Category Archives: puzzle books

Kiwi activity books to keep kids entertained

Whether you’re going off on holiday this Summer or just staying around home, kids need lots of things to do to keep them entertained.  If the weather is great they can get outside and enjoy the sun, but Christmas weather isn’t always so reliable so it’s good to have something up your sleeve.  There are lots of different activity books around, but here are a few great ones with a Kiwi flavour.

 

The Great Kiwi Swimming Puzzle Book by Annette Barry and John Bennett

DIVE IN to these Great Kiwi Swimming Puzzles!

44 puzzles to keep kids entertained for hours: crosswords, dot-to-dot, drawing activities, code breakers and more! PLUS tips from Water Safety New Zealand about how to stay safe in the water.

 

The Little Yellow Digger Activity Book

Little Yellow Digger Activity BookCelebrating 20 years of The Little Yellow Digger, The Little Yellow Digger Activity Book is packed with fun activities!

Full of fun and charm, this activity book will keep kids amused for hours with puzzles, things to make and colouring pages, including:

  • Spot the difference
  • Join the dots
  • Make your own diggers’ chains
  • Colouring in
  • Mud pie cookies recipe

 

New Zealand Garden Wildlife to Read, Colour and Keep by Dave Gunson

New Zealand Garden WildlifeThe natural world of our backyards includes many fascinating native and introduced species, from fungi, butterflies and moths, spiders and weta to reptiles and beautiful birds. Just as children enjoy encounters with garden wildlife, they’ll love learning about it as they colour in the simple, bold illustrations in this book, the latest in the ‘read, colour and keep’ series from Dave Gunson.

Read: Each page carries a sentence or two of introductory text alongside a traceable black-and-white line illustration ready to be coloured in.

Colour: An A4 double-page colour insert will guide children on realistic colour and markings.

Keep: Every illustration page is perforated to enable the completed drawing to be taken out of the book for display.

 

The Looky Book by Donovan Bixley

The Looky Book is a puzzle book with 11 different puzzles, all with colourful New Zealand landscapes, birds and animals.  There are heaps of things to find in each picture, like find the numbers with the crazy All Black lambs, spot the difference with the mischievous keas, find the animals hidden deep in the bush, and match the farmers to their animals.   There are hours of fun for kids and adults, and when you’ve solved all the puzzles, you can go back and find the tui and the grumpy garden gnome on each page.

 

All of these books are available throughout the country, so wherever you go these holidays, grab one for the Kiwi kids in your life.  These books are great for the whole family so you can join in and help too.

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Win The Looky Book by Donovan Bixley

The Looky Book is a cool new puzzle book by New Zealand author/illustrator Donovan Bixley, with 11 different puzzles, all with colourful New Zealand landscapes, birds and animals.  There are heaps of things to find in each picture, like find the numbers with the crazy All Black lambs, spot the difference with the mischievous keas, find the animals hidden deep in the bush, and match the farmers to their animals. You can read my full review and my interview with Donovan here on the blog.

I have a copy to give away and all you need to do is enter your name and email address in the form below.  Competition closes Thursday 1 November (NZ only).

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The Looky Book by Donovan Bixley

All kids love a good puzzle book.  When I was a kid I loved Where’s Wally, I-Spy and those pick-a-path maze books.  There have never been any great New Zealand themed puzzle books, until now.  New Zealand author and illustrator, Donovan Bixley, has just published his awesome puzzle book, The Looky Book.  Donovan is my favourite New Zealand illustrator and his illustrations for The Looky Book are wonderful.

The Looky Book is a puzzle book with 11 different puzzles, all with colourful New Zealand landscapes, birds and animals.  There are heaps of things to find in each picture, like find the numbers with the crazy All Black lambs, spot the difference with the mischievous keas, find the animals hidden deep in the bush, and match the farmers to their animals.  My favourite pictures are the ones where you have to spot what’s wrong in the scene.  In the beach scene on the first page, you can find a shark in a paddling pool and a man watching TV in the bath.  There are hours of fun for kids and adults, and when you’ve solved all the puzzles, you can go back and find the tui and the grumpy garden gnome on each page.

I love Donovan’s illustrations and The Looky Book just shows how versatile he is.  Not only does he give each human or animal it’s own personality, but he can make these a small part of a large scene.  He makes every little detail count, and these little details are hilarious (sheep holding up a ‘Lamb Carter’ banner or a penguin wearing a tie).  The reason I love Donovan’s illustrations is because they are always so colourful and they seem to glow.  He seems to use this effect that makes certain objects or characters shine.  Just look at the front cover and you’ll see what I mean (the eyes, the telescope and the kea’s beak).  I would love to know how long it took Donovan to create each spread.

There is an incredible amount to see on each page, and some things you won’t see the first time. Donovan his given the book a real Kiwi feel too, with lots of local wildlife and some Kiwi icons like Hokey Pokey ice cream.  If you have a very keen eye you might even spot a reference to one of Margaret Mahy’s stories on the first page.

Christmas is only weeks away and The Looky Book will make a perfect present for kids young and old.

5 out of 5 stars

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100 Things by Masayuki Sebe – a counting book with a difference

100 Things by Masayuki Sebe is a counting book crossed with a look-and-find book.  On each page there are 100 things (as the title suggests), including 100 moles, 100 sheep, 100 fish and 100 cars.  Not only can you count the things on each page, but you can find all the things that are the same colour (how many green fish?), find the odd one out (where is the child wearing the hat?) and find specific things on the page (find the elephant holding a pineapple or the mole who’s farting).

The vibrant colours, the simple, child-like pictures, and the amusing details on each page make 100 Things stand out.  It’s the perfect book to share with children, especially on a cold Winter’s day when you’re stuck inside.

100 Things and Dinosaurs Galore (also by Masayuki Sebe) are published by the wonderful Gecko Press, the home of curiously good books from around the world.

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