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

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Shout Out: Fabulous New Activity Books

We love a good activity book at KBR, and here are some of the most exciting that have crossed our desks in a while. Grab your pencil - and have fun!

The 1000 Dot-to-Dot by Thomas Pavitte, Ilex, $20.99, 9781781571040 

I simply adore this large-format book. So do my kids. All sets of eyes - both old and new - were agog at the crazy pants pages, featuring not dozens but hundreds and hundreds of dots.

This is dot-to-dot like nowhere else. Forget numbers one through 49. This is dot-to-dot in the many hundreds, and not only is this book utterly intriguing, it's instant art. With images of famous people - from Marilyn Monroe to Alfred Hitchcock, kids and big kids will have hours of fun creating instant pop art.

Caveat: if you're over 40, you'll need your magnifying glasses. The numbers are small!

Let's Draw with Oscar by Jean Claude, Thames & Hudson, $14.95, 9780500650202

There's nothing more enticing than an activity book of truly divine design, and Oscar's book fits the bill. With beautiful, spidery drawings just begging for a wash of colour, kids will also love the narrative that encourages them to create - to draw, to interpret, to try their hand at instructional illustrating.

Complete with peek-a-boo holes that make creating even more fun - and provide alternate perspective, this is one of my favourite activity books in a very long time. Attractive for older kids, too! MUCH older kids!

My Monster Bubble Writer Book by Linda Scott, Laurence King Publishing, $19.95, 9781780681024

My Monster Bubble Writer Book has these words inside the front cover: This book is all about monsters, bubble writing and drawing - three of the best things in the world.

Until I read that introduction, I had never considered that bubble writing is a phenomenon loved the world over. We spent hours perfecting it when I was at school, and since encountering this activity book, I realise my school friends and I were not alone. See the full review.

Don't Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book by Mo Willems, Walker Books, $17.95, 9781406347319

We love Mo Willem’s Pigeon in our home. How could you not love the Pigeon’s melodramatic outbursts?

The attention-seeking Pigeon is true to form in Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book. Joined by the cheeky Duckling and the rampaging Mad Cow, the Pigeon rants, cajoles, complains, bubbles over with excitement, questions and worries in a story that incorporates more than 250 pages of games, events and hot dogs*. (*hot dogs not included). See the full review.

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