Book reviews - activity books (page 2)

There are all sorts of activity books available now, some of them featuring characters from well-known children's stories. They can be a very good way to get your child involved with books. This section includes lots of great ideas for entertaining your children at home - many of which will support the work done in school - so do try some of them to encourage and develop your child's creativity.

My Perfectly Pretty Book: Drawing and Colouring from Buster Books

The covers were the first things that struck me about these books - they are board covers with a nicely retro feel which make the books stand out as being just a little different. The great thing about these is that they bring out the creative side in everyone - most of us need a little encouragement to get us going and the pages of this book are full of ideas. Make tile patterns; decide what's on sale in the floating market; colour the teacups - just three pages I picked at random. These books have me itching to get the crayons out and they are a great way to relax.

My Beautiful Fashion Book: Drawing and Colouring from Buster Books

Drawing, doodling, colouring - a good blend of activities perfect for young fashionistas. A super way to gain inspiration as the ideas on each page are just crying out to be completed. Fill a wardrobe; design some golf gear and even design your dog's outfit. These are no boring black and white doodling books either - they are packed with colour to give you inspiration. They are a great size too - perfect for carrying around and whiling away the time on a journey or when waiting around. And, best of all, because they are hardbacks, they can be treasured.

All About Me from Buster Books

A lovely way for girls to create a memory book to look back to in years to come. There is space for everything that has a part in girls' lives and they will be prompted to complete many areas they would not have otherwise thought to record. Girls can document their likes and dislikes, record their physical characteristics, detail information about their friends, families and hobbies - even confess their hopes and dreams. And then they can follow the instructions to complement the book by creating a memory box. There are quizzes and puzzles too and lots of entertaining reading. It's attractively laid out and so much more fun than a diary. A great idea!

Make Safari Animals by Belinda Gallagher

The great thing about these colourful crafts is that you actually end up with a use for what you have made. A crocodile secret safe, a lizard magnet, a giraffe storage box and a warthog piggy bank are just a few examples of the really attractive projects in this book. There are clear lists of all the materials required and they are all readily available and supplemented by stickers provided with the book. Busy parents will like the fact an estimate of time needed is given plus the help which may be needed. Each idea has clear step-by-step illustrations and drawing templates are included where required. A very attractively produced book which really encourages you to 'have a go' and the end results will be excellent - my favourites are the hippo bookends! There's a lovely poster of safari animals as well.

Animal Creativity (Activity Book) from National Geographic Kids

Wow! a superb compilation of all manner of creative ideas, all based on animals. Foster your child's creativity while they are learning all manner of interesting facts about animals -and all illustrated with National Geographic's famed photography. There are stencils and stickers, pictures to decorate, colouring, games, trivia and puzzles - a huge variety packed into one neat spiral bound book. At the end of the book is a super colourful double-sided pull out - a jungle scene one side and under the sea the other, all ready to decorate with some of the 150+ stickers. A combination of fun and funky design, combined with National Geographic's world-famous photography, this interactive book is a great book to have to keep the children entertained for hours.

Bear in Underwear by Todd Goldman

A comical story about a bear and his underwear, with lots of activities for children to enjoy - lots of learning fun is cleverly integrated with the amusing story. Children will learn about colours, letters and the seasons and much more. Bear has lots of animal friends for them to me too. There are colouring activities galore plus plenty of ideas to encourage children to write. Although the book is designed for 3 to 6 year olds, while 3 year olds will enjoy the colouring and drawing older children will enjoy and benefit from the writing activities to there's lots for everyone. This is a US book, so watch the spelling!

Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Yasmeen Ismail

A super book to help children develop those all important thinking skills in a fun and creative way. Identifying differences, word meanings, and looking at things from a variety of perspectives are incorporated into drawing assignments. All the activities use concept words to help children work out how to fulfil the aim of each scenario. The animals through the book lead children through the activities. An excellent book for parents to share with their children, being on hand to guide and encourage them to make the most of all it has to offer.

Story Town by Tim Martyn

Children will love to spot their favourite fairytale, nursery rhyme and storybook characters in this activity-packed book. Just a look at the first page showed me Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty,the Billy Goats Gruff and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz among many more. How many can your child spot? Each has a question to be answered - and the answers are under a flap. But that's not the only flap - there are lots more on each crammed page, all lifting to reveal a surprise. Trouble is - there's one that just can't be found (until the last page)so this book offers quite a challenge! This is a wonderful way to introduce children to the world of stories in an engaging and interactive way. There's hours of fun here (a book to return to over and over again) and tremendous opportunities to lead into reading the books. I think it's superb!

I Love You! (Sticker Doodle Books) by Roger Priddy

Doodling is a great way to encourage creativity and, along with stickers, excellent for refining fine motor skills. But most of all - doodling and stickers are FUN! There are over 200 stickers in this book, along with a hugely varied set of pages to doodle and embellish. Photographs, scenes, splats to turn into creatures, cupcakes to decorate, stick men to draw - and even some fingerprints from my favourite Priddy book! Let your child's imagination run riot inspired by this colourful book full of love - and they can carry it around with its handle too! Ideal for children of 5+.

Craft Box: Ancient Greeks by Jillian Powell

Creating crafts associated with historical periods is an excellent way of bringing history to life for children. Children will enjoy learning about the Ancient Greeks and their every day lives through the interesting text. Then, by following the simple instructions, they can make a range of objects including pan pipes, a discus and a perfume bottle. Each craft is fully illustrated with step-by-step photos. Ideal for home or school use to support work done on the Ancient Greeks - and teachers will welcome the craft ideas as they are easy to do and with readily available materials. Great for displays!

10 Minute Crafts for Spring by Annalees Lim

This is a perfect series of books for teachers and will be a welcome addition to any staffroom library when teachers are looking for inspiration and something constructive to fill in a short time slot. The crafts are simply explained and can be done by quite young children. A good way to start off the term with some material to display around the classroom. The materials are easily available and the crafts will produce some really attractive results - the ideas are unusual and effective. Good for parents at home too.

Have Fun With Arts and Crafts: Tractors and Trucks by Rita Storey

It can be harder to engage boys in craft work but this book full of tractors and trucks to make will definitely appeal. The clear bright step-by-step photographs and well explained instructions are easy to follow and there are some really innovative ideas here. A digger picture with moving parts, a tanker, a magnetic tractor game, a trucker's lunch and lots, lots more inventive ideas. What I particularly like about this book - and children will appreciate too - is that they can play with the end result. A super way to encourage creative and imaginative play.

The Zog Activity Book by Julia Donaldson

A top-quality activity book, perfect for all fans of the lovable but accident-prone little dragon - and for those who haven't met him yet, they are bound to want to read the book once they have enjoyed all these activities. Illustrated (of course) by Axel Scheffler, the range of activities is huge with a super mobile to decorate your child's room, postcards, finger puppets and a crown to make. Children can make their own Egg-Box Zog and enjoy stickers, recipes, colouring, puzzles and much more! This is a real treat of a book, with its glossy paper and bright pictures.

What Can You Spot in Winnie's World? (Winnie the Witch) by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

Children will love to spot perennial favourites Winnie and Wilbur in the colourful busy scenes. These challenging pictures find Winnie and Wilbur all over the place, including at the museum, the seaside and under the water. There are extra challenges to spot too - can you find the cat with an eye-patch, the duck in a hurry, or the wizard with a long, white beard? The pictures are full of amusing details to look out for too and there will be many happy hours spent searching.

Astronaut Puzzles (Puzzle Adventures) by Stella Maidment

There are more than 30 space themed puzzles to enjoy as children join Alfie and Sam who find themselves on a new planet. Not just a puzzle book though - it's also an exciting space adventure story for young readers. While they enjoy the puzzles, young ones will be developing key skills of memory, visual recognition and deduction skills. Lots of different types of puzzle including spot the difference and mazes, there are also things to spot on every page. No need to draw on the book, so it's not spoilt and can be used again. Bright and colourful, this is one in a new set of four Puzzle Adventures - it's the combination of story and puzzles that sets these books apart.

The Rio Activity Book (Buster Activity) by Lottie Stride

A very topical activity book, as Rio will be home to both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Games and puzzles, doodling and colouring, all celebrate the colourful vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro. Strongly sport-oriented, of course, but lots more too. Find out about the landmarks including the statue of Christ The Redeemer, Copacabana and Sugarloaf Mountain. Enjoy the rich culture, with street carnivals and the Samba and learn the facts, so you can amaze your friends with your knowledge of the area. Lots of fun and variety - another super book from Buster Books.

The Anti-Boredom Activity Book (Buster Activity) by Sophie Schrey

Want an answer for when the children say "I'm bored"? Well, have a copy of this book (or its companion tucked away and you will have your answer! Refreshingly out-of-the-ordinary, this collection of activities, puzzles and ideas, offers hours of entertainment on Planet Anti-Boredom. Each fun activity is specifically tailored to beat what bores you the most. It's a great way to encourage children's imaginations as they create museum exhibits, draw strange pets and design a turbo pram. And there are lots of puzzles to enjoy too. Great fun.

The Incredible Human Body Activity Book by Jen Green

Increase your child's understanding of science with these two fun-filled activity books. Activities... puzzles... colouring... dot-to-dot... mazes...colouring... matching and much more to make 96 pages of learning and fun. Practical activities too - check your pulse after exercise, for example. The memory games are perfect to reinforce learning done for the science curriculum. There are plenty of science facts interwoven with the fun activities and children will be learning without realising it. Science can be a hard subject for some so this is a good way to boost confidence.

The Incredible Science Activity Book by Jen Green

A lively approach to science which will engage even the most un-science-minded child. THere are all sorts of experiments to try - make your own music; discover how much air you breathe with each breath or talk to your friends using a homemade telephone. All these activities will develop understanding. There are experiments, puzzles, mazes, colouring, doodling and more to enjoy  while learning fascinating facts about simple science. There are science facts throighout backing up the activities and this would be good to have on hand when children are doing science homework or to reinforce class learning. Good value for the amount of fi=un and learning combined. It's a light-hearted approach which children will enjoy.

Crafty Creatures by Jane Bull

30 cute creatures to make using traditional handicrafts such as sewing, knitting, and model making. There are practical projects such as phone pouches and coin purses and decorative ideas including felt cats and tiny animals. The projects are simple and would be excellent for classroom as well as home use. There are step-by-step instructions and photos of the crafts in progress and completed; there's a list of materials too. Added value is given with the "how to" section which explains basic sewing and craft techniques and there are also helpful templates and patterns. It's an excellent starting point for young crafters which will produce worthwhile results thereby stimulating an interest and setting off on what could be a life-long hobby; the projects make great gifts!

The Super Book of Simple Science Experiments by Susan Martineau

I make no apology for repeating what I have said before - the best way for children to understand science is through hands-on experiments. This excellent book from b small gives children the opportunity to try all manner of experiments in the home with simply obtained resources. The science behind the experiments is explained, making this a good book to keep to hand to support your child's learning in school. The book includes Bubbles in the Bathroom; Bugs in the Garden; Fizz in the Kitchen and Shadows in the Bedroom. The practical spiral binding is most useful as it enables the book to be laid flat - no annoying flipping over of pages! Attractive layout and plenty of pictures, along with clear instructions, make for a useful book to support learning.

Maze Adventures by Martin Nygaard

A bumper collection for all those who love mazes. Join explorers Jack and Jessica as they travel around the world and help them find their way round the dangers that block their way. The 12 full colour mazes are full of interesting detail to distract you along the way. The difficulty varies, so there's something for everyone and reading about Jack and Jessica's adventures adds interest. If you get stuck, the answers are given - and you can design your own maze too.

Handmade Crafts by Children for Children by Guadalupe Rodríguez

This lovely child-friendly book has been created in association with craft expert Guadalupe Rodriguez. Because the projects are created by children, they naturally are things which appeal to children, not things adults think will appeal! The projects have clear instructions and are illustrated by the craft as created by children. The projects use of household junk and recycled materials like cardboard boxes, pegs, wool and scraps of fabric and also materials found in nature - a good excuse to get outside to see what you can find. My favourite is the parrot in his cage. A great way to encourage creativity and imagination.

Doodle!: 200+ Creatively Puzzling Colouring Activity Book by Jochen Gerner

A different approach to doodling, with lots of ideas that will encourage creativity and provide hours of fun. From simple colouring in to hilarious visual tricks, dot-to-dots and mazes, there are lots of different activities to choose from.  It's imaginative and unusual - there are outline drawings and suggestions for completion and the book will make you think 'outside the box'. This book is a superb way to encourage children (and adults!) to think creatively and imaginatively.

Creative Hand Art: Be Amazed by the Art Little Hands Can Create! by Sunny Kim

What a good idea! Young children love to draw around their own hands, but who would have thought that there could be over 60 ways of making drawings using little hands? Create beautiful pictures with coloured crayons and paint using the shape of little hands, fists and fingers. Step-by-step instructions mean that everyone can produce some good results - and how lovely to have pictures literally made by your child's own hand. Also included are tips and hints on decorating the pictures to make them even better.The book is illustrated throughout with colour drawings which are inspiring for young children as they are simple to copy.

Walking with Dinosaurs: A Reusable Sticker Book (Walking With Dinosaurs Film) by Jane Stevens

Based on the epic motion picture, Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie, explore the world of movie dinosaurs in this fun-filled book with games, activities and full-colour stickers! There are over 50 stickers of dinosaurs large and small and colourful backgrounds to place them on. Fun to accompant the film.

