Friday, 4 October 2013

Why my family love Usborne children's books

To celebrate Usborne Day they are running a competition (until Midnight on 5th October) to win £300 of fabulous Usborne books.

To win you need to e-mail and tell them what it is you like about Usborne Children's Books ....... what you LIKE - it would be easier to say what we DIDN'T like*

But I figured...... why stop at an e-mail when I could tell the WORLD how fantastic their books are.

Usborne have been producing their stunning children's books for 40 years now (that's older then me!) which means not only did I have have them when I was younger but they were an instant hit with my children and will continue to feature in their childhood.

Usborne have something for everyone and for every occasion.

Like most children mine grew up with the "That's not my......." range of books.

These are hard covered (yet squishy) board books in a range of themes (we had: dinosaur, bear, snowman and tractor).

  • Bright illustrations and exciting textures to touch on every page.
  • Simple text with catchy, repetitive storyline.
  • Shiny, wipe-clean surfaces.
  • Helps develop sensory and language awareness.

Another top favourite in our house is Usborne's Farmyard Tale Stories.... you know the ones.... with the little
yellow duck hiding on every page.

These stories follow Mrs. Boot the farmer, her children Poppy and Sam, and a host of friendly farm animals including Curly the pig, Woolly the sheep and Rusty the dog's adventures on Apple Tree Farm.
The books can also be bought separately alongside a range of other products such as sticker and colouring books and flashcards.

Now that Ben has started school I have been looking at books to help his reading, and found a copy of "Frog on a Log".

The Usborne Phonics Readers series have been produced in consultation with language experts using the latest research on teaching children.
They have lovely illustrations and secret pictures hidden behind flaps.

Ben loves it and has started to read most of it with little prompting.  I will certainly be looking out for others in the series.

For the crafty children they do a huge range of:  Activity books, Art books, Colouring books, Cookery books and  Sticker books.  But why stop there ... they also do Puzzle books, puzzle cards, Games, jokes and jigsaws in a book!
Our Favourite in the this range is "What shall I do today?".  It has 96 pages of ideas for children to paint, draw and make.
We love making the caterpillars (page 92/3) and drawing snails (p6/7).

I don't think this version is still available but the 3 books that make it up "what shall I draw?", "what shall I paint?" and "what shall I make" can be bought separately.

Another part of the Usborne umbrella is their fact books.  These are the ones I remember fondly from my childhood.  I still have "The Usborne book of the Countryside", "Naturetrail Omnibus" and the huge "Book of Knowledge".

I remember sitting for hours looking at the amazing pictures in these books.  spending time learning to draw the pictures, collecting shells or working out just how old a tree was.

Writing this blog took me back and I opened the box I had stored them in so I could share them with my children and I'm glad I did.  They may be too young to understand them as there are a lot of words but they loved talking about the pictures.

Now their fact books are a lot more compact, and contain links to internet sites... they still contain the same fantastic learning activities.

They also now produce a range of young reading books that encourage children to learn about the history or the world around them.

Our favourite is "The Story of Castles" which we bought while on a trip to........ yup you guessed it ............ a castle.

The book is small (A5 size) so is handy to take in your bag on train journeys.
It has clear text and stunning illustrations (which can be comical in parts).

I have just found out there is also a version with a CD.  I will be looking out for others in the Young reading series that come with this as my boys love to have a story playing at tea time.

When I started teaching I was told 2 weeks before term "oh by the way the kids learn Spanish" .... Spanish!  you have got to
be kidding me.  I did French (to a-level) and even have very basic German Knowledge but Spanish.
I needed to pick it up quickly but only the basics; family, animals, numbers.......... I was VERY pleased to find the Usborne "Spanish for Beginners" book and CD.
It had everything I needed in an easy to read and understand format.

Would I pass for a Spanish national?  no   can I ask if you have any pets? Si (¿Tiene alguna mascota?).
Ben has started a passion for Spanish now so I think I will be dusting the book back off very soon.

Of course there is far more to Usbornes bow than the ones I've mentioned.

For babies and toddlers there are Picture books, ones to teach letters, numbers, shapes and colours.

As children get older they can enjoy the range of stories for early readers which include Classic tales such as nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

Growing up there are tons of different books available from Ballet Stories to Dinosaurs, Ancient Egyptians to Pirates, School stories to Halloween books.

When it comes to homework there are Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Atlases, History/ Maths/ Music Religion and Science books.  

Usborne have really moved with the times  - they now have Internet-linked books as well as a selection of e-books so you can always carry one around with you.

So with so much choice I am sure you will agree why Usborne are one of our favouite book publishers.

Why not get to your nearest participating book shop and join in with Usborne Day 2013 on the 5th October?
Find out more information here:   Can't get to your nearest shop?  Have an Usborne Day at home ....... we will be.  The link has fun ideas and printouts to help you celebrate.

You can also follow Usborne on Twitter  and Facebook and keep up-to-date with what they are up to.

*Oh and when I said what's not to like......... well simply the fact I don't have a money tree in my garden to buy the entire range!  

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