Best Friends by Kim Hyun

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Best Friends by Kim Hyun

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Help to teach an older baby some of the words that they will need.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 22 Date: March 2015
Publisher: Campbell Books
ISBN: 9781447277309

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Teaching your young child new words is one of the wonders of parenthood, but once you have grown tired of teaching them mildly rude words, what is next? Thankfully, like with most thing in modern living, there is a book to help you that is full of popular and useful phrases to use in everyday situations. I mean who else is going to teach you to say Pardon Me, if you have an accident?

Best Friends is not a storybook, but instead a series of situations that people find themselves in every day. Bear, Elephant and their friends are only toddlers and want to know what words they should use when they fall over or even break wind! Best Friends aims to teach an older baby some of the basic phrases that will get them through their early years until they develop a little more (then regress again as a teenager).

This is a book that is equal parts charming and disturbing. On the positive side it does a great job of creating recognisable scenarios for a baby to understand. Usually two or three characters are on a double page spread; let’s say a pair of twins going to bed. The phrase Night, Night will be in clear and bold lettering from the parent’s mouth. The illustrations that Kim Hyun has created really let you talk around the subject with your baby so that they can hopefully understand what is going on and start to link the words on the page with what you say every night to them.

In terms of colour and activity you cannot fault the pictures, there is a lot going on, but you can argue that the characters look a little odd. For me, the drawings at times were almost pastiches of animal characters and look a little odd. It could be that they are so generic or that they remind me of animal characters that would be used in a mock cartoon. They are nice enough to look at for a baby, but for the adult, Hyun’s drawings can look just a little off. The slightly odd creatures are not helped by the monosyllabic style the book takes. It is designed to be educational, but there is something a little freaky about two people just saying a single word to one another.

As an educational tool Best Friends does a good job. Word and image association usually comes in the form a series of pictures of animals or fruits with their names. This book adds the layer of a scenario that puts what is being in said into context. The good work of the book is a underdone by the illustrations that are a little on the peculiar side that only end up exaggerating the bizarre nature of a book made up of one and two word sentences.

Another children’s book that embraced oddity, but to good effect is My Pet Book by Bob Staake and for those that want to know more about the development of language in babies, check out How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die by David Crystal.

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Buy Best Friends by Kim Hyun at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends by Kim Hyun at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Best Friends by Kim Hyun at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends by Kim Hyun at


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