Reviewed by: Mojomums reviewer Kate
What they say: Did you know an Emperor Penguin sounds like a Formula 1 racing car or that an Atlantic Puffin makes a noise like a disgruntled chainsaw? A new, interactive book from www.finefeatherpress.com brings to life 12 sounds of ocean mammals and birds that will delight children and adults of all ages, especially fans of the recent BBC wildlife series, Blue Planet 2.
Featuring beautiful photography and fascinating facts, the solid board book gives a double-page spread to each of the twelve animals. It’s designed to be held by even the smallest hands together with a sound bar enabling the reader to identify the call of each species. Earlier books within the series have proved popular with grandparents as a delightful way to share a learning experience with their grandchildren.
What we say: “There is always much excitement in my house when we get new books, usually new to us but rarely brand new, so when this one dropped through the door my 4 & 7 year old daughters were very interested. First impressions were that this could be “a baby book” as it looks like a board book in terms of format, but as soon you open it, it clearly is not. In fact this book is very different to any others we own; it is indeed a sound book with board pages but it is far from a baby book, in fact it would probably fascinate children much older than mine. It features 12 beautiful colour photographic double pages and a corresponding sound for each of the animals/birds, all very clearly laid out.
Of course my 4 year old wanted to press the sound buttons first, but after reading this to her for a few days she is now matching some of the pictures to the names and their sounds. My 7 year old is rapidly absorbing the facts, especially the “Did you know?” box under the main photo of each animal. The language in this book is not dumbed down for kids, in fact it is very detailed, I needed to explain some of the terminology, but this is not a bad thing and led to more discussions, it even has latin names for each animal – we’re having fun with those! We have also been enjoying imitating some of the animal sounds. My girls are now insistent that I read all the information out to them before my 7 year old reads the “Did you know?” box and then my 4 year old presses the button, so it has quickly become great fun to share!
The format of this non-fiction book allowed us to dip in and out of it easily and not read the whole book from cover to cover, which is good as often children are not exposed to many non-fiction books. This book teaches children about how non-fiction texts are used, whilst holding their attention with the sound button to match each animal. I’m sure this book could be useful for supporting project based homework tasks in key stage 1 and 2. We’ve been watching some of Blue Planet as a family and I know my daughter (in year 2) has watched some at school, so this book complements that series very well.
The book has become a favourite at bedtime after just a few days and I’ll definitely be looking out for the other five books in this series. They would make lovely, unusual presents, which would be enjoyed for years to come, in fact I think I’ll put the garden birds one on my daughter’s present ideas list for her 5th birthday. I was so impressed with the quality of this book, both in terms of content and presentation I have looked up the publisher Fine Feather Press It seems they do other beautifully illustrated animal and wildlife scrapbooks and activity cards which look great for encouraging kids to turn off the TV and get out and explore the outdoors, which I’m sure many of us made as new years’ resolutions!”
At £12.99, “The Little Book of Ocean Animal Sounds” is available online from Amazon as well as all good book stores, it’s suitable for children aged 3 and up.