Doll's House Colouring Book (Buster Activity) by Kate Rochester

Perfect for any girl, young or old, who loves doll's houses. Even for one who has grown out of doll's houses, the intricate detail in this book will keep them engrossed and allow them to pretend-play doll's houses again. There are houses of all shapes and sizes, inside and outside, and the partially coloured backgrounds add inspiration and make the book look very attractive, encouraging the reader to complete the pages.

123 Nature Activity Cards by Andrea Pinnington

I reviewed some products from Fine Feather Press before and raved about them, so I was delighted to see that they have just brought out two more products to interest pre-schoolers in our natural world. Numbers 1 to 20 are included in these fold-over, generously sized cards. On the front is the number with a delicate illustration from nature framed in pretty border. Inside each card there are colour illustrations with puzzles and questions to discuss with your child, then the number is repeated on the back. There are so many ways to use these cards - obviously, to learn numbers but also to learn about nature through observation - take the '2' card out for example, and spot the birds. Each activity is different and all provide ways to encourage children to take an interest in nature. The cards are beautifully produced and a joy to use.

ABC Wall Frieze by Andrea Pinnington

A beautifully created frieze, full of delicate drawings (with lots of detail to spot) and excellent photos, all on good quality card. I would love to see this used in the Reception classroom, not simply as a wall frieze on its own (although it is great for that) but to be part of a nature table display so the children could be encouraged to bring in relevant objects, pictures etc. It would be a lovely way to get them involved and to help them appreciate the beauties of nature. Everything on the frieze can easily be seen in the world around (or above) us so it's really relevant to children. Perfect for a child's bedroom wall too and again children could be encouraged to create relevant collections - as there are seven sections, if space is limited, collect for four letters at a time. A most attractive way to learn the alphabet.

Easy Pen and Paper Tricks (Beginner Magic) by Stephanie Turnbull

No elaborate props needed with this book - just pen and paper. And they are always to hand so you can surprise your friends with a quick trick - persuade them you are a mind-reader, a maths genius or a master of illusion with these magic tricks, or send them loopy with a paper loop trick. "Part of the series Beginner Magic, these four books cover basic magic tricks without the need for expensive equipment. They are fun to learn and can be performed almost anywhere!"

Easy Mind and Body Tricks (Beginner Magic) by Stephanie Turnbull

These tricks don't require any equipment at all - just a willing victim! Learn how to stage a mock fight with just you; turn a stick into rubber; move your friend's arm and even float! Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by illustrations showing you juts what to do. Fun for parties and get-togethers, or even a wet playtime!

Colour In One Direction (Buster Activity) by Georgie Fearns

A perfect colouring book for any One Direction fan. Filled with fantastic, partially coloured illustrations of the hottest boy band on the planet, fans can colour and customize the lads' looks to make sure they're at their gorgeous best. It's packed with real life scenarios and outfits that show off the boys' signature styles, and there's plenty to colour in for fans to go wild and get inspired with colours and designs of their own.

Papercraft (Craft Smart) by Michelle Powell

The cover of this book immediately draws you in as it shows some really lovely pieces of papercraft - I really wanted to be able to make them! Step by step instructions with accompanying illustrations show you how to make 12 different projects including a paper rose, an origami butterfly and even a monster toy. They are all unusual and yet use readily available materials so are good for school or home use. The projects are suitable for girls and boys and are graded 1 to 5 for difficulty, so young crafters can develop their skills. The techniques and materials section gives ideas that can be used to go on and create even more projects.

200 Paper Planes to Fold and Fly illustrated by Andy Tudor

A very neat book - each sheet can be torn off to be folded along the marked fold lines into a brightly patterned paper plane. The planes are printed on both sides and pull out easily leaving the rest of the book intact - they would be lovely to share with a group of children. The cover folds out to reveal simple instructions for making each type of plane and flying tips are included in the book too. A huge variety - planes of every type and colour and there are seven different types - dart, coaster, bug, mantis, jet, shuttle and glider. Hours of fun for all ages and plenty of opportunities for imaginative play.

Spot the Puppy in the City by Ruth Symons

Visit the big city as you follow the puppy and try to spot him in the busy scenes. Text labelling adds to the information value and the pages give adults lots and lots to discuss with children. There are questions to answer too and more things to look out for. As well, there are interesting facts plus ideas for more city fun at the end so the book is good on many levels. Often books of this type are aimed at older children, but this is good for younger ones as, although the pictures are full of detail, there is not too much.

Paul Klee: My Art Activity Book by Anja Edelmann

Swiss artist Paul Klee is an artist particularly appropriate for this type of book as his style lends itself to emulation. He once said he borrowed ideas for his own work from the way children used shapes, lines and colours to conjure up a new world on a sheet of paper, so here is the reverse of that as children copy his designs. This fun and imaginative activity book is a great way to extend children;s creative skills with drawing, colouring, tracing and cutting out. The possibilities are unlimited as children are encouraged to expand on Klee's work. The colour section at the end shows the artworks, although I would encourage you to show your children larger pictures too. This would make a superb basis for a classroom topic.

The Kitten Colouring Book (Buster Activity) by Kim Scott

Lots of ooohs and aaahs guaranteed with this colouring book packed with adorable kittens (and cats, of course), getting up to all sorts of mischief. There are kittens sunning themselves, bowls and collars to decorate, fun in the snow and lots more. Each page has some colour already, to inspire you and there's hours of fun to be enjoyed filling in the intricate detail which is a feature of the pictures. There's a puzzle to be enjoyed too - unite the kittens with their wool!

The Puppy Colouring Book (Buster Activity) by Kim Scott

Dog lovers haven't been left out - here's a book full of friendly dogs and puppies just waiting to be coloured in. Big and small, the rich variety of canine life is all here - there are dogs in spade, dogs making a very big mess, dogs on the beach, dogs in the grooming parlour and some very upmarket kennels. Who said 'dogs look like their owners'? Well, just look at the first pages for lots of look-alikes that will have you giggling. Get those crayons out and let your imagination lose.

How To Draw Your Pet (Buster Activity) by Michael Garton

And now you have practised your colouring skills, move on to the next step and learn to draw pets of all sorts with this step-by-step guide which makes it look very simple. The great thing about this book is that, once you have honed those drawing skills, there are lots of backgrounds for you to complete. Draw the bunnies in their burrow, the horses in the stable yard and the cats in the tree. All three of these books are produced on good quality white paper - with care, paints could be used as well as crayons or felt tips. Plenty of fun for any age and any ability.

The Beautiful Bakery Sticker Book (Buster Activity) by Lauren Doughty

Baking is very popular at the moment so here's the chance to practise your design skills on paper before tackling the real thing! There are lots of colourful scenes that readers can customize with stickers - an amazing 650+ - to create dazzling displays. From creating towers of profiteroles to crafting cake pops, decorating brilliant birthday cakes to putting the cherries on top of perfect pastries, all sorts of cakes are here. The backgrounds are well designed, with lots of attention to detail and the bright colours and strong paper mean your creations can be used to make a mouth-watering display. Books like this are such a good way to encourage imagination, design skills, creativity as well as helping to develop hand-eye coordination.

Shopping Sticker Book: Star Paws: An animal dress-up sticker book from Macmillan Children's Books

Just right for keen young shoppers who can enjoy the complete retail experience, animal dress-up style, in the fabulous STAR PAWS: SHOPPING! Choose hats in Bears Accessories, help out in the changing rooms, become a stylist, a beautician, or simply shop until you drop! There’s so much to try on and so much to buy – everything from smelly perfumes and crazy fingernails to nice new pants. Packed with over 250 stickers and more daft jokes than you can count, this brilliantly funny, silly and utterly addictive sticker book series is taking the world by storm! Adults will appreciate the cleverness of the stickers - just look at the names of the perfumes, for instance!

Christmas Sticker Book: Star Paws: An animal dress-up sticker book by Macmillan Children's Books

Perfect as a stocking filler or to keep the kids occupied in the busy time leading up to the festive season. Ding Dong Merrily, ‘tis the season to get stickering with the fabulously festive STAR PAWS: CHRISTMAS! There are presents to wrap, feasts to prepare, snowballs to throw, halls to ‘deck’ and outfits to choose! Help the animals spread some Christmas cheer with bells, bows and snow-white beards and jazzy winter knitwear. And look out for the mistletoe! Packed with over 250 stickers and more daft jokes than you can count

Amazing Jobs Sticker Book: Star Paws: An animal dress-up sticker book from Macmillan Children's Books

What job do you fancy today? Get ready for work everyone! It’s time to pick some exciting careers and dress up a whole host of animals in STAR PAWS: AMAZING JOBS. There are plenty of outfits to choose from, including doctor, gardener, spaceman, film director, dentist, pop star and wrestler – you’ll be completely spoilt for choice!

Knights Sticker Book: Star Paws: An animal dress-up sticker book by Macmillan Children's Books

Knights as you've never seen them before! Step into a medieval world of chivalry, heraldry, dramatic battles and revolting peasants with STAR PAWS: KNIGHTS. Meet and dress the dashing Sir Arthur Sixpence and join the Knights of the Hound Table as they joust and feast and attend Knight School! Design shields for the brave, apply pustules to the poor and enjoy dressing up dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits in some truly amazing medieval outfits!

Aliens Sticker Book by Kirsteen Robson

An amazing 400+ stickers to provide hours of entertainment in this out-of-this-world sticker book. Lots of brightly coloured backgrounds, including Amazing Amazonia, Garglegrog's Garage and Third Rock from the Sun are waiting to be brought to life - the child's imagination is the limit. The backgrounds are already full of detail so there will be lots to look at once the pages are completed - there are full pages of stickers for some scenes and half pages for others and the stickers are full of little touches of humour. Can your child make up a story to tell once they have completed each picture?

Where's The Penguin? (Buster Activity) by Sophie Schrey

Unusually for an activity book, this is a hardback but that's a real benefit as it makes the book excellent for use on the move. The penguins have escaped from the zoo and they can be spotted throughout the pages of this book enjoying themselves by the lake, in the desert, at the museum - in fact, all over the place. The trouble is, these are all very busy places so can you spot them? There's a little story on each page too, so more to spot. As well, the pictures are packed with humorous details so make sure you enjoy all these.

Monster Things to Make and Do (Usborne Things to Make and Do) by Rebecca Gilpin

Monsters don't need to be scary and the friendly monsters in this book certainly aren't too scary! It's a great way to encourage creativity and imagination as children try out the 18 great ideas, including finger puppets, wobbly monsters, monster masks and jellybean monsters. There are ideas for drawing and painting using different materials as well, plus over 400 stickers to add to the finished creations. Each craft is described step-by-step with clear illustrations to help as well.

Buster's Brilliant Dot To Dot by Emily Golden Twomey

From animals to aliens, cakes to castles, statues to snake charmers this book is brimming with stylish and unusual dot to dots to discover and colour. There are three levels of difficulty, so it will suits those of all ages, or last one child through a long time of happy fun. Of course, all the pictures are great to colour in once the dots have been joined. Starting with the simpler puzzles and graduating on is a fun way to help children learn numbers.

Woolly and Tig: Let's Play! Sticker Book (Woolly & Tig)

This is far more than 'just' a sticker book - even without the stickers, there is plenty here for children to enjoy and for adults to discuss with their young ones. Counting, colouring, feelings, writing and more make up this super book which helps children develop many key skills whilst having fun with these popular characters. The background pages are full of colour and interest and there are over 100 good quality, well sized stickers. A really good sticker book for younger children.

Buster's Brilliant Colour By Numbers by Emily Golden Twomey

An old favourite given a new twist in a way that will give many hours pf pleasure and produce dozens of pictures rather than the one or two with traditional painting sets. Follow the number codes to colour the shapes and reveal a hidden picture on every page. The illustrations are really striking and some excellent results can be produced. The varying levels of difficulty and the opportunity for number recognition are an added bonus. The paper is thick enough that paints could be used with care; felt tip pens will give really good results as the vibrancy of the colours produce striking pictures - I know, I've tried it! Great fun!

Make Your Own Gifts (DK Activities) from DK

The lovely thing about this book is the way it allows and encourages children to make their gifts really personal - each idea has a range of possible finishes so children can make the perfect present for everyone. With 50+ projects and gift ideas, there's something for everyone - and the book even includes ideas for wrapping and gift cards to make your gift truly unique.Each idea has a list of materials needed, clear, easy-to-follow instructions with step-by-step photos and there are ideas for all abilities and ages. Here are some a like - a pompom scarf, candle glass jars and a polar bear bank. Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, or simply to say 'tank you', there's inspiration for all sorts of occasions

Royal Doll's House Sticker Book (Usborne Sticker Books) by Struan Reid

Ever wanted to live like royalty? Now's your chance, with this sumptuous sticker book, with 13 scenes to complete, from the elegance of the formal saloon to the busy kitchen. The scenes are packed with background detail and once the stickers are applied, they are superb. Plenty of scope for children to use their imaginations with this sticker book that comes with decorated palace rooms just waiting to be filled with furniture and accessories. It allows children to arrange the house just as they want it and will give hours of fun. A home fit for royalty and it comes complete with a nursery!

Doodlepedia Dinosaurs from DK

Much more than just a doodling book, this is a fact-filled delight for all young dinosaur lovers. Every page is filled with fossil facts and information to learn at the same time as doodling. Each page has information about dinosaurs, as well as all about fossils and what the world was like in prehistoric times. Meet dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus and the ever so slightly scary Velociraptor. The book cleverly mingles doodling and learning and this is a great way to help information sink in. It encourages the imagination, as children draw their own dinosaur, design a city for people and dinosaurs and much more. A clever concept and one I would love to see applied to other subjects.

