Lara and Holly both absolutely adore the Spot a Lot books by Steve Smallman and Nicola Slater. I would say that they are just about our most used books in our house because the appeal of spotting animals and creatures on a page seems to be endless. If you've no idea what Spot a Lot is, then try reading my reviews of Spot a Lot Animal Escape and Spot a Lot Vehicle Adventure which both got raving reviews from my girls.
Recently, the girls were sent this fun Spot a Lot Animals gift pack which is a carry-along set that contains both a storybook and a jigsaw. I think its a wonderful idea as a gift, or as a book and entertainment to take away with you when you're travelling.
The set contains a compact copy of Spot a Lot Animals which is more or less the same as the Animal Escape paperback book but with smaller pages - lots to spot, and lots to count. The spotting challenges on the page were slightly different but the illustrations were almost the same. Some of the more complex spots were hard for Holly on the smaller pages but in general you get the idea of the animals escaping from the zoo and needing to be found, along with lots of their friends.
The jigsaw has 30 pieces and Holly found it suitably challenging, Lara found it fun. They both struggled with the fact that the image on the jigsaw was similar to, but not exactly the same as one of the pages in the book and I think this made it harder for them. On the reverse of the jigsaw is the same pattern but in black and white so that your child can colour it in. The girls tried with washable pens but they just rubbed off - I think it would take thicker marker pens or high-quality colouring crayons o be able to colour in the cardboard effectively.
While I really like the idea of this storybook and jigsaw pack with lots of spotting challenges, I don't think that Parragon have quite pulled it off. There are some little niggles which mean that my girls have already moved on and prefer to go back to the more traditional paperback versions of their Spot a Lot books; simple things such as the fact that it is quite hard for a child to slip a paperback book back into a box when it already has lots of jigsaw pieces in it; they get easily frustrated with it.
This gift pack costs around £7.99
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