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Review: Peek And Seek by Charlotte Milner and Violet Peto

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Review: Peek And Seek by Charlotte Milner and Violet Peto

A flock of birds. A troop of monkeys. Peek under each flap to discover different animals, learn fun facts about their species and uncover a great big hide and seek game. With five different flaps and ten things to find in each spread, this book will keep young explorers happy for hours. 

I adore this book because it is a fact-file which is accessible to very young readers. Before we read paragraphs and sentences, before we even recognise letters, we have positive experiences with books. Hide-and-seek games are a wonderful way to share time with children. They are also brilliant for keeping kids entertained and they encourage children to be observant. Trusting that information is on the page, even if we can’t initially see it, is an important step to analytical-thinking. 

peekandseek2The short facts on each spread will encourage reading skills and help children to take an interest in wildlife. With more people than ever out of touch with nature, it is important that we use books and media to pass on our knowledge and vocabulary of the natural landscape. 

Peek And Seek is bold and colourful, with appealing illustrations. Each spread takes us straight into the landscape of the different species, from the snowy mountains where the wolves hunt to the burrows and tunnels beneath tree-roots where rabbits hide their food. There is lots to be learned from the illustrations alone: which other species can be found in a habit, what sort of home the animals keep and whereabouts in the world they might be found. The illustrations promote huge amounts of conversation which will teach children about the natural world. 

An attractive and engaging book which demands to be shared and enjoyed together. 

 

Many thanks to Antonia Wilkinson and Dorling Kindersley Limited for my copy of Peek And Seek. Opinions my own.

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Picture Books

Review: Hide and Seek by Anthony Browne.

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Subtlety. Not a word you instantly associate with products for the Under 7s. Hide and Seek, Anthony Browne’s 50th picture book, is a masterpiece, and its genius is in its subtlety.

Goldie the dog has gone missing. To cheer themselves up, siblings Cy and Poppy play hide and seek in the woods. They enter a timeless world of surprises in the dark. The wood is bigger and stranger than they expected, and as they lose sight of each other, there is a sense that anything could be lurking around the corner.

P1020284The reader is drawn into the game of hide and seek. An array of objects are cleverly hidden within the pictures, P1020285from furniture, to musical instruments, paws and crocodiles. The game is challenging – certainly, some objects are a little easier to find, so children won’t give up straight away, but other objects are cleverly hidden into the pictures different shades and tones. This is a book which family members of all ages can share, and enjoy together.

 

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A sense of foreboding is created with light and dark, and with perspective. The trees seem taller and more numerous when the children are afraid. When the story is resolved, the woods look brighter, and are viewed again at child height. I also love how indoors looks confining at the start of the story, but when the children run home, their caravan at the edge of the woods looks like a warm and welcoming place.

Clues in the hide and seek game hint at the happy ending, and build up to the moment of revelation. The pictures themselves are divine. Did I tell you how much I loved autumn? This book is a celebration of the season, with bare branches and leaves every shade of red and gold and brown.

Anthony Browne is undoubtedly a master of the picture book form, and his books are truly beautiful.

 

Please note: images are cropped from originals to show details.

HUGE thanks to Sarah Hastelow and Penguin Random House for sending a copy in exchange for review. This does not affect my honesty.

Do you have a favourite Anthony Browne? Let me know in the comments below.