Thomas & Friends Reward Chart Book (Reward Chart Books)

Thomas the Tank Engine has an enduring popularity with boys and girls, so they will enjoy this motivational reward chart sticker book. It lets you create your own challenges, with 10 customisable reward charts as well as two reward chart posters; four sheets of stickers as well. All the pages can be pulled out to display at home.It also includes stories and fun puzzles to enjoy.

Lots of Things to Spot Around the World by Lucy Bowman

The first thing that struck me with this book is the high quality shiny paper and unusually bright illustrations for a sticker book. The book is an ideal way to stimulate learning and discussion for preschool children, introducing them to various regions and customs of the earth. It helps develop visual discrimination and new vocabulary, with plenty of detail to discuss and encourage further learning. It is illustrated in a fresh, modern, 'Japanese' style, featuring cute anthropomorphic animals and includes over 280 stickers. There are two pages of games too, which relate well to the book.

Animal Rescue (Little Princess World Sticker Activity Books) by Roger Priddy

This is a lovely series for little girls to collect! There are six Little Princesses, each with her very own special talent so that your own little princess is bound to find one (or more) to suit her. Big-hearted Princess Marie is a vet who loves animals, especially her pet kitten, Felix. This sticker activity book, along with the other five in the series, has a combination of doodling, drawing and activities as well as super stickers to use to decorate the pages of the book.

Superstar Pop Star (Little Princess World Sticker Activity Books) by Roger Priddy

Princess Jessie is a superstar pop star and this pretty pink book allows young readers to doodle draw and enjoy a range of activities, includingdesigning a tour poster and decorating an album cover. All the books in the series include stickers to use on the book pages and a very special sheet of sparkly stickers which can be used in all sorts of different ways. There's more fun to enjoy with Fashion Designer (Little Princess World Sticker Activity Books)which introduces Princess Coco, a fashion designer. Girls can use their imaginations to help Coco design her new collection, create pretty nail patterns and dress up her princess friends in this lovely girly book for young fashionistas. 

Party Planner (Little Princess World Sticker Activity Books) by Roger Priddy

Princess Pippa is a party planner, and this book will be perfect for little girls planning their own parties. They can design invitations, make bunting, plan fancy dress outfits and fill the table with tasty treats.  Another Princess, Anna, is the star of Pretty Ballerina (Little Princess World Sticker Activity Books). Help Anna backstage, make her ballet kit pretty and complete her studio with the stickers included. Every book in the series includes 10 press-outs which create stencils to decorate the book pages and these are also great for children to draw their own scenes and then colour in the outlines.

World of Shakespeare Sticker Book by Rosie Dickins

I love the idea of this book - it's a super way for children to learn about Shakespeare in an enjoyable way. The stickers themselves are excellent - not tiny stickers but really good sized, with lots of detail; many are based on works of art. The book contains lots of information about Shakespeare - his life, his plays and the world in his time. Once all the stickers are in place, your child will have a well illustrated and good quality book to refer to and to keep; the personal touch will make it more valued and personal. Usborne Quicklinks lead to further online resources and this is a good way to encourage children to find out more.

Little Miss Princess Who Shall I Be Today?: Dress up sticker book by Roger Hargreaves

Based on Roger Hargreaves' popular character from the Little Miss books, the book has four pages of stickers so Little Miss Princess can dream her dreams of being someone different during the course of one very busy day. She can be a gardener, a hairdresser, a chef, a ballerina and more - and look out for lots of favourite friends through the story! Plenty of opportunity for children to be imaginative and to encourage role play. Great fun!

Fireman Sam Reward Chart Book

Reward charts are a popular and successful way to motivate children and encourage good behaviour. Fireman Sam is a popular character so children will enjoy seeing the charts and posters decorating their rooms; the charts are great fun as they show scenes and are not just boring charts. Parents can create challenges tailored to children’s needs using the ten customisable reward charts and there are motivating stories and fun activities to enjoy. There are four pages of stickers to complete the charts and decorate the pages.

Cupcake Shop (Little Princess World Sticker Activity Books) from Priddy Books

Perfect for young girls, this pink sticker activity book in the Littke Princess series is all about Princess Jade, a cupcake maker. Girls can help Jade set up her cafe, dress herself for TV and then there's a cupcake recipe to bake. There are stickers for each page and a special set just for fun as well as the glitter stickers which in this book are really attractive - perhaps they could be used to decorate a box of cup cakes for a gift?

The Gruffalo Sticker Activity Book by Julia Donaldson

Join The Gruffalo and his friends in the Deep Dark Wood in this action-packed book for all fans of the series. It's a wonderful collection of activities and all, of course, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. There's a set of cards to make a snap or matching game, colouring, puzzles and over 200 stickers to make all sorts of scenes. Books like this are great fun for children and they also develop many key skills such as hand-eye coordination. They also encourage the child to enjoy the stories on which they are based and bring a new level of interest to an old favourite. This is a high quality book with good paper and packed with bright illustrations. A well thought-out range of activities.

I See All by Angels Navarro

This is a fascinating book which has plenty to appeal to all ages, so take it along on a family journey or have a copy at home for those rainy days. It's a form of I Spy book, where there are detailed pictures (lovingly drawn by Mariona Cabassa) and spotting questions alongside. Don't be mislead - they are far from all being easy, although there are some easier questions, there is so much detail in the pictures that you will have to look hard. The book challenges in many ways - there are anagrams, clues to follow, riddles and more. It's perfect to get the whole family thinking and ideal for the long summer holidays. A super book.

Easy Coin Tricks (Beginner Magic) by Stephanie Turnbull

This series of four books on beginner magic would be great fun to have at home for family gatherings, or to use at school, perhaps for a school fete or similar event. Coins are easy to carry around so you can surprise your friends with a quick trick such as the 'disappearing coin', the 'money mind-reader' and the 'coin squeeze' whenever you have a spare moment. All the tricks in the books are easy to learn, need minimal equipment and can be performed almost anywhere. They are great fun for children and also help to improve dexterity and confidence in performing in front of an audience. Also available is Easy Card Tricks (Beginner Magic) which also has many fun ideas, including CHase That Ace and Counting Challenge. The books are colourful, well explained and easy to follow.

What's Inside?: See-through pages and magic surprises! by OKIDO

This book allows children to hold the pages up to the light and to see through to the page behind: for example, when a child holds up a page showing a car, she can see the engine under the bonnet (printed on the reverse); then of course, they can turn the page to see the picture. The book is divided into five sections: Whats inside your body?; Whats inside machines?; Whats inside the world of nature?; Whats inside buildings?; and Your turn!, in which children draw their own pictures, putting a present inside the box, snacks inside the fridge, a person behind the door, birds in the tree, etc. It's a novel approach and one which will intrigue children, who love to see what is behind things.

Pets In Pants (Sticker Activity) by Chris Dickason

Another fun title from the ever-imaginative Buster Books. A wacky collection of hats, pants, shoes and socks are all ready to be stick onto ants, giraffes and cats to make amusing pictures. And children can let their imaginations (and pens!) run riot as they draw spacesuits, turn parrots into pirates, give pigs scribbly wigs and much more. A lovely way to encourage imagination and creativity with plenty of ideas to help the less creative and enough scope for all to enjoy.

Messy Monsters (Sticker Activity) by Julian Mosedale

Another book which combines plenty of sticker fun with the opportunity to do your own drawings. The Messy Monsters are full of fun and children will love to complete these gross and gruesome creatures to their own liking. With fiendishly funny pictures to finish, children can have fun with the two pages of stick-on eyes, noses, tails and horns, or simply add in colours and lines to make this monstrous party complete! A high quality book (as always from Buster Books) with heavy paper that makes the end result very satisfying - perhaps to adorn a bedroom wall (don't get nightmares though!).

How to Draw Like a Fashion Designer: Inspirational Sketchbooks Tips from Top Designers by Celia Joicey

This is an excellent book for secondary pupils studying fashion and textiles - and for their teachers - as well as anyone interested in fashion and making their own outfits. Written for beginners, it's a step-by-step guide for young people who are keen to learn how to draw fashion figures and outfits. The book starts with leading fashion designers explain why drawing is so important to the design process, and this is an excellent way to motivate. The book shows how to create a fashion template, how to draw skirts, trousers, jackets and dresses onto the fashion template; and how to develop a collection, including the creation of complete outfits and seasonal looks - all explained in great detail. A concluding section looks at the design process, from creating a mood board and following a brief to developing a collection - truly a book which covers the whole process. Publication 30/09/13.

Let's Draw with Oscar by Anton Poitier

There are plenty of drawing books on the market and I wondered if this had anything to add - but it definitely does, with its novel approach which makes it really inspiring to use. Each page has suggestions for drawing, couched in a way that really draws the reader in and makes you want to try the ideas - and the ideas are really inspiring and varied. I love the way the holes in the pages ask you to draw through them and lead you on to the next page and the surprises are entrancing. Good quality paper means you can use crayons and paint (carefully!). A lovely book which will give many happy hours of creative fun - one of the best colouring books I have seen and one which will have equal appeal to boys and girls (and adults!).

Jacqueline Wilson Birthday Journal

An exciting way to plan a birthday party as well as a way of keeping a record of all the parties you have enjoyed during the year. It's full of fun puzzles, tasty recipes, famous birthdays, pretty gift ideas and a different party idea for each month. THere are also quotes from Jacqueline's books and illustrations by (who else?) Nick Sharratt. This would make a lovely present. Also available is Jacqueline Wilson Diary 2014 - the perfect place to record a year's activities, along with plenty of fun extras.

Tree Fu Tom: Bumper Sticker Book

Tree Fu Tom is a CBeebies programme set in a miniature magical countryside and village area (Treetopolis) on top of a tree - the trunk turns horizontal and then vertical again. With over 1000 stickers, there is plenty of fun to be had - the stickers are quite small so this isn't suitable for very young children. THere are fun activities to enjoy and the best bit is that Tom shows young readers plenty of physical movements to keep them active and healthy. As well as all the stickers, there are plenty of other fun activities, making this book excellent value. Fans of Tom will also enjoy Tree Fu Tom: Treetopolis Treasure Hunt: A Search-and-Find Adventure which invloves the reader with activities to help find the treasure.

Thomas & Friends Search Sodor! (Search & Find Books)

Children thoroughly enjoy books like this and find them great fun - which they are, of course. But more than that, children are developing all sorts of vital skills such as concentration, observation, memory and dexterity, so activity books have a key part to play in children's development. Children will enjoy exploring the familiar Island of Sodor as they help Thomas navigate his way through lots of bright, colourful scenes and to find everything on the list. It is packed with fun things to spot and to explore and will provide plenty of entertainment.

Fun Things to Make and Do (Angry Birds) by Nat Lambert

All young lovers of Angry Birds will be delighted with this series of books. This contains 20 colourful projects featuring the characters, including Papier Mache piglets, Red Bird sock puppets, Chuck's Tumbling Leaf and many more unusual projects. THere are clear step-by-step instructions and templates to make some super crafts. Angry Birds is a Finnish game whose inspiration reportedly came from a sketch of stylized wingless birds. The game focused on the concept of launching birds at pigs encased within all types of structures. Since its launch is 2009, the game has become hugely popular with many spin-offs, of which these books are part.

Ca-Cool Masks (Angry Birds) by Eilidh Rose

Great for fans of this phenomenally successful brand will love to make themselves these colourful masks. There are eight press-out masks, printed onto good quality shiny card. The instructions are clearly marked on the card and there are also two pages of instructions for each mask which also include information about the character. The instructions are easy to follow and children will be able to follow them easily. I think these would be great fun to do when you have a group of children together.

Magnetic Mix-Up! (Angry Birds) by Eilidh Rose

Here are Red, Chuck, Bomb, Matilda, The Blues, Stella, Terence, Bubbles and Hal ready for children to use their imaginations to produce all sorts of different faces using the 30+ magnetic Angry Birds features which attach to the pages. They will love to create a range of hilarious characters and make the Angry Birds look as different and unusual as possible.

Magnetic Mash-Up! (Angry Birds) by Eilidh Rose

Of course, once children have made lots of different looking Angry Birds, it's the turn of the Bad Piggies to be given some funny faces. The books are produced on sturdy board and the magnets can be kept safely in the integral pocket. The books also include a story line so children can try to match the expressions to what is happening in the story. Will the Bad Piggies be victorious?

Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn

This really is a bumper book of imaginative and creative ideas which encourages children (and adults) to make their own fun and think beyond electronic forms of entertainment (although new ideas for using these are included).There really is something for everyone - chapters include You; Home; Society; and Adventure. Clapping games, kitchen cures, a kumihimo braiding, decorate your trainers, share your garden - does that give you a taste of the variety? Have a copy of this at home and you could easily fill the whole summer holiday with innovative activities - there are over 350 pages of ideas which would be good for school and home use and excellent for anyone who has to keep a group of kids amused. To add to the interest, there are book extracts and interviews with inspirational people. Great!

Craft it Up Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong

35 craft projects from all around the world which will encourage children to develop a greater awareness of the huge differences in cultures around the world. A great way to prepare for a holiday, to support geography studies at school (teachers will really appreciate these ideas) and to make lovely gifts. The simple step-by-step instructions, clear lists of materials and plentiful photos of the crafts will all help produce really worthwhile results, whilst also helping children to appreciate and understand other cultures. There are plenty of activities for boys and girls and parents will be delighted to know that most of the materials can be easily found around the home. A great book to have in reserve for those rainy days!

My First Bicycle Book by Susan Akass

I know this isn't just a straight activity book but it contains so many inspiring ideas I thought it fitted here best. It's a really unusual and engaging book which will enthuse all young cyclists - and hopefully attract a few new enthusiasts too. The basics are here - choosing a bicycle and the gear to go with it, and how to care for your bicycle. This is the unusual part - a range of science activities that help you understand how your bicycle works. Stickers to decorate your bike, games to play with your friends - this book really does provide a huge variety of activities and encourages children to get out and about. I love it! Cico Books are a new publisher to me, but I have been really impressed with the books they have sent me - may there be many more to come!

