Baby Owl

In this one it’s Baby Owl’s bedtime, but he doesn’t want to go to sleep because

“I’m NOT sleepy”

even though he’s yawning, and stretching, and even closing his eyes.

It’s much more like ‘I’m Not Cute‘ than ‘I’m Not Reading‘, which I prefer as a it’s a bit simpler and easier to follow, plus there’s much more of Baby Owl shouting, which we all like.

There are different animals to the animals in ‘I’m Not Cute’ which is interesting for the kids, and as with ‘I’m Not Cute’ the kids love naming the animals, as well as joining in with the shouting.

It’s probably our second favourite library book, after ‘Shh! We Have a Plan

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: Shh! We Have a Plan (revisited)


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I first wrote about Shh! We Have a Plan after I bought it for my nephew. When I saw it at the library a couple of weeks ago I decided I should share it at nursery too, especially considering how much they had loved Oh No, George! I think I made a pretty good choice because it’s almost certainly the toddler’s favourite book of the ones I got from the library (which is really saying something because one of them was a Baby Owl book).

Shh! We Have a Plan follows four men who are trying to catch a bird. Three of them are trying to use stealth and creeping up on the bird, the other is being very friendly, much to the annoyance of the other three

“Shh! SHH! We have a plan”

The kids like the simplicity of the words which make it very easy for them to join in, and they especially like saying

“Hello Birdy!”

along with the fourth man. They love looking out for the bird, and are becoming increasingly competent at describing what is happening in the pictures. Both make them feel a sense of achievement.

The pictures in the book tell as much of the story as the words do, which makes it almost like the children are making up the story for themselves. The pictures are simple but rather beautiful. I like how everything bar the birds are in blue which makes the bird stand out so you can see why the men want to capture it.

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.24)

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Children’s Hour: Ruby Roars


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Last week I went to the library to pick some books for the kids (let’s not go any further into this library business here or I may start getting angry) Ruby Roars is one of the books I picked. I’ve been in pre-school a lot this week and they seem to have taken to Ruby Roars, which is strange because they didn’t seem that engaged when I read it first time, I suppose they must have been more interested that I thought though because they asked for it again.

Ruby Roars is about a Tasmanian devil who is learning how to roar. She tries out lots of different noises but can’t seem to scare anybody. Eventually she finds the perfect word and scares everybody.

The kids like the noises which increase in their volume (or at least they do when I read it!). They find it funny I think to see you being a bit silly (which is sort of strange because half my job is being silly, you’d think they would expect it by now). It was because of the noises that I picked the book out, so I’m glad I was right

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: Tip, Tip, Dig, Dig


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
The kids really liked Tip, Tip, Dig, Dig There’s a bit of a story to it, about how the different building equipment are going to fix problems but it’s more about the repeated refrains of what they do, e.g. tip, tip. The kids can join in and learn about what the different equipment does at the same time (which is good because everything is apparently a digger!). The problems are asked about so the kids can guess what the answers are too e.g. “Look at all this mess! What can we do with it?”

The pictures are very appealing, being bright and fairly simple.

Buy it:

Boardbook (£4.99)

Paperback (£10.19)

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Children’s Hour: One Bear at Bedtime


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

One Bear at Bedtime is a simple story the boy only needs a bear to go to bed, but all these other animals show up. It’s a counting book, with a series of animals showing up, a different number of each.

The kids likes it because it was silly, with animals doing things they shouldn’t, like lions shampooing their manes. Really it’s the pictures which make the story- and the questions you ask.

 

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: Dinosaur Roar!


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
You know what I like about Dinosaur Roar!? That it’s a book about dinosaurs (which are generally popular) which doesn’t require me to try and pronounce the names of the dinosaurs.

It’s a very simple book actually. Two words to a page, “Dinosaur” and an attribute e.g. “Dinosaur fierce. Dinosaur meek”. With each of two attributes being the opposite of each other, and with a nice rhythm.

The kids like it being about dinosaurs, and especially like roaring with the roaring dinosaur. If it was our own book (we borrowed it from stay and play) I can imagine that it would become a quick favourite. Plus I can imagine it being one they could ‘read’ for themselves. Sort of in a similar way to how they feel about Brown Bear.

 

Buy it:

Paperback (£4.00)

Boardbook (£5.00)

Kindle (£3.80)

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Children’s Hour: Wow! Said the Owl


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


Wow! Said the Owl is a story about an owl who decides to stay up during the day to see what the world is like, and is very impressed. I’s a simple story. The owl sees everyday things, the sunrise, leaves, flowers, clouds, but through new eyes everything makes the owl say “Wow”. It’s also a book about colours and says all the colours which the owl can see.

The kids love joining in saying “Wow” and feel proud when they can name the colours. The pictures are really beautiful and are what prompted the kids to pick it up.

 

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

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Children’s Hour: Banana


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Banana is not the easiest of stories to read, and my colleague who read it struggled. It doesn’t have hard words, in fact it only has two words in the whole book (one is “banana” believe it or not). However it does require a certain…theatrical element which my colleague didn’t really give it. I would have liked to read it myself, but we had borrowed it and had to give it back.

It’s the story of two monkeys and a banana. One monkey has a banana, and the other wants it, it’s a story of sharing in the end (that’s when the second word comes in- “please”).

There are two ways you can get things out of this book. One, which is what my colleague used, is to make up your own little story which explains the pictures, this is a good way to get the kids looking at the pictures and thinking about what is happening and different emotions. The other is to put lots of expression into your reading so that your tone of voice shows how the monkeys are feeling. Of course you can use just one, or both together.

The kids really did like looking at the pictures, but few of them answered the questions my colleague put to them, which left her a bit stuck.

Buy it:

Boardbook (£5.50)

Paperback (£5.99)

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Children’s Hour: I’m Not Reading


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

 

I’m Not Reading is a story about Baby Owl from I’m Not Cute. Seeing as how much the toddlers have been loving I’m Not Cute recently I decided to seek out this book which I had seen in pre-school.

In I’m Not Reading Baby Owl is settling down o read a book in the peace and quite, but then along comes Tiny Chick who wants to listen, then tTiny Chicks Brother’s and Sisters, and then his cousins and all their friends, and they all want to sit on Baby Owl’s lap.

The kids didn’t take as much of an instant liking to this one. It’s a bit more complex, and you don’t get as much of Baby Owl raging which the toddlers enjoy. They did still like those elements when they did come up though, and the pictures tell more of a story than those in I’m Not Cute which makes those more interesting.

Buy it:

Boardbook (£4.75)

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Children’s Hour: The Train Ride


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I read The Train Ride to the kids because they have been obsessed with trains recently (one of them went on holiday with his Dad and spent the whole time on the train, or the tram, or the underground, or the bus). It’s a very basic story. A girl is on the train, what will she see out the window?

It has a nice rhythm to it with the repeated “What shall I see? What shall I see?” and “That’s what I see. That’s what I see.” making it sound like a train. Those are the bits the kids like actually. They can join in easily. Otherwise they find the story a little uninteresting. It probably would have helped if the book hadn’t fallen apart and been stuck together in the wrong order! (How does someone even manage to do that- especially when the title page is stuck in the middle, makes no sense).

The pictures are nice, and I guess the kids can say what they see- if the pages are in the right order.

Buy The Train Ride:

Paperback (£5.03)

Big Book (£12.72)

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Children’s Hour: That’s Not My…


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
That's not my tiger, that's not my, children's books, picture book, Fiona Watt, Rachel Wells, book review, books, children's book review, pictue book review

The That’s Not My… series are pretty good when it comes to baby books. No real plot or excitement but simple enough for babies and good for exploring textures. Each book is basically the same. They follow an object trying to find the right one, e.g. ‘That’s not my fairy her wand is too squashy’, with textures which match the words. The pictures are simple and bright too which makes them attractive to babies. There’s a whole series of books, from fairies, to monkeys, to tractors, and there are even Christmas and Easter specials, and colouring book versions.

 

Buy That’s not My…:

Board Book (from £3.46)

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