Town and Country (Turnaround Book) by Craig Shuttlewood

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Town and Country (Turnaround Book) by Craig Shuttlewood

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A book to get children chatting and learning new words without ever realising that's what they're doing. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: February 2017
Publisher: Ivy Kids
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1782404422

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Winner of Best Children's Book (5+) in the Junior Design Awards 2017: Platinum Award

I know I should have been working but I've just spent the last hour pouring over Town and Country. On the face of it there's a very simple idea here: on each double-page spread you get examples of what happens in towns and what happens in the countryside with regard to various activities, modes of transport and even things like beaches and snow. You turn the book one way for the country scene and then flip it over for what happens in the town. Down the side of each page there's a list of things for you to find, complete with a thumbnail of what it is you're looking for.

Now isn't that clever? When you're learning to read, a word like firefighter can be just a little bit daunting, but when you find it next to a small picture of a fire engine and then you look for a larger version of that same thumbnail in the town picture, you're learning a new word quite painlessly. There's another fire engine in the country picture too: both firefighters are rescuing cats. On each big picture you get ten points to look out for, all with their own little picture and the word spelled out in a clear font. I was delighted to see that the picture is semi-matte with very little in the way of reflection which can distract the emerging reader and all the words are printed on a light pastel background which is easy on the eye. White can be too bright on occasions.

There's a wide range of subjects covered and no bias towards either boys or girls. In addition to the objects which you're meant to be looking for there are all sorts of other points which are interesting or could make you laugh. When I looked at the town animals page I giggled at the dachshund wearing a striped coat and a trilby. It was a little while before I spotted that although there's a plane in the sky there's also a horse-drawn carriage, but the horse seems to be attached to the carriage only by the reins. And is that a bat I see hanging from the washing line? Some objects appear in both pictures: for instance you get foxes in town and country. There's lots to chat about and you see something new on each reading.

This is an Ivy book, which means that the production values are high. The paper's substantial and there's no bleed through from the reverse of the page which is something else which distracts the new reader and is often a problem with books which are heavy on illustrations. The corners are gently rounded which makes them easier on young hands and even for an oldie like me the book was a real pleasure to read. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Children who appreciate Town and Country might also enjoy National Trust: Complete Night Explorer's Kit by Robyn Swift and Sara Lynn Cramb.

Buy Town and Country (Turnaround Book) by Craig Shuttlewood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Town and Country (Turnaround Book) by Craig Shuttlewood at

Buy Town and Country (Turnaround Book) by Craig Shuttlewood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Town and Country (Turnaround Book) by Craig Shuttlewood at


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