My First Nature Activity Book ed by Susan Akass

This is another excellent title from CicoKidz which will encourage children to get out and about. THere are 35 projects and games, suitable for children of 7+ - or parents of younger children may well want to share the activities with them. Each project has clear step-by-step instructions with diagrams showing every step and the book is really attractively laid out in a way that will encourage children to give things a go. My favourite? I think the 'rain boot bulbs' - turn your outgrown wellies (which are often really decorative) into great planters. The super colour photos are a great way to inspire kids and show them just what great results they can achieve

Mr Bloom's Nursery: Mr Bloom's Busy Day Sticker Book

Mr Bloom and the Veggies have a very busy day ahead, and they'll need plenty of help as children enjoy the colourful pages and the story. I like the fact that this sticker book is simple enough for quite young children as the stickers are generously sized and they can work out where to put them. There are also lots of activities to enhance learning, such as counting, drawing and writing.

My Seaside Activity and Sticker Book (Holiday Activity and Sticker Books)

This is perfect for taking on holiday, for building up anticipation or for doing after as a reminder of happy days. Lots of colourful stickers and plenty of imaginative activities to make good use of them. Use the opportunity to discuss the pictures and activities with your young one too - they will love the chance to share their experiences and reinforce memories. It's the first Bloomsbury Activity book I have seen and I am very impressed!

Paper Scissors Glue by Catherine Woram

It's almost impossible to have too many craft books around the house (or in the classroom) as each one is full of new ideas - and this one is particularly innovative. There are some lovely ideas and the book is suitable for ages 3 to 10 so your family will get many years of use from it. The activities are divided into cutting, folding, printing and painting and modelling and there are templates provided where needed. Each project can be completed in just four simple stages. Many of the ideas can also be applied to other craft work, thus extending children's creativity even more. The appealing presentation of the book adds to the high quality and it will be great for anyone with children - at home or looking after larger groups.

Halloween Crafts by Emma Hardy

This will be warmly welcomed by teachers, playgroup leaders, nursery staff and anyone else looking for inspiration for this spooky festival - who would have thought there would be 35 appropriate crafts for just one festival? You will find ghoulish fancy-dress costumes, delectable sweet treats and a scary pumpkin. There are ideas for all ages - some are adult only but there are plenty of projects children can tackle on their own or with a little help from an adult. The detailed instructions are well presented and the photos should inspire even the least creative of us!

Edwardian Fashion (Usborne Historical Sticker Dolly Dressing) by Emily Bone

Such a glamorous era for extravagant dressing with the many social events that kept high society busy. Royal Ascot, the Henley Regatta, house party weekends, cruises... what a wonderful life! There are 160 detailed and intricate stickers to put into place, guided by the instructions which tell you which order to use them in; it's a book which adults will find it hard to resist - you may need to buy two if planning to give one as a present! Much more than just a sticker book though - enjoy putting the stickers in place and afterwards you will have an excellent reference guide to Edwardian fashion and culture.

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff by Scott Bedford

An amazing collection of professionally presented instructions to make all manner of things. Whether you just have half an hour or so, or want to fill a whole wet day, there's something to enjoy in this book - it will become a family staple to return to over and over again. Give your child some valuable memories of working together and having fun with projects such as a snappy toast rack, a spaghetti and marshmallow tower or a bee swarm chandelier - intriguing or what? Detailed instructions presented with a touch of humour make this book great for families to enjoy together. In our world of electronic gadgets and immediate gratification, a book has to be something special to entice the reader, and this book certainly is!

Fashion Drawing Studio: A Guide to Sketching Stylish Fashions (Drawing Fun Fashions) by Marissa Bolte

Packed with inspiration, this would be a superb book to encourage anyone doing fashion or textiles courses. Simple instructions help the wannabe designer to draw all manner of contemporary outfits, with design tips on every page. Sections include All-American Girl; Girly Girl; Harajuka; Hollywood; Rock Star; Skater Chic. Brightly coloured and right up-to-the-minute this will encourage creativity - and who knows, some of the ideas might be translated into new outfits for the reader!

Cats and Dogs and Other Pets (How To Draw Animals) by Peter Gray

Ever wished you could draw? Well, now's your chance with this new series from Franklin Watts. The books use key art skills to help young children develop their drawing skills. The step-by-step technique goes you from basic outlines to fully coloured up drawings, making use of a varied range of paints and inks. All sorts of pets are found in this book and the simple techniques will inspire confidence; the book will be valued equally in the classroom as at home.

The Usborne Little Children's Travel Activity Book by James Maclaine

There are lots of activity book for older children so it's great to see one specifically for younger ones. Home or away, this is packed with a huge variety of colourful and engaging activities - and there are four pages of stickers too. Drawing, mazes, dot-to-dot, spot the difference and many more favourite puzzles are here - and all with a holiday theme. Hotel, park, beach, packing, in the air, camping, skiing... something for every kind of holiday. Puzzles are fun, of course, but they also help children develop all kinds of essential skills and they are a great way to keep learning going over the summer holiday.

Holiday Pocket Puzzle Book by Alex Frith

For slightly older children, Usborne bring us this chunky little book which is perfect to slip into a travelling bag or to have in reserve in the car in case of delays; the size also makes it good if children get a bit bored at meal times. Mazes, picture puzzles, wordsearches, number problems and many more, all illustrated in colour withe plenty of touches of humour. Some of the puzzles are quite challenging - it's a super way to make you think and they will be enjoyed by quite a wide age range; luckily, all the answers are provided!

Travel Activity Pad by Simon Tudhope

Avoid hearing 'Are we there yet?' by giving all your young passengers a copy of this travel activity pad. The book is well designed with a strong back cover to lean on which makes it ideal for writing on the go. There are nearly 200 tear-off pages, including picture puzzles, word puzzles, simple logic puzzles, odd ones out, spot the difference and more; the answers are given too. As with all Usborne activity books, there are lots of different types of puzzles to enjoy - unusually, there are even some paper crafts to make. A super book.

Have Fun with Woolly Sticker Book (Woolly & Tig)

Woolly and Tig help children understand and cope with new experiences. This colourful sticker book offers plenty of learning opportunities and opening for discussion. The pages really give children something to think about beyond just putting the stickers on a page - for example, change the numbers on the building blocks or finding creatures that love swimming. The stickers are grouped together by page, so this is a good introduction to sticker books for quite young children. There are many other activities too, including colouring, drawing and letter formation.

Play Day: A Dress-up Sticker and Activity Book (Belle & Boo) by Mandy Sutcliffe

Belle and her little rabbit Boo have become a hugely popular brand and fans will thoroughly enjoy these sticker books featuring the friends. Today is a busy play day for Belle and Boo, with lots of things to see and do. There are pictures to colour, games to play, outfits to choose and over 150 stickers to stick. This fun-filled book, packed with beautiful and interesting things to do, is perfect for keeping little ones entertained at home, on holiday, on long journeys, or anywhere else! The variety of stickers is super and children will have hours of fun.

My Favourite Things: A Sticker and Activity Book (Belle & Boo) by Mandy Sutcliffe

Children will enjoy finding out which favourite things they have in common with Belle and Boo. THere are plenty of puzzles and other activities too, making this a really varied and enjoyable book which will provide many hours of fun. These are high quality sticker books, which tell a story through the pages. Charmingly presented, the pages are really good quality cream paper, which gives a lovely feel and makes them books to keep, not discard once the stickers are in place. I love the way that some of the stickers are presented in their own pictures and the whole concept is full of the fun and innocence of a traditional childhood.

Aquarium Addition from Flash Kids

This fun pack is ideal to take out and about for some learning fun - on a visit to the seaside, perhaps. It's suitable for children aged 6 to 7 years old and introduces and reinforces simple addition concepts based on an aquarium theme. As well as the sums, there are plenty of fishy pictures to colour in. The pack includes a 16-page colouring and activity book, a fold-out activity placemat, four crayons and a sheet of colourful stickers. ISBN 978-1411465541. Publication May 13.

Time to Get a Pet from Flash Kids

This is the natural progression from Aquarium Addition and follows the same fun format. Again, it's ideal to take out and about and the fold-out mat is perfect for meal times out. Puppies, kittens, hamsters and birds - all appealing for children. It's an enjoyable way for children to improve their maths skills, including telling time and understanding money. The pack includes a 16-page colouring and activity book, a fold-out activity placemat, four crayons and a sheet of stickers.

Best Busytown Games & Activity Book by Richard Scarry 

A great big book, crammed with puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dots, colour-by-numbers, word searches, word scrambles, crosswords and more. Of course, every page features Richard Scarry's trademark busy little creatures enjoying the activities. To add to the fun, there are over 100 playing cards designed in Scarry's signature style. Children will enjoy recognising the familiar characters and the activities are varied, stimulating and colourful.

ABC Nature Activity Cards by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

There are books which really excite and enthuse me and the books and cards from Fine Feather Press definitely come into that category. This set of cards surprised me as I was expecting just the normal double sided card - but these open out to show an array of associated photos, plus a question or activity on each to engage children with the world around us. There are all sorts of questions/activities and this is a hugely stimulating pack. Beautifully decorated, fantastic photos, stimulating things to do - and a surprise at Z! So many uses, from learning the alphabet, making a display, encouraging a love of nature... Just brilliant.

Let's Look For Garden Birds by Andrea Pinnington

Children always enjoy 'I Spy' type books and they do offer a great incentive for children to get out and observe the world around them. Having said that, the quality of the illustrations far exceeds what you would expect of an 'I Spy' book and these are definitely books to keep for reference, even if you are lucky enough to have spotted everything. How to look for birds, feeding and bird song are included. There are 30 stickers and a fold-out play scene for them. From the Fine Feather Press website: "The aim of all their titles is to encourage children to understand and enjoy nature. All the photographs that appear in their books have been taken by them. When not in front of their computers, they can be found, cameras in hand, scouring the countryside for interesting things to add to their database."

Let's Look For Butterflies by Andrea Pinnington

These books have sturdy card pages that mean they can be used repeatedly and still retain their glossy attractive appearance - Caz Buckingham's designs and illustrations are exceptional. 30 common butterflies are featured with stickers for each and a meadow scene to complete. Information includes parts of a butterfly, facts, food and life cycle. Also available Let's Look For Wild Flowers and Let's Look For Garden Wildlife - together, the series makes an excellent way to encourage children to get outside and enjoy wildlife.

Get Out Nature Puzzles & Games by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington

Like the other books by Fine Feather Press, this book is a delight with its charming design. It's packed with nature activities that will encourage families to get out and about enjoying the world around us. It's a combination of spotter's guide and activity book which takes the reader through the seasons, spotting wildlife and enjoying a rich variety of activities including puzzles, drawing, colouring and writing about nature. The approach is very original and I love the friendly approach of the text. There's a nature wall chart as well. An excellent way to engender a love of nature and thoroughly enjoyable.

Crafty Creations (Things to Make and Do) from Parragon Books

Over a hundred things to make which will encourage children's creativity. The book says 'your project doesn't have to look exactly like the one in the picture... you can use your own creativity too.' Colourful photograps show step-by-step what to do and all the materials are easily obtained. There are some unusual ideas - I like the bottle top bugs best -  and lots of variations for each activity. Useful tips help with the activities and with crafting in general. This is a lovely way to encourage children to be creative and some super ideas for presents - home-made are always best!

Things That Go (Construct and Colour) from Parragon Books

This is a super little book with five press-out vehicles to make and colour - electric train, dumper truck, aeroplane, police car and double decker bus. There are varying levels of difficulty so children can build up their skills; the instructions are clear and detailed with step-by-step photos. The good thing is, no scissors or glue needed, making this a perfect book to take in case of rainy days on holiday. Great for imaginative play as children can colour the vehicles any way they want and then make up their own games.

My Summer Holiday Journal by Jacqueline Wilson

This hardback spiral bound book is perfect for recording all the events of the summer. It includes diary pages for every day from June to September and lots of scrapbook pages. As well as those, there are pages for special memories, puzzles and activity ideas and planning pages - and a page of colourful stickers to adorn the pages of the book. A lovely way for fans of Jacqueline Wilson to record their summer and make a book to cherish.

The Cupcake Sticker Book by Lauren Doughty

Another unusual sticker book from Buster Books - one that is bound to be a success with the current popularity of cupcakes. There are 24 colourful pages and more than 600 glossy stickers to decorate them - and to give you inspiration for decorating your own baking! As well as designing cakes, you can even create some cupcake fashion and a window display. There are cupcakes for every occasion!

The Animal Colouring Book by Beth Gunnell

There's something for everyone in this beautiful colouring book with all levels of detail from fairly basic to some really intricate designs. All sorts of animals are here - there are butterflies and peacocks, fish and seahorses, dogs and cats and lots more. The pictures are partially coloured but there's plenty of scope for the imagination and this is a very enticing book for all ages.

The Silhouette Colouring Book by Richard Merritt

Look at the world in a different way with this silhouette book. There are some beautiful pictures to inspire you - the backgrounds are already coloured, so you can go even more colourful and use all sorts of colour or make the silhouettes striking in black; the choice is yours! A huge range of subjects - fairy tale castles, cars, fish, trapeze artists... The third in a bumper crop of creative books from Buster Books - they have me longing to get my crayons out! The colouring books are on good quality heavy paper, so I think you could also use paints with a bit of care.

