Title: My First Animals
Author: Darryl Edwards
Illustrations: Explorer Publishing
Publisher: Explorer Publishing
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries:  Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Discover the joys of animal moves with your litle cub in this first book of movement.
Join Nathan and his cute, but sometimes lazy, dog as they crawl, jump and balance their way through the animal kingdom with moves designed to emphasise fun.
-Develops strength, coordination and balance
-Teaches young children the importance of physical activity
-Helps children learn about animals and how they move
-Promotes physical, mental and emotional well-being

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a great picture book to help encourage and get children moving more.  Nathan doesn’t like to go outside much, even though his parents insist that he take his dog outside to play.  His dog, Lola, doesn’t like to move much either and would rather nap all day.  But when an owl swoops into Nathan’s life and takes him away to Animal Moves Land Nathan meets lots of different animals who all show him their unique movements.  Soon he and Lola are copying the animals and learning to have fun while moving around.

My First Animal Moves book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The idea of this book is good and getting kids moving who have been living a more sedentary lifestyle, especially in the last two years, is definitely important.  The message of moving more was clear even when I was a child in the 90s and anything that can help encourage children to put down their consoles, walk away from the tv and get moving a bit more is something I support.  This picture book is about the width of an A4 paper but square in shape so shorter and the paperback I have a copy of is filled with lots of pages of colourful illustrations and some text.

The book begins by showing Nathan preferring to stay indoors playing videogames rather than taking his dog outside (not that the dog minds!).  After a few pages of this introduction, Nathan is then taken by the owl to the island filled with different animals and each page shows a different animal move, such as the Bear Crawl or the Monkey Climb.  There are lots of different animals including a kangaroo, frog and crane and each move is different to the others.  The actual movements children are encouraged to try are easy and not too complicated.  Crawling, jumping, balancing on one leg, etc. each animal move is different but helps keep a child moving their whole body, rather than just one or two parts, which is important especially if they’ve been sitting for a long time.  There is an introduction to the book at the front for adults to read and this includes ways in which children can have more fun with the book such as encouraging them to make animal noises when they move.

The illustrations are nice, I’ve seen some mixed reviews on the illustration style and I have to say that I don’t mind it.  The pictures are all very colourful and show the different animals and characters well.  I do like how cheerful everything looks and how the animals look especially.  I like the way Lola the dog looks throughout each picture and her constant comments and funny things she does due to not being so keen to move, and I do like the way Nathan looks although I do feel like he could have had some other expressions during the animal moves to give emphasis to certain movements rather than the same smile that he seems to have throughout the whole story.

My First Animal Moves book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

The book ends well and I like the way it encourages children to get into doing the animal moves and also to encourage others they know to do it too.  The story is good although I have to say that something about the way the story is written towards the ending felt a little off for me, not as engaging and maybe if Nathan had narrated the story himself it might have read a little better for me.  However, overall, this is a good book and I do like the moves shown and how they encourage children to get active.  I like how the movements aren’t too complicated or difficult, meaning that children who might already be less keen or less fit, can get involved in the movements too.   Lola is also a brilliant source of humour throughout the story.  Overall a good book but I think it could be a little better in places.

What do you think about this book?  Do you like books that encourage children to get active?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