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Usborne’s Peep Inside the Zoo – book review

Peep inside the Zoo

Peep inside the zoo

One of the new books we acquired over the summer was Peep inside the Zoo by Simona Dimitri.  My two and a half year old grand-daughter claimed it right away.

reading Peep Inside the Zoo

I’m a big fan of Usborne books, and the quality of this book is no exception. It’s a chunky book with a lovely silky feel to the cover and the size is just right for grand-daughter. The illustrations are colourful and attractive, and there are lots of different shaped flaps to lift and interesting holes to peep through.

Peep inside the ZooWhilst there isn’t a fictional story as such, there are lots of interesting facts about zoo animals and their families.

Penguins shuffle when they walk.

They’re birds that cannot fly.

But when they dive into the water…

and flap their wings like flippers…

they’re super speedy swimmers!

It would be a great book to read to prepare for an actual zoo visit.

One of grand-daughters favourite pages features a gorilla cradling a (sneakily concealed) baby in its arms. All say Aww ūüôā

peep inside the zoo

There isn’t really enough text to keep my 4 year old grandson interested for more than a few read-throughs but it’s a great book for the 2-3 year old age group – especially as it’s on offer on Amazon at ¬£3.85 at the moment.

Peep Inside the Zoo is part of a fun series of books and are a must for all lift-the-flap fans.

Happy reading

Suzie xx

PS. Don’t forget this months Julia Donaldson giveaway. It ends on Sunday.



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Win 5x Julia Donaldson books in the September Giveaway

Julia Donaldson Giveaway

 

Win 5x Julia Donaldson books in the September Giveaway.

I just love Julia Donaldson books… and kids do too. So, it was a no-brainer when it came to choosing my September Giveaway.

The books included in this month’s prize are:

  1. Stick Man
  2. Superworm
  3. The Highway Rat
  4. Tiddler
  5. Tabby McTat

Answer the super simple question below and you could be the lucky winner.

I’ll be announcing the result on 2nd October, just in time for those cozy autumn nights when all you want to do is snuggle up with a book.

Good luck in the giveaway and happy reading.

Suzie xx



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Rachel Bustin
The winner of the Summer Picture Books July Giveaway

summer picture books

I couldn’t believe the response to my Summer Picture Books July Giveaway. There were nearly 900 entrants! Guess these books were some of your favourites, as well as mine.

The winner of the July Giveaway

The winner, drawn by KingSumo, is Colette from Yorkshire.    July GiveawayCongrats, Colette. I hope you enjoy your prize.

The weather is still warm and sunny here in Wales and I went to watch the kite festival on Barmouth beach. barmouthIt was a fantastic sight and gave me an idea for a story. Off to work on it. Happy reading.

Suzie xx  

Pre-reading skills: when you know you’re raising a reader
Pre-reading skills: when you know you’re raising a reader

When you know you’re raising a reader

 

My two year old grand-daughter was playing in the bedroom when things became worryingly quiet. I sneaked a peek round the door and she had tucked her teddy’s into bed and was ‘reading’ them her favourite bed-time story,¬†The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

She even turned the book round so they can see the pictures just as I do. How sweet was that?

raising a reader

Pre-reading skills

Sweetness apart, grand-daughter is showing some pretty impressive pre-reading skills.

  • She understands how a book works: she holds in the right way up (even when she shows the book to her audience), she starts at the beginning and turns the pages correctly.
  • She remembers the story and can retell it. It doesn’t matter that she’s not actually reading the words, she’s using ‘book language’ rather than ‘spoken language.’
  • Best of all, she’s motivated by books. Learning to read is hard work and a child who enjoys books is more likely to keep trying. ‘Wanting’ to read is half of the battle.

It was so rewarding to see all those repeat reads I’ve done of The Very Hungry Caterpillar were paying off. Grand-daughter is nailing it.

I’m starting a series of posts about helping your child learn to love reading. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

How are you raising your little reader?

Suzie xx



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My Random Musings
Review of pop-up book, Six Brave Explorers

Book review of Six Brave Explorers

I was searching in the loft the other day when I came across some books my own children had owned. Six Brave Explorers is a pop-up book by Kees Moerbeek. My grandchildren immediately claimed it for their own.

Six Brave Explorers

The triangle shape of Six Brave Explorers is intriguing in itself but it doesn’t prepare you for the surprises inside. There’s the ‘rare bird’ (which eats one of the explorer’s but no-one seemed to mind!)

six brave explorers bird

And the hyena (who takes out another explorer)

six brave explorers hyenaIf you’re thinking this all seems a little bizarre, you could be right. Here’s the story in it’s entirety.

Six brave explorers came to Egypt alive. One discovered a rare bird … and now there were five.
Five hungry explorers looking for a store. One asked a Cobra … and then there were four.
Four thirsty explorers taking time for tea. One poured for a panther … then there were three.
Three explorers said, “How do you do?” “Fine,” smiled a hyena … and then there were two.
Two sleepy explorers glad the day was done. ” Good night,” said a crocodile … and then there was one.
One smart explorer finally used his head. He hurried home alone and there he stayed in bed!

OK, it’s not the most interesting plot and, yes, you could use it as a counting book. But you don’t buy Six Brave Explorers for that reason. It’s beauty is in the pop-ups which I have to say have survived my three children and now my grandchildren admirably well.

