Boolino Friends Review – Fum by Karl Newson

Seemingly out of nowhere, lately Oscar has become obsessed with traditional fairy stories. The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Billy Goats Gruff (a pattern? Possibly ūüėČ ). It really is lovely because they’re all stories I know the basic plot line for. They feel wonderfully familiar and reading them is like passing on some kind of tradition. Sharing the stories that made the backbone of my own childhood reading, is really what I imagined parenthood would be like!

The latest book we were sent to review from Boolino isn’t a straightforward fairy story, but it does combine a bucket load of traditional characters all in one place. And Oscar loves it. Fum by Karl Newson is the story of the giant Crumb¬†Family, who’ve lost their youngest member, little Fum.

The search for Fum takes the family on an adventure through all the traditional fairy story characters you can think of. The pigs, Red Riding Hood, you name it they’re there, helping the Crumbs along their way. And Oscar loves it. It’s a new story, but it feels familiar and shows the well known characters in a different context, which is great fun.

Oscar sounding out the title. He’s getting so good at phonics and blending sounds!

Meeting the Crumb Family – but wheres the littlest Crumb?

Oscar really enjoys the quirky rhyming couplets of this story, along with Lucy Fleming’s fun and detailed illustrations. Seeing his new found faves popping up in new and unexpected places, make this a very welcome addition to the book shelf.

Oscar loves this latest addition to the bookshelf!

 

 

Boolino Friends Review – Follow Me Around the House by Camille Garoche

As a Boolino friend, you’re never really sure what kind of books are going to be offered for review. As Oscar’s tastes change at the speed of light at the moment, it’s lovely to have a real mix of reading material to choose from. When we were offered Follow Me Around the House by Camille¬†Garoche however, I wasn’t sure. It was described as a lift the flap, board book. Now I know Oscar still likes to revisit his old favourites occasionally (Dear Zoo anyone?), but really I thought we were over these kind of books. And we may well be. But Follow Me Around the House is nothing like the baby books of old.

Follow Me Round the House by Camille Garoche

The Book

Firstly the quality is far from the board books of our past. Matte finish and heavy, it’s extremely tactile. The story is cute but also very quirky in feel, (unsurprising when you consider Garoche is French. It definitely has that wonderful Gallic peculiarity about it). But all of this pales into insignificance when you come to the bones of the book; the illustration.

The Illustration

The book follows Luna, a Siamese cat, who leads her wards, three new puppies, round the house into which they have been born. Garoche has illustrated the most beautiful house and given an almost dream like quality to the amazing details.

Garoche’s illustrative background is clear to see in this whimsical tale

More than just a ‘lift the flap’ book

Lift the Flap

The ‘lift the flap’ elements are so well combined into the illustrations, that this feels like more of an immersive¬†experience than a children’s book. Seriously, I spent ages just exploring and finding the well hidden secret artwork.¬†It’s a joy to read, but it’s much more of a joy to be a part of.

The detail in this kitchen is beautiful

Just a cello?

Of course not! It’s a bunny bed!

Thoughts

I personally feel this is a book that would be more suited to older or more mature children who would enjoy the time this book demands. To be honest, I wouldn’t even be afraid to get this for an adult, particularly one who appreciates whimsy. Or cats.

Oscar has a bulging bookcase in his bedroom, with free access to hundreds of books. He also has a separate shelf, one he cannot reach alone, that holds a very special collection of books. Ones we feel he is too young for yet or ones that are too precious to risk him damaging. These are books we read together, or books we are saving for the future. Follow Me Around The House is such a gorgeous book, it deserves a bit more care than my boisterous four year old is ready to show just yet. And for that reason, it’ll be joining the others on the special shelf.

For now.

“Ooh, isn’t it delightful here”

Boolino Friend Review: George and the New Craze

We’re very excited to have recently been chosen as a Boolino Friend, (a book reviewer) for children’s online book and reading platform, Boolino. Boolino are a company on a mission to turn children into book lovers by helping their parents find the books they like in an easy, intuitive way.

boolino-friend-logo

Oscar and I love reading books together.¬†I’ve been reading to him since he was born and he joined our local library when he was just three months old. Stories have been part of our bedtime routine for the longest time and today we love it. However, it hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when bedtime stories were just too much stimulation for him and so despite the ‘advice’ that all parents should be reading to their children at bedtime, we had to stop, take a step back and hope he’d come back to it.

Thankfully, after about a year, he did and he now loves stories more than ever. Most nights we have at least one, if not two (if not three if he’s feeling lucky!) stories. He loves all sorts of books, in all sorts of different styles. Rhyming, funny, factual, he loves them all. But one thing they all have to have in common is good strong pictures; clear, with lots of interest. He’s currently learning his letters and although he doesn’t yet read, he likes to be able to gauge what’s happening in the story from the illustrations.

Our first story from Boolino; George and the New Craze by Alice Hammond was exactly the kind of bedtime book we love. Clear and fun, with plenty of engaging illustrations (by Kimberly Scott).

Front cover of George and the New Craze by Alice Hammond

George and the New Craze by Alice Hammond. Our first Boolino review.

George and the New Craze is a story about a giraffe and his friends at the Heavenly Hippos Wildlife Park who want to collect as many “People Cards” as the Penguins have!

Oscar liked

Oscar loved that there were plenty of illustrations of animals for him to name and count. He also loved that it was set in a wildlife park, something he could relate to, having recently had a very successful day out at Marwell Zoo.

little boy reading in bed

Oscar enjoys the pictures of the animals

Mummy liked

There are two things I love about this story. One is the underlying message that sharing lots of things is more fun than keeping one or two things to yourself. As sharing is a concept we are constantly having to reinforce with Oscar I loved this element of the story.

The other thing I loved was the idea of the People Cards. ¬†There are several illustrations of the cards. Each one has a name and a brief description of the person. I love the illustrations and Oscar loves me to go through them, naming all the faces. I feel sure it’s something he will start to memorise soon.

Page from a book

Just one page of card illustrations. There are many more.

I loved this element of the book, however I was a little disappointed to see that of all the People Cards, no one was described as a Stay at Home Mum (or similar). That’s obviously a personal thing, but worth noting I felt.

Overall we really liked this book. It was just the right length for bedtime and had many elements Oscar loved. He¬†loved it so much that he wanted to ‘show the people’ what he was reading. The concept of sharing rubbing off already!

Oscar loved the book so much he wanted to 'show the people' what he was reading. The concept of sharing rubbing off already! Apologies for the picture quality. That he wanted to share it at all makes up for all the blurry shots I got!

Apologies for the picture quality. That he wanted to share it at all makes up for all the blurry shots I got!

 

Thank you to Boolino for sending us this book to review. I was not paid to write this post and as always all opinions are my own.