Posts Tagged ‘Children's Books’

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

story + Art = great stART – Shapes That Roll & Monster Cards

 This post was featured on UndertheTableandDreaming Lovely! And thank you so much!

We recently received our “Shapes That Roll” book. One of the other wonderful mummy blogs reviewed it in one of their stART projects, but I have to confess – I cannot remember quite who it was! Sorry. Would have loved to have linked back to you.


Shapes that Roll

Shapes that Roll

Shapes that Roll

Shapes That Roll Shapes That Roll, by Karen Nagel & Steve Wilson. Reading age 4 yrs- 8 yrs. Read together age 1.5yrs – 3.5yrs. The book is ADORABLE! At first I thought it would be nice “shapes” book to have, but it is much more than that. It is lovingly illustrated and printed in the most high quality manner, which makes all the difference. It even arrived with tissue paper between every page (which will come in handy in one of our craft sessions). We are guided through the book by Square, Circle and Triangle, who show us all about “Up” and “Down”, “Here” and “there”. About how some “slant” and “some don’t”. Which you can “roll” and which you can  “stack” and where we find shapes in every day life (a house or a fruit or a star). And this only the beginning… so lots of fun. Lots of colours. Lots to discuss. Nice shiny bits too. We love this book. And much more than I expected!

To our craft activity. Another simple one and easy one to do at home in small spaces:

Monster Greeting Cards.

Shapes: I cut out lots of shape – I let Red Ted choose which colours and shapes. I had some different textures – corrugated card and foam to make it a little different.

Sticking: Red Ted then did lots of sticking. On the last one he discovered it was fun to stick shapes on top of each other. We then added google eyes. Whilst doing the sticking we talked about the shapes and it’s colours.

Drying: Red Ted insisted that we dry it on our “art washing line”. It did mean that everything shifted a bit, but I let him, as he was “so proud” of his work and he apparently really enjoys his washing line. So on they went.

Making up the card: I cut out monster shapes, using Red Ted’s google eye placements as a rough idea for a head and then we stuck them on some re-used card (We cut down some old ring binder dividers with my guillotine – Red Ted’s favourite bit).

Now Granny is going to get another card through the post! Hurray!

Previous Craft Projects:

– stART: Loo Roll & Leaf Bird Marionettes – great Autumn project

Craft: Cork Boats

stART:Piep Piep Piep, Loo Roll Watches

stART:  Bear Cards & Strawberry Growing Video 

stART: Touchy Feely Book – That is not my Puppy 

stART: Jolly Postman & Greeting cards from Toddler Art 

Book & Cook – Duckies Rainbow & Rainbow Cookies 

stART – Story Telling, Bunnies & Stars 

stART: Giraffe’s can’t dance – a Giraffe Loo Roll Marionette 

stART: Chick – a Pop Up Card 

Book & Cook: Alphabet Cookies – Learning through play 

stART: Busy Airport – Cotton Wool Clouds and, erm, PIGS! 

stART: Hit &Myth – a mix & match book for older children (>5yrs)     

stART: Story & Thank you time – inspirational thank you cards    

stART: Hurray for Fish – one for babies or messy toddlers!     

stART: Bedtime Star – Red Ted, makes a starry night for Pip Squeak’s nursery    

stART: The Way Back Home, Oliver Jeffers – Red Ted makes a plane and a UFO    

Craft: Peg animals – toddlers can help!

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 & 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 x 3 – My Cat likes to hide in boxes, There are cats in this book, Mog the forgetful cat

Today we have a cat theme in our book collection! If you don’t like cats, look away now. If you do like cats and have no money to buy books, look away now. Else, read on and get these for your children’s library!!!!

All books are available on my amazon store. Proceeds go to charity and giveaways. You will find many more books on the amazon store, that I have reviewed in the last few months, so do pop over and have a browse. Hope you like and enjoy!

My Cat Likes to hide in Boxes My cat likes to hide in boxes, by Eve Sutton & Lynley Dodd. This book was recommended to me by a friend.  All cat lover’s will love this books, especially if their cat, likes to, erm, hide in boxes. A nicely illustrated simple book comparing how “My cat likes to hide in boxes” whilst all these other wonderful cats from France or Spain can do different things (dance and fly aeroplanes). The book has a nice flow to it and you’ll soon be able to recite it by heart!

There Are Cats in This Book There are cats in this book, by Vivianne Schwarz. This is currently our favourite cat book (but don’t worry, we are fickle). This book is fun and the reader is drawn in, as the cheeky cats talk to you and encourage you to “tuck them in” or “turn the page”. It is more than just a “lift the flap” book, corners are cut out so you can see subsequent pages, enticing you to turn the page and find out more. These cats are cheeky and fun and you get to take part!

Mog the Forgetful CatMog, the forgetful cat, by Judith Kerr .  A classic children’s book that goes hand in hand with the Tiger that came for tea. Red Ted (2.5yrs)  has loved this book for a long time. I think he likes the cat and he likes the repetitiveness of “Bother that cat”, as Mog increasingly gets himself into trouble throughout the day. So, yes, Mog is a clumsy and forgetful cat, much to the dismay of his owners, who are constantly bothered by something that clumsy Mog does (sitting on hats, forgetting how to get into the house and waking the children!). Eventually Mog saves the day (by accident) and is rewarded with a medal and eggs. A sweet classic that won Red Ted over.

      Photobucket   Weekly Linky on My Blog