When Mumsnet chose us to review their new collection of stories, The Mumsnet Book of Animal Stories, I was thrilled - some new bedtime reading material at last!
When the book arrived however I was blown away, for instead of the usual soft backed children's story collections that we have owned previously, the package that plopped through our letter box contained a gorgeous hard backed glossy book with a beautifully inviting cover, jam packed full of brand new and original stories and illustrations. We couldn't wait to get reading!
There are ten stories in this treasury all of which have been written by new authors and illustrated by up-and-coming artists. Without listing every single one and spoiling any of the stories for anyone wishing to read, I will tell you that in particular my twins picked out The Hedgehog Who Wouldn't Sleep and Up In The Trees Is Not For Me! as their absolute favourites.
All of the stories are a perfect five or ten minute read. I say five or ten because due to the excellent and detailed illustrations we often found that when we started reading we lingered on each page looking at the artwork. My daughter in particular loved linking what was happening in the story to the images on the page and asked lots of questions about the characters and what was happening in each story. The stories kept her engaged and fired up her imagination which I have not seen as much with our other story books.
|My daughter loved this illustration of the sleeping hedgehogs from The Hedgehog Who Wouldn't Sleep|
|My son enjoyed Up in the Trees Is Not For Me! The pictures are so colourful|
I missed a trick in fact, as I would have loved to have taken this into school and read some of it to the twins' class so I could tell you what they all thought too. I am yet to volunteer as a "Mystery Reader" but when I do I will be taking this book in and reading it to them. I might read my own favourite from the collection, The Great Meerkat Escape, which is sure to raise a few giggles because, let's face it, who doesn't love a Meerkat?
I am also rather sad that there are no younger children in our family to buy this for at Christmas time. It would make an ideal present for that, although at £12.99 it might be a little too expensive for a classmate's birthday party (unless they were a very special one), it would be a good stocking filler or present for a young relative.
We loved having the opportunity to read this book, as you can probably tell. It has been fantastic for giving our nightly story times a refreshing twist and makes a lovely change from a traditional story compendium. We thoroughly recommend it.
We were sent a copy of The Mumsnet Book of Animal Stories for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are our own.