Monday, 23 November 2009

Pull-Out Pals: Snowy Fun by Stephen Gulbis

November 2009, Campbell Books (Pan MacMillan imprint)
12 pages, Hardback (board type book)
Review Copy

Children's, Picture book

Clouds: 5
Pencils: 5
Smiles: 3
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥

With a toddler in the family, the strength of a book can be important. Books with pop up flaps that are easily torn are not always a good idea. I believe Snowy Fun is sturdy enough to survive the toddler's grasp. I'm not sure whether he could work out to pull the flap without being shown. I think the last few pages, which cleverly come out of the book by pulling a tab, are sturdy enough to survive life with the toddler (a very young toddler)!

Snowy Fun follows Benjamin Bear in the hunt for a perfect hill to use his sled. The world is full of snow, and it's sledging time! Unfortunately, for one reason or another a lot of hills are unsuitable for him. Just as he's about to give up, he spies his friends enjoying the snow with their sleds. He rushes to the hill, but they aren't there. All is now lost, and the pull out flaps show just how much fun Benjamin has with his friends.

I think this book has a friendship theme: although it shows that conditions have to be just right for sledging, Benjamin had the most fun when he joined in with his friends. The illustrations are bright and colourful, a must when it comes to children's books. Additionally the illustrations are extremely cute. I say this because my favourite characters (no, there is not a typo) isn't Benjamin, but the group of very small mice who follow him around. I loved it when they built a snowmouse (they are rather plump mice wearing tiny scarfs - I think they've eaten a lot of cake!), and how they followed Benjamin with their own sleds. Secondary characters in a story often add a deeper dimension to a story. The mice are not including in the story itself, but they are present in almost every picture and made me smile a lot.

There's a small check list at the back of the book.
  • Provides fun and entertainment = definitely! The mice have the cute factor for me.
  • Encourages interaction = yes - children can pull out the flap at the end of the story
  • Introduces new experience = um, I think so. I mean it teaches about sledging, and different types of terrain, and perhaps pulling out the end pages is a new experience (I'm a little puzzled on this one).
Snowy fun is a cute, entertaining read and one I recommend for the winter, regardless of whether the audience ever sees real snow.

Liked this? Try Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara

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