I have recently been lucky enough to be sent a copy of the children’s book ‘Ping and Pong – Splash’, written by Amy Trevaskus and illustrated by Alison Heath.

‘Splash’ is the first book in a series of ten about Ping and Pong who are brother and sister. Being very small, they have lived in the clock in Lucy’s hallway for as long as they can remember. When Lucy found them they were so happy, she looked like she had so much fun with her family and friends. In this book they clamber into Lucy’s pocket and go to play in the park with her, and then SPLASH in puddles!

“The remaining books will see Lucy and her best friends Ping and Pong learning through fun on their adventures. They will be discovering how to grow vegetables in the garden, learn about different animals at the zoo, and help Lucy’s mum and dad cook in the kitchen. Ping and Pong will also learn about recycling when they go to school in Lucy’s pocket.”

This is a delightful book; the story is innocent and reminiscent of stories from the 1950s when life was simple and children played in the gardens. Remember those days? Where children actually engaged in imaginative play with their toys rather than turning on their iPods or annoying their neighbours by kicking footballs in the street. I was very fond of Enid Blyton’s books (especially the faeries and Folk of the Faraway Tree), and this Ping and Pong book, to me, is of the same ilk.

 

The illustrations are beautiful; stunning pen and watercolour drawings.
On the left-hand page there is an illustration of the story on the right-hand page. On the page with the text, there is also a small accompanying illustration.

 

I have read an abridged version of this story in stage to The Boy (19 months old). Admittedly the book is not aimed at under 2 year olds, but he did enjoy it. He loved looking at the illustrations and we talked about the things that Ping and Pong were doing, obviously I was drawing from the story that Amy has written. I have also read it to my 5 year old nephew and 7 year old niece, both of them enjoyed it immensely. My nephew went outside and started splashing in the puddles straightaway, whilst my niece and I then had a little guess at what Ping and Pong would be getting up to next.

As a primary school teacher, I could see me using this series of books in the infant classroom. It would be an excellent starting point for a topic on the weather, or the world around us.

I think Amy Trevaskus has come up with a winning series here and I hope to her books in book shops, better still being read to children, very soon. In the meantime, Ping and Pong are available here.

 


I’ve spent an obscene amount of money on The Boy since about halfway through my pregnancy. The vast majority of it has been brilliant, some of it has been rubbish. I thought I’d share my honest opinion about some of these products with you on here.

50 Things to do with your Baby – Usborne Parents’ Cards (6-12 months) – COMPETITION

I bought these cards primarily for my husband to use as he felt a little clueless when it came to entertaining The Boy. He thought they were fantastic, looked through them straight away and went to try out a couple of ideas with our little squidgy bundle of joy. For several week, they really helped him to find ways of interacting and playing with The Boy, and both enjoyed them immensely.

Then he tidied them away and promptly forgot about them until he found them last week. The numpty!

The blurb on the pack says: “This box is packed with ideas for little games, songs, action rhymes and other fun things to do with your baby.” And it is. I’ll admit that some of the cards seem a little obvious, but that’s easy to think once you’ve read the cards and they’ve jogged your memory.

The box contains:

– game cards, e.g. ball games, crawling games, What’s that noise?, mirror games;

– song cards, e.g. Old McDonald;

– picture cards, e.g. animal pictures, baby action pictures.

All in all, they’re a good idea which is very attractively packaged. Hubby got more out of them than I did, but I’m a trained nursery nurse and primary school teacher. They are ideal for first-time parents and carers.

As The Boy is now 18 months old, I’m giving these away in a competition (they’re in an excellent condition).

To enter please add your name below in the comments box. For extra entries:
– follow me on twitter (@TheBoyandMe)
– tweet “I’ve entered to #win a #competition on @TheBoyandMe’s blog”
– or subscribe to this blog.
(Don’t forget to tell me about these in the comments box.)

The competition will end on Sunday 19th December 2010 at 8pm.

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