There was much excitement in The Madhouse when we received a selection of colourful new My First Picture Books to review. 2-year-old Pierre has always been keen on looking at books but he cracks me up now because he actually "reads" them, telling me stories, describing the pictures and turning the pages in order. I can't believe he's off to school in September - he's really growing up now. Eeek !
In this picture, he is "reading" Boo Boo Baby and the Giraffe, a lovely tale of little baby Boo Boo who goes riding on different jungle animals before bed. Pierre loved the drama when the baby kept nearly falling off the animals and needed rescuing, crying "ohhh look, falling !". He also giggled every time I read the different noises of the animals running - "lollopy lopey", ""plunk-plunk", "dup-dup dup-dup" - and the babyspeak words that he joined in with - "goo", "koo", "doy". He loved the brightly coloured pictures and, having listened to the book a few times, now "reads" it to me, turning the pages and imitating the funny words that he remembers ! This has turned into a favourite bedtime story, which is perfect as it ends with the baby going to sleep. Pierre kisses the page night night and is happy to lie down and go to sleep himself when we've finished it !
The next book we discovered was Bigger Digger. This is a book that relies heavily on alliteration and rhyming words which makes it fun to read and listen to but I was a bit disappointed that it ends up being almost gobbledygook ! I'm not sure anyone could make much sense of the grammar in "Down, down, deep down, dig down deep. Dig a bigger deep down, big mud heap" or "Dig, bigger dumper digger, little digger, do! Dump truck, quarry lorry, unstuck too !" but maybe I'm taking it all too seriously ! Pierre loved listening to me reading it, exclaiming "ooooh look" as the different vehicles got stuck in the mud. He also loved pointing out the little details like ladybirds and worms peeking out from behind rocks so he was obviously looking at the pictures really closely.
The final book that we read together was A Quiet Day in the Jungle. This is a really fun book to read because it combines a simple story (the sleepy animals in the jungle have their quiet rest time disturbed by a cheeky monkey throwing a watermelon in the pool, startling everyone) with fun alliteration and a great opportunity for learning the numbers from one to ten.
It reads a bit like a jungle version of the Twelve Days of Christmas and, once again, the bright colours and cute animal pictures really appealed to Pierre, who enjoyed "reading" it all by himself. Pierre loves the end where, once it all calms down again, the naughty monkey gets ready to pull the lion's tail and make it all kick off again !
He always enjoys looking for details in pictures so he loves the fact that there is a cheeky monkey hidden on every page to find.
All of the books have been enthusiastically adopted by the Madhouse Mini-Testers, who love flicking through them to look at the pictures. The girls love getting their tongues around the rhymes and funny words and reading aloud to Pierre and he enthusiastically joins in where he can, eagerly pointing things out in the pictures that have caught his eye. The fact that the books get young children interested in reading and enjoying playing with language is fabulous, hopefully starting an enthusiasm for books that will continue right through their lives. The opportunities for learning - looking at colours, naming animals, counting, rhyming words - are an added bonus.
The books definitely get the Madhouse Family seal of approval and we'll be looking out for the other books in the My First Picture Book range.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £5.99 each
Disclosure : We received three books in order to write the review.
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