Halloween is on the way so the monsters will soon be wreaking havoc ... and that's just the Madhouse kids during the half term holiday ! Parragon have made my life a lot easier with this fabulous jumbo-sized activity book, My Big Book of Monster Fun, which contains over 180 pages of stories, colouring and activities.
The book is loosely divided into two parts, the first of which deals with (friendly) monsters and the second dinosaurs. Within each of those sections, there are subdivisions of stories - for the monsters, Scaredy Boo is a fun picture book-style tale of a cute cowardly monster who is even scared of his own shadow, while the dinosaur story features the cartoon strip T-Rex Terror (you may remember we reviewed the T-Rex Terror comic book earier in the year) - as well as activities and colouring sections. You also get the answers at the end, which helps kids be more independent if they get stuck.
Pierre has been having great fun doing the activity pages, which call for lots of imagination and creativity, such as colouring in this monster's tongue in gruesome colours - very psychedelic !
Or completing the drawings of monsters on the podium - Pierre seems to have created a helium-filled dog who is hovering in the air !
Other activities practise basic number skills, asking you to draw two extra juggling balls or count the number of items in the picture, for example.
The activities are always great fun and seem more like play than schoolwork though, such as adding the correct number of teeth to these monster mouths.
The activities in the later part of the book seem slightly more complex, whereas the first ones are definitely more targetted towards younger children, from pre-schooler onwards.
Pierre is working his way solidly through the pages in order because they are all great fun, and he always comes and shows me his creations or asks me to help him decipher the instructions.
The only slight niggle is that the pages fall out very easily, as you can see here, especially after lots of enthusiastic colouring and drawing. We've been using sellotape and staples to keep it all together but I still keep hearing Pierre cry "oh no !" as he picks up the book to come and show me !
It's a fantastic collection of activities and will be a total sanity saver during the holidays if it's too cold or wet to go out.
star rating : 4.5/5 (it would be a definite 5/5 for content but I docked half a point for the problem with the loose pages)
RRP : £7.99