Just Imagine: Colouring Book with Stickers by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt

I thought the book was quite wonderful, with its imaginative ideas and ways of extending and inspiring children's thinking - and this sticker book takes it even further. It stretches your child's imagination in an exceptional way and encourages them to really think about what it would feel like to live underground, to be someone's pet, to be a wild animal, to travel through time.... There are pictures to colour in and stickers to decorate the pages. The topics make great story ideas too - encourage your child to express himself in writing or verbally by describing the pictures and how they make him feel.

Tree Fu Tom: Big World Magic Activity Book

Tree Fu Tom lives in Treetopolis, a magical miniature woodland world. Explore Tom's world in this bumper activity book, filled with activities, puzzles and plenty of pages to colour, plus over 50 stickers to keep little hands busy. In full colour throughout, there are lots of stories to enjoy about Tom and his friends as well as the activities, which all link in with the stories and give children the opportunity to practise lots of different puzzle techniques.

Stardoll: Sticker Dream Dress Up (Stardoll Sticker Styling Series)

This perfectly girly series follows three Stardoll friends as they dress up. Here girls can help them prepare for fancy dress parties and special celebrations, with four pages of stickers to create fantasy outfits along with all the accessories to style them with. There are lots of ideas for giving parties too, as well as questions and lots of other activities. Girls will enjoy Stardoll: Sticker Red Carpet Dress Up (Stardoll Sticker Styling Series) as well, as they get the chance to prepare the friends for glamorous evenings out. These are much more than just sticker books and offer hours of fun.

On Holiday (Let's Find Mimi) by Katherine Lodge

Mimi's familiar world will appeal instantly to pre-schoolers - a more comforting world than Wally's. Mimi, along with dozens of other little mice, is there to be spotted on every page as she enjoys her holiday. The vibrant pictures are packed with detail to spot and discuss as you share the story. There is a board game to enjoy and lots of colourful stickers too. The ideal book to take when travelling.

The Brilliant Book of Easy Crafts by Anna-Marie D'Cruz and Rita Storey

This colourful book is presented in five sections - masks, puppets, toys, musical instruments and cards. The crafts use readily available materials and the ideas are clearly presented with step-by-step instructions and photos. As the book includes ideas for school-related projects, this is an excellent classroom resource especially as each craft includes snippets of background information. There are many unusual ideas - I like the carousel and the hand drum.

Colour In Kate Colouring Book by Georgie Fearns

With perfect timing (as always), Buster Books bring us a truly royal colouring book. Each picture has partially coloured backgrounds, but there's lots of scope for girls to use their imagination as they complete Kate's outfits. We see her on all sorts of occasions, from the very formal to completely casual - but stylish all the time, of course. The rest of the Royal Family are not forgotten - even Ludo the cocker spaniel is included!

The Boys' Book of Things to Make from DK

Just for boys - this is the perfect way to encourage boys to enjoy making things and not to view crafts as just something for the girls. There are over 150 amazing projects which means that there is something for any interest - a balloon drag racer, a secret book safe, an erupting volcano, a Wild West cacti garden and make a board game are just a few. The final section, things to know, is full of interesting trivia. The bright approachable presentation makes this an appealing book and the huge variety of ideas make it perfect to have around for those 'I'm bored' moments.

The Great British Holiday Book by Samantha Meredith

From its patriotic front cover on, this is a celebration of all that's great about British holidays. THere are all sorts of activities to enjoy - colouring, puzzles, join the dots, play patience, spot the difference and lots more. THere's even a page of stickers so children can decorate their work. It's the ideal holiday companion, whether out and about or at home.

Monsters and Aliens (Awesomely Brilliant Doodles) by Nikalas Catlow and Tim Wesson

There's no excuse for being bored with this fun-packed doodling book. An awesome intergalactic, monstrous adventure activity book packed with daring doodle ideas and puzzling madness. There are mazes, word searches, comic strips, dot-to-dots, crosswords, sudoku, hilarious stories to complete and much more. Hours of imaginative entertainment which will appeal to boys and girls, and really get them thinking.

Farm Babies Sticker Book RSPCA

Have you got a child who loves anmals? Then they will love this book which has lots of cute baby animal stickers. Where this book really stands out is in the quality of the backgrounds - it's far better that the average sticker book and far more like a good quality picture book that just happens to come with stickers.  There's lots of information about baby animals on the farm and plenty of puzzles to enjoy. Best of all - buying this book helps the RSPCA save animal's lives, so go and get a copy.

Great Britain Colouring Book illus by Ian McNee

Travel around our country from the Eden Project to Tobermory and on the way enjoy colouring in some iconic events such as the Edinburgh Tattoo and the Cowes Regatta. I love the variety, both in the less-common places shown and in the variety of colouring which includes a stained glass window and Blackpool Illuminations. Every picture has a snippet of interesting information and the map at the end which locates all the places is a great idea. Good thick paper means the pictures can be cut out and kept.

Grow Organic, Eat Organic (Creative Activities) by Susan Martineau

Organic - a word we hear a lot but what does it mean? Help children understand the concept through hands-on activities as they learn how to grow plants organically. From growing to cooking, this colourful book is full of advice for children. They don't need a garden - there are lots of ideas for pots and window-boxes too. So many schools are now offering children the opportunity to grow things, so this book makes an excellent classroom resource too. The book helps children understand how important it is that we take care of our environment - including worms! The diagrams are an excellent aid to understanding the practical processes and I like the way children are offered recipes to use the food they grow.

Magical Mix-Ups: Pets and Parties by Marnie Edwards and Leigh Hodgkinson

Far more than just a doodle book, this has a story to enjoy while children doodle. Magical Mix Ups is a great series of books from Nosy Crow and fans of the books will love to be able to take a hand in developing the story of Princess Sapphire and Emerald the Witch and a disappearing cat, who they need help to find... and that's where the reader comes in. The pages are full of hints and tips to make doodling fun and it's a great way to encourage the imagination and get children involved with the story.

My First Colour and Activity Book by Roger Priddy

An attractive book for little hands with its integral carry handle - Priddy Books do design their books so cleverly! The layout is simple, as befits a first activity book, and that's great as so many activity books are too cluttered and complicated for young children. There are all sorts of activities, including mazes, colouring, dot-to-dot and puzzles  -and stickers, of course! The activities help children develop many essential skills including hand-eye coordination, pencil control and thinking. Hours of fun!

Don't You Dare by Sharky & George

Good old-fashioned fun and plenty of it in this unusual and inspiring book which should be in every family home for those 'I'm bored' moments. Sharky and George are events organisers who plan events which offer good honest (and traditional) fun. This book reflects that ethos, and is packed with unusual activities for indoors and outdoors. Try Hippo Hot Potato, Fishy, Fishy, Fishy, Fruity Pants or Wave Hurdles, just to give you a few of the intriguing titles. There are clear directions and clear indications of the things needed - mostly easily available and free. It's a super book to encourage the imagination and to engage children in playing games together without relying on modern technology. The presentation is lively and encourages the trying out of the ideas - I love it and so will children!

Ancient Egypt (Puzzle Heroes) by Anna Nilsen

My first thought was that this is a 'Where's Wally' type book, but it's much more. This book draws the young reader into the world of Ancient Egypt. The challenge is to help save Granny from an ancient curse by completeing the puzzles in the book. This interactive book offers the reader a series of varied puzzles as Granny, Zak and Leah head back to Ancient Egypt to learn more about the period. The puzzles will engross the reader, and there is plenty of learning to absorb on the way. Colourful presentation with detailed illustrations mean there's plenty to spot and enjoy. A great back-up to KS2 studies and fun in its own right.

Stardoll: Sticker Holiday Dress Up (Stardoll Sticker Styling Series)

Sticker fun and fashion combine in these colourful books - and there are more in the series to look out for too. This book is full of holiday scenes from around the world and there are 10 pages of holiday fashion stickers for the young fashionista to dress the models. Plenty of useful fashion tips are included, so girls can practise on the models, then try the ideas out for themselves. Great fun to take on holiday or a journey there.

Stardoll: Sticker Catwalk Dress Up (Stardoll Sticker Styling Series)

Girls keen on fashion will enjoy following three models as they prepare for a catwalk show at the Starplaza shopping mall.  There are 10 pages of stickers depicting fashion collections to dress the models in, plus lots of accessories. There are opportunities for girls to try out their own design skills too, as well as plenty of tips for catwalk success.

First Colouring Book For Boys by Emily Golden Twomey

It's lovely to see a colouring book for younger boys, to encourage them to start exploring and enjoying colour and shape.  The pictures are perfectly chosen for boys - there are tractros, stars, kites, ships and many more. The bold drawings are simple but are full of different shapes so there's a great learning opportunity here. The pictures are partly coloured, to encourage boys to start off, but there's plenty of scope for the imagination too.

First Colouring Book For Girls by Emily Golden Twomey

Girls will delight in their very own colouring book, full of things they love - toys, flowers, clothes, pets and lots more. Each picture is set against a bright coloured background, withn just a few parts coloured in - plenty left to enjoy and to produce a lovely result for the bedroom wall or fridge door. The paper, unlike many colouring books, is good quality and produces pleasing results. Good to see a simple colouring book to get girls interested.

The KnowHow Book of Spycraft by Falcon Travis

A fascinating book packed with hands-on projects for children to try out - and who isn't fascinated by spies, codes and secrets? The appealing layout and varied activities will have children clamouring to try them out - I think this would be a brilliant book to use as a theme for a children's party, so get a copy now.  I see from the back of the book that Peter Usborne, the founder of Usborne Books, says this is his favourite Usborne book - when you look at all the wonderful books Usborne have produced, that's some accolade! Published June 2013 - order your copy now and don't miss out!

Read + Write: Rhyming Words (My First Activity Book: Read + Write) by Harriet Ziefert

Each word family offers three separate activities. First, kids trace and fill in missing letters in simple rhyming words. Next, they can color in Kido's kid-tastic illustrations. Then, kids can draw their own version of the rhyming objects. For example, the "ug" family includes the words "hug," "bug," "mug," and "rug." Kids fill in the missing letters from the words, then colour in a mug and a rug, then draw their own bugs. Youthful brains will be crackling with creativity and learning connections!

Draw Patterns with Barroux by Barroux

Drawing patterns is the perfect introduction to handwriting, and it is also an activity that can be hugely helpful in improving handwriting in older children. There are patterns to copy and patterns to create and children have plenty of opportunities to use their imagination as they create patterns for socks, design dresses, adorn the butteflies and much more. The patterns to copy vary from the very simple to the complex, so there is plenty here for all ages.

Count and Color: Fly (Count & Color) by Nicola O'Byrne

Animals up in the air fly through the pages of this unusual colouring book. The collective nouns are delightful and evocative - a descent of woodpeckers, a circus of puffins and a rabble of butterflies juts trip off the tongue. There are lots of pictures to colour, with each creature appearing several times, each one different. Children will enjoy trying their own print making, using the tips in the book.

Count and Color: Swim (Count & Color) Nicola O'Byrne

The perfect companion to a summer seaside holiday - or one for those of us who wish we were beside the seaside, perhaps. Colouring, counting, collective nouns (some of these are fascinating and unusual) - and if that's not enough, the illustrator gives us tips on printmaking - the technique used to illustrate this book. Some of the creatures are coloured, the rest are left to be coloured - either copying the colours or giving you the chance to use your imagination.

I Can Doodle: Rhymes by Travis Foster

This is an unusual doodling book that asks the doodler to make connections between the two opposing pages, which feature rhyming objects . For example, Dog meets Frog - we have the dog and have to draw the frog; then Frog meets Dog and we are asked to draw the dog. The artistically challenged can copy and the nore creative can use their drawing skills to the full. As well as this, the words have missing letters, encouraging spelling and handwriting skills. Interesting and unusual - I love it, with its clever plays on words and original approach.

Draw Stuff: Learn to Draw for Girls by Holly Brook-Piper

This is an excellent book for all girls who are interested in learning to draw and who also want to learn more about the techniques behind drawing. It is divided into five tabbed sections - cartoons; fashion; landscapes; experiment and sketchbook - this section gives space  for practice. Tecnniques are well explained and will produce good results at all skill levels. There's lots of room in the book for experimenting and the great thing is that the book can then be treasured. It's illustrated in full colour with suggestions for copying various ideas. The book supports the art and design curriculum followed in schools and the information included about various artists and techniques fits well within the curriculum. Inspiring and practical, it's a book that would make a lovely gift.

Dress Up One Direction (Dress Up Sticker Books) by Georgie Fearns

Any One Direction young fan will be thrilled to receive this sticker book - I can see a lot of the pictures finishing up on bedroom walls! There are over 350 stickers to dress Liam, Harry, Louis, Zayn and Niall in dozens of different super-stylish sticker outfits, and the shiny pages mean the outfits can be redesigned if they are not quite perfect. Packed with real life scenarios that chart the lads' rise to stardom - from their fun-filled video shoots, to photoshoots and sell out arena tours.

Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling: An Origami Yoda Activity Book by Tom Angleberger

 A companion to the Origami Yoda series, this doodle and activity book includes instructions for making over 75 projects - origami paper included too! There are origami Star Wars characters; block and bubble lettering; your own comic book; a Chapstick rocket; Star Wars smileys; fake knuckle cracks; pencil games and much more. The great thing about this book is that it will encourage youngsters who perhaps do not normally enjoy crafts. There's a great range of activities, many of them are really unusual, to enjoy and the presentation is up to the minute and great for the audience - the diagrams are clear and user-friendly .

