Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’

Review – Where the Wild Things Are & Peekaboo Farm

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book Review – Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things are

Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak. Read together age: 2.5yrs – 5yrs, Read alone age, 6yrs – 9yrs

For me “Where the wild things are” is such a classic children’s book. Max is a naughty boy and gets sent to his room without supper, there he embarks on a magical story to where the wild things are.. My favourite line is “Let the wild rompus start!”. Eventually though he misses his family and heads home… I am a huge Maurice Sendak fan and have many of his other books, so it is only natural that this book should be on my list!

Kid’s iphone App Review – Peekaboo Farm

Peekaboo Farm. No Kid’s iphone App review is complete without the inclusion of Peekaboo farm. Everyone I know seems to have it! It is lovingly designed, so the images are hugely appealing to both children and, erm, me. What it does: you hear an animal sound and get a chance to guess what animal it is. When you tap on the barn door it opens to reveal an animal behind. A child’s voice (American) then tells you the name of the animal. We like how all the animals go to sleep at the end of the “cycle”. Red Ted loved it, though is getting slightly bored of it now (he is 2.5yrs), but Pip Squeak (9mths) is fascinated by it. So it really is a fabulous App for the tiniest amongst us – Red Ted does still play with it, just not as often. It also has a Spanish language option…


Books & iPhone Review – The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book Review – The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business


The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business, Werner Holzwarth.

Ok, this one is for the Dad’s. Toilet humour through and through! But I mention it, as it is not often that a GERMAN author is translated into English AND does REALLY well. Did you know this is originally in German? There you go! I love buying books from different countries it really makes “our library” more interesting. Here we have a story of a little mole that wakes up one day, only to find that, erm, someone has done their business on his head. Off he goes to find out who it was… and seeks out revenge (maybe not such a good lesson). Surprisingly cute (?!). Maybe a good one to get when you start potty training – though nothing to do with potties, toddlers often get obsessed with Nr 2s at that stage at may really enjoy it. Go on… you know you want to! Available in German & English (and possibly other languages?).

(PS I bet you are gald I didn’t use this in a “Story + Art” project, eh?!)

iPhone App Review – First Words Sampler & My First Words “Animals” – LITE versions (both free)

First Words: Animals  and    I bringing you both of these, as they are pretty much the same. So, as these are Lite versions and therefore free, you may aswell download both and then decide which you like better!

In essence, this is a spelling game. But there is a lot “of help” so that even youngsters that don’t know their alphabet (i.e. Red Ted who is 2.5yrs) can have a go. Red Ted loves it and although I don’t want to force the alphabet on him, surely it is ok if he learns a litte bit about the alphabet whilst having fun? He learns about words and letters.

You have a picture and the letters to make up a word. Like with puzzles you have to put the letters in the right place to spell the words. The voice tells you the letters and when you have completed the letter puzzle, the letters (in one App) are spelt out again and the whole word (in both Apps) is read out! Then there is lots of clapping & cheering (in one App) or noises made by the word (e.g. Miaow in the other App). Both sweet. Both lovely. Both liked by Red Ted. My First Words also has “levels” – where there is less “help” with the letters. My First Words is also available in French!

There are the free Lite versions available – which contain about 4-6 words. This is more than plenty for a 2.5rs old!

Previous Apps: I Hear Ewe – animal sounds (Free) – All 5 Duck Duck Moose Giveaway + mini review – Face iMake (free at time of posting) –KidArt – Dr Seusss ABC –The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose

Book & iPhone App Review – The Tickle Book & Faces iMake

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

Book Review – The Tickle Book

The Tickle Book: With pop-up surprises The Tickle Book, by Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler.  

Reading age: 5yrs – 8yrs. Read together age: 18mths – 4yrs.

