Tag Archives: Activity books

Guest review: Outdoor fun and nutty nature; what’s not to like?!

On this beautiful sunny day, it seems very apt to be posting about two brilliant new books by Andy Seed that celebrate nature and the world of fun that can be had outdoors.  And to tell you all about them in a guest post is my husband, Mr Dilly. When these arrived via bookpost he was quick to grab them from the TBR pile. Such was his enjoyment of them he wanted to share it with everyone, so welcome Mr Dilly and thank you for joining the blog today!

“Thank you for having me! When I was a child, I spent a lot of time playing with my friends and family – outside. Be it with cobbled together ‘guns’ and re-enacting famous battle scenes from bits of wood my dad had left lying around; riding our bikes down all kinds of slopes and frequently crashing headfirst into things; sledging down icy slopes on bits of polythene sheeting until our backsides were frozen, not really thinking of the barbed wire fence promising imminent injury at the bottom of our triumphant sledge runs!

I’m sure some of these things will spark similar memories from most of a certain age. Talking to my father, his childhood wasn’t much different in the sense that so much time was spent playing outside. That’s been the way for generations. For today’s age the lure of screens seems to have put an end to much of this, a huge shame, as staying inside and playing with what is essentially someone else’s imagination and not our own is not our ‘natural’ game.

So on the back of this comes two books from Andy Seed that I can’t recommend enough, ‘The Anti Boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things To Do‘ (illustrated by Scott Garrett, published by Bloomsbury) and ‘Nutty Nature Facts and Jokes’ (illustrated by Sarah Horne, published by Nosy Crow in association with The National Trust). The perfect antidote to anyone who thinks playing outside is boring and sees nothing fun in nature. Full of ideas, fun facts, jokes and complemented with fantastic illustrations they are a great way to entertain the kids (and yourself!).

‘The Anti Boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things To Do‘  has games galore to play outdoors.’ Blind Man’s Splash ‘ sounds great fun, and will be happening in my household when things warm up a bit…blindfolds and water pistols: what’s not to like?! Then there are things to make such as giant bubbles, which I did with my nephew, niece and son, just pure fascination and joy from them as they all competed to make the biggest bubble! There are so many activities and ideas all put together in fun and accessible way for all the family no matter what their age. Next up for my family…build a bivouac…yes I had no idea what one was either!

‘Nutty Nature Facts and Jokes’.  Well all I can say is me and my 7 year old son sat down to read this and ended up in floods of tears of laughter – his favourite joke? “How do you keep flies out of the kitchen? Put a bucket of poo in the living room’. Childish right? But that’s the point, and what an antidote to much of the other imagery floating about and aimed supposedly at kids nowadays. This book was just hilarious in parts, fascinating as well, with so many interesting facts alongside the jokes. Easy to pick up and flick though for children aged 5 onward – I say onward because I have considerable years on that and found it fantastic! On that note, I leave you with another joke: ‘Famous people who love nature – Elvis Parsley’….Elvis has left the building, and so should you; take the kids and buy these books and then get outside. You won’t regret it!”

Thank you Mr Dilly.  I will add that, to see anyone (but of course especially family) enjoying books in the way mine enjoyed these two books is quite simply a joy!  

Find out more at www.andyseed.com, www.sarahhorne.co.uk and www.garrettworld.co.uk

With thanks to Bloomsbury and Nosy Crow for sending these great books for review.

 

Just in time for Spring: The Book of Me by Adam Frost illustrated by Sarah Ray

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The Book of Me by Adam Frost, illustrated by Sarah Ray

If you ran your school what would your rules be? What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?  Would you rather talk to animals or speak every language in the world? Answer these questions and much much more, with real life comparisons – how do you compare to an animal, another human, or even your parents? Collect your own data and enjoy ridiculous facts, hilarious quizzes and scribbling activities?

From the winner of the Best Book with Facts in the Blue Peter Book Award, comes this fantastically fun activity book.  The Book of Me is much more than your average activity book; it gets the reader thinking about all sorts of things from fame to superpowers, from school to what kind of dad dancing goes on at home!  With loads of facts about life on Earth, the universe and the ideal holiday destination (did you know 22.5 million people visit Niagara Falls every year?!) readers will learn all about the world around them – and best of all, it encourages them to think about how they feel about it too.


The book is full of quirky and often funny illustrations which are the ideal accompaniment to the text.  With so many jokes and funny ideas, it’s sure to be a hit.  It’s also a great way to get even the most reluctant reader on board with books.  I have to say I laughed out loud at the bad dad jokes (for example: “Two goldfish are in a tank. One says to the other: Do you know how to drive this thing?!”). There’s opportunities for colouring, drawing and testing your knowledge with quizzes and is a great book to keep kids entertained on the go, so very well-timed for the Easter holidays.  But watch out – with a Dad quiz test and a method of measuring how embarrassing mums are, parents will be kept on their toes too! The Book of Me is published today by Bloomsbury.

Find out more at www.adam-frost.com and www.sarahray.co.uk.

With thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy to review.

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