Title: The Bolds’ Chrristmas Cracker
Author: Julian Clary
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Andersen Press
Genre: Children’s activity book
Book format: Paperback
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Description:  The Bolds’ are the wildest family around, and now you can join in with their festive fun!  Help them to spot differences, crack codes, write stories and escape mazes.  And when that’s all done, there are still plenty of Mr Bold’s JOKES inside to keep you howling with laughter.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a brilliant, very funny and very silly activity book for kids, with lots of things to keep them occupied over the Christmas season. “The Bolds’ Christmas Cracker” is the same size as other Bold’s books although a little thinner and is filled with glossy pages, rather than matt, which are all in black, white or red! Inside the book is filled with different activities, from puzzles, to jokes to plenty of places for kids to be creative.

The Bolds Christmas Cracker book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The book has a fun introduction by the author Julian Clary, and then profiles showing facts about both the author and illustrator before kids are given their first activity: to fill in their own profile. After that there is a real mix of activities to do and read and all with the familiar and funny Bolds’ humour and characters throughout. The puzzles kids can do include a form of word sudoku (made easier for kids using up to 6 letters max) featuring different character names, wordsearches, crosswords and word puzzles. There are also quizzes about the previous Bolds’ books, characters and what happened; spot the difference, plus pages where children can draw/copy either characters from a grid or more often they can be creative and create their own sketches based on the prompts given in the book and the spaces to fill in their creations. There’s even some colouring pages, and with every illustration of The Bolds’ and their friends being black and white, children can colour the entire book if they like.

The Bolds Christmas Cracker book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

There are more things to enjoy though including some fun facts and lots of jokes which are all Mr Bold’s apparently (him being a writer of Christmas cracker jokes)! They are typical jokes and they really made me laugh. The illustrations are very fun, just like in the book series and although you’ll have much more fun with this book if you have read the story books (and you’ll know the answers to the quizzes), it’s not essential to have read the books to enjoy the activities here.

The paper used in the book is a glossy one and it’s quite thick too (leading to the book feeling heavier) but the pages do take pencils well as I’ve tried drawing on them. Felt pens may not work so well, although they probably won’t bleed through when using them (as long as they’re not held on the page for a long time), I’m more worried about the fact that felt pens on glossy paper don’t dry fast enough and if kids shut the book, or it shuts by accident due to the spine being tight, the felt pen might mark the opposite page. Just something to keep in mind when giving this book to kids.
The book is also a traditional book binding with the spine which might be a bit awkward for some kids to use as an activy book, especially with the drawing as the spine might have to be pushed to cracking in order to properly open up the book.  This, for me is my only real criticism as I always found the spine a bit frustrating in activity books when I was young (maybe being left-handed made it worse?)

The Bolds Christmas Cracker book page image three
©The Strawberry Post

I really like this activity book. I’ve always loved activity books for Christmas, even as a child and I know this one would have kept me occupied for ages, especially if I was a fan of the series. It’s definitely a book worth getting if your kids enjoy The Bolds’, and it might just get them interested in the series if they don’t know it too. 🙂

Do you like activity books like this?  Have you read any of The Bolds’ series yet?  What series would you like to have an activity book of?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