Another favourite of Red Ted’s. He adores the tickle book – especially on the first page where he loves to “knock on the door” to find the tickle monster… I think that the anticipation of the tickle is the fun thing. He even learnt to pull some of the pully things from around 18mths onwards (if you helped him). Note: do NOT let your little ones play with this one on their own, it will get destroyed, as The Englishman found out one morning. “Me” was not happy… a new went on order. Tut tut. We do let Red Ted “play” with his books, but I do take care with the ones that have high damage risk – simple flaps he’s ok with, but the tickle book was just too exciting and interesting… how does it all work?! It was just asking to be pulled apart.

The drawings are classic “Scheffler” drawings, so if you like his illustrations, get this book!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Kids iPhone App Review – Faces iMake

Faces iMake icon Faces iMake   App Review Faces iMake

 Age: 3.5yrs – 99 yrs.

Ok, so this is one, that is really for me. When I first downloaded it I got soooo excited.

But let’s start at the beginning. This App is an Arty App. I am always on the look out for crafty and arty ones (as well as decent music Apps, please do let me know if you have any top tips). Faces iMake is one of those lovely Apps that is ABSOLUTELY free. Yes Free (or at least it was when I downloaded it last week). And free things are not always bad. Download it. Give it a go and if you don’t like it delete it.

Self Portrait

So, why do I love it so much. Firstly, it comes with the most fabulously little catchy tune (ok, some of you may find it irritating, but in Kiddie Land, I like it!). It is a happy, light hearted App. You are encouraged to draw faces using all sorts of manners of things. Like a 3D collage on the iphone. Doodling with objects. You have a choice of veg, kitchen equipment, toys, tools etc etc and you, well make a face! This App is even better emulated at home, with real things, as children let their imagination run wild and get to feel lots of tactile objects.

What I also like about the App, is that it has some “tutorials” – to me – they are lovingly produced – I love the guy talking, he has a passion for art and a passion for creating fun faces with things. He encourages you to have a go and think about what things represent. If you were doing daddy, who likes cooking, which items would you use etc?

A lovely App. Probably for the slighly older children (and yourself), though Red Ted (2.5yrs) does play with it. He just doesn’t quite get it yet.

Previous iPhone Apps:


Dr Seusss ABC

The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose

Kid’s Book – Nutshell Library, Maurice Sendak & Kid’s iPhone App Review – KidArt

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further…

Kid’s Book Review: Nutshell Library – Maurice Sendak

Nutshell Library (Caldecott Collection)Nutshell Library by Maurice Sendak. Reading Age: 5yrs +. Read together Age, 1.5 yrs+. Red Ted has always loved these, at first because he loves little books he can hold and put in and out of little boxes. Now (2.5yrs) he is starting to get interested in the little stories. He likes the rythm of counting and the funny little pictures. He doesn’t quite understand all of it yet (e.g. Chicken Soup with rice looks at the months and I don’t think he knows what “February” is yet) but he enjoys them non the less. I love these, because a) I had two of the little books when I was little b) I love Maurice Sendak’s quirkiness and c) (for all parents) it has counting, seasons and alphabets + a little cautionary tale involving a lion. What more could you want?! I have given these as presents before – they make a great little gift!

Kid’s iPhone App Review: KidArt

   Being a crafty sort of mum (not that you hadn’t noticed yet…), I did want to find a crafty App. There are a few around and I basically chose one based on reviews I found online. So we got KidArt. Red Ted took to it straight away. It has a catchy tune when you first load it that Red Ted loves to wriggle too. Then you have a simple touch screen and colour selection pallet. You can also use some “stickers” and different backgrounds. Give it a little shake and your last addition disappears. You can also save the artwork and send it to family if you really want! Although, I (!) find it a little hard to draw accurately, the simple menu, bright colours, fun music and shaky shake eraser really to please Red Ted, and that is what it is all about. A bit of colour. A bit of art and a bit of fun. Lovely.

Remember though, there are many FREE Apps out there. Sometimes it is the “Lite” version of something as a taster and sometimes they are just free. Don’t knock the free stuff a 2-3 yrs old will probably be more than happy. Some of the “Lites” are irritating as they add several screens to try and make you buy the full version, which with toddlers can be infuriating. If this is the case just delete it! But do get all the Lites first before you buy and you will see if you like the App.

