How to Build a House : Pip Likes Snow : Bird Watch : Molly is New : A Head Full of Stories : Elephant Rides Again
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This is an uneven bundle of short, robustly-bound picture books designed to find their way into infant book corners. Skilled early years practitioners will know how to get the best out of the sparse text and complementary pictures, but reading and rereading these books with a group of five-year-olds left me thinking about the publisher’s missed opportunities with this series, particularly with structured and exciting vocabulary development. Why, for example, so few examples of onomatopoeia and alliteration which this age range relishes?
How to Build a House and Bird Watch are rooted in everyday family life, with denouements that will delight infant readers and send them scurrying back through the books for clues. Elephant Rides Again succeeds differently, marrying an eventful, pacy and witty narrative with animal characters and just enough variety of text to explore with purpose. Pick of the bunch is A Head Full of Stories in which Jack, rather than endure bedtime storytime listening to mum, chooses to retell all the fairy stories he knows to different members of the family, amusingly sending them to sleep on the sofa. Less impressive are Pip Likes Snow and Molly is New, both with derivative and clichéd subject matter explored much more engagingly in any number of other picture books already in the book corner.
There is some real fun to be had with these titles, but those investing in the Twisters series may end up feeling a little short-changed.