I was really excited to be win a copy of this book through Toppsta as my two year old daughter really loves the Julia Donaldson books she already has. These include the Gruffalo’s Child, What the Ladybird Heard and various books from the Acorn Wood series.
She especially likes the illustrations and the ways the words flow in rhymes.
As a consequence we were both disappointed with Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox. I think it is probably just a bit too old for her.
A little girl Ellen has chicken pox, when she looks in the mirror and starts scratching her reflection tells her off. Her reflection jumps out of the mirror and introduces herself as Princess Mirror-belle and she has dragon pox. Princess Mirror-Belle starts making a cure for dragon pox which leaves a big mess in the bathroom. Just as Ellen’s mother appears Princess Mirror-belle jumps back into the mirror, leaving Ellen to explain the mess.
The bad bits (for a two year old)
The story didn’t flow that well and there were more words than my daughter is used too. she often tried turning the page before I had gotten halfway through reading it.
The book could encourage bad behaviour. In the story Princess Mirror-Belle squirts a whole bottle of bubble bath, a whole tub of toothpaste, a whole can of shaving cream and a whole bottle of shampoo into the bath as a cure for the dragon pox. They also splash this water all over the floor making it soaking wet. My daughter has a tendency to copy things she hears so I would not want to give her the impression that any of this is acceptable behaviour.
The good bits (for a Two year old)
My daughter really enjoyed the illustrations. There was so much going on on each page she enjoyed pointing out various objects and animals on each page. In that sense it helps build her vocabulary.
All in all I would say this book is not a good book to get a two year old. However I can imagine an older child getting a lot more out of the book and enjoying it more. After all it has some great reviews on Amazon, but these mainly seem to be from parents/grand parents of four and five year olds. In which case I’ll have to try it out again in a few years to see if it is more suitable for my daughter then.
My Daughter absolutely loves the Mr Croc range of books and having heard this Jo Lodge, the author of the Mr croc range of books kindly sent us two Mr Croc books. The first Happy Birthday Mr Croc is a traditional pop-up book. The second Flip, Flap Mr Croc is a mix and match book. Below I will give a short review of each and compare the two to see which is our favourite.
Happy Birthday Mr Croc: As already mentioned Happy Birthday Mr Croc is a pop-up book similar to the Mr Croc books we already had, Ready or not Mr Croc and Ready to Rock Mr Croc. As such my daughter absolutely loves this book as it’s got a very similar feel to it. The pop-ups are more varied than in the other two Mr Croc books. With door openings as well as tabs that you need to pull. I did spot what is in my opinion a minor flaw in this book. It’s on a page where Mr Croc is playing hide and seek. The tab is meant to pull down to uncover his eyes. Unfortunately his hands never cover his eyes in the first place. So you’re just pulling his hands slightly further away from his eyes. It could be that children don’t really understand what he is doing. Having said that my daughter gets so engrossed in the book that she doesn’t really notice. Her favourite page is where Mr Croc is dancing. I have to keep pulling and pushing the tab, whilst she imitates music. She really loves that. All in all I think it’s a very good book.
Flip, Flap Mr Croc: This book is totally different to all the other Mr Croc books that my daughter has read. Whilst the artwork is all the same the style of book is totally different. Instead of this book being a pop-up book it is a mix and match book. This means that each page is split into three sections. A head section a body section and a foot section. You can therefore turn different parts of the pages at different times. What this lets you do is create different and funny looks for Mr Croc. In the book Mr Croc is dressed in various outfits, ranging from snorkler and pirate to clown and cowboy. It’s educational in the sense that each section tells you a bit about what you see. The snorkle page for example tells you he’s wearing a snorkle and mask, he has a spotty ring and he has pink flippers. So it teaches colours and shapes etc. what it also allows you to do is create your own silly outfits. for example you can have Mr Croc wearing a cowboy hat, waving a toy sword and treasure map with pink flippers on his feet. I think this is really fun. Although I think my daughter is not yet at the age where she really enjoys doing it yet. She does like looking at the pictures and pointing out things, but she doesn’t really make up her own Mr Crocs yet. Having said that i think it’s a very good idea and hopefully she’ll like mixing and matching soon.
In my opinion both books are worth getting. however if you had to choose one I think it would depend if you had any Mr Croc books already. If you have mr croc pop-up books already I would consider getting Flip, Flap Mr Croc as it’s a different style and has a different engagement. However if you don’t have any Mr croc books yet I would get Happy Birthday Mr Croc as it’s more of a classic book that my daughter absolutely loves.
After I wrote my list of top ten books for under twos I contacted the various authors and publishers that were on the list. I got into a facebook conversation with Jo Lodge the author of the Mr Croc series of books and happened to mention that my daughter had torn up a Mr Croc book when she was left without supervision. She kindly offered to send us another book.
Two days later, which happened to be my daughters birthday a parcel arrived and in it where three books. Happy Birthday Mr Croc, Flip Flap Mr Croc and There’s a Lemur in my laundry. This was very unexpected, but gratefully received as my daughter loves reading. I aim to write a review of all three of these books, but will start with There’s a lemur in my laundry which comes out on the 5th of April.
About the book
There’s a lemur in my laundry is a slide and seek board book. This means that the pages are thick and hidden inside each page is a large panel that slides out and reveals the animal that is hidden in that particular location. For example in addition to there being a lemur in the laundry there’s a frog in the fruit bowl and a snake in the sock drawer. In all there are six animals to find, or ten if you include the rubber duck and various creepie crawlies.
The artwork is very good with lots of bright colours that my daughter loves. There are also a lot of colours used so it’s ideal for learning colours with your child. My daughter especially likes recognizing the various fruits in the fruit bowl.
One slight negative, but it’s one that you have with all these pull out and flap books and the like is that it does not look that sturdy and a determined child might be able to break the book if left unsupervised. Having said all that the negative is easily outweighed by the positives and it’s just a case of remembering to put the book out of reach when you’ve finished reading it together.
All in all I would recommend this book. It’s currently available for pre-order as it releases on the 5th of february. You can pre-order from most online stores. Waterstones currently have it priced at £3.99 which is £1 below the £4.99 rrp and Amazon have it at the rrp of £4.99. Although delivery options and costs at Amazon might be better, especially if you’re a prime member and Amazon will also often lower the price to match competitors so when you’re reading this it might already be lower.