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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!
Frozen Mountain is an interactive adventure game book that teaches essential survival skills to up-and-coming explorers. The story unfolds following an emergency landing high in a remote mountain region and from there the reader has to make a series of life and death decisions to make it home. Every possible danger comes your way as you deal with frostbite, bear attacks, blizzards, raging torrents and more. Not to mention the basic techniques for finding food, water and not getting even more lost than you already are! Frozen Mountain is absolutely packed with expert advice and tips for surviving in the wilderness. My favourite was finding out how to make a snow hole to stay warm and safe during a storm - you never know when that might come in handy! Apart from the cool tips, what this book really teaches is the relationship between risk and luck, and how making good decisions is the most important thing when out in the mountains. Page after page there’s a threat to your life. You're provided with information to make a decision and then your decision is tested by the spinner which comes with the book - a reminder that in the end there is always an element of luck in any dangerous situation. Frozen Mountain is great fun and beautifully illustrated in the style of a classic adventure book, and it even includes snippets from terrifying real-life survival stories to fire the imagination! After all, an adventure wouldn’t be an adventure without the possibility you may not return…
This picture book tells the tale of a prince and a kidnapped princess, of a cheeky bird catcher, a warring king and queen, and of a magic flute. It is of course the story of perhaps the most famous opera of all, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and not only does the book cleverly condense the action into picture book form, but it allows readers to experience snatches of the music too. There are buttons on each page which, when pressed, play excerpts of the score, performed by orchestra and singers. There’s a short biography of Mozart on the final page to spark more interest in him and his music, a glossary and more information on the music, and what to listen out for. The illustrations are lively and full of detail, and this is a thoroughly charming first introduction to opera.
Who doesn’t wonder how their brain works? This book gives you a guided tour of the human brain (and some animal ones), explaining in brightly illustrated pages what the brain does, and how, demonstrating functions of the cerebellum, the brainstem, the cerebrum and the different lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital). The information is clearly presented via perfectly pitched text and illustration and is thoroughly engaging, accessible and stimulating. There are tests to try out yourself and ingenious representations of new scientific understanding of the brain. It finishes with a look into the future and what might be next for neuroscience and, having read this, lots of youngsters will be eager to keep learning more.
The big puzzle book is just what it says on the cover. 250 varied puzzles, quizzes and crosswords. It is set out in sections with a variety of activities within a theme; themes such as animals, history and transport. There is a good variety of topics and within each chapter there are word, picture and number puzzles, making it interesting and accessible, something for everyone. The book is not geared to a specific age group but the range of ability within the questions and puzzles covers a wide age range and ability levels. The book is a great size, easy to pick up and perfect for taking on a journey. The pages are laid out in a colourful and attractive way and the illustrations and instructions are bold and clear. I like that it is one in a series, and I would imagine that the other titles are equally fun and entertaining. A fun book to dip into and always good to have the answers at the back to check on. Definitely one for the Christmas stockings!
Shortlisted for the CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) 2021 | A collection of new nursery rhymes, this is a book for parents and adults to share with the very youngest to spark a lifelong love of poetry. The judges call it a perfect post-lockdown book, allowing adults and small children to connect and share poems. It’s beautifully presented and perfectly illustrated.
October 2021 Book of the Month | A guide to being the best – and happiest – person you can possibly be, this book takes a highly original approach and advises readers to learn lessons from animals. Author Carlie Sorosiak has gathered lots of examples of animal behaviour that demonstrate the importance of being yourself, of being brave, finding friends, being resilient. These range from meerkats who stop bullying and stand up for one another to wombats who shared their burrows with other animals during Australia’s bushfires. A particularly effective example is that of a racoon stuck in a storm drain for hours before eventually being released – the moral: all this will pass. It’s quirky, absorbing and enticingly do-able while Sorosiak’s cheerful, positive approach sets the perfect tone. Full of warmth and wisdom, this is a book to recommend to stressed young people.
The Editor at Nosy Crow says: "This stunning book is packed full of inspirational activities that any family can enjoy. A seasonal structure means that there’s always something to do – from recipes to crafts to gardening – at every time of year, while beautiful illustrations and a vibrant text make this is a book to be treasured for years to come.”
If you want to know how your dog’s brain works, this is the book for you. Author Dr John Bradshaw is a biologist and anthrozoologist and an absolute expert on how dogs understand the world. With the help of Rusty, a terrier, he explains how dogs use their noses to ‘see’ things, how they communicate with each other (and us) and just how much they love their owners! It’s fascinating whether you have a dog or not, but if your best friend has four legs, then it’s a must have. After you’ve read the book, you’ll know so much about the best ways to keep your dog happy and why they behave the way they do. It’s a really accessible read and black and white illustrations by Clare Elsom make it even more appealing.
Young chefs get an excellent introduction to culinary skills with Annabel Karmel's Fun, Fast & Easy Cookbook. The recipes have been designed for children and grown-ups to cook together and are divided into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks & Treats, with easy-to-follow steps, tempting photos and cooking tips. The recipes are a lovely mix of both healthy dishes, with fresh fruit and vegetables added in creative and appealing ways, and twists on old favourites such as sunshine paella, vroom vroom bolognese and pesto pizzas. Amongst the recipes there are informative double-spreads on essential food groups and nutrition plus useful rules to keep kids safe in the kitchen. There are also ideas for cooking for those with food allergies and dietary requirements, with suggestions of simple ingredient-swaps to turn the recipe into a vegetarian or vegan meal. This sturdy, colourful hardback makes a great gift, giving hours of entertainment and teaching an essential skill in a fun way.
October 2021 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2021 | For all those who are already fans of Roald’s Dahl’s awesome stories and for newcomers to them, this is a splendid introduction to some of the favourite characters and the most dramatic, hilarious, spinechilling and adventuresome stories that are his storytelling legacy. Following a brief account of Roald Dahl’s childhood and his famous writing shed, 15 of his top titles are cleverly explored through their main characters and the key features of the stories. There is James and his extraordinary crew from the awesome travelling peach in James and the Giant Peach; the delightful Charlie Bucket whose winning ticket takes him to Mr Wonka’s astonishing chocolate factory and a heap of adventures with some less lovely children including Veruca Salt and Augustus Gloop; the delightful Danny and his father and some fabulous pheasant poaching plots and the truly horrible Mr and Mrs Twit who have a whole book to themselves. The battle between Matilda and the awful Miss Trunchbull, the BFG’s encounter with the Queen and the utterly terrifying Witches – all of these and more are brought to life in these brief retellings which make clever use of letters, recipes and newspaper clippings. As in the originals, all are fabulously illustrated by Quentin Blake. The inclusion of an activity pack adds an interactive element to the book and enhances enjoyment of it.
Help your child to develop their growth mindset as they discover how real mathematicians look at the world and how they think. Children's brains are powerful and flexible, but they need exercising and challenging to develop. In this book they will uncover the core skills that can make a good mathematician great, and be encouraged to have a go at some simple activities to help them to train their brain to become better at applying outstanding mathematic practice.
Testing friends’ and family members’ knowledge of birds, animals and insects is great fun with this clever riddle book, created by the team at National Geographic Kids. Pages of ‘What am I?’ questions are followed by pages with the answers, each illustrated with attractive colour photos of the relevant animals. The questions are intriguing, designed to get you thinking logically alongside those that are calling up remembered facts. Once thing’s for certain, you’ll learn lots of interesting information about lots of very different animals. Oh, and if you’re thinking about C*******s presents, this is definitely worth putting on a list!