I don’t know about you, but but I have always, always loved activity books. When I was a kid we always had Annuals to read over the summer holidays, we used to gather with friends, pile them up and read for hours: Jinty, Tammy, Beano and millions of others… we loved them. They defined summer, and the first pages I would turn to were always the pages that required you to fill something in… dot to dot, word searches, spot the difference and I filled in every possible thing!!! Loved them. And I still love things to fill in… well lately activity books have been taking the world by storm and everyone, and I mean everyone, is captivated by colouring… so I am bringing you a post of se7en+1 of the latest and greatest activity books out now…
Se7en+1 of the Best Activity Books Right Now…
- Chris Riddell’s Doodle a Day:
- #Post This: Journal, Colour, Share…
- The MacMillan Alice Colouring Book.
- Draw It! Colour It! Creatures.
- The Gruffalo’s Child Big Activity Book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler:
- The Gruffalo Child and Friends Activity Case by Jullia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler:
- You Are an Artist by Marta Altes:
- Let’s Go Find a Tiger! by Yasmeen Ismail:
There is a problem with this book, I absolutely couldn’t show it to my kids… however I think my gang might have found my secret spot for saving things… because this book is looking distinctly worn and paged through. Honestly, this book is just way, WAY too cool and I would need a copy for each of them. Times that by eight! Considering how much we love Chris Riddell… this is one of those absolute dream books. A page a day book for the entire year… with prompts to draw, doodle and endless illustrations to inspire. There are story starters, postcards to fill in, beautiful words to illustrate… frames to fill in, plans to create, it is just endless fun. If you ever wanted your child to keep a diary then this is the one to begin with… actually it is the beginning and end of best diary type books ever and I will have to keep it hidden from my kids because I fully intend to keep it for me. This is totally suitable for all ages… it is an absolute winner.
Here is a book for the online savvy kid or kid at heart, who is looking for creative and fun things to post on-line, and needs some inspiration. The book is the size of a postcard, funky and fits easily in a pocket, which is always handy because some inspiration needs to be carried about in your pocket. The pages are filled with little ideas to post wherever you are active online – twitter, instagram, whatever. Think smash book, and then add a hashtag: #PostThisBook Packed, packed, packed with ideas: fill this square and post it, take a picture of this book in the air and post it, decorate this page and post it, add flowers to this page and post it (to a friend), do any number of things to this book or take any number of photographs and post it/them. Basically a very fun doodle book for playful teens and busy social media players that are searching for clever snippets of inspiration.
The year of Alice’s 150 year centenary and out comes the most beautiful colouring book ever. Original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel, blown up in a lovely big format with good quality paper for colouring. As well as pictures to colour there are pages of beautiful lettering and quotable quotes. Masses of detail for busy artists and still spaces to add your own thing. Keys and clocks, playing cards, a furious queen and of course a white rabbit… this is an absolute must for the lover of all things “Alice.” Another one I really want to keep, but I have a little Alice in Wonderland fan that is absolutely going to love this.
Best children’s illustrators of the world: Emily Gravett, Birgita Sif, Sven Nordqvist, Chris Riddell and millions more all unite and bring this delightful large format colouring/activity book… one of those definitely don’t worry about the lines kind of books. Massive amounts of stuff to fill in, and crazy funny kids’ illustrators doing their very best to entice their readers to join in. It is a romp and delightful, “Pop some teeth on the lion, fill the hungry whales tummy, give your dragon some fiery flames. Enduring paper, that will easily handle markers, watercolours, crayons and well, dare I say glitter. Lovely, lovely, lovely… I am going to find it hard to pass this one on too.
The first thing you have to notice about this book is well… the obvious thing: Stickers… and millions of them, stunning Gruffalo stickers. There is also a set of the cutest dominoes to cut out. And then there are the usual: spot the difference, dot to dot, fill in the jigsaw with stickers. And heaps of cool goodies like a Gruffalo’s Child photo album to fill in, and things to do – snowflakes and recipes, shadow puppets and face painting… I know a little guy who will love his face painted like a Gruffalo, not to mention who is going to love this book.
If you have a kid with a love for stickers and little books, not to mention a little case to carry them around in… then you have definitely come to the right place. Two little colouring books and two little activity books that fit into the case and dozens of stickers to go with them. I like that it isn’t only the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s Child that are featured in the little books, other Julia Donaldson favourites get a look in too: The Snail and the Whale and The Room on the Broom get to play along as well. Stickers, things to do, things to colour and things to inspire… a great activity for busy little folk.
These last two books I have reviewed before… but they are so good that I am popping them into this series as well. Another activity book nearly didn’t leave my desk, I battled to let it go… but I knew this kid would totally love the artiness and creativity that this book brings with it. Pages and pages of an artist’s journey to find their hidden talents, half drawn portraits to fill in, picture frames to create, there is nothing pale or static about this book, it is bright, funky and fun all the way and for the child that might think it can’t want to draw, this book will have those fingers positively itching… the pages are robust and have withstood markers and watercolours, crayons and pastels… this is a hardcore workbook for an aspiring artist and to help them complete their masterpiece their are dozens of stunning stickers to add to their pages too. I love this book, and I will most likely be buying a couple of these books, this one and the one below that Hood 7 is working on as my go to gifts for the next longest time. This series is delightful in every possible way, if you see them grab them… kids appeal on a massive scale!!!
And the se7en + 1th:
You know how adult colouring is all the rage… well I tell you the truth their are some kids’ activity books that adults should be buying too. This is one of them. It is a gripping story of two cute characters… heading through the jungle looking for… well a tiger of course. There are incomplete drawings, in lovely fat marker and paints and my goodness you just want to join in… Add some monkeys to the monkey page… fill the butterfly page up and so on. And then of course there are lots of lovely arty stickers to join in the mix… and complete the story that you, the young artist, have helped to create. This is brilliant and the world needs more books like these that take “interactive” and “activity” book to a whole new level.
The What We Are Reading Right Now Series:
This post is part of a series we are writing on the latest and greatest reads, previously:
We would really like to thank PanMacMillan Books South Africa for providing us with the books to review for this post. We would like to declare that this is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to do these reviews, just provided with books. All the opinions are as usual, entirely our own!!!