It's Fun to Draw Farm Animals by Mark Bergin

 This is a lovely introduction to drawing for young children. All the animals are really appealing to draw and are show with easy-to-follow, simple steps. All the farm animals (and more!) are here - a fluffy sheep, a swooping owl, a jumping goat. The young artist is encouraged to try a variety of different artistic tools and techniques, including squiggling, sponging, smudging and even sticking. There's a pen included and the brightly coloured pages are very appealing - children can spot the difference as they move from one picture to the next.

Farm (Wipe Clean Dot-to-Dot) by Margot Channing

Plenty of opportunities for little ones to learn about animals witrh lots of dot-to-dot activities. Each of the strong brightly coloured pages includes a simple word with dots to trace over, plus patterns and shapes to trace to learn those all-important early pencil skills in a fun way. The wipe-off pen means you can give this to very young children as they develop their pencil skills and they can continue to use and enjoy the book as they become more skilled. The great thing about this book is that they are animals just as children would draw them, so it's very child-friendly.

Fabulous Girls' Holiday Activity Book by Victoria England

This combines all the aspects of activity books in one package - there are puzzles, doodling and colouring, quizzes plus stickers and cutouts (bookmarks and hangers). THere's lots here to keep girls amused, whether away on holiday (it's great for travelling) or during holiday times at home. Lots of opportunities for interaction too, with the quizzes and facts to share. Suitable for 8+, there really is something for everyone and the huge variety makes it ideal to dip in and out.

3D Copy & Draw Dinosaurs (3D Copy and Draw) by Barry Green

A learn to draw series with a difference! Top That have taken the concept one stage further by including 3D glasses to children can see their works of art leap into life. Each dinosaur has a page to itself, with the drawing to copy shown in six large squares, sub-divided into 16 smaller squares - these smaller squares are reflected in the box below for children to draw on. It's easy to follow, and then children can enjoy colouring in the outline. The completed dinosaur pictures would be excellent to include in a school project.

3D Copy & Draw Fairies (3D Copy and Draw) by Barry Green

One for the girls! As with the Dinosaurs title, this includes the 3D glasses and simple step-by-step instructions which enable even the least artistic child to produce great images. The final results will give children some lovely pictures to colour in and display too. Also available are 3D Copy & Draw Pirates and 3D Copy & Draw Princesses (3D Copy and Draw), so there are books for lots of interests. I like the novelty of the 3D effect, which sets these books apart.

How to Draw 101 Spooky Things by Barry Green

All sorts of spooky beings are here - it would be a great book for Halloween! Each image is shown in six easy steps, thereby making drawing so much less daunting as there is only one simple step to copy. Books like this are a great way to develop children's fine motor skills and the skill of transferring from one image to another; as children will get hooked onto the picture, concentration skills are developed too.

How to Draw 101 Baby Animals by Barry Green

This one will appeal to young girls, with its pretty pink cover and adorable baby animals. Again, there are plenty of animals to draw, each one shown with six steps to build up on. THere are two clearly depicted animals to each page and there is a good range - there is a llama, a skunk, a wombat, a gorilla, a gerbil and many more. Each baby animal is really appealing and a super picture could be created by putting lots of them into one big drawing. Plenty of fun to be had here! 

The Interactive Art Book by Ron Van Der Meer

Ron Van Der Meer is renowned for his intriguing paper engineering and this is an updated edition of a classic work. It is quite fascinating - flaps inside the cover reveal information about great works of art; we are shown how artists achieve reality with a pop up room model; learn how colour and movement work. We learn how artists are inspired with activities to show how things are done and ideas for further development, and it's full of detailed information.. And if that's not enough, there's an Interactive Art Activity Book as well, so the ideas can have a practical application. It's an inspiring book that will encourage children (and adults) to take a fresh look at art - brilliant!

The Girls' Book of Crafts & Activities from DK

This is a really attractive hardback book - it's a pleasure simply to browse through it. It includes 150 girly projects, ideas and activities with clear step-by-step instructions and diagrams, plus photos of the finished article. A good point is that there are activities that be completed in 10 minutes, and others which take a whole day - take your pick! THere are crafts, cookery, art and more - a super range which will appeal to all ages. Definitely a book which will have many years of use.

Make it! by Jane Bull

Jane Bull is a vastly experienced writer of craft books for children, and this book shows that experience, with its clarity of layout and instructions. It's amazing what can be created from the things we throw out every day - why not keep a box and add items to it regularly, so you always have materials to hand. Over 100 crafty step-by-step projects will have your child turning humble household rubbish into amazing treasures you'll want to keep. foil dishes, bottle top badges or paper portraits - the ideas are all treally original. Packed with facts on earth's natural resources and tips on recycling too, this is an excellent classroom resource as well as being a great stand-by for those wet days at home.

Things to Make for Mums by Rebecca Gilpin

We all know that mothers treasure things their children have made for them, but sometimes a little inspiration is needed. Well, here it is! This book contains step-by-step instructions and makes excellent use of items which can be found in nearly every home. Here are some of the ideas - a collage of your family, a tissue paper picture and sparkly flower chains. The centre of the book contains lots of pretty stickers for children to embellish their creations.

Usborne Sticker Atlas of the World by Fiona Patchett and Alice Pearcey

A lovely way for children to learn about the countries of the world - and this is a brand new edition so bang up to date. There are over 140 stickers of famous landmarks (plus a few people) for children to place on the correct map - with the aid of small pictures. The maps include details of geographical features and also a map showing the location in the world. A useful reference once the stickers are all in place. For an older child, make it more challenging by seeing if they know which country the pictures belong to before they look at the maps.

Lots of Things to Spot in the Town by Hazel Maskell

A busy colourful book for pre-schoolers absolutely crammed with things to look at, look out for, and talk about. A super book to take along with you on a trip to town and have a look at with a relaxing drink! And then go home and talk about what you have seen together. Helps develop visual discrimination and new vocabulary - there are questions to discuss on every page and these give lots of ideas. As well as all the activities, which include spot the difference, colouring and games, there are over 160 stickers.

Pip, Pip, Hooray! (My Cat Pip) by Karen Bendy

A new Puss on the block! These are the first books from My Cat Pip - Pip is an award-winning character with over 1.5 million products sold to date worldwide. Pip is an adventurous little cat who is always trying something new and children will love to follow Pip's adventures in this series of bright colourful books, packed with interest. This interactive flap book, with over 50 flaps, is bursting with surprises and fun and children will love it. Read more about Pip at .

Where are You Pip? (My Cat Pip) Karen Bendy

In the style of Where's Wally, children can search for Pip as he hides amongst dozens of other cats in the crowds. Can you find Pip? They will find Pip on the beach, in the jungle and even in space! There are other puzzles though the book too, and at the end put some items together to make a special story. Preschool children will love this interactive look and find title, which has so much to offer.

Where Are You, Pip? (My Cat Pip) Karen Bendy

These stickers books are a great way to encourage your child's imagination, as Pip can be dressed up to be all sorts of different people. You might find your child is telling you what she would like to be today, by dressing Pip appropriately! Is it a princess, a mermaid, a diver or a skier? Children will love matching the different scenes with at least 100 sticker outfits - or making up their own more unusual choices.

Showtime Pip! (My Cat Pip) Karen Bendy

Help the kitty find the right costumes to make him the star of the show. Pip's wardrobe is crammed with everything from rock star to ballet tutus. There are lots of colourful scenes on thick shiny paper, so the stickers can be repositioned endlessly! Preschool children will love matching the different scenes and the permutations are almost unlimited. Pip will appeal to both boys and girls, as you can dress Pip as a ballerina, a footballer and lots of other people.

The Easter Colouring Book by Jessie Eckel

This is a book which is great for all the family, with its mix of fairly simple colouring right up to some very intricate designs. Should we be unfortunate enough to get some wet days over the Easter holiday, this is perfect for keeping the children (and adults!) entertained. All sorts of spring and Easter themed pictures, from cute chicks, bouncing bunnies and spring flowers, to little lambs, Easter bonnets, tasty treats and more eggs-traordinary patterns. It's a lovely way to celebrate spring - encourage your child to cut the pictures out to brighten up the bedroom.

Mr Bloom's Nursery: Playtime with the Veggies Sticker Book

Dress dolly with a difference! In this book, it's the veggies who get dressed up. There are over a hundred stickers to decorate the Veggies who live in Mr Bloom's nursery. Children can get them dressed ready to set off on exciting adventures - as pirates, as princesses, as spacemen and many more. And along the way, children will learn lots about vegetables and what they need to grow. It's fun and colourful.

Colour and Learn Animals Colouring & Fact Book from Brainbox

More than just a colouring book, this is full of interesting facts for children to find out about the animal kingdom. There is plenty of detail in the pictures and children can really produce something they can be proud of. The pictures are printed single sided on good quality paper, so your child can tear the pages out along the perforations and display their artwork. A great classroom resource too, with the perforations so the pictures can be photocopied for future use. There are lots more titles on the Green Board Games website.

Colour and Learn Dinosaurs Colouring & Fact Book from Brainbox

Encourage children's creativity at the same time as letting them find out more about these amazing creatures. There is lots of detail to fill in, so great care is needed - and a big selection of crayon colours would be a great asset. Children's imaginations can be used to full effect as they carefully select the colours to bring these ancient creatures to life as well as learning some fascinating facts about them.

Colour and Learn Teddy Bears Colouring & Fact Book from Brainbox

Meet Alice's Teddy Bears, and her other friends. Lots of lovely busy teddies in all sorts of imaginative situations will give children many hours of fun. As well, they can make up their own stories about the pictures, thus encouraging their story-telling skills. Children can really make the pictures their own and this book particularly gives the opportunity to use lots and lots of different colours. The perforations mean that a family can share the book as each can tear out the picture they want to do - and no grinning through of colours from the other side as each page is single sided.

Welcome to Your Awesome Robot by Viviane Schwarz

At first I thought this was a picture book, with its quirky design and hilarious comic pictures throughout. But it's not - it tells you how to build your very own robot, from base unit to huge monster of your dreams. All you need is a cardboard box, the ideas from this book, and lots of imagination (plus a little bit of help from an adult ssistant) and you have your very own robot. This is the first book from Flying Eye Books - a company dedicated to ensuring that print books have a future. Produced with sustainability in mind, they promise us books to cherish - I loook forward to seeing what comes next. No eBook could give us the lovely smell of a print book like this does!

Gorgeous Doodles from Buster Books

I couldn't resist - I have already started doodling in this lovely book! It's absolutely packed with inspiring ideas - ideas that will encourage imagination in almost everyone. Try creating your own cocktail, designing cottages, making cup cakes, embellishing playing cards... The thing I love about these books is the fact that they give you just enough ideas to stimulate the imagination and then you are off into a world of creativity - ideal for those who don't quite know where to start. It's full colour too! Perfect for wet days, holidays or just a relaxing break from work.

The Icky Sticky Science Activity Book (Science Museum Activity Book) by Deborah Patterson

If you ever thought science was boring, this book will change your mind! It's time to put the fun back into science! This is packed with exciting (and satisfyingly messy!) activities - children can bend water, make a lava lamp and create some gorgeously gloopy gunge. But there's far more - there are doodles, games, quizzes and puzzles which will all help children discover new things about science. I am amazed at the variety of ideas in the book - hours of entertainment which will also support science lessons. Written in conjunction with the Science Museum, you know you can trust everything to be firmly and accurately based on key scientific concepts whilst being great fun at the same time.

The London Activity Book (Buster Activity Books) by Ellen Bailey

Every time I review one of Buster Books' activity books, I wonder how they can keep coming up with such wonderfully inventive ideas - and yet again, we have a book that is packed with originality. You'll find puzzles, doodles, colouring as well as lots of information to bring history alive - learn about Henry VIII and The Banqueting House.  I love the range of games based on the city and events that took place there - it's a great way to learn and remember! Planning a trip to London? Or want to rekindle memories of a visit? Or just want to learn more about our capital city? Whichever it is, this is the book for you!

Doodle Monster's Sticker Doodle Doo by Roger Priddy

Firstly - I love the carry handle at the top of the book, which makes this an ideal book for children to take out and about, and keep themselves entertained on a journey or perhaps if out for a meal. It really encourages children's imagination - they can decorate the fish, doodle on the bus,  turn blobs into monsters, drawvegetable people…every page has a new doodling idea! Unfinished pictures and text suggestions combine to inspire children to be creative, The unusual mix of drawings and photos is stimulating and the creations can be embellished with the many stickers included. A super book!

The Girls' Fairy Colouring Book by Ann Kronheimer

Young girls will be over the moon when they see this lovely colouring book packed with fairies and magical scenes to colour. The pictures are detailed and some are quite intricate, so it is a book which will repay careful colouring. The end results will be super and will definitely merit display. Imagination can be encouraged by enjoying the scenes and perhaps writing or telling stories about them - there is so much detail packed in, that this will be easy and stimulating to do.

Star Paws: Pirates: An animal dress-up sticker book from Macmillan Children's Books

Pirates are always popular with children and they will love this sticker activity book in which they can let their imagination run riot as they use some of the 200+ stickers to dress the unusual pirate crew in whatever weird and wonderful outfits they can devise. But the crew is not what you'd expect - it's a selection of, frankly, quite adorable creatures. Full of super pictures and with a story to follow, this is excellent. It's one in a super new series so look out for the rest. Star Paws: Princesses: An animal dress-up sticker book and Star Paws: Party Time: An animal dress-up sticker book are just two.

