Thursday 31 January 2013

A quick glance back to Christmas

My First Night Before Christmas: A Touch & Feel & Sparkle Book
Published by Piggy Toes Press

At Christmas time, what words are more magical than "'Twas the night before Christmas"? Now, the youngest members of your family can have their own touch and feel edition of Clement C. Moore's beloved "A Visit from St. Nicholas." Every reader will find joy in this classic tale of cheer and wonder.

 The whirlwinds called Caitlin and Lewis visited last night. After they'd played a bit, eaten as much of our chocolate as we'd let them, and been rebuffed from playing on my phone, they came running in with this book in their hands. "Auntie Kayleigh," they said, "can you read us this please?" I guess they aren't the only ones wishing they were still on Christmas holiday, haha!

Now, I don't want to start off the reviews with a bad omen, but I have to say, I wasn't impressed with this book. When I bought it, I had been looking for a "baby's first..." sort of book, which is what originally made this book look like a good buy. It's also an (abridged) version of the poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', which it's my fault I missed. The book is is obviously marketed towards young children. The touch/feel sparkle parts kept Caitlin and Lewis's attention, but I don't think they were quite old enough to understand parts of the poem. To be honest even I'm not entirely sure what a 'kerchief is (unless it's a hanky).

I think once the children start looking at the poem as part of Christmas celebrations at school, they should be fine, but the only thing the book has going for it to keep the attention of children that young is the good illustration, coupled with the touch and feel aspect. I must admit, it did seem a little like it was a book designed to make some quick money.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

The obligatory first post introduction

Ugh. Late January. The magic of Christmas is over, the hope that New Year brings is fading (if not faded), and all that's left is feeling tired. Great, isn't it?! Anyway, on a ridiculously windy day, that's why I've decided to start a new blog.

My name's Kayleigh, and I've never really grown up. I mean, I have a job and everything - I work as a content editor for a defence company - but am I really the only one to want to stick my head in the sand and pretend I'm still a teenager? Without the awkwardness, obviously. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I've never grown out of children's books. At university I wrote my dissertation on a comparison of disability in children's books in the 20th and 21st centuries. I devoured The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars, and many more that I won't list right now. My obsession with children's fiction has only got worse since the arrival of my nieces and nephews, and I've quickly established myself as the go-to aunt for a massive pile of books and the accompanying silly voices. Caitlin is 5 in March, Lewis is 4 in July, Harrison is 1 in May and Vanessa was born last December.

My aim for this blog is to review as many books classed as being for children as possible, from 0-17. While reviewing isn't something I'm used to doing (and I would therefore be very grateful for feedback), I'd love to be of some use to anyone at all in choosing a book their child will love to read. When applicable, I'm planning to use my nieces and nephews as guinea pigs to test their reaction. I'm all too aware that adult reactions can (and often do) differ wildly from children's. I'm also planning on keeping my eye on any book events out there, the most obvious of which is World Book Day, on 7 March (in the UK). Birmingham Community Learning Trust has a link here for nominations, although a list of this year's £1 books has already been released.

There is a whole world of words out there, just waiting for a child's imagination to interpret them and somehow shape who they will become. Call me sad, but I think that's quite exciting!