Sunday, 15 January 2017

What's in the box? #LittleLearnersRelaunch

Early last week we received an amazing book buddies' box from Parragon. I already knew that it was going to contain a selection of books from the newly relaunched Little Learners range. These sturdy board books have been especially designed for babies and toddlers to encourage them to learn through play. I was really keen to see just how engaging the books would be and also whether they would withstand being "explored" by the youngest two Mini Reviewers

Theo (2) and Poppy (1) obviously had no idea what was in the box so it was a bit like Christmas all over again! Why not take a look at them unwrapping the parcel and see what a huge hit the books were from the start?

Now that you have had a good giggle at our rather wobbly video, I'm going to tell you a little more about the five books we received. After the initial unboxing both little ones enjoyed playing with the books and the tissue paper (of course!) for quite some time. We then returned to the books many times throughout the week and explored them together. We all certainly developed our favourites so here are our thoughts on each title...

Mummy and Me (RRP: £3.99) is a delightful rhyming storybook with a cute finger puppet elephant. Poppy was seriously amazed to see the elephant wiggle! The small size of this book makes it perfect for little hands to hold and it is also fantastic for popping in your changing bag.


Ring-a-Ring o'Roses (RRP: £6.99) is definitely Theo's top choice, which will come as no surprise if you watched our unboxing video! Not only does this book play music, there are four buttons to press and these all light up! The pages contain the text of the nursery rhyme and there are cute illustrations of the animals doing the actions to the rhyme. Here it is in all its glory, take it away Theo:
video

123 Count with Me (RRP: £4.99) is a simple and very sturdy first numbers playbook. The text and pictures are very clear so your little one can easily spot the animals and learn to count to five. The small cut out in the corner of the book makes it great for you to hold, while your child looks at the pictures.

Eyes, Nose, Ears, Toes (RRP: £5.99) is described as a "peek-a-boo playbook". This is both my favourite and Poppy's favourite book of the selection. I found it brilliant for helping me really engage with Poppy. There is a question on each page such as "where is your nose?" and "can you blink your eyes?" The animal characters also play peek-a-boo through little holes in the book, which is a fun addition. However the reason Poppy loves this book so much, is it has a handle and she can carry it everywhere!



My First Shapes (RRP: £5.99) is a touch and explore book. It is a very simple tactile book and introduces the following shapes to little ones: circle, square, triangle, diamond and star. Poppy and Theo immediately started to trace the cutaway shapes with their fingers when we explored this book together. This would make a great first book.

Little Learners
Overall the Little Learners range have gone down extremely well with the Mini Reviewers. We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing them together. The books really have been cleverly designed to promote learning through play. We love that the range is so varied and the books are very tactile and engaging for little ones.

Do you have any favourite books for your little learners?

*Disclaimer: We were sent a selection of books from the Little Learners range by Parragon Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are, as always our own.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

366 Books In 366 Days: Spreading The Love #BookGivingDay

Happy New Year to you all! On 31st December we completed our 366 books in 366 days reading challenge, and how did we celebrate? Just as we started, with a tweet of course!

Throughout 2016 we discovered new authors and illustrators; developed a love of wordless books; and found some truly beautiful and inspiring reads. (I am sure that I will blog about all of these things in due course!)

Reading a different book each day was very much a family activity, something for us to do together. Therefore I was a little stunned by just how interested and supportive our friends, family and later the blogging communities were. I confess I only started the Instagram posts as a reminder of the books we had already read!

Although there won't be a different book each day in 2017, we will certainly continue to spread our love of reading and I can't think of better way of doing so than by joining in with International Book Giving Day.

Celebrated worldwide on 14th February, International Book Giving Day is designed to encourage an enthusiasm for reading in young people by getting books to as many children as possible. This year marks the fifth anniversary of this fantastic volunteer based initiative and so far children all across the world have received books. 

Today we are delighted to be able to share this year's poster, designed by writer and illustrator, Marianne Dubuc. Here it is in all its glory and I'm sure you'll agree it is fabulous!


This is such a lovely and simple idea, so why not spread your love of reading this Valentine's Day and give a book? More information and plenty of book giving inspiration  can be found at: www.bookgivingday.com.

Here are a few of our own ideas for Book Giving:

1. Send a book to a young family member or friend because every child loves getting post!
2. Gift a book to a new mum or even a mum-to-be to start their baby's library. It really is never too early to share a book!
3. Leave a book on a bench or even the swings at the park. What an exciting discovery that would be!

Remember books don't have to be brand new, and if you do join in, why not let us know here or by tweeting @bookgivingday using #BookGivingDay.

Happy Book Giving!