Tag Archives: parragon

Spot a Lot Animal Escape

Spot a Lot Animal Escape has been a huge hit with Tiddler – it’s probably our favourite Parragon book so far.  In fact, as soon as I sat down to try and write this review he saw the book and said “Now mum, I like this book, can you read it to me?”  So I’d better stop writing for a minute and do just that…

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…I don’t think he’ll ever tire of it.  We’ve been reading it several times a day and he’s just asked “Can I take it into Preschool? It’s so good!”

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In this story, the animals have escaped from the zoo and the reader follows the zookeeper as she searches for them all throughout the rest of the book.  On one level it is a simple counting book, with the main text line taking us from “1 very tall giraffe trying hard not to laugh” to “10 warthogs tapping feet dancing to a hip-hop beat!”  Within the illustrations, though, there is much more to find.  There is a tortoise to search for on every double page spread, and in addition there are instructions to look for extra animals, such as “Spot 3 green lizards” and “Where is the hippo hiding?”

We’ve had many counting books over the years, and plenty of books with hidden things to spot too, and I think this is one of the very best.  In some cases they can become a bit tedious, but not this one.  It has just the right number – and difficulty – of things to find, the text is fun to read aloud and the illustrations are excellent.  Having read it to Tiddler at least once a day for a couple of weeks, and sometimes to Rabbit separately, I’m happy to report that I haven’t got bored of it yet!

We received this book free of charge for the purpose of this review.




Parragon picture books, Maths and more

We have received some lovely items for review from Parragon recently, starting with two picture books which the children have really enjoyed.

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The Fish with the Deep Sea Smile, written by award winning author Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Henry Fisher, is the story of a family’s quest to find the fish with the deep sea smile.  They find all kinds of fish with different attributes – one with “blue-green eyes and whiskers three”, another “With electric lights up and down its tail” and even “a fish with a laughing eye.”  But can they find the fish with the deep sea smile?  With its poetic text and colourful illustrations, this is a great story to read aloud.

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Away in my Aeroplane, also by Margaret Wise Brown and Henry Fisher, is another story which was very popular with the children.  We liked the pictures of the little boy flying in his aeroplane, and enjoyed seeing everything he sees as he goes on an adventure through the skies.  The text is very satisfying to read aloud as you get carried along by the rhythm and rhyme: “Down below the people go, very small and very slow.  They look like bugs and ants and flies – I wonder if they realize what they look like to my eyes.”

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We have also taken up the Parragon #summerwithgoldstars challenge and Owl has worked his way steadily through the age 9-11 Maths workbook.  His confidence in Maths has improved so much this summer and I could not be more proud of him.

parragon stationery

And finally, something for me I think, though I haven’t yet come up with a suitable use for this pretty notebook with matching post-it notes.  Far too good for the to-do list, so I will have to think of something more interesting to use them for before the children get their hands on them.  We are very grateful for all the lovely things we have been sent – we love being a Parragon family!


Anthony and the Ants

Anthony and the Ants by Gemma Raynor is a picture book on the theme of sharing.

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Anthony loves to eat but a horde of hungry ants keep carrying away his food.  He tries to escape from them and eat an apple in peace – with very surprising results.

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I read the book at bedtime to the two little ones and they both enjoyed it.  Rabbit said she liked it because it is funny.  Tiddler just said “Again!” as soon as I finished reading it, which is the sign of a good book.

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We were sent a copy of the book free for the purpose of this review.

Bunny Loves to Learn

It’s always a good sign for me if a book leads to an outbreak of creativity and that has certainly happened with our latest book from Parragon.

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Bunny Loves to Learn, by Peter Bently, is an appealing story about bunny and friends who are learning about various topics from knights to Ancient Egypt.  The younger children in particular enjoyed the story, but all four of them had fun using some of the ideas in the book to do some learning and creating of their own.

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Monkey made a pyramid out of chairs and blankets, while the other three made shields (I don’t seem to have a picture of Owl’s for some reason.)

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The next day some of our home educated friends came round and we had a history morning together.  We read some books about Ancient Egypt, and the children mummified soft toys and made death masks for them.

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Thank you Parragon for sending us this book which gave us the inspiration for a lot of creative fun.

We have been sent a free copy of the book for the purpose of this review.

Bunny Loves to Learn, written by Peter Bently, illustrated by Emma Foster and Deborah Melmon, Parragon, £5.99, paperback.



Hold That Thought Milton!

Hold That Thought Milton! is a humorous picture book written by award winning author Linda Ravin Lodding.

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It is fun to read aloud to children of all ages, and the enjoyment of the comical story is enhanced by Ross Collins’ quirky illustrations.

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Milton is a young boy who has many things on his mind and a lot to say.  But everyone in his family is too busy to listen to him, and they just keep telling him to “Hold that thought!”  So he tries, but it’s not easy, and his thoughts begin to have a strange effect on him.  The story reaches a hilarious climax on his Aunt Lulu’s wedding day.

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All the children liked the story and Tiddler asked for it again straight away.  Rabbit wanted to pose with the book, while Monkey had fun taking pictures of the illustrations – I am sure he and Owl will have their own blogs before too long!

We have been sent a free copy of the book for the purpose of this review.

Hold That Thought Milton!, Linda Raven Lodding and Ross Collins, Parragon, £5.99, paperback.

Dino Supersaurus Activity Books

We love the new Dino Supersaurus colouring and sticker books from Parragon.

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The books are set in New Dino City, where a band of fearless Dino Supersaurs are battling against T-Rex and his fellow baddies.

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All the children were very happy to test the books, and of course the all-important free gifts!

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The little ones loved the stretchy dinosaur and the flick book, which kept them occupied while the big boys read the activity books in more detail.

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The children have had a very happy afternoon colouring, sticking and playing.  At £3.99 each, the books are good value for money.  There’s plenty in them to occupy older children, and they are also appealing to younger ones who can complete the colouring and sticker activities with a little help.

We were sent the books free of charge for the purpose of this review.

Muddypaws’ New Friends

Rabbit loved this book from Parragon so much that she wanted to write the review herself!

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Muddypaws’ New Friends, written by Steve Smallman and illustrated by Simon Mendez, Parragon Books, paperback, £5.99

I love the Muddypaws book because I like little puppies.  In the story, Ben and his puppy Muddypaws go to Puppy School.  Muddypaws makes some new friends and plays with them.  I like the bit where Muddypaws gets all wet in the puddle.  I like the boy because he is called Ben and I know someone else called Ben.  I like Muddypaws because he is a nice dog and he is fluffy.

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Thank you to the lovely people at Parragon for sending us this book, we really enjoyed it!

We were sent the book free of charge for the purpose of this review.

The Carrot Cake Catastrophe

We have enjoyed reading The Carrot Cake Catastrophe! by Elizabeth Dale and Gemma Raynor, which was kindly sent to us (rather a long time ago) for review by Parragon Books.

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It’s mum’s birthday, and Jenny and Grandad try to make her a carrot cake.  Unfortunately, they make a few mistakes, and it turns into a catastrophe!  Jenny is very sad, until her mum comes along and makes everything alright again.

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At the end of the book, there is a recipe for carrot cake and Rabbit was keen to try it, so she wrote a shopping list for the ingredients we needed.

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When it came to making the cake, Tiddler wanted to join in, and they worked very well together taking turns.

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After a while, Tiddler had had enough, and Rabbit was left to finish the job.  Though I helped her, she really did a lot of the work herself.

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Rabbit was very pleased with the results, and I am very proud of her.  She is planning to make it again for my birthday, which is good because it was actually the most delicious carrot cake I have ever tasted!

We were sent the book free of charge for the purpose of this review.

The Night Before Christmas

This evening our bedtime story was The Night Before Christmas, a little early perhaps, but I’m sure we’ll be reading it again many times right up to Christmas Eve.  We have been talking about St Nicholas Day, which is tomorrow, so it seemed a good choice to read tonight.

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The Night Before Christmas, Clement C. Moore, paperback, £6.99, Parragon

The famous poem by Clement C. Moore is accompanied by warm and playful illustrations which the children loved, especially the glittery cover.  We read it first while Owl was out at Cubs, and the three younger children drew some pictures.  When we got home from collecting Owl, they added glitter to their pictures, and then daddy read the poem again to all the children before they went to bed.

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We were sent a copy of this book to review.


Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear

The weather is getting colder and it feels like Winter is on the way, but we haven’t quite had the last of Autumn yet.  We are still enjoying going out for walks, playing in the leaves and collecting Autumn treasures, but the children are also asking when we think it is likely to snow.  Parragon Books have sent us a book to review which perfectly encapsulates the simple outdoor pleasures of both seasons.

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Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear! is written by Tracey Corderoy and illustrated by Rachel Swirles.  It is published by Parragon Books and is priced at £5.99.

Big Brown Bear doesn’t want to go to bed, because he will miss Autumn, with its crunchy leaves and splashy puddles, and Winter, with its sparkly snow. His friends Little Grey Mouse, Snow Hare and Squirrel promise to wake him up, but they can’t so they have to find another way to make sure he doesn’t miss out on the fun.

It’s a story of friendship, and a celebration of the seasons of Autumn and Winter.  It is well written and enjoyable to read aloud, and beautifully illustrated too.  Our children all loved it, and they had fun drawing their own pictures – I was pleased that even Tiddler wanted to join in!


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We were sent the book for free for the purpose of writing a review.