      Photobucket   Weekly Linky on My Blog  

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010


Wow! I am taking part in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week! It really is very exciting, as we love books here at Red Ted Headquarters and I love to share what we are reading.

Unfortunately I got it all back to front and the wrong link was sent to BBAW. THIS is the correct one, as it has all the information about the categories I am taking part in!

So, hopefully it will all be updated and I haven’t missed my chance!

As you know, I have two types of book review – a straight “books for you” and a “book & craft review”. My children are both <3yrs, so the book has a bias towards the smallest amongst us, though I do try and some for <10yrs too!

I am submitting the same links for  The Best Kid Lit Book Blog & Best New Book Blog, check these links:

  1. Touchy Feely books –
  2. Garden books –
  3. stART: Giraffe’s can’t dance – a Giraffe Loo Roll Marionette 
  4. stART: Hit &Myth – a mix & match book for older children (>5yrs) 
  5. Post related books:

I hope you like these!


In the meantime, here are the other entrants, I only know one or two of them, so I will be keenly checking them out soon!:

  • Write For A Reader
  • There’s A Book
  • Playing by the book
  • Teach Mentor Texts
  • Annie and Aunt: Family Thoughts on Reading with Kids
  • Milk & Cookies: Comfort Reading
  • Holocaust Resources
  • The Fourth Musketeer
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Jennifer Bertman
  • The Book Maven’s Haven
  • Book & Kid’s iphone App: The Black Book of Colours & Wheels on the Bus

    They say you should try things out on your blog from time to time and not be afraid of change! So I have decided to ammend my “Books for you Monday”. You will get one book and for a short while one iPhone App.

    The book

    The Black Book of Colours

    The Black Book of Colours, by Cottin and Faria . When I first came across this book, I knew we had to have it. Simply because it is so different. We like books that a quirky and new. However, this book is so much more than that: it teaches your children about others and their disabilities. The Black Book of Colours is a “rainbow” book all in black and white. Each colour is decribed from the point of view of blind  Thomas “Yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers.” It is accompanied by relief illustrations in black and everything is written in words and braille. Personally, I am fascinated by braille – how can we learn to make our fingers so sensitive that we can actually read all those little dots?! The book has the braille alphabet in the back too. This is a great book to talk about what life with out sight might be like. To help build compassion, but also to stimulate the imagination. What does “blue” sounds like to you?! Red Ted is just about old enough to discuss the colours like this, but I will be taking this round to my neighbours house for the 5yrs old and 7yrs old to test too! 

    The iphone Appt

    Firstly, some background: 

     Before I had Red Ted and Pip Squeak, I was very anti Television, anti computer games and anti chocolate for young children (I myself didn’t have a TV for three years and it was rather liberating!!). So, I thought about the whole “no bad” things for my children thing for ages and came to the following conclusion: all in moderation and everything has it’s place. A friend of mine grew up without a TV, resulting in him going round to friend’s houses and just sitting in front of the TV there – no socialising nor interacting. So no TV = not good. Also, peer pressure means that you should at least have an idea of what is what etc.. So I decided – SOME TV is ok, so long as it isn’t too much and we didn’t abuse. I feel even better when Red Ted watches German DVDs, because then it becomes “educational” (how we kid ourselves).

    Same goes for computer games – I so don’t want to have the zombie children that have computer consoles as arm extensions and only look in the direction of flickering TV screens. So, I was all “non of that, thank you very much”. But you know, maybe computer games (in moderation!) aren’t so bad. Chosen well, I am sure that they do stimulate and develop certain skills etc.

