Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Market Day!

Victoria Roberts; Illustrated by Tomislav Zlatic

My absolute favorite gift to give children, no matter the occasion is, of course, books.  There's just something about reading a really good children's book that is so enormously enjoyable. So when I find a particularly hilarious or charming one, I feel like I'm giving a really great gift. I wonder if people who are not nearly as taken with children's books as I am, think it's a bit of a chintzy choice.  I always hope not, but if that person is not in the habit of buying children's books, they may not realize how expensive books can be these days.  Plus, books sometimes don't have the wow factor that other, less literary, more battery dependent gifts do. 
This set of books combines the best of both worlds.  You get four board books packaged in a really fun way, so you feel like you're giving a fun gift as well as some good books.  Release the snap and the market unfolds with a flourish, displaying four little stands that pop right up. Neatly tucked into the back pockets are four books and three sheets of glossy cardstock - punch out the perforated animals and move them around the scene. The pop-up shops match the covers of the board books: Mr. Pig's Colors, Miss Dog's Shapes, Mr. Peacock's Opposites, and Mrs. Mouse's Numbers.  

These books are simple, brightly colored and oh, so adorable. The concepts are simple, but the language isn't overly simplistic.  It's not just a word here and there like some board books are, but a full four sentences (that rhyme!) on each page.  Mr. Pig covers colors at his fruit market, Miss Dog's bakery illustrates shapes, Mr. Peacock shows off opposites at his clothing store and Mrs. Mouse's hardware store gives us a rundown on numbers.         

Super cute packaging and nifty pockets, plus a carry handle make this one of the cutest sets I have seen.  What a clever idea, making board books into so much more. While you are reading, the kids are able to move the little characters around to the markets.  And when you are done, it all slides neatly back into the pockets, snapped back up for another day. I think this would make a great gift, from a baby shower up to children three years old. It's so darn cute!  

Review copy provided by Kane/Miller. 

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