Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Category: Matilda’s book reviews (page 4 of 4)

Matilda’s book reviews – Winnie the Pooh and the trouble with bees

Matilda took a little break from reviewing books while we were on holiday (I did argue that every day is a holiday for her but she wouldn’t listen), but now we’re back home we’re back being obsessed with books again!

Baby products that have some sort of TV or cartoon character on them are almost guaranteed to have me running for the hills. I really just don’t get why you’d want that for your child. However I do have a little soft spot for Winnie the Pooh, albeit mainly the books and this one is no exception. So for this latest book review from Matilda I give you Winnie the Pooh and the trouble with bees

It was a random find in a local bookshop, one of these places selling books at knock down prices and is now one of our firm favourites. In fact I’d say it’s more of a favourite with the lady of the manor that Matilda which is saying something.

The lady of the manor loves the words that rhyme and flow beautifully, a happy bouncy bit of prose that is fun to read. Her favourite page is “seven bees buzzing followed by Pooh, they bumble and tumble and whizz past Roo”. A really simple concept of counting down from 10 to 1 with all your favourite Winnie the Pooh characters involved. It feels like a book that is perfect for the next stage of reading after bright colourful touchy feely books that seem to be the norm for 1 year olds.

Matilda loves the ‘bees’ that are on each page in the white circles, she likes to touch and feel them and then watch as one magically disappears as you turn the page. She loves spotting the characters on each page and I think enjoys the way the rhyme sounds, certainly she laughs at me, but of course that could be for many reasons.

So a big thumbs up for this book, a great one to add to the collection and one I think will get read for many years even once she can read herself.

Matilda’s book reviews – If I were a duck and Good Egg

I’m reliably informed (although reliably by a man that used to write about cats, so how reliable is that) that my rant below is actually wrong and the book’s publisher is right. Well that may be so but I’m sticking to my guns, If I were a duck just doesn’t sound right and what’s more just makes me want to say it in a west country accent.

Last week was week 3 of these book review posts and I ‘may’ have failed to post anything, I did have a good excuse though what with being on a plane on the way back from California and all. I have to say though I am very disappointed that none of you my adoring readers pointed out this fact.

So this week I am giving you not one but two reviews because I’m just that kind of guy.

If I were a duck

First up is If I were a duck and in a change from all the reviews I have done so far this one is not a good one. Matilda loves it, it has furry bits on the page to touch, what toddler wouldn’t like it? The book is sweet in the way it tells you about all the things you could do if you were  duck and has nice bright pictures  again great for Matilda.

But I despise this book for one very simple reason; the name. Just because it’s aimed at under 2’s I don’t see that as a good reason for bad grammar. Why not call it if I WAS a duck? It still works, there is no rhyming or anything that would be upset. It’s simply poor to publish a book with such poor English. I may just be being picky but these things grate and I can feel the anger boiling up whenever Matilda trots over with it.

Aaaannnddd breath. Rant over.

Good egg

The second book however is a firm favourite with both of us, good egg by Barney Saltzberg is as you might have guessed is about an egg. Each page has the egg doing different things like sit, roll over, shake with cardboard pulls on each page to make the egg do those things. Matilda is obsessed with roll over, it’s the first page she turns to every time, unfortunately she also pulls the egg off the page every time as well. That’s not so fun.

But it’s a fun book, simple concept with movement on every page and helps teach your child what each action means. This one can stay on the book shelf, the first one however may well get lost somewhere.

Matilda’s book reviews – Peace at last

Look at this, one week on from the launch of my new weekly feature and I almost fail to post the second instalment. Oh it may look like this is posting on Tuesday but I’m currently in California for work and it’s still Monday here. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Peace at last is another of my all time favourite books, is it wrong to choose books for Matilda because I like them? In any case this is a fun story. Perhaps a tiny bit old for Matilda still given the amount of words in it and her attention span which is less than a Goldfish’s. But it’s a nice story, a funny story that could be oh so true and ends with a nice cup of tea. What more could you ask for?

If you haven’t heard of it before it’s the story of daddy bear who is trying to sleep but everywhere in the house (and outside it) he goes there is too much noise. This gives great opportunity for impersonating cuckoo clocks, fridges, birds and an alarm clock. Perfect dad reading material.

It of course has beautiful illustrations to go with the words, full of bright colours and things that you can point out to your child to help them learn. Matilda and I always spot where daddy bear is on each page.

Somehow we have ended up with 3 copies of this book, which I guess mean that it’s also a favourite of our friends and family as I don’t think we’ve bought them!

Matilda’s book reviews; Dear Zoo

Well don’t I have a treat for you? I am today starting a new regular feature on this here blog. Oh yes, no longer just random brain farts about whatever happens to be occupying my mind at the time but actual planning of posts. I love reading, the Lady of the Manor loves reading so it is somewhat unsurprising that Matilda is OBSESSED with books. I mean really obsessed. If you sit down for even 10 seconds somewhere near where she is playing she will grab a book and crawl over to you with it and demand for it to be read. While the 5th reading of a Bear on a bike in as many minutes might begin to drive us crazy I’ll never complain that she wants to read rather play with some plastic, made in China toy.

So the feature is this, every Monday I will post a review of the latest book that Matilda is obsessed with. There’ll be some comments from Matilda on why she likes it and some from me as Dad having to read them. 

The first book I wanted to share is a classic and a long time favourite. It’s so good we have it in a few different formats, a small buggy one and at least 2 larger format ones. 

What I love about Dear Zoo is the opportunity to do lots of different voices for each animal; a deep scary voice for the line, a Voldermort style hiss for the snake and a grumpy Eeyore voice for the camel. Plus of course all the animal noises that go with them. I also love the simplicity of it, for Matilda’s age it’s perfect to have the repeated phrase and simple story. With the added advantage of being able to pull back the cages etc to reveal the animals.

Matilda mainly likes trying to pull off the cages that hide the animals, she seems to think that destruction is part of the game. But she does do a very good snake impression and laughs her head off as we do the other animal noises together. She also has a pretty scary Lions raw perfected.

So all in all a classic book. Simple, educational, interactive and colourful. It may be the first review but I’m going to be bold and say that this book sets the standard, an essential on any toddlers book shelf.

P.S. The book also started an interesting debate amongst the adults of Camel vs. Dromedary. Did anyone ever hear of a Dromedary while at school? My little cousins who went to school in the States know all about them but the concept was new to me and the Lady of the Manor even when in our twenties.

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