My son loves this book.

Dino ShapesDino Shapes, written and illustrated by Suse MacDonald, is really fun. It’s also educational, but in a tricky haha you’re learning and you didn’t even know it sort of way.

The concept is complicated but presented in a seamlessly simple way. Essentially, through a mix of colours and shapes, MacDonald builds a dinosaur page by page. Each page is dedicated to a new part of the dinosaur’s face, and that part is made out of a different shape. My son (17 months) has asked for the ‘dino’ book three days in a row now. Tonight, he startled me by correctly identifying the oval and diamond. He has a firm grasp on other shapes but these are, arguably, more complicated for a little person to grasp. He also identified the ‘crescent’, but he hasn’t quite articulated it properly yet. I’m certain Dino Shapes is a large part of this early learning.

Amazon suggests this book is appropriate for 3-7 years but I think that doesn’t give children on the earliest side of life enough credit. Dino Shapes is exciting and cleverly immersive, especially considering the tiny people for which the book is written. If you don’t have little ‘uns, this one is actually a pretty great gift too. You can purchase the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Dino-Shapes-Suse-MacDonald/dp/1481400932

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Not my usual sort of picture book review.

jay p and l 123Usually I go through picture books that have some sort of a narrative, but today I had to make an exception. My son is infatuated with these books! Now that he has started to develop a healthy bank of numbers and words, he is able to achieve a sense of accomplishment when he recognises what he sees in books. It is amazing to watch his first experience of gratification from learning. It’s delicious, really.

The Play and Learn 123 and Play and Learn ABC books are not just numbers and letters. They also include an assortment of pictures, words, colours and interactive elements such as lift-the-flap and slide-the-flap. The variation is enough to keep him entertained. The font size is big and fun, the bright colours are attention-grabbing and the choice of pictures (animals, fruit, body parts) is fantastic. This, combined with his prior knowledge, is enough to keep him motivated. He flips through these books over and over again — but I’m not complaining!

These books tend to be recommended for children 2-4, but my bub is 15 months so really there’s on harm in starting your one-year-old (or younger!) on these books. You can find a bunch of Roger Priddy’s books, including these, here: http://www.amazon.com/Board-Books-Colors-Numbers-Bright/dp/0312502192