Disclaimer: I received all books reviewed free of charge for the specific purpose of reviewing them, however, all views and opinions are my own.
I recently had the good fortune to receive a bundle of new books from Egmont that I chose from a selection of their new publications because I thought they might appeal to Little Chap (who is in Reception and therefore learning to read himself, but who loves a good story if he can persuade me to read it to him) and to me, the pushover for a good bedtime story!
The selection includes a large picture book and a couple of new titles from the enduringly popular Thomas and Friends and Mister Men series, plus a couple of interactive Jump Up and Join In books with CDs designed to encourage kids into music (one of my other passions). So without further ado, here’s what we made of them:
Giraffe’s Big Night: Jump Up and Join in and Polar Bear’s Big Chill (Jump Up and Join In) are two new titles by Carrie and David (Grant) of the popular CBeebies series, Carrie & David’s Popshop These titles are designed to help kids enjoy and feel confident about music, another of my passions. Giraffe’s story is all about singing safely. She has lost her voice before her big night in the spotlight. Read how her friends find a remedy to help her get it back in time. Polar Bear’s story is all about relaxing. Poor little Polar Bear (like Little Chap) just can’t sit still, but his friends just want to relax. He finds a fish bone. Will it help him chill out for a change? Both titles retail at a recommended price of £6.99 and come with a seven-track CD of related songs and musical activities to get kids into music, including an audio version of the story to listen to and a bonus karaoke track for older kids who can read the words.
Shouty Arthur by Angie Morgan is charming tale of Arthur and his big sister, Edith, who loves wildlife. She suffers from older sibling syndrome, which I myself suffered as a child. That of wanting to share something you are passionate about with a younger sibling, who “spoils” it because they are too young to appreciate it the same way you do and frustrating you as you’ve never before been frustrated. In Arthur’s case, he is too noisy and scares off all the wildlife. To be fair to Edith, she handles her disappointment with a wisdom and compassion beyond her years but Will Arthur learn his lesson and find some wildlife with Edith? This would make a great gift for an older sibling and contains Angie’s own illustrations which are bright and colourful in a Charlie and Lola-esque style that will be sure to appeal. RRP: £6.99
Mr Funny and the Magic Lamp (Mr Men & Little Miss Magic) is another title in the Magic series of new stories about existing Mr. Men and Little Misses. In this case, like Aladdin (another popular story in our house, thanks to Disney’s DVD), he finds a magic carpet and flies off for adventures. Like Aladdin, he also meets a genie but can he make him laugh…? These little books are just great for Little Chap at the moment. Not only is the story fun and lighthearted, the book is illustrated in the usual charming manner of other Mr Men titles with big bold, bright colours. Now he is able to read most of the words, it is also perfect for trying to broaden his vocabulary while retaining the element of fun (absolutely crucial!). Even better the books retail at just £2.99 – pocket money prices!
The last two are new titles in the much loved Thomas & Friends series and follow the usual format so no surprises here. There’s always a moral in the story with Thomas and this is no exception. In Thomas Story Time 28: The Lost Puff (Thomas & Friends Story Time), Paxton and Thomas learn that misbehaving can lead to accidents. This cautionary tale also shows Paxton finding a solution by acknowledging his own weakness and leaning on his friends. In Thomas Story Time: Scruff Gets Clean (Thomas & Friends Story Time),little Scruff is happy being dirty and useful until the Fat Controller sends him for a new coat of paint. I wonder if this is meant to be a cautionary tale for parents, as Scruff then likes his new look so much, he doesn’t want to do any work in case it gets ruined! Will Scruff ever be a Really Useful Engine again…? Both titles retail at the pocket money friendly price of £2.99