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~~~~~~~~ Old but gold ~~~~~~~~ This is a very old-fashioned looking book that was handed down to my daughter from somewhere (although I'm not entirely sure where!). It seems to be quite readily available online for around the £5 mark, and I think it is the kind of book that would make a nice gift for a new baby as it does have quite a traditional look to it. It is certainly different from the majority of children's books you find and definitely stands out amongst my daughter's collection! The colours are much more muted than in other children's books - lots of pale blues and "gentle" colours, and the illustrations are quite traditional style pictures. The hardcover of the book is mainly blue with some small pictures, and it is suitable for boys or girls. There are not many big, bold, bright colours or big pictures, and sometimes I am surprised that my daughter likes this book as it is so different and old-fashioned. But she does seem to enjoy it and she does occasionally select it from her bookshelf for night-time reading. ~~~~~~~~~~ Lots inside ... ~~~~~~~~~~ The book is nearly 200 pages long and contains a range of stories, rhymes and poems. Some of these are familiar to me, such as the Wheels on the Bus, Hey Diddle Diddle, Little Bo Peep and The Snowman, but some are more obscure and I often make up tunes to go along with the rhymes! The stories are all quite different too and the one that stands out is a Spot the Dog story as this is the one piece in the book that does have bright illustrations, and it does stand out amongst the other stories in the book. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A random selection ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is a nice book with a good range of stories and songs to keep your little ones amused. I wouldn't say this is my daughter's favourite book but she will pick it off the shelf now and then and we randomly select stories and songs from it to read. I do think she sometimes chooses it so she can prolong the bedtime routine by asking for "just one more" story from the book! Personally I think this is a nice keepsake type book but I don't think it is the most exciting of books. It has a nice traditional feel but I find some of the illustrations a little boring. I personally prefer a more fun, brightly coloured book and I think my daughter does too! Having said that, this would make a nice gift, especially for anyone who prefers more traditional things for their children.
Prior to my sons arrival, hubby & I spent many an evening trying to recollect different nursery rhymes from our childhoods. We soon realised that we could barely remember any in full, if at all! Plus, with him being American & me being British, there seemed to be many differences between the rhymes we were both taught, leading to great debate as to whose version was best...! In order to settle the arguments & fill in the blanks, a nursery rhyme book was called for.... After much deliberating over the choice of nursery rhyme books available on Amazon, I finally decided on the 'Puffin Baby & Toddler Treasury'. This is a hardback book, with a delightful dust jacket & cover adorned with pastel coloured pictures of baby toys & depictions of the stories/rhymes within. There is also a useful ribbon page marker. Opening the book, there is space to fill in 'This Book Belongs To...', a nice feature for a keepsake book from childhood, & also to put who from if the book is to be a gift (it would be wonderful for this purpose). Following this is a comprehensive contents list, delightfully adorned with animals & nursery rhyme characters. Moving on to the actual contents, there is a vast array of rhymes, songs & short stories. Famous authors/characters are also well represented in this book, with short stories featuring 'Spot the Dog' by Eric Hill, 'The Snowman' by Raymond Briggs, 'The Tale of Tom Kitten' by Beatrix Potter, & 'The Ugly Duckling' by Hans Christian Anderson. Nursery rhymes include such as Hey Diddle Diddle, Little Miss Muffet, Hickory Dickory Dock, Pat-A-Cake, Doctor Foster, Little Bo Peep etc etc. Songs include Old MacDonald, If You're Happy and You Know It, Heads & Shoulders & The Wheels on the Bus etc. Each page is beautifully illustrated, & the writing is large & clear to help early readers. If it's just nursery rhymes you're after, then there are perhaps better books available which would include a greater array of just nursery rhymes, but I think this is a wonderful book with a great selection & variety for young children. It's great for adults too - it's surprising how many nursery rhymes etc you realise you've forgotten! The book is hardback with 178 pages, & an RRP of £14.99, but is currently available on Amazon.co.uk for £9.74 (price correct @ July 09).