Are you familiar with Usborne books? I have their Children’s Internet-Linked Encyclopedia, and it is wonderful. I used it last year for ZooKid’s kindergarten science book, and he loved it. He ALWAYS asked to do more than what was required. It is colorful and the information is presented simply, but the best feature is the quicklinks. Each page has a list of internet links to related games, activities, videos, etc. to expand learning. I loved it.
I have recently been given a selection of Usborne books to review. I have come to find that Usborne has a wide variety of books for kids ranging from toddlers to high school; some have features just as great as their quicklinks.
Frog on a Log
Frog on a Log is an engaging lift-the-flap board book that builds anticipation and excitement in every page. The last word of every sentence rhymes, so your kids can begin to anticipate what words are coming and can fill them in. Princess Super Kitty laughed through the whole book. She loved lifting the flaps and was able to start filling in some of the rhyming words. ZooKid enjoyed reading the book himself and to his sister.
The book is a sturdy board book, but the flaps are a lighter weight cardboard that could easily rip in smaller hands. Overall, Frog on a Log is a great little book: your kids won’t even know they are working on rhyming, phonics, and comprehension. Retails $4.99
Check out other Usborne toddler books here.
Step-By-Step Drawing Animals
Step-By-Step Drawing Animals is a book that teaches kids to draw animals step-by-step (obviously!). It uses simple shapes and lines that makes the drawing task seem less intimidating. It is not as simple as Ed Emberley’s drawing books, as many of the shapes are not standard squares and circles but more unique shapes. This may perhaps be a nice step up after the Ed Emberley stepped drawing books.
This book has a few great features. Unlike other drawing books, there is a space to practice drawing right in the book. Some pages have suggestions on how the artist can tweak the drawings to get those creative juices flowing. The end of the book provides scenes to show how to create a bigger picture out of the animals they learned how to draw.
Overall, Step-By-Step Drawing Animals is a great way to grow a child’s drawing skill. There’s lots of room to practice each animal a number of times, so I can’t wait to compare ZooKid’s current drawings to the ones he will do perhaps next semester. Retail $9.99
1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland
1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland is a pictorial search and find. There are a number of pictures to find on each page, and each picture occurs up to ten times. It’s a fun way to solidify counting 1-10.
The colorful fairy landscapes captivated Princess Super Kitty. She loved trying to find all the pictures. Even ZooKid got in on the fun, despite the content being fairies. And because there are 1001 things to find, it held the attention of both kids for a long time. Even when they did tire of it, they still hadn’t found all the items, promising future engagement.
Overall, 1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland was a huge success in our home! Retail $9.99
There are other themed “Things to Spot” books, such as pirates, Christmas, and animals. Find them here.
Muddle and Match: Imagine is a mix-and-match book with three sections (head, body, legs/feet) to arrange and make a variety of different pictures and stories. Your child can keep the flaps in the original order, which displays a fun, alliterative story on the left, or let your child get creative by mixing the different parts to create new pictures and silly stories.
Engagement was high as we all took turns choosing flaps and making our own stories. The alliteration is a great tool to reinforce reoccurring letters and letter sounds. Retail $8.99
Other Muddle and Match Books (Adventure, Jungle Animals, and Monsters) can be found here.
If your child likes animals, they will love this book. It shows different animals side by side, so your child can compare them. The most interesting feature is the 4 giant fold outs. ZooKid was most enthralled with the blue whale that is 4 pages long! The scaled scuba diver, fish, and seals swimming beside it makes it look even bigger! Each page is full of fun facts about the animals. ZooKid was able to read a lot of it himself.
Overall, this book was fun. The giant flaps are engaging. The fun facts are interesting. This is not the book for in-depth information about a particular animal.Retail $14.99
Pocket Books: Reptiles
Pocket Book: Reptiles is a great quick reference book to help identify 117 turtles, tortoises, tuatara, snakes, lizards, and crocodilians. Each reptile is identified by common name, scientific name, group, and factfile and is accompanied by a full-colored picture. The factfile contains all the information needed in a quick reference book: habitat, distribution, length, litter/clutch size, life span, predators, diet, and conservation status.
Overall, Pocket Books: Reptiles is an information-rich book, that is the perfect size for the adventurer. ZooKid can hardly wait to bring it along on our next hike (although I am hoping we don’t get to use the snake pages…. 🙂 ) Retail $4.99
Other Pocket Books including Birds, Mammals, and Insects can be found here.
If you are interested in buying Usborne books, Cheri Fruits would love to help you out!
Till Next Time,