A Trio of Activity Books

Viking Adventure Activity Book
illustrated by Jen Alliston
Button Books

The latest in the series of Button Books unobtrusively educational, history activity books, illustrated by Jen Alliston, has a Viking theme.  If you have a child in the lower part of KS2 this may be part of their history curriculum. Whether or not this is so, books such as this are a particular boon in these days when many youngsters are not at school full time, if at all; and the activities and illustrations in this particular book are more appropriate for a younger (under 8) audience anyway.

It’s packed with a wide range of over 70 Viking related, fun things to do such as making a Viking helmet, beard and shield,

baking some cupcakes to decorate with Viking runes, and using maths to work out your Viking name. There are plenty of puzzles, mazes, counting, matching, anagrams, codes, jokes and more.

Also included are four pages of stickers.

All in all this will engage and entertain youngsters who, along with some Viking learning, will also hone their observational and fine motor skills.

Keep Calm!
Studio Press
Dr. Sharie Coombes, illustrated by Katie Abey & Ellie O’Shea

Aimed at primary age children, this is an activity book written by Sharie Coombes an educationalist and psychotherapy expert, that aims to help youngsters stay calm and cope with uncertainty during, and following, the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are a variety of creative ideas to help with the emotional roller-coaster we’re all sharing, including drawing, writing, and crafty activities.

There’s also mindfulness, calming breathing techniques and yoga (I know from experience they work).

The final few pages comprise tips for parents and carers on self-care and managing children’s emotions.
This little book could well be a boon during these tricky times.

For the same age range, to help combat boredom, especially if your child is stuck indoors, is:

Beano Puzzle Book
Studio Press

Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie the Minx have dug into the 1990-1994 Beano archives and unearthed a host of fun things such as word searches and other word games, mazes, drawing, comics and maths challenges that will help turn young users into word WHIZZ-ARDS and number GNASH-ERS.

Nothing required other than a pencil (or 2) and a switched on brain.

We Catch the Bus

We Catch the Bus
Katie Abey
Bloomsbury Children’s Books

If you have a little one with a penchant for all things vehicular, then they’ll surely love this book. What it lacks in story, it certainly more than makes up for in the bright, busy, vehicle-packed illustrations that are full of giggle-making details.

Every spread takes a different theme be it buses, planes, trucks, trains, diggers, cars, bikes,

boats, emergency vehicles, tractors or rockets; and children can make up their own stories inspired by what’s happening on any of the pages; there’s certainly plenty of action on each one.

‘We catch the Bus / Which bus would you catch?’ is the lead-in to the first spread whereon we find 10 different buses, all being driven by jolly-looking animal characters and there are plenty of other zany animal characters to spot too. One waiting at a bus stop asks “How many footballs can you count?” while the driver of the book bus inquires “What’s your favourite story?”

Every other spread has a similar relevant lead-in and an abundance of ways to involve youngsters. They could look for the fish on the airport spread or perhaps play spot the fairy tale characters/items; maybe they’ll discover that a certain big bad wolf keeps putting in an appearance.

This book surely guarantees hours of enjoyable immersion.

We Wear Pants

We Wear Pants
Katie Abey
Bloomsbury Children’s Books

No, this isn’t another story about pants, although that particular item of clothing is the subject of the first spread in this humorous offering. You’ll also see thereon a horse in pants watering plants , a giraffe wearing them – and not only on its rear end; and youngsters will delight in the invitation to search for ‘who is sitting on the toilet?’ Wouldn’t the octopus have pants with eight leg holes? one of my book sharers wanted to know.

Wellies come next and all manner of animals are sporting theirs, including a waterproof wombat and a funky frog that asks readers to ‘Count the rubber ducks’. Not so the cheeky monkey however; that particular creature pops up on every spread offering a sneak preview of which item of attire is coming next.

We Wear Hats invites children to choose a hat – a tricky operation but for me the crocodile won; and I think I’d go for the croc. as my favourite animal too, on account of the fact that he’s reading a book.

The weather is decidedly changeable on the coats spread so many different kinds are show-cased including blazers, anoraks, puffer jackets, macs and ponchos.

Snazzy shorts aplenty are shown off on the beach: “Shorts cover up your pants” announces the bird atop the palm tree, although those belonging to the tortoise close by appears to be serving an alternative purpose.

Glasses, scarves, socks, shoes, T-shirts – watch out for particularly groan-worthy puns here – and pyjamas are also featured and the book ends with a final free choice page asking “What will YOU wear today?” Now there’s a thought …
Entertaining, absorbing and most definitely giggle inducing (that’s adults as well as children); a great book for sharing and absolutely full of language development potential.