Many of my friends and most likely some of my readers will know that I completely believe in gender neutrality. That is, I am completely okay with my boys doing things such as wanting to try on my shoes, or play with what are considered girl’s toys. They have a doll they regularly play with and dress up, for example, and I have photos of them wearing my shoes! All it is down to, is imagination. Just because boys do these things, or girls want to do want are considered boy things (like play football) doesn’t mean they will grow up being attracted to the same gender – not that I have a problem with that either! But it seems that is where the problem lies and in a modern society it shouldn’t be so.
I think anything that promotes gender neutrality is a great thing and Are You a Boy or are You a Girl? does just that. Written by Sarah Savage and illustrated by Fox Fisher, it tells a mini story of ‘Tiny’, who we don’t know the gender of. Throughout the book Tiny does activities sterotypical to either gender such as playing football (boys) and dressing up (girls). Tiny gets picked on, but also makes new friends who really don’t care. I like that Tiny’s gender is asked about but never revealed in the book, as it lets the reader decide yourself. Even after reading it multiple times, I am still undecided. J thought Tiny was a boy though, obviously just like him as he does all of these things too and I personally have never taught him any different.
It is a great book for parents & education providers to read with children if they are at a stage of being told by others that they can’t do such a thing, or if they are confused why boys do ‘girl’ things and vice versa. It has great illustrations and isn’t complex to read, prompting discussions between adult & child.
Age – preschool to 7 years
Our rating – 4.5/5
Disclosure I was sent a copy of this book free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & my own.
As an avid reader and now writing my own book review blog, I want to make sure that my boys love reading too. J is at that stage now where he is starting to want to read them himself and sometimes reads to his brother too (when he’s feeling in a sharing mood). At the minute though it’s the case that I read them a few times and J memorises it so is able to repeat, which I think is wonderful! We were recently sent two new books from Little Tiger Press which he has really taken to, they are his new favourites at the minute.
The first one is Zip It! (which is party of the My Little World series). J isn’t the only one who loves this book, I’ve taken quite a liking to it too! It’s a great little – well, big really – book with lots of fastenings to practice on and little animal stories to go with them. The fastenings include a zip, a button/hole, velcro, a snap button (this one the only one which is a little tough, even I have a little difficulty getting it open), and laces. The stories are rhyming which I think is great for children as they are easy to remember too. The book also includes pictorial instructions and J has managed to follow them fairly easy. When we go on a car journey he often wants to take this one with him.
The second book we received to review is Train! This one is all about a little elephant who loves his toy train, but his friends – penguin and rabbit – like to play with their plane and car. They don’t really want to play together as they much prefer their own toys but will a trip on a train encourage them to? Their arguing over their toys introduces a great rhyming part to the story and J loves reading along with this bit. When I’m reading the book to them, both boys are full of giggles so even though N doesn’t really understand it at his age, the rhythm of the story is funny for him. This is also a great story for teaching about friendship, and sharing too. Since we’ve had this book there has been more than one day where I’ve had to read it more than once so it’s another new favourite for us!
Both books can be purchased from Amazon. Zip It! is priced at £8.99 and Train! is priced at £4.99. I would definitely buy both of these books at this price, they are very much worth it, especially Zip It! for the educational as well as fun factor.
Our rating – 4.5/5
Disclosure We were sent these products free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & our own.
Little man J loves his books and we are building up quite a collection. The most recent one we have added is the Noisy Day Press And Play Soundbook from The Works. J does like books which I can read aloud to him and have pictures which he can point at and tell me what everything is, but he would much rather play with noisy books!
This noisy book helps children to learn their first sounds, learn to count, and learn their colours and shapes along with the daily life of the workers in the book – such as firefighters, the vet, the ambulance service and the school bus. It has 45 different sounds for them to explore.
The book is packaged in a cardboard & plastic sleeve with the book opened wide, so it is well protected. The book also folds up for transportation and it also protects the buttons, which I think is a good idea. There is even a little space for the child to write their name. The pictures in the book are very colourful, and simple yet informative, which I think is a must for a toddlers book as there doesn’t want to be too much information to process at once.
The idea is that the child goes through the day, and every so often they need to press a button for the sound – there is picture of the button in the story and they have to find it on the board. At various points it will ask them how many things they can see, such as people or animals, which encourages counting and finding the number. The same also goes for shapes. Each set of buttons in the story is colour coordinated to help them identify colours too.
I read the story to J but he has lots of fun pressing the buttons – sometimes I don’t even read it at all, he will just sit there pressing them for ages!
The RRP of this book is £20. I don’t think I would personally buy it at that price, but it is a great buy for its current offer price of £6.99.
Our rating – 5/5 (though at full price it would be 4/5)
Disclosure We were sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.
In our home we love books, though little man sometimes doesn’t have the attention span to sit and read a full one. I try to a have a mixture of both educational, traditional, modern & fun books. J is slightly obsessed with a certain cartoon pig, so when we were given the chance to review a personalised Peppa Pig book from Penwizard I was very eager – for him, not me, I might add! I was able to choose a softback book so as it was coming up to little man’s 2nd birthday, I went for the “Peppa goes to Your Childs Party!” one.
It is a very easy process to personalise your book, in just a few steps. The personalisation options include your childs gender, name, skin tone, eye colour, hair style & colour, and whether they wear glasses or not. Also with the party book you can include their age on the balloon. You can even leave a personal message at the front of the book.
Once I had ordered the book it arrived very quickly. I was surprised at the size, though it does say it on the website (but if you read the blog regularly, you will know I rarely pay attention to size, oops!). It arrived in a hardback envelope which is of course a good thing so it doesn’t get bent or damaged in the mail.
The book itself is of very good quality; very glossy with lovely bright pictures with all of the Peppa Pig characters from the familiar story. J’s character does bear a bit of a resemblance to him in cartoon form! I love the fact there is a print of the letter in there too.
The book is very easy to read, but as J is 2 and just at the beginning of learning to read, I read it for him. He loves sitting and looking at the pictures and telling me who the characters are though. The only thing with it being softback is that if you have a little destroyer like mine, it can be bent easily. For this reason I think I would pay the extra £5 and get the hardback version.
Overall, this is a book that a Peppa Pig fan will never tire of – little man is always bringing it to read! At £14.99 I think it makes a fabulous gift and as it’s personalised it is great to be put in a memory box, as there are many other versions too.
Our rating – 4/5
We were sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.