Friday, 18 November 2016

2016 Top Ten Christmas Gifts from Laurence King

Over the course of the year I have worked with Laurence King. It's not the first time, indeed you may recall this Life As It Is post showcasing many of my faves from last year. However 2016 has seen some fabulous new releases. Let me update you with the current top ten LK gifts - just in case you were looking for any Christmas present shopping inspiration:

1) With Make Your Own Spaceship, a good quality set that includes 14 spaceships to press out and slot together, children can build and customise their own spaceships... without scissors or glue! 12 of the crafts have been decorated by artists, leaving two of them blank for their own inter-galactic designs. Also included is a bonus sheet of aliens for them to assemble and colour.

2) Written by Michael Bird, Vincent’s starry night and other stories is a book that educates as it entertains, telling the history of art using magical illustrations by Kate Evans. The girls and I have dipped into this again and again over the year.


3) The fun factual book Animal Doctors: Incredible Ways Animals Heal Themselves by Julio Antonio Blasco, Mark Doran & Angie Trius, is a fantastic, original exploration of how animals use elements of the natural world to treat and cure themselves. My animal lover Esme Grace has poured over this book, enjoying the interesting facts and figures as well as the way the pages fold out to reveal the humorous summary of each animal.


4) The new Midnight Creatures book by paper artist Helen Friel published recently, is a pop up shadow and search game asking children to switch off the lights, turn on their torch and spot the hidden creatures when they appear as shadows on the wall. Was great fun at Halloween!

5) We've been creating calm through colour and escaping the everyday by escaping to the Nordic Wilderness colouring book by artist Claire Scully. Deep fjords, impenetrable forests, rugged cliffs, wolves, owls and bears – this book certainly brings the wild beauty of the North to life. 

6) Following hot on the heels of Dog Bingo in 2015, came Bug, Bird, and yes you've guessed it; Cat Bingo! From Tonkinese to Siamese, and from Bengals to Birmans, we have really enjoyed the latter, once we've been able to play that is - the girls collapse in fits of giggles looking at the different species each time a card is shown. It's a box of family fun! 

7) Dog Dominoes is a game for two to four players containing 28 domino cute and colourful pooches to play with. We've had fun matching Chihuahua, Dachshund, Dalmatian, Labrador, Poodle, German Shepherd and my particular favourite; pug. Funny though, no matter who wins, Fia still believes she is top dog!

8) Doing just what it says on the tin, Sarah Yoon's To the Moon: The Tallest Colouring Book in the World, brings new meaning to time and space. As children climb to the moon (the book folds out) it is what they pass on the way up: dragons, witches, space ports and flying elephants, that makes this particular colouring journey out of this world.


9) Marion Deuchars is back again this year - and thank goodness, for we loved her series Let's Make Some Great ArtThis time, with ART PLAY she's created a surprising range of activities and games for children to explore. The seven sections of Drawing, Colour, Shapes, Paint, Paper, Printing and Pattern, are a great opportunity for play, yet also help to shape and form artistic ability and confidence. 