Tree Fu Tom: Tree Fu Fun Sticker Book (Tree Fu Tom Activity Book)

Plenty of fun for fans of the series as they explore the fantasy world of Treetopolis with Tom and friends. There are plenty of generously sized stickers, along with learning activitiessuch as a maze and counting games. Tree Fu Fun is a magical TV series for young children and they will love to get to know their favourite characters better throuigh this series of brightly coloured and entertaining books. If you child enjoys this, then get a copy of Tree Fu Tom: Magical 3D Colouring Book (Tree Fu Tom Activity Book)  - it's an unusual approach to colouring, as one the pages are coloured, the 3D glasses show all the characters jumping out of the page at the viewer.

Slimy Science and Awesome Experiments by Susan Martineau

Hands on is the very best (and most fun) way to learn about science. This is a collection of experiments bound to appeal to those who like the somewhat gruesome -  Balloon Blecher, Ectoplasmic Gunk, Floating Eyeballs and Pus-filled Boils will be very popluar! The science behind each is clearly explained and its a fun way for children to learn about science. Each project is clearly explained, with plenty of illustrations and each is accessible and straightforward. Lots of fun!

Astonishing Art with Recycled Rubbish by Susan Martineau

 It really is quite astonishing what you can create from what people might view as rubbish -and of course, recycling is definitely 'in'. The recycled 'bum bag' is certainly a novel idea and a great talking point!  Or you could create your own self portrait with rubbish, colourful mosaics or puppet pets.The'Think About It' boxes give interesting facts and things to think about. These ideas would be excellent for use at school as well as at home - the materials are very easy to come by and the instructions easy to follow.

I Can Tie My Shoelaces by Nat Lambert

A tricky one to master this - and so much easier to learn in a book than on your own feet!  A colourful trainer with real laces and eyelet holes is the basis of this book - it folds out so the instructions can be seen at the same time. The simple step-by-step instructions include pictures to show how to tie the laces for a perfect fit. This colourful and unusual book includes motivating rhyme sand some friendly animal helpers toaccompany the lacing activities. Give your child confidence by helping them to master a very practical skill.

I'm a Baby Kitten (Adopt Me) by Olivia Cosneau

Just the books for children who want their own pet but can't have one! An adorable little kitten needs a home - and its up to the imagination of the reader to make her one! Using the stickers, your colouring pencils and the press-out pieces in the book, share an adventure with your new pet on every page. It's a super way to show children just what is needed when caring for a pet - why not buy this book if you are planning to buy a kitten? Packed with ideas - there's a push-out pet carrier to make, a box full of cat treats - and even a litter tray!

I'm a Baby T. Rex (Adopt Me) by Olivia Cosneau

Another book packed full of activities for children to enjoy. Make your T Rex a home in a cave, complete his passport so you remember those all-important details, make sure he has some clothes to wear... A super book - so imaginative and with so many different facets. There are push out card shapes to make models, pictures to colour, stickers to stick - and lots of things to talk about as you go through the book. A lovely way to encourage children's imaginative play.

Colour by Numbers by Emily Golden Twomey

The popular colour by numbers concept familiar from painting kits is brought to book form by Buster Books. It's a novel idea as a book and great fun to fill in the shapes and see the pictures spring to life as you go. Packed with stylish, fun and striking illustrations to work through, with varying levels of difficulty (some are quite challenging!), this is a great colouring idea and a fun way to practise number recognition. The paper is thick enough that, with care, paints could be used too, for an even more striking effect.

Dot to Dot (Buster Activity) by Emily Golden Twomey

More hours of fun from Buster Books with this dot-to-dot book. From animals to aliens and cupcakes to cars, this book is brimming with stylish dot-to-dots to discover and colour. Unusually, this book includes pictures at simple, medium and harder levels of difficulty, making it a great book to have on standby at home for the whole family. Ideal to give boys and girls hours of entertainment, whilst developing creative skills - and even counting skills for young ones! They are entertaining pictures and there's the chance for colouring-in fun after.

Let's Find Mimi: At Home by Katherine Lodge

Mimi has an action-packed day, and children can follow her through it in this vibrantly coloured book packed with intricately detailed illustrations. Your challenge is to find Mimi and her family who are hidden in every scene. It's a wonderful way for toddlers to explore a familiar world and talk about it as they search out the characters. There's also a snakes and ladders game and over 50 fun stickers to enhance the enjoyment. This is a much loved format and it's super to see a series of titles for children to enjoy - and with the added bonus of stickers too! There's hours of fun here, perfect for holidays, wet days and long journeys.

Let's Find Mimi: In the City by Katherine Lodge

The big bustling city is just the place to find lots of people - and hidden amongst them are Mimi and her family. Luckily, there's a clue as to where to find them on each page, otherwise it could be really difficult! There's masses here to discuss with your little one as Mimi travels around the city - from department store to the cafe, to the river and all around. There's hours of fun spotting the characters and talking about what they, and everyone else, are doing. Colourful and detailed - and there's a shopping game to enjoy too.

Donna Wilson's Creative Creatures

If you want some really unusual crafty ideas to try out with your child, then this is the book for you! It's packed with unusual ideas, all with an animal theme. How about a sock monster? A phone cosy?  A mitten kitten? Or banana bunting perhaps? Interwoven with the crafts are fun stories about the animal friends. The ideas are clearly described in a really attractive fashion, with lots of drawings to show what to do. These ideas will produce creatures to be proud of!

Play School Fun (The Froobles Activity Book) by Ella Davies

The Froobles are wonderful characters, much loved by young children, so they will thoroughly enjoy the range of Froobles activity books produced by Top That! Play School Fun introduces children to the early learning concepts which will give them a head start for their schooldays. The friendly fruit and vegetable characters romp through a series of colourful pages introducing a range of activities including letter formation, shapes and telling the time. THere are lots and lots of bright stickers to complete the learning fun. One of the most attractive early learning books I have seen recently.

Alien Invaders Doodle Wars by Oakley Graham and Sally Hopgood

A super activity book, full of all sorts of activities. There are drawings to colour, flags to design, plenty of design opportunities and lots of ways to extend children's imagination and creative skills. There are also two sheets of outline stickers for children colour in and then use to further embellish their creations. Hours of fun and full of inspiration.

Princess ABC Dot-to-Dot Adventure by Sally Hopgood 

An unexpected surprise on opening this book is to find that the illustrations are full colour. So often (dare I say it?) dot to dot can be rather boring black and white. Not dot to dot numbers though, but abc - a lovely way to learn the alphabet. This is not just a dot to dot book either - it is the story of Max and Molly on a magical journey to an enchanted kingdom. Once your child has completed the pictures (and hopefully coloured them in too), they will still have a lovely story to enjoy.

Roman Activity Book (Crafty Histories) by Sue and Steve Weatherill

Colourful projects to support the curriculum and also for fun. Step-by-step instructions, tip top tips, lots of interesting facts about Roman times and an extra stencil to help make the projects. Easy to follow activities that don't require lots of obscure items make this a useful book for rainy days at home, homework support and classroom work. Using a book like this helps to bring history alive for children and as the Romans is a key topic for KS2, it will be very welcome, especially as there are plenty of historical facts to discover throughout the book.. The cartoons are fun too!

The London Underground Activity Book by Samantha Meredith 

A super book to enjoy during a trip to London, or to generate excitement beforehand - or just to find out more about the oldest underground railway in the world. As well as lots of varied activities - word searches, quizzes, games to play, pictures to draw, crosswords and much more - there are lots of interesting facts. Find about escalators, design, what happens at night.... It's a fascinating of fact and activity, with so much to enjoy. I love the variety that has been packed into this book - it's great value.

Friends and Fashion (Magical Mix-Ups) by Marnie Edwards and Leigh Hodgkinson

Building on the success of Mega Mash Up, Nosy Crow have now brought us Magical Mix-Ups, which follow the same successful format but especially for girls. I have said it before - I think the books are a brilliant concept, with their intermingling of story and doodling which combine to make a super way to draw children right into the story and extend their imaginations. In the second of the series, Princess Sapphire and Emerald the Witch, unlikely best friends, are at the grand opening of the fashion show . . . but Boris, Emerald's pet toad, causes a bit of a mix up! The girls need YOUR help to complete the designs for the show - so get out the crayons and glitter and have fun!

The Stick Man Activity Book by Julia Donaldson

This is a far cry from your average activity book - it is beautifully produced in full colour and with lots of pages on high quality glossy card. It's a year-round activity book brimming with press-outs, colouring, games and puzzles - plenty to keep Stick Man fans busy for hours. Colouring, puzzles, cooking, stickerscenes, decorations and more. It's a lovely way to encourage children to be creative and imaginative and fans of the books will love to see the characters come to life as they make scenes and play with the characters. A super book!

Sing Along Songs by Roger Priddy

Features 13 favourite children's songs, including Wheels on the Bus and Old Macdonald. Children can sing along to the songs on the specially recorded CD which comes with the book. There is Touch and Feel embossing on every page for little fingers to enjoy. It's a lovely way to encourage children to sing along - especially if, like me, you cannot sing in tune! Great for car journeys too. It's a lovely colourful book and I like the fact that this is an activity different aged siblings can enjoy together.

Alpha-Doodles (Pocket Packs) b yDeborah Zemke 

These packs are great fun! Alpha-Doodles is a pocket-sized pack of 26 animal cards with a snippet of interesting information, step by step drawing instructions and an amusing cartoon on the back of each folded card. Ingeniously, each drawing starts with the appropriate letter shape so good for alphabet teaching too. There's even a pack of (easily replenished) paper included to make this a perfectly portable activity. They are really attractive and such a neat concept offering hoirs of fun and encouraging creativity. They would be excellent in the classroom - hand one to each child and you will have a great collection of animal doodles for display at the end of the lesson. The cards themselves would also make a good display.

Doodles 2 Do (Pocket Pack) by Deborah Zemke

25 cards, each based on a consecutive number (with a few others to help) which is used to draw the object - for example doodle a 21 to start off a dragon and then follow the instructions to complete your fire-breathing dragon. The drawings are imaginative and hopefully will inspire lots more drawings based on numbers. The information included is an extra bonus. Paper is included and the compact size of the Pocket Packs makes them ideal to pack into a bag for travel and they will make a super stocking filler or party present. The pack even refastens with a magnet. I love them!

First Words (Froobles Magnetic Play and Learn) from Top That!

The Froobles romp through the colourful pages and children can find the magnetic letters and place them on the page to make the word. There are lots of opportunities for discussion around the pictures as children enjoy the adventures of these lovely characters. For more early learning fun, try Colours (Froobles Magnetic Play and Learn), Shapes (Froobles Magnetic Play and Learn) and Counting (Froobles Magnetic Play and Learn). "The Froobles have been brought to life by the magic of children's imaginations! Scenes created by playgroup children provide The Froobles with an ever-changing world in which they have fun adventures and learn valuable lessons along the way." Find out more at I love these characters - they are such a brilliant way to encourage and extend imagination.

Kokeshi Dolls illustrated by Jessica Secheret

You will find outline drawings of Kokeshi dolls, along with traditional Japanese kimonos, and accessories such as fans and sashes and wigs. As well as the dolls, there are friends and family to colour. There are nine main dolls, along with a haiku to help you get to know them.There's lots of scope for originality in colouring the dolls (using the clues contained in the haiku) and they can be decorated with the traditional style stickers included. It's an unusual book wich makes a refreshing change from the norm. In case you didn't know (and I didn't!) Kokeshi are handmade wooden Japanese dolls.

Dolls of the World Colouring Book illustrated by Jessica Secheret

Thirteen different countries and regions are represented by dolls on pages that are partly coloured and partly blank, allowing for plenty of creative options but also giving a head start to those who want a little encouragement..Each doll is seen in a series of different settings, along with friends and family.  It's a lovely way to learn about different cultures (teher's some information on each page) and the picture would give excellent support for topic work, either cut out and stuck in, or the ideas copied into the topic. There are over 70 stickers to provide further fun and inspiration. A super book which will give many hours of pleasure.

Fun Things to Make (Froobles Activity Book) by Ella Davies

There are some super and unusual craft ideas in this colourful book and the great thing is that they are all done with easy-to-find resources. There's plenty of variety - musical instruments, crackle cakes, bedtime bugs, leaf art and pasta pictures are just some. My favourite are the finger doodles and I hope those illustrated will inspire children to try out their own ideas. It's a colourful book, withn aesy to follow instructions that guarantee good results for everyone. There are over 400 colourful stickers to decorate the finished masterpieces too. Perfect for a rainy weekend or for when the children have friends over.

Frooble Doodles with Stickers! (Froobles Activity Book) by Ella Davies

The Froobles are wonderful characters and reading about them encourages children's imaginations. Now they can extend that even further by making their own scenes with these charming and varied characters. Children are encouraged to doodle on the pages - they start by waking up the Froobles and bringing the various fruits and vegetables to life. Then there are lots of varied scenes to doodle on and to complete with the stickers included - over 300 of them! The backgrounds are colourful and will inspire all sorts of wonderful creations and give children hours of fun - and an end product to treasure. And if you enjoyed these, try Playschool Fun (Froobles Activity Books) and Big Book of Sticker Fun (Froobles Activity Books).

Dressing Up As a Robot by Rebekah Joy Shirley

I used to dread the days that the children would come home from school, and say that they had got to be in costume for a particular event such as Book Week. I wish I had had this series of books to hand for inspiration! They would be brilliant for schools to make available to parents when dressing up days or school plays are looming. They are also excellent for encouraging imaginative play at home. In this book, find out step by step everything that a robot needs, from its computer brain to its big feet - and there's a cpmpanion to stop it getting lonely!

Dressing Up As a Princess by Rebekah Joy Shirley

Everything a little girl needs to become a fairy tale princess. Page by page instructions and readily available materials make this an easy book to follow and there is plenty of inspiration here. Dressing up has a hugely important part to play in children's development - it encourages them to be imaginative, creative and boosts confidence. The fact that they are 'in disguise' can help them relax and put themselves forward in a confident way that they may not feel comfortable with in everyday life.

