Title: Picken
Author: Mary Murphy
Illustrator: Mary Murphy
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Baby book/very young children’s, Animals
Book format: Board book
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Mary Murphy’s brilliant split page board book is perfect for helping little ones learn to mix and match. What do you call a cross between a lamb and a calf? How on earth do you make a “googlet”? Children will love to mix up the heads and tails of different farmyard animals to invent hilarious new ones, while developing their matching skills as they work out how the animals should look. Mary Murphy’s adorable creatures and colourful art style are sure to delight readers and help develop a lifelong love of books.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a really fun board book which toddlers and young children will love. ‘Picken’ is a fun mix and match board book featuring seven well known farm animals a calf, lamb, chicken, kitten, piglet, goose and puppy.

The book has a spine on either side and as you can see from the pictures you can open either side to reveal one half of each creature. The idea of the book is for kids to either open up the page revealing the whole animal such as the chicken, or to mix and match the front half and end half of each animal into a brand new creature such as the picken – half piglet/ half chicken. I really loved this book as soon as I saw it. I’ve had mix and match books like these growing up and even when I was older I still enjoyed looking at the funny creatures that came out of these books.

The illustrations are so simple yet vivid and easily show what creature they are. There’s no mistaking a goose bottom for the chicken or a puppy with a kitten. What’s fun about the images too is there’s no black outline as in so many books and they are so simple that young kids could try to recreate them with their own drawings.

The book is a board book but the edges are smoothed down and each page has rounded corners so no chance of harming baby’s hands. I really do think it’s a great book for the really young. The words displaying the proper name of creatures are easy to read and kids can learn a few words for animals as well as learn some new ones while having a lot of fun looking at how silly some of the creatures look. I have to say that even as an adult right now I still laugh at some of the animals, my favourite being the Chimb – a chicken/lamb combination! Overall a great book for the very young to have a bit of fun and learn a little too.

-Review first appeared online January 2017 – now republished here.

Do you like mix and match books or games like this?  What funny creature names can you come up with when mixing two together?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