Monday, 3 November 2014

Surprise : The book that keeps on giving! by Fhiona Galloway and Jonathan Litton

untitled (9)
It's time for Pass the Parcel
and though Penguin hasn't won,
She makes a Christmas stocking
and shouts out, "This is fun!"
Summary From Little Tiger Press
This Christmas board book features a brilliant game of pass-the-parcel – as the gift keeps getting smaller our group of friends discover more and more festive fun, but what will the final surprise be? Featuring cut-out holes on every page, a jolly Christmas rhyme and bright, bold illustrations by Fhiona Galloway, this is the perfect Christmas gift for curious little learners.
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This Christmas-themed board book is all about a game of pass-the-parcel and each page has a rectangular cut-out which diminishes as you go on through the book, to represent the shrinking of the parcel as each layer is removed. When each of the animals removes a wrapper, he or she tears a festive shape out of it. At the end, the animal friends remove the last layer of paper together and find an art set inside and a note telling them they've all won because they've been having fun with the paper during the game.
The illustrations are simple and each page has a rhyme describing what one of the animals is doing. I'm afraid I have to say that I wasn't enthralled by this book and I don't think babies will be either. This is partly because the simple illustrations mean there's not much to talk about on each page, which is, for me, the best thing about picture books. However I also don't think that babies will understand the present inside the parcel, as paper and crayons are usually kept away from them because of their habit of putting everything into their mouths. It's great to encourage creativity from a young age, but the simplicity of this book makes me think it's targeted at babies and the message is surely aimed at children aged three and over. 

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