Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr! by Sebastien Braun

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Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr! by Sebastien Braun

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Help teach your child some words should they ever find themselves in Antarctica in this well made language book that does feel a little random in places.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 12 Date: October 2016
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780857637178

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What most parents don't tell you is that they only have children for their own entertainment – the little tykes can be hilariously funny. One fun area is when a baby starts to learn words – DaDa, MaMa. Soon they pick up seemingly random words – Light! Yallow! (I think that is meant to be hello). Once they start looking intently at your lips as you speak you can start to guide them to words that you want them to use. For example, what language skills would they require if they visited Antarctica?

Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr! is the type of children's book that is designed perfectly with the audience in mind. At what age are children learning basic words? Anywhere between 9 months and 2 years. This also happens to be the time in their lives that they live to prod, poke and even tear any book that is in front of them. With this in mind the team at Nosy Crow have deliberately made a sturdy book that will survive even the most troublesome of tiny hands.

Just making a board book is no surprise, but Nosy Crow have gone a few steps further in the little touches. Brrr!, Brrr! is a book all about discovering what is beneath the flap. Not only are the flaps lovely and sturdy, but there are little touches to the paperwork that makes them a little bit more special. Rather than just a plain square flap, they may come in the form of a cave with stalactites included. These little touches really give a sense of wonder as the book feels slightly 3D. The most special element is left until the end where a flap, within a flap, is a lovely surprise for adult and baby.

Sebastien Braun's illustrations make great use of the format. Each double spread is cleanly drawn and full of contrasting colours that make it easy to see. The animals are drawn in a cute manner so even the scary ones are fun to look at.

The book consists of five scenes in which you find a hidden animal. Once you do, there is a sentence to repeat – Brrr!, Brrr!. This is simple and effective for an older baby or young toddler as they need to rinse and repeat. The problems lie in the words that are on offer here. Brrr!, Brrr! is part of an ongoing series and it feels like a later one. All the usual farmyard animals and pets have been covered so by now we are onto some rather random animals that live in and around ice. Foxes and wolves are ok, but are probably not the first thing a child needs to know about. As for the noise a sea lion makes, I am no better off knowing myself after reading this.

With such a basic format it would be simple to suggest that the words are not really that important, but I find that often the books with the least words need to be considered the most. Thankfully, the writing is actually good, it is just that the location chosen is a little obtuse. Braun's pictures and the well delivered format of the book means that this is a great board book for any family with a small child, but they perhaps may want to start with their collection with one of the books with a more familiar setting.

Interested in knowing more about language development then try How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die by David Crystal, or perhaps just read your child something simple and fun like Animal Magic by Phil Allcock and Gina Maldonado.

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Buy Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr! by Sebastien Braun at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr! by Sebastien Braun at


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