Dressing Up As a Pirate by Rebekah Joy Shirley

Judging by the number of requests we receive for information on pirates, it is a very popular topic. You can find out how to create a pirate costume and, as with the rest of the series, there is lots of information on the topic, including books and websites for further information. The books are generously illustrarated with full colour photos which really help in designing the costumes - excellent for home and school. The series is available in hardback and in paperback from January 2013 and more titles are shown below.

Easy Origami Toys by Christopher L Harbo

It's amazing what a few simple folds can create! The ideas in this inventive book include a basketball hoop, a royal crown, a mini piano, a hungry crow and many more. The ideas are easy to follow, aided enormously by the clear step by step phots which illustrate every fold. The book starts by explaining traditional folding techniques, to give a good background to the craft and enable children to try out their own ideas.


1920s Fashion (Historical Sticker Dolly Dressing) by Emily Bone

Love those Downton Abbey clothes? Thene here's your chance to recreate them in this wonderful sticker book, which will appeal to grown up girls just as much as young ones. Find out how the fashionable spent their time - including a shopping trip to Paris, a day at the races and even an ocean cruise. It's far more than just a sticker book though - contemporary advertisements and artwork give a background to life in the 1920s. THere is an overview of 20s style and lots of background information about accessories' fashion and fabrics. It comes with over 200 detailed and accurate stickers of clothes and accessories, which all dovetail together beautifully - yes, I do know because I've tried it! It was just too good to resist and I am excitedly looking forward to more in the series.

Monkeyfarts! Wacky Jokes Every Kid Should Know by David Borgenicht

A compilation of jokes guaranteed to appeal to children, from old favourites to new jokes. There are knock-knock jokes, what's the difference jokes, jokes to share with your parents - and jokes you wouldn't share with your parents. The presentation is attractive and varied, with good use of font, layout and illustrations for variety. Some longer jokes are mixed with one or two liners - it's great fun. Just be aware - this is an American book with some US use of language. 

The Usborne Book of Drawing, Doodling and Colouring Fashion by Fiona Watt

A bumper book for all girls interested in fashion. It's a great way to encourage an interest in fashion and to give young would-be designers ideas on how to present their work.  Full of unusual ideas, such as filll a department store with shoppers, dress the stars at a movie premiere or design designer bags. The outlines are there - it's up to the reader to create their own masterpieces - doodle hairstyles and make-up, draw funky T-shirt designs, design Christmas party dresses and colour in patterns influenced by fabric designs, buttons and bows. There are so many different ideas here and a huge variety of styles of doodles to complete. Hours of fun!

Make It! (Art Smart) by Melanie Grimshaw

Twelve textile projects make up this colourful book. There are some lovely ideas here - a space pillowcase, a dino doorstop and a bouncy bird for starters.There are clear lists of materials needed and step by step illustrations which clearly show how to do things; the finished creation is also shown. At the end, materials and techniques are explained. It's lots of fun!  I think these projects would also make super classroom or school club ideas. The materials are easily come by and many of the materials will be around the home or school.

Draw It! (Art Smart) by Wendy Walker

More inspiring ideas for budding artists. This time, there are 12 drawing projects, ranging from frottage (no, I didn't know what it was either!) butterflies to doodling to music and microscopic art. As you can see, these are really unusual ideas and the iteresting techniques open up a whole range of possibilities. It is another attractive and lavishly illustrated book, with detailed instructions and based on easliy obtained materials. techniques and materials are elaborated on at the end. This creative series also includes Print It! (Art Smart) and Paint It! (Art Smart)

Monsters Sticker Book (Activity Books) by Kirsteen Rogers

A sticker book which really tells a story, making it so much more meaningful than the average collection of stickers. There are over 300 stickers to decorate the colourful pages, as children take part in a monster hunt. It's a super way to encourage children to use their imaginations and to get really involved in the story as they make it their own. There are so many stickers that there may well be some left over for other projects too!

Fairy Puzzles (Puzzle Adventures) by Sheila Maidment

Young girls will just love this fairy adventure! Girls can solve the puzzles as they go on a magical adventure with Flora and help her to organise the Midsummer Party. On each page, there are three things to spot as well as a maze to follow through or a question to answer. Answers are included, as well as some ideas for further activities. The bright pages and puzzles are a good incentive to encourage children to read Another one for the girls is Princess Puzzles (Puzzle adventures), whilst the boys have Pirate Puzzles (Puzzle adventures) and Cowboy Puzzles (Puzzle Adventure) to keep them entertained. Ideal for pre-school and KS1, to help develop a range of skills including hand-eye coordination and observation.

My Art Book Animals from Dorling Kindersley

Does your child lack confidence when it comes to art and other creative activities? Well, here is a book packed with projects for all ability levels - there's something here that everyone can do and be proud of the results. As well as a hands-on art book, it is also an introduction to art, as the ten projects are inspired by famous artists, including Durer, Stubbs, Klee and Picasso. But that's not all - there are also many more famous works of art depicted and discussed. Your child will be encouraged to experiment with particular techniques and expand their use of materials. Step-by-step instructions and stunning photography of both the famous artworks and how to create the projects, this wonderful book will help instill a love for art. The ideas would make an excellent addition to school project work, or as classroom art topics.

The Midnight Colouring Book illus by Richard Merrett

Buster Books have done it again - another really unusual and striking colouring book. This is not just one for the children - I think adults will love it too (in fact, I am tempted to get the crayons out right now....). It is full of wonderfully detailed images in a sophisticated black, white and red colour scheme. The pictures include ornate birdcages, intricate clocks and playing-card patterns, elegant acrobats and mouthwatering feasts - and much, much more. I am quite sure the end results will be really stunning - I am off to try now!!! Other new colouring books from Buster Books are The Cupcake Colouring Book, The Girls' Fabulous Colouring Book and The Beautiful Girls' Colouring Book  

The Selfish Crocodile Jigsaw Book by Faustin Charles

An intriguing combination of story book and jigsaw starring this very popular character. He really is very selfish - he thinks he owns the river and the poor animals aren't allowed near.... until one day the crocodile needed their help and everything changes. Children will love to play with the six colourful jigsaws that slot neatly into the pages and illustrate the story. It's a sturdy board book that will keep children amused for hours as they enjoy the story and the friendships the animals find.

Back to School Sticky Labels by Katie Lovell

Children will love to decorate anything and everything with this super collection of stickers - a great way to build up anticipation for the return to school, but just as much fun to use at any time. More than 400 brightly illustrated self-adhesive labels and stickers make up this varied collection. Children can personalise their books, pencil cases, school bags and much more. As well as labels, there are lots of other decorative stickers covering school subjects to make those boring exercise books look more fun - and never get lost. Perfect for decorating a timetable too - and there are even messages for friends. Lots of fun.

Circus (First Sticker Book) by Vicki Gausden

This would be the perfect book to give a child to build anticipation for a visit to the circus. Children can find out about all the features of the circus. There are eight colourful double page backgrounds, including On the high wire, Amazing acrobats and Coming to town. Lots of colourful stickers depict the people and the equipment used, and children will love to create and recreate scenes of activity around the much-loved institution of the circus. Sticker books are great to encourage imagination and develop hand-eye coordination and are a super way to encourage children to tell stories about their scenes. 

Cavemen Sticker Book (Usborne Activities) by Paul Nicholls

I love this departure from the ordinary, it's such an unexpected title - trust Usborne to come up with such a novel idea! But this is much more than just a sticker book - it is full of factual information about the way cavemen lived. Join cavemen in their cave, going hunting, find out what they wore and about their art and lots more. The cavemen stickers are full of fun and character. The background scenes are colourful and the generous size of the book gives plenty of scope to use the multitude of stickers on the 13 scenes, each over a double page and on heavy shiny paper. Hours of fun and educational too.

Farmyard Tales Sticker Book from Usborne Books

Do you remember spotting the Usborne Little Yellow Duck? Usborne Publishing is proud to be celebrating 35 years of publishing the evocative illustrations of Stephen Cartwright, best known for the loveable ‘Farmyard Tales’ series. Three generations have now enjoyed spotting the Little Yellow Duck on every page of Farmyard Tales stories, featuring Mrs Boot the Farmer, her children Poppy and Sam, Ted the Tractor Driver and all the family’s favourite farmyard animals, including Rusty the Dog and Curly the Pig! With over 100 colourful stickers to complete the farmyard scenes, this is a wonderful introduction to the world of Apple Tree Farm for a new generation.

Original Anti Colouring Book by Susan Striker and Edward Kimmel

Bored with traditional colouring books? Well, here's the answer! Far from the traditional idea of a colouring book, this is packed with inspiration to inspire even the least artistically inclined and there is something to appeal to all ages, even those who think they are too old for colouring books. The great think is that it gives ideas, so everyone is inspired. It is a bhook which has been available for many years, so the fact it can still be brought and be popular inb this digital age is a testament to its value. Here are just a few of its briliant ideas - a machine that will change the lives of everyone, flowers growing on Jupiter, design a shopping bag and how faces show feelings. Inspirational! I'd recommend everyone to get a copy for those 'I'm bored' moments.

Justin's Funny Faces Sticker Activity Book by Justin Fletcher

Meet 14 of children's TV star Justin's friends and give them all sorts of different expressions with the colourful reusable stickers included. Ideal for children of 3+, the faces are full page and include interesting background detail for added interest. And at the end of the book, children can give Justin his very own funny face!

Holiday Activity Book by Catriona Clarke and Samantha Meredith

An ideal book for young girls to take on holiday with them, or to use at home to celebrate the arrival of summer. It is packed with doodles to do and puzzles to solve, all in soft attractive blues. Girls can design swimsuits, draw the passengers on the plane, fill the rock pool with shells and starfish, enjoy a variety of puzzles including spot the difference between the beach scenes, create the ultimate sandcastle and much, much more. Plenty to entertain and hopefully to inspire more activities and imagination.

Magnetic Play and Learn Animals from Top That!Magnetic Play and Learn Animals (2012)

This would be an excellent series of books to use on journeys and on holidays, as the magnets are stored neatly at the top of the book. Colourful pages encourage children to look for
the word from the selection of magnetic words and then to find the magnetic animals and match them to the shape on the page. Excellent for co-ordination and matching skills as well as encouraging diswcussion and learning about animals. The pages are bright and sturdy and the magnets allow for hours of fun - possibly not always with the book! I can imagine some brightly decorated fridges!

Magnetic Play and Learn Counting from Top That!Magnetic Play and Learn Counting (2012)

An excellent way to encourage even quite young children to learn their numbers in a fun way. There are magnetic numbers 1 to 10 and each has its own page, where the number is shown, making it easy for children. Then they look for the outline shape on the page and find the matching brightly coloured animal magnet. As well as learning numbers, manipulative skills are encouraged and as the magnets are stored in the book, children can be encouraged to keep the set complete. Colourful, fun and educational. 

Draw 50 Animals by Lee J Ames

The great thing about books of this type is that they reassure us all, even the most artistically challenged, that we can actually draw! Children always love to draw animals, right from when they put pencil to paper, and this is a great way to encourage them and help them to see just how to draw. Cat, mouse, tortoise, elephant and many more are all shown step-by-step, starting from a very simple shape. Excellent to encourage children to do their own drawings for project work.
Published by Crown Publishing. ISBN 978-0823085781


RSPCA Annual 2014

Everything you would expect in an annual in this perfect gift for animal lovers. Of course, there are lots of photos of adorable animals and there is also information about a surprisingly large range of animals - not just cats and dogs, but chipmunks, salamanders and zebras, among many more. For every book sold, a minimum of 15p will be donated to the RSPCA to help save animals' lives; the annual also informs the reader about the invaluable work the RSPCA does with plenty of articles. There are animals themed puzzles to enjoy too. Although cute animals appeal more to girls, there's plenty in this annual for boys too so it's a shame the cover is a girly pink.

Horrible Science Annual 2014 by Nick Arnold

Bleeding brilliant blood; Repulsive parasites; Amazing evolution; Maddening matter and Mean machines in all their gory glory to delight young readers, boys and girls. But hidden in all the amusing presentation are lots of useful science facts and children will remember these because of the enjoyable presentation. An excellent way to interest children in science - even reluctant readers enjoy this approach. Being an annual, you would expect plenty of pictures and you won't be disappointed; alongside the many comic strips there are other articles packed with highly entertaining illustrations. THere are puzzles to enjoy too.

The Rupert Annual 2014

Rupert just as I remember him. Instead of updating the characters and losing their original appeal these four stories about the bear and his friends span the years from 1972 with one new story - enjoy Rupert and the Rugger Match, Rupert and the Go-Kart Race; Rupert and the Baby Cloud and Rupert and the Missing Snow. There's an origami paper banger to make too. Ideal for different reading abilities (or for parents to share with their child), the comic strips have short text in rhyming couplets underneath, with a longer story at the bottom of the page - despite being an annual, this is a book that will grow with your child. Egmont are obviously interested in their readers' views as there's a survey at the end. An enjoyable annual but I would have liked a few puzzles or other activities to add to the interest though.

Enid Blyton The Famous Five Annual 2014

A wonderfully nostalgic feel to this annual, which begins with the cover picture and cloth-like binding. There's all you'd expect in a traditional annual - stories, comic strips, background information about the books, people and places and of course, games and puzzles galore. The combination of illustrations old and new give a flavour of the originals whilst appealing to today's readers and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the development of the series over the years. Certainly not just an annual for children - all Enid Blyton fans and those who remember reading her books as children will love this annual - I found it quite fascinating!

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