'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 14 October 2011

KBR Recommends… Our Top Pick Activity Books

Activity books are not like they used to be. Sure, we all love classic fun and games but the new breed of activity books sit firmly outside the square – and in a class of their own. Here are our top picks for the some of best activity books on the market right now.

Doodle Cook by Hervé Tullet (Phaidon, $16.95 RRP)

This extraordinary book from über talent Tullet, ticks all the boxes when it comes to fabulous fun and supersonic artistic style. Renowned for his strikingly artistic, unique books, Tullet’s latest offering is just like reading pages made from candy. Even the contents pages are delectable in this line-up of scrumptious.

Doodle Cook invites kids to create their own culinary delights – from the tip of their paintbrush or crayon. With consummate culinary gusto, Tullet invites kids to add squiggly coloured lines to a pasta-strewn plate, create quick circle salad, whip up zig zag soup, decorate a ruby sugar cookie, and more.

Sharpen your pencils and fire up the creative burners – this is the kind of activity little chefs (and big) will fall head over heels with.

Draw with Pablo Picasso by Ana Salvador (Frances Lincoln Children's Books, $21.99)

Another creative and artistic delight, Draw with Pablo Picasso is a budding artist’s dream. Resplendent with zigzagging shapes and faces, kids are invited to get totally right-brained with creations inspired by the master’s original work.

Each creation has been named, giving it a true artistic feel, and children can follow step-by-step to create their own vibrant treasures.

Dotted with inspirational quotes from Picasso, this book aims to teach creative skill, develop appreciation of true artwork, and inspire improvisation. Gorgeous.

Find Chaffy by Jamie Smart (Scholastic, $12.99)

Little Bunny Chaffy is on the loose. Where on earth could he be? In a mass sty of pigs?  At a major bear’s picnic? In the dangerous land of the stompy dinosaurs? Can you find him?

Sweet as pie pictures and engaging seek-and-find double page spreads are complemented by adorable characters, making this a bit of a cult hit.

The Girls’ Rainy Day Book / The Boys’ Rainy Day Book by (Hardie Grant Egmont, $4.95)

What I love about these bumper activity books are their print quality and excellent, well-written content that really hits the mark for children aged 6 - 12. Containing activities that can be done either within the books’ pages or without, there is some serious school holiday or even travel entertainment going on here – but there’s also loads of cleverly disguised education.

Girls can sew their own bird, throw a Hawaiian Luau, cover a notebook with old jeans, do a friendship quiz, perform an Indian headscarf dance or read a rainy day adventure.

Boys can make a UFO, perform some cool kitchen science, become a secret agent, design a comic strip, work out their ultimate super power or take a sports quiz showdown.

Interspersed with facts, figures and lots of fun, we’re loving this dynamic duo of books.