    I delved into that world with my first iphone app: – The Wheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose. I am sorry, but I have to say, it is FABULOUS and Red Ted LOVES it. Perfect whilst I need to change Pip Squeak and Red Ted needs a little distraction – you see “time & place”. I love the music – they have made a really nice recording, you can switch from “their voice” to a recording of your own, to just violin or piano. In theory you can download it in German too, but I haven’t succeeded yet. They also have some “interesting” bus riders – e.g. a baker with his cake. But I think that this is the charm of the song – children love it if you make up “random” verses (well, Red Ted does). The images are bright, colourful and very child friendly (of course!). And I do like that the PCness of it: the bus driver is a girl! Yay! The only “but” is that the words are slightly different, this must be an American version and they sing “the bus goes all over town” instead of “all day long” and that we have a yellow school bus and not a lovely English Red Bus. Still. We love it. Red Ted got the hang of it in no time and now aged 2.5yrs knows it back to front.

    I then went applicaton mad and downloaded a whole load of other stuff… to be reviewed over the coming weeks!

    So. This is the MODERN good life – think of it in terms of minimum impact on the environment – a great little gift to your child without adding to the mountain of “stuff” they already have!

    (PS if all this sounds familiar, I wrote the above for The Good Life a few months back, we like recycling)

          Photobucket   Weekly Linky on My Blog   Nonfiction Monday


    Books x3 – The Garden: Planting a Rainbow, Up, Down, and Around & “The Apple & The Butterfly”

    I have three lovely garden books for you this week. There are so many wonderful garden books out there, that it was really hard to choose. I hope these are a reasonably good selection! Ones that appeal to different age groups – the last one especially appealing to mummies and daddies that love a bit of “good graphic design”, as well as older kids (even up to 10-12yrs?). 

    If you like our book reviews, all previously posted books are reviewed again on my Amazon store – proceeds go towards prizes and charity! Also the Amazon store is a little easier to browse, than the books reviewed on the blog!

    If you enjoy my blog, why not subscribe? Quick and easy – just enter your email address to the box on the top right hand corner!!! 

    Let’s begin!

    Up, Down, and AroundUp, Down And Around, by Kathryn Ayres. The first thing that caught Red Ted’s (2.5yrs) attention is all the detail. He loves all the little bugs and bunnies and snails on every page and loves finding them. He chose this book himself (when presented with a choice). It is fun, bright and colourful. I don’t think it is the “best” how do plants grow book, but then I am not sure what a “best book” for this age group would look like. It does show the sowing of seeds and the needing to water and then it focuses on how things grow (up or down etc) – so it definitely has the basics and I think it is great for Red Ted to understand that you can’t always see a vegetable growing – but that sometimes they are underground (we enjoyed talking about potatoes in particularly!). It ends wonderfully with a wonderful vegetable picnic – salad, soup, pie. Yummy. We like at the Red Ted household!

    Planting a RainbowPlanting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert. I actually bought this book for Red Ted (2.5yrs) as I thought it would be a great addition to our Rainbow Week last week (see our fabulously scrummy Rainbow Cookies that have been causing a stir!), but upon receiving it, found it a wonderful garden book too. Fabulous – two in one! I think it is beautifully illustrated. It tells us about bulbs and seeds. About autumn (bulb planting) and spring (seed planting), about letting some seedlings from the garden centre – in other words things that mummy (me) actually does! We also learn the name of lots of beautiful garden flowers and plants. It then goes into watching everything grow and the beautiful rainbow appearing. Very simple. Very pretty.

    Der Apfel und der Schmetterling: Textloses BilderbuchLa mela e la farfalla (The Apple and the Butterfly) – A book without words- by Iela und Enzo Mari. (I have the “German” version, but the German bit is really just the title…). I love this book. It has no words. So it really encourages  the reader to engage with the drawings and make up a little story as you go along – a perfect aid and practice for storytelling if you are feeling a little rusty. (Check out my post about the importance of story telling here!). It starts off with a little caterpillar that grows in a beautiful red apple and how with time it grows into a butterfly that lays an egg in an apple blossom. The blossom turns into an apple and the cycle begins again! PS the focus IS on the caterpillar and butterfly developing, so a little cheat in that it doesn’t purely focus on how the apple grows.. but I thought it was a worthy cheat!).