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Activity books are a great way to keep kids entertained. Pack one of these activity or puzzle books for your next long journey. To help you choose, download an extract and you can order the book too!
Part picture book, part illustrated young fiction, this crime-themed Christmas story sees siblings Jack and Sarah head to school where their Granddad, a retired multi-award-winning writer, has been invited to read one of his stories to the pupils. The tale he tells is the eponymous Robbers Nearly Ruined Christmas, in which (you’ve guessed it!) some (Milton Keynes-residing) robbers almost spoil Christmas, but - thankfully - Dancer the reindeer steps up to save the day. This could make a fun tale to read-aloud to young children in the run-up to Christmas, but there’s something of a mismatch between the illustration style and picture book format - both of which are better suited to young toddlers - and the story level, length and language, which are more appropriate for older readers. Also, there’s no integration of the framing story (the siblings going to school) with the seasonal story Granddad reads to the pupils. This would be improved by working-up a real-life story around the tale Granddad tells, or else leaving out the framing elements and simply focussing on the Christmas story itself, which is peppered with peril, elves and action. As a lovely bonus, there are some pages to colour-in at the back.
Somewhere between picture book and illustrated young fiction, this cracking Christmas story (pun entirely intended!) is set three days before the big day. Excitement is mounting for siblings Jack and Sarah, who are out with their mum, soaking up the seasonal atmosphere – shop windows laden with presents, the scent of mince pies, the sound of carols. Back at home, they settle down for a cosy evening’s entertainment courtesy of their Granddad reading one of his stories, in which Santa’s elves are engaged in a frantic flurry of activity. However, when the big night arrives, it soon becomes clear that Santa Claus Junior doesn’t have much idea about where they’re going, which means they’re way behind schedule. So, if Christmas is to be saved, the more experienced elves and reindeers will have to help out. While there’s some incongruity between the young illustration style and picture book format, and the older story level and length, this is ideal for reading-aloud to children in those thrilling days before Christmas, while the extra pages to colour-in will keep little ones happily entertained.
Colour in some very special rabbits in this gorgeous colouring book inspired by the animation of Richard Adams' Watership Down. First published in 1972, the classic animal adventure story has been made into an animated television mini series by the BBC and Netflix. This charming colouring book version of the story, illustrated with black line images and decorations drawn from the animation, and with captions from the script, will provide hours of delight for fans of the story, as well as for those who enjoy beautiful colouring books. Published in Macmillan's hugely successful colouring book format, this epic tale of a band of intrepid rabbits led by Hazel and Fiver, has a firm place in the hearts of millions of people, and this book, with its engaging images and delightful designs, Watership Down: The Colouring Book makes a wonderful keepsake for all fans of the programme.
Featuring artwork from the animated special, this fun-filled guide to all things Christmas is packed with craft activities, recipes and stickers galore.
Everyone needs a bit of certainty in their lives and filling out forms can be a really good way of laying out what you’re sure of. This book contains no less than 22 forms for children to fill out and fun as they are, each one will help them understand a bit more about their emotions, give them the space to step back and think about things, or enable them to articulate what is making them sad or indeed happy. It could help parents understand exactly how their children are feeling too, and working through the activities together might be a relaxed way into some important conversations. An unusual and original self-help book.
We all want our kids to be happy, but media stories about rising levels of anxiety amongst young people are everywhere; it’s worrying. This book therefore should prove really useful to many. It looks and is very accessible, and is full of practical tips and activities that will help young people feel more content, confident and in control. The authors explain that happiness comes from making yourself happy, and teaches you how to achieve that, through exercises and simple challenges. It also emphasises the positive effects of making others happy, or of contributing to a better world. The tone is friendly throughout and there are lots of charts to complete, plus frequent notes explaining why the activities work. Easy and fun to use, it places the happiness ball firmly in readers’ hands.
August 2018 Book of the Month | Kate Pankhurst inspires thousands of young readers with her books about the fantastically great women who made history. This book reunites us with those women, including astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, dancer Josephine Baker, and code breaker Noor Inayat Khan – and encourages readers to think more about them while they complete some fun and creative write in activities. There are writing and drawing tasks, a set of postcards to send to the great people in your life, and the book concludes by asking how you will make history, inviting readers to make a list of their own hopes and dreams for the future. Bright stickers featuring Pankhurst’s lively drawings of her subjects make it even more appealing.
This book of quizzes, wordsearches, puzzles and more will really test your knowledge of football and the top teams and players. There’s something fun to do on every page, from answering questions, to working out the identity of mystery players from a set of clues, to picking the odd one out. There’s also the chance to put together your own dream team, and even to design your own strip. It will be great fun to share with friends and family, or just to read to challenge yourself. Just the thing for long journeys or to pass the time while you’re waiting for the world cup to start. ~ Andrea Reece
A really effective ‘how to’ book, this gives readers all the information they’ll need to play chess, while letting them know exactly why it is so popular, and how exciting it is. It explains the pieces and their moves, the aims of the game and means of attack and defence. There are regular reminders of what’s been said and exercises to try. Layout and illustration give it a very friendly feel – the pieces are animated and talk directly to the reader - and there’s extra information slipped in too on the history of the game. A book that will really inspire children to open a chessboard and start playing.
Is seeing believing? This book will make you question that it is. Featuring almost fifty amazing optical illusions it explains how playing around with the context of colours, shapes and tones, and by changing viewpoints, your eyes and brain can be tricked into seeing things that aren’t there, or incorrectly seeing things that are. The explanations are as fascinating as the illusions themselves, and the book finishes with a section of simple but effective visual experiments for readers to try out on friends and family. Clever and entertaining this will provide hours of fun as well as really making you think about the brain and what it’s doing. ~ Andrea Reece
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