The Summer holidays are upon us. Five weeks of relaxing in the sunshine whilst the children gambol around merrily, amusing themselves and behaving impeccably. Or, five weeks of rain, boredom, complaining and niggling. Whichever sounds closest to the holiday you’re having, one of these titles might just provide a window of calm and tranquility in your household. Maybe.
Beano Builds From Studio Press
Would you believe that The Beano are celebrating their 80th birthday this year?! To help their fans join in the festivities, they’ve released several new books, including these two new Beano Builds titles. Choose from go-karts or secret dens – all you need is a cardboard box and a roll of sticky tape. Each book contains four DIY projects, puzzles, games and a bucket-load of stickers. Everything you need to keep a little menace out of mischief! Age 7+
Let The Dice Decide, illustrated by Sophie Foster (Buster Books)
This book is perfect for the indecisive. Not sure what your monster should look like? Let the dice decide. Creating a castle but can’t choose the turrets? Just roll the dice! Write a story, predict the future….. Lots of fun activities and doodles to complete with endless possibilities – cut-out dice included. A novel approach to an activity book. Age 5+
Nature Origami by Clover Robin (Nosy Crow & National Trust)
This is an absolutely beautiful book for paperctaft fans of all ages. Make a whole range of origami figures inspired by nature: owls, mice, squirrels and many more (13 in total). Each section features a poetry extract about that creature and clear step-by-step instructions. The difficulty rating is clearly indicated and there’s also a QR code to scan for instructional videos. You also get 50 sheets of origami paper so you can fold your very own woodland. Age 8+
Next-Level DIY Slime with Karina Garcia, written by Aubre Andrus (Studio Press)
Perfect for those who got swept up in the slime craze and have mastered a basic mix. This newest book from YouTube sensation Karina Garcia contains 15 all-new slime recipes for you to whip up. The secrets of colour-changing slime, chocolate slime or crushed disco-ball slime are at your fingertips. Hours of fun!
Painting Rocks! written by Laura Baker (Studio Press)
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you will have noticed the stone-paining trend brightening up parks, walls and beaches near you. Full of hints, tips and step-by-step guides which make it great for beginners or those in need of some fresh inspiration. Get painting and get hiding! Suitable for any age.
How to Think Like a Coder Without Even Trying by Jim Christian, illustrations by Paul Boston (Batsford)
We are surrounded by devices which use coding to function: traffic lights, cash pints and mobile phones. With coding playing a large part in the school curriculum, there’s never been a better time to learn how to do it yourself. Jim introduces the core concepts using puzzles and exercises to help you think logically before advancing to algorithms, loops and conditional statements. Clearly explained with striking illustrations. Age 9+
Colossal City Count, illustrated by Andy Rowland (Buster Books)
Join Inspector Metropolis and Constable Magnate on a very important mission to track down the most wanted villains on the planet. Journey to some of the world’s most exciting cities to gather clues and crack the case. You’ll need to be eagle-eyed to spot all the hidden details in the illustrations – and make sure you’re keeping count! A great way to practise counting skills and learn about our world. Age 6+
I Am a Wonder Woman by Ellen Bailey, illustrated by Lauren Farnsworth & Sophie Beer (Buster Books)
This is more than just an activity book – it’s a celebration of some of the World’s most inspirational women, past and present. Soar through the sky with Amelia Earhart or walk the halls of The White House with Michelle Obama. The activities within have been designed to help readers think about how they might change the world, write secret messages or create original artworks. Age 9+
There should be something for everyone there. Hopefully they’ll help you pass a long journey or rainy day in relative peace!
*Many thanks to all the publishers and publicists who sent me these brilliant titles to review*