Last week, Pierre was delighted to find one particularly well-wrapped present under the Christmas tree. "Look Mum, it's really pretty. And it doesn't say who it's from. It must be from Father Christmas !". Well, it was actually from Parragon Books but I won't tell him if you don't !
Inside was a vibrantly coloured Robots & Gadgets Sticker Book, from the Factivity range. Last year we reviewed their Human Body Factivity book, which got a rapturous reception, not least because it came with a detailed plastic skeleton to put together and explained such delightful concepts as poo, sick and farts !
This one comes with eight pages of stickers, many of which are used to complete the various activities in the book, along with lots more to decorate your pictures, school books and, if your child is anything like Pierre, bedroom door !
Pierre started flicking through the pages and was instantly fascinated, drawn in by the bright colours, cute illustrations and numerous interactive elements (for example drawings to complete, stickers to add, mazes and matching games). As a parent, I love the way it deals with highly complex concepts in a simple, child-friendly way.
It starts off with an overview of what a robot is, dealing with the questions of how and why they are made.
Then it goes on to look at the different robots and gadgets that are used in everyday life, many of which your child is probably familiar with without ever having really thought about them being robots or how they work. Pierre suddenly realised that the automatic vacuum cleaner at his grandparents' house, his Teksta puppy and the crane machines at the amusement arcades are all examples of robots. I love the way the book makes him really think about the world he lives in and draw on his own experiences to understand things.
The texts are very factual and highly educational but they are extremely short, often in speech bubbles, so they don't seem overwhelming and will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. They are also perfectly unisex, featuring just as many girls as boys, so they will appeal equally to both sexes.
The activities cleverly integrate STEM skills, such as this Robo-Cars game, which involves counting the squares to direct the car around the route. Pierre thought it was great fun and had no idea he was practising his maths and logic skills !
Once your child has understood the basic concepts behind the technology and thought about robots and gadgets that (s)he already knows about, the book takes you on a voyage of discovery, seeing robots that they may not be familiar with. I think I learnt just as much as Pierre and we both found it fascinating. I loved hearing Pierre say "ooooooh ... so that's how such and such works", then explaining it all to me in his own words.
You are also invited to problem-solve and get creative, inventing your own robots and gadgets.
After seeing how many robots imitate the way animals move (with the examples of snakes, armadillos and pondskaters), Pierre came up with a dog and a rabbit robot.
Or should that be a rabbot ?!
He also cleverly incorporated his stickers to enhance his drawings. This robot has hooks for hands so that he can carry your shopping bags home. I'd like one of those please. I also love the way he decided to call it Rolly because it has wheels !
The Factivity Robots & Gadgets Sticker Book has an RRP of £6.99, which is great value because it kept Pierre busy for ages, as well as teaching him (and me!) loads along the way.
Parragon hadn't quite finished spoiling us though. I also received a lovely parcel of festive goodies, including a funky Christmassy spatula, perfect for all our festive baking, some festive cupcake cases and cake toppers and a chocolate bookmark. They managed to cover all of my favourite things - reading, cooking and chocolate - so a big thank you to Parragon !
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £6.99
Disclosure : We received the book in order to write an honest review.