Shadow Play

We’ve had this story at bedtime for over a week now and, quite by accident found out it is brilliant for shadow play on the bedroom wall. I tried and failed to take a good picture of this but I’m sure you can imagine the crocodile casts a wonderful shadow when back-lit by a torch.

six brave explorers crocodilWere all these disappearing explorers scary? Did the teeth on the crocodile silhouette give the grandchildren nightmares? Not at all. It’s still the book that the 2 year old and the 4 year old chooses.

Six Brave Explorers is now out of print but copies can still be found on Amazon.

This was an unexpected find and a great hit.

Happy reading

Suzie xx



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The Tale of Mummyhood

 

And the winner of the June Giveaway is…

And the winner of the June Giveaway is…

Win 5 Famous Five colour Short Stories

There were over 500 entries in my June Giveaway for the 5x Famous Five colour short story books and I heard from lots of raving Enid Blyton fans. It was so nice to meet you all.

I’ll be sorry to part with these books, but the mighty KingSumo has chosen a winner. And it is…

fireworks photo

… Jackie!!

So, well done to Jackie and sorry to everyone else.

The summer sun is burning down here in sunny Wales. Hope it’s shining with you but just in case it isn’t, here’s a photo of Aberystwyth beach.

June Giveaway

Happy reading

Suzie  xx 

Win 5 Summer Picture Books in the July #Giveaway
Win 5 Summer Picture Books in the July #Giveaway

Win 5 Summer Picture Books in the July Giveaway

Well, summer is in full swing here in sunny Wales. To celebrate the long hot days, I’ve got some special summer picture books for you in this month’s giveaway.

July’s titles include:

  1. Lost on the Beach
  2. Winnie at the Seaside
  3. Polly Parrot pics a Pirate
  4. Superworm
  5. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy.

All you have to do is answer one simple question on the form below.

I’ll be drawing the winner via KingSumo on the 1st of August.

Good luck and happy summer everyone.

Suzie xx



 

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Book review: Where’s the Dragon

Book review: Where’s the Dragon by Richard and Jason Hook

Where's the DragonWe have a new favourite story in our house. Where’s the Dragon?, written and illustrated by father and son duo Richard and Jason Hook, is a book with gorgeous pictures full of hidden dragons.

Where's the Dragon

With over 70 dragons hiding in trees, mountains and lakes, this is the Where’s Wally of the dragon world. It has fantastic embossed pages and shiny spot laminations which makes the dragons really pop. My grand-daughter loves the ‘bumpy’ feel of this book. At ¬£9.99 it was quite expensive but it is a hardback and doesn’t show any signs of wear after our many, many readings. I think it was well worth the money.

Where's the Dragon

The story tells of George and his grandfather who go on a ‘dragon hunt.’ George can see dragons everywhere but grandfather doesn’t see any… even after they eat his boat. (Grand-daughter loves that part).

Where’s the Dragon has a quaint old-fashioned feel and the dragon is super cute.

Where's the Dragon¬†The suggested age range for the book is 4 – 7 years but grand-daughter loves it and she’s only two.

Where’s the Dragon would make a great birthday or Christmas present.

Happy reading

Suzie xx




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Billy has a Birthday: a book about bullying, by James Minter

Billy has a Birthday

Billy has a Birthday

Billy has a Birthday is the first book in the eight book Billy Books series by English author, James Minter. Aimed at children between 7 and 9, they deal with the important issue of bullying.

Very often we see bullying in a school setting, but in this first book our hero, ten year old Billy has to deal with two older boys who demand money from him. Unsure how to handle the situation, Billy gives them the birthday money he has just received from his Grandad. Luckily, Billy’s¬†friend Max tells Grandad what has happened. Together they hatch a plan to get the money back and stop the bully’s.

Billy has a BirthdayThe characters.

Billy and his friends are great characters. The bullying incident comes relatively late in the book by which time we’ve got to know Billy well. He’s ten years old, trying to be grown-up but not really there yet: it’s a struggle we can probably all relate to.

My favourite character is Billy’s Grandad. He’s awesome; knowing just how to make Billy feel special. I especially liked that it was Grandad who foils the bully’s. It’s not often grandparents come out as the hero’s.

A special mention should go to the illustrator, Helen Rushworth. There is a picture at the start of each chapter and I thought they were just right for the narrative.

Billy has a Birthday

The story gives a clear message that you should always reach out and ask for help when facing bully’s. There is¬†free activity book and some teaching notes to go with the book which will make talking about the issues raised easier either with your child individually or in a classroom setting.

Final thought

I’m going to leave you with the dedication from the book, which says it all.

To those who think bullying and aggression are the way to go through life; you are so wrong.

The British Books Challenge

British Books Challenge 2017I’m including Billy has a Birthday as my June book in the British Books Challenge.

Although James Minter has only been writing since 2009, he has already penned fourteen books.

This is a well-written story that deserves success.

Happy reading.

Suzie xx



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5 Classic Picture Books May Giveaway Winner !!!

May Giveaway Winner

Wow, there were nearly 700 entries in the “Win 5 Classic Picture Books” contest. Kingsumo made the draw and the May Giveaway Winner is …

… cue awesome drum explosion from my daughter …

… and the May Giveaway Winner is Katie.

¬†Commiserations to everyone else. ¬†In the meantime, there are eleven awesome ebooks for children to download for free, including my own Better BuckIe Up. You can read on your Kindle, your phone, your tablet or on your computer; just download the file type you’d prefer.

children's ebook giveaway

Choose your free books Here

Congratulations to Katie.

Happy Reading everyone.

Suzie xx