If your little ones are fans of CBeebies you are bound to have heard of Jess French, the mini beast loving adventurer and presenter. Dexter and I love watching her series and have learnt so much from her, so we were very excited when we discovered that she had recently released 2 brand new books. Even more so when we were given the opportunity to review them!
The two titles follow a similar theme to the CBeebies show ‘Minibeast adventures with Jess’ but have separated the creatures into categories. One entitled ‘Tickly minibeast adventures’ and the other, ‘Fluttering minibeast adventures’. (I also have it on good authority that she is working on another that covers slimy things like worms, slugs and snails).
Each book is well laid out making it lovely to look at and discuss for bed time reading but also makes a great guide to follow for your own adventures. They are both vibrant and fun with detailed illustrations. They make it exciting to spot your own minibeasts and compare to the pictures.
The tickly book covers creatures such as arachnids, millipedes, centipedes, and woodlice. Each page gives you new facts and tells you how and where to find your favourite creepy crawlies.
I’m not normally a fan of arachnids but I didn’t ever want to pass on my fears to my children so we’ve taken this book outside and found a harvestman. I was interested to learn that if a harvestman thinks he is going to be eaten, he can actually drop one of his legs giving him time to run away!
Towards the back of the book Jess shows you her favourite tickly minibeasts and includes a fact about each one and there is also a pop and play spider model!
With this one, Jess includes a list of things that will help you find your fluttery friends and then takes you off to a pond where she explains how both damselflies and dragon flies start their lives in the water. She also tells you how to go pond dipping so that you can find them.
I won’t give away the whole book but she also covers how you might entice butterflies to your garden and how to find moths at night.
Exciting and educational.
Both books cover life cycles of various creatures with pictures showing different parts of the processes. They explain the differences between similar creatures, how to tell them apart and also include photographs of some of Jess’s favourites that you might not see in your garden at home.
One thing I found superb was the glossary. This is fantastic as it really starts to give children an insight into how to use books for learning. It’s not full of so many words that they would skip the page but just enough that they could read it as a page in its own right or use it as a reference as intended. I’ve not covered that with Dexter yet but I’ll be sure to come back to that to show him another way to look at books as he gets older.
These lovely hardback books retail at £6.99. Suitable from age 3+, each one includes the pop and play model creature.
Zoologist and presenter Jess french grew up surrounded by nature and a host of weird and wonderful animals. In doing so has developed a great affinity for the natural world. Whilst she is mainly recognised for her series on CBeebies, she has also appeared on BBCs springwatch, Deadly mission Madagascar, Live and Deadly and Sir David Attenborough’s Micromonsters 3D.
Jess has a first class degree in zoology and is currently completing a degree in veterinary medicine.
*We were sent these books for the purposes of a review. All thought are my own (and Dexter’s).*