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I have found recently that I can bring out slightly longer books with slightly more text for my 13 month old daughter and she will concentrate well and I am very glad about this, as there is obviously a bigger range of books that we can read together now. One book that I had purchased several years ago when I worked as a substitute teacher was this 'Noisy Farm' book by Rod Campbell and I have been reading it with my little girl for the last month and it is now one of her favourite at bedtimes, as when I go to put it down, she lifts it again for me to re read. This book as you would guess from the title, is based around the animals on a farm and the noises that you hear there. This is a lift the flap book, which is another reason why my daughter enjoys it, as she is at the stage of loving lifting any kind of flap in a book to see what is behind. THe story starts with the cockerel waking up everyone on the farm and then follows Sam the farm dog as he explores the farm, looking to see who is making the various noises and seeing which of the animals have babies with them in their various lodgings. Sam, the farm dog gets a lift on a chugging farm, before he follows the sound of the likes of the mooing cow with her baby calf, the pig with her piglets, the duck with her ducklings, as well the as the sheep with her lambs, until eventually the only sound that can be heard on the farm is the sound of a dog sleeping behind a few sacks. Who could it be?! As I said, my daughter absolutely loves this book. She has shown a lot of interest in animals and likes listening and having a go at the sounds that the animals on the farm make, so this book is right up her alley! The text is slightly longer that some of her more babyish books but she listens intently and reaches out for each and every flap. All in all, this is a lovely book for a toddler. It is a good length to keep their attention, and with the added lift the flap element it makes it much more interactive. I can see this being a popular bedtime book for quite a while!
One of the books myself and my daughter have been sharing a lot recently is Noisy Farm, this is a book that we have borrowed from the library for the past few weeks. You can buy this book in hardcover for £3.31 and paperback for £5.39 at the moment on Amazon obviously this means you are better buying the hardback, the papwerback also seems a little pricey considering the RRP of the paperback is only £4.50. The book is written by Rod Campbell who is a scottish author who writes his own brand for WHSmiths, he is also the author of Dear Zoo. The front cover of the book has a soft yellow border which surrounds a picture of a cow, sheep, duck, pig and dog with some hills and the sun in the background. The front cover is very simplistic, there isn't much detail in the animals but it managed to grab my daughters attention. The story begins with the rooster waking Sam the dog with a cockadoodle-doo, Sam can hear lots of noises and starting with a chugging noise he goes to find out what the noises are. When you turn the next page Sam finds that a tractor is making the chugging noise. The book follows with a question on each page as to what is making a particular noise and then on turning the page the answer is discovered. On each page there is also an extra question such as where are the rabbits babies and a flap to lift to find the answer. The story goes through the noises of a tractor, a rabbit running, a cow mooing, a pig oinking, a hen clucking, a sheep baaing and a duck quacking, at the end of the book a very tired Sam falls asleep and the only sound to be heard is of Sams snoring. This book is great and helps the child to interact, the book can be used to teach your child animal noises when very little and then as they get a little older they can lift the flaps and interact with the story. My daughter likes to answer the questions posed to her and gets excited when I congratulate her for knowing the answers although we have read it that many times she should know it by heart. The book is set out so that the main writing is on the left hand page on a white background and then the righthand page is the picture with more writing at the bottom to ask the next question. The pictures are all big and bold with not too much detail for little children to take in. The story is simple and repeats numerous words on each page, a very nice story but I think at nearly 4 my daughter is a little old for this one now although I am going to sit and read it with my 8 month old as it is an ideal first story.
- The book / The style and Format - As the title suggests, the story is set on a farm. It begins at sunrise when the cockerel is waking all of the animals up and the dog can hear lots of noises. The reader is then invited to guess what the noise may be from the description: ~ A chugging noise ~ A moo-ing noise ~ An oinking noise ~ A clucking noise To name just a few! As the reader turns the page, they are able to see if their prediction has been correct and are then asked a further question, usually relating to the offspring of the adult animal shown, e.g. 'It's the cow in the barn. Where is her calf?' There are flaps to lift on every page with the exception of the first double page and the children are greeted by drawings of the offspring: piglets, ducklings, chicks etc. The book has 9 double pages. The illustrations take up most of the page, all set against a white background. The writing is quite large and is in a simple font which is good for emergent readers. - Educational Values - * Introduces / reinforces knowledge of the alphabet. The letter names and sounds. * A wide variety of farm animals and their offspring are introduced to children. * Develops memory skills as children begin to know the sequence of the book. * Opportunities for developing sight recognition of three letter words (CVC words) such as cow, hen, pig etc. * Encourages fine motor skills with the lift-the-flap opportunities. * Encourages active participation - get the children to join in with the animal sounds! - The Author - Rod Campbell is possibly most well-known for 'Dear Zoo' which has sold more than 2 million copies. His books are ideal for very young children.... Simple texts which are sometimes repetitive (great for pre-school children). Rod Campbell uses lift-the-flap, touch and feel as well as the 'odd' pop up book, all of which cater extremely well for 2 years and upwards. There are also a few cloth books, ideal for the under 2s as they can be washed and re-used etc... ' Baby's Busy Book' & ' My Farm'. He is also the creator of Buster, a well-known and much loved character. I have listed some of Rod Campbell's books: ~ I'm hungry ~ Farm Chase ~ Buster Zoo ~ Oh Dear! ~ It's mine! ~ I won't bite, I'm not scary ~ Noisy farm Rod Campbell has also produced a range of books for Longman publicatons: ~ Come in to the garden ~ Hungry animals ~ Who's there? For more information visit www.rodcampbell.co.uk On the website there are pictures to colour as well as reading skills guidance for parents. - My Verdict - The book has a lot of benefits for pre-school children, age 2 upwards. The appeal of animals tends to draw most children to the book and the adult will probably tire of reading this more than the children! - Price - My paperback, ISBN: 0-14-050293-9 However the paperback, boardbook and hardcover versions are available from amazon for just 1p! N.B. Review also appears on ciao. Thanks for reading.