Rain by Manya Stojic

We have been sent a copy of Rain by Manya Stojic, which is an enchanting and beautifully illustrated story set in the African Savannah.

Rain by Manya Stojic

Rain by Manya Stojic is a lovely bright colourful book. The story is set in the African Savannah.

The porcupine smells rain in the air. The zebras see lightning. The baboons hear rumbling thunder. The rhino feels the first drops and the lion tastes the cool water...”

The book has you joining all the savannah animals, using your senses to help them track a coming storm.

However, the hot sun dries out the land again once the rain has stopped, and the animals have to wait for the next big rain.

The sun shone over the plain. It was hot. Everything was drying out

Rain by Manya Stojic

Rain by Manya Stojic has very fun, simple text which makes it an easy book to read, with lovely big text and bright colourful illustrations.

I like that the book has an embossed cover in the shape of raindrops – shiny ones – it makes the book stand out on the shelf.

Rain by Manya Stojic

I think this book is ideal for young readers – especially ones who are starting to get into expression, as well as teaching children about senses and the environment.

Rain by Manya Stojic is published by Pavilion Books and has a rrp of £6.99 and is available now! Click here to buy from Amazon. (affiliate link)

We were sent a copy of Rain by Manya Stojic for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own.

How to be a Cowboy Activity Book by Alice V. Lickens

There comes a time in a little girl’s life when she needs some help. Sometimes it’s help that mummies and daddies can’t give, even though we try. Sometimes she likes to think she’s independent and doesn’t need us parents. When it comes to being a Cowboy, well, she’s going to need a bit of help, and this wonderful book from Alice V. Lickens is a very good place to start.

How to be a Cowboy by Alice Lickens

How to be a Cowboy is packed with fun illustrations and activities – and is ideal for any aspiring cowboys or girls. Inside you can find a map of Cowboy States, information about what is On The Ranch, and most importantly of all, information about Cowboy Boots.

As the book says, “A cowboy needs a ranch name to be shouted across the prairie. What would yours be?” – and there are plenty to choose from!

How to be a Cowboy by Alice Lickens

How to be a Cowboy also has a page on stetsons, so you know one from another. Add to that a page of stickers and at the back, a dress up cowboy doll, and it’s a fun book packed with information – and one H is really enjoying reading.

how to be a cowboy doll by Alice Lickens

I love the illustrations by Alice V. Lickens – they’re all very clear and bright. We’re familiar with her work, as we have her ‘Can You Dance to the Boogaloo’ book. There are maps (H LOVES maps) and trails, including some Cattle Trails marked out too. Have you ever wondered what each cowboy has job-wise when they’re on the trail? You can find that out in How to be a Cowboy too!

how to be a cowboy stickers

Of course, no cowboy is truly complete without being taught how to speak like a cowboy. Fortunately this book has plenty of phrases, including ‘Jackaroo’ which Shaun says is an Australian Cowboy. See! I’ve learnt something too.

Finally, when you’re at home on the range you need to have some basic meals to cook – and luckily, How to be a Cowboy has four of them you can try. I’m not convinced about Sock Coffee though!

how to be a cowboy food

All in all, the How to be a Cowboy activity book is lots of fun. Published by Pavilion Books, and with a RRP of £9.99, it’s available on 12th November – perfectly timed for any Cowboys who need something to read this Christmas!

Alice V. Lickens is a freelance illustrator, author and designer based in London. She has worked with Lonely Planet, National Trust, Random House, Pavilion Books, Walker Books and The Guardian. Alice is also one of the first illustrators in the UK who was chosen for the Sendak Fellowship, and went to work at Maurice Sendak’s residence in Connecticut in 2012. Her website is here. We also love that her site links to Maggie Li and Frann Preston Gannon – both are favourites of ours here!

We were sent the book for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own. 

Apple Pigs by Ruth Gary Orbach

For our latest book review, we were sent Apple Pigs by Ruth Gary Orbach, published in September 2015 by Pavilion Books.

Apple Pigs by Ruth Gary Orbach

Apple Pigs which is written and illustrated by Ruth Gary Orbach was originally published in 1978, and has a long-overdue reissue by the National Trust via Pavilion Books.

The story of Apple Pigs is a timeless classic, a beautifully illustrated tale of an apple tree which grows too many apples. A little girl finds a withered apple tree surrounded by rubbish. In order to help the tree grow and to not be chopped up for firewood she clears the rubbish around it. When spring arrives the tree bursts into blossom and produces many apples.

Apple Pigs by Ruth Gary Orbach

In fact, it produces MANY apples. Too many apples, more than the family needs. They cook and hide the apples but they keep growing – so they have an annual apple feast! Almost everyone I know with apple trees seem to be giving us bags of apples which is wonderful, so I can relate to this, having had some delicious apple crumble recently!

The back of the book also has a guide ‘How to Make Apple Pigs’ – with nice easy to follow instructions – and is something we’ll be having a go at. The National Trust website has some activities too over here.

Did you know that October 21st is the 25th anniversary of Apple Day? It was first initiated by the UK charity Common Ground and is celebrated with Apple Day and weekend events all over the country. Our local National Trust place (Morden Hall Park) had an apple day this weekend with local varieties to try.

Apple Pigs by Ruth Gary Orbach

Apple Pigs is a much-loved book – and a classic story told in rhyme. It is based on a true story – Ruth Orbach’s editor listened to the tale over dinner, and said it must be written down – and here it is! Warning – make sure you have plenty of apples at home while reading, as you may well end up dashing into the kitchen afterwards, finding yourself suddenly inspired by the mention of some of the apple-based desserts!

Apple Pigs is available now, with a RRP of £9.99, available from Amazon and all good bookstores.

We were sent the book for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own. Post contains affiliate link.

Big City Explorer by Maggie Li

Occasionally we’re sent books which are absolutely perfect with H’s development and interests. Big City Explorer is one of those. Maggie Li who illustrates it is also the Art Director of one of our favourite magazines, Okido!

big city explorer

Big City Explorer is a different kind of book. A journey around the world, visiting 28 different cities.

Each double page is dedicated to a city around the world and is beautifully illustrated. Being the global traveller H is, she has an interest in the world, especially due to her dual nationality. She has found facts about cities we’ve stopped by and enjoyed learning about them (including that Singapore isn’t just a city, it’s actually a small country). There’s information like currency, language and population as well as lots of pictures, interesting buildings and places.

Facts are broken down into a readable style which makes learning interesting, plus the illustrations are lovely and clear. For Christmas we’ve bought H the wonderful Maps book by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski and this is a great accompaniment.

big city explorer

What makes this book really unique is the compass. It needs to be removed from the front cover, then on most pages you’re told which direction to point it in for the next page – for example, from Sydney to Tokyo ‘set your compass to north’ – simple enough directions to help a child learn directions. At the end of the book is a Super City Match Up game, where you can identify buildings that you’ll have come across throughout the book as well.

On the contents page of Big City Explorer everything is colour coded into continents as well which helps with learning where cities are in the world. Maggie Li’s illustrations capture the spirit of each city, and H has enjoyed learning about different places around the world.

If your child has an interest in cities of the world, this would make a fabulous present. If your child loves Okido magazine, you definitely need this book! Big City Explorer is published by Pavilion Books, and retails for £11.99.

We were sent Big City Explorer by Maggie Li for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own. The jpeg at the end links to Amazon via an affiliate link.