Getting Ready for Spring / Make and Bake

Getting Ready for Spring
Kathryn Selbert
Nosy Crow

I’ve no doubt that we’re all looking forward to the arrival of spring. I’ve already seen snowdrops and the occasional primrose but have yet to spot any baby deer like those shown in this sticker storybook created in collaboration with the National Trust; and, inevitably already as I write, the supermarket shelves are stacked with hot cross buns and other Easter fare.

Herein we see a family picnicking beside a lake, children decorating Easter eggs, birds being fed in a garden, spring cleaning on a rainy April day.

There are more preparations for Easter, a family visit to a farm, the children bake Easter treats with Grandma and when the festival day arrives there’s an egg hunt and an Easter parade.

The final pages comprise a ‘Can you spot?’ feature with over 30 items to find in the preceding spreads, and 3 pages of stickers to add to the named pages.

Seasonal fun to engage little ones and there’s plenty of interest to discuss on each of Kathryn Selbert’s main spreads.

If your opportunities to get outside with youngsters are limited in this unpredictable weather, then this book will help them anticipate the delights of what is to come in the next two or three months.

Also useful on days when the weather tends to keep youngsters inside is:

Make and Bake
illustrated by various artists
Oxford University Press

This is part of the OUP ‘Read with Oxford’ series that uses ‘step-by-step’ stages and is phonic based. Many readers of my blog will know that I’m anything but a fan of the approach to reading that underlies this way of learning to read. However, this non-fiction title offers six fun activities for those in the early stages of becoming readers.

Young children can, guided by the six sections make frog cards (and paper plate animals that could become puppets – children can think up their own animals too);

enjoy some pancake making (with an adult); create a sock goblin hand puppet; find out something about growing foods you might eat on a picnic; discover how to grow strawberries and eventually make ‘Strawberry Mess’ and enjoy eating same; the final part, ‘Snack Attack’ is about what constitutes a healthy snack. Readers follow two characters who visit a market and on their return, make the snacks using what they bought.

Also included are simple activities such as matching animal pictures with their names; sequencing instructions, sorting, unjumbling letter sequences to make food words and a word search. A mix of photographs and illustrations by various artists

help make everything clear.

The First Egg Hunt

The First Egg Hunt
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Pippa Curnick
Egmont Publishing

Featuring a very fluffy chick, the Easter Bunny, a host of woodland animals and of course, yummy chocolate treats aplenty, Charlotte and Adam Guillain have together dreamed up a wonderful rhyming pourquoi tale that explains why The Easter Bunny hides eggs for people to find on Easter Day.

Bunny and his partner Chick work hard to ensure that everything is ready for the big delivery day but it’s the furry one alone who gets all the kudos.

Resentful of the fact that Bunny is the only one in the limelight, Chick plots to put things on an equal footing the following year when it comes to the delivery of those choccy treats.

However, when the time comes, her ruse doesn’t quite go according to plan. In fact it’s an utter disaster as Chick takes a tumble with the delivery vehicle …

scattering eggs every which way and to make things worse, she is forced to confess to her partner.

All ends happily though with a new annual tradition and two happy partners.

Just as yummy as those chocolate eggs are Pippa Curnick’s illustrations. Be they double spreads, single pages, or vignettes, each one is deliciously detailed.

I’ve signed the charter