*Book Review* Treasure by Bronwen Billinghurst

Bronwen the author of the book kindly sent me a copy of her new book ‘Treasure’. With my one of my daughters favorite activities being reading we were both excited about a new book especially coming from a kiwi author!

When the book arrived I also had my 8 year old brother and my 6 year old sister staying with me for the holidays as well as my Miss Abby (2), so it couldn’t have arrived at a better time I had 3 test subjects to see what they thought of the book!

Mr 8 despaired into the playroom and was there for quite some time he is a big reader anyway so I was interested to see what he thought of it. When I asked him what he thought of the book he replied saying he liked it and he picked up the theme of teamwork running right through the book. He did suggest their should have been a sword fight but that is coming from an 8 year old boy and as a parent I like the fact there is no sword fight!

Miss 6 enjoyed the book being read to her and by the end of the book was singing along to the song that repeats throughout the book. Her favorite was by far the mermaid and the dolphins!

 

Miss 2 is really into princesses at the moment and I was unsure whether this would be a book she would go for but she really enjoyed it and we read it 3 times in a row the first time and it is one she will reach for at bedtime, which is a big deal if it can push Snow White out of the way!

She picked out small illustrations in the book which sparked her curiosity, we are a fishing family so it was fun to talk about the other creatures that live in the sea, octopus, dolphins and of course the purple mermaid she thought was pretty cool! She bopped along to the song as I sung it throughout the book too.

As a parent reading the book I thought it flowed nicely, I liked the subtle rhyme and of course the little song that repeated throughout the book, this made it easy for the children to follow and fun to read. I really liked how it was a gender neutral book, featuring both girls and boys. Especially if you have both girls and boys it’s nice to have one book that appeals to both so you don’t get stuck reading 10 book at bedtime to keep everyone happy! The book also sparked conversation with the children about the illustrations and even inspired some imaginary play that afternoon with all three children building a pirate ship in the lounge using couch cushions and blankets and then proceeding to play pirates. Any book that then inspires another child led activity is pretty good by me! I sometimes struggle with what activities to do especially with the older kids and was really cool to see them implement something they had just read Mr 8 especially.

Along with the book there is also a song available on iTunes listen to it Here  or you can order the CD  from their website http://www.happybeebooks.com. The book is also available as an eBook which is great if your kids enjoy using an iPad or similar device. Personally I’m all for the real deal when it comes to a book, there is something about snuggling up with the kids and reading to them that warms my heart.

The kids really enjoyed the song after we had read the book and even replicated their pirate voices in imaginary play!

This book encouraged involvement and was easy for the older kids to read alone and the illustrations were engaging that Miss 2 will sit and look at it by herself. I think this book has a wide audience from toddlers to school age kids. The price is very fair for the book with its lovely glossy cover and rich feeling pages the picture and colour quality of the illustrations are fantastic. This is a book I could very easily see at a main stream book store next to books like Hairy Maclary and The Hungry Caterpillar.

Next I will be passing the book on to my mum who is an early childhood educator and seeing what she thinks of the book and how the kids in her center respond to it. I know they are always looking for new music to play in the center too! If you are looking for a new book for your kids or a gift for someone else pick up a copy from the website http://www.happybeebooks.com/. I know it will become a well read feature to our book shelf!

Happy reading x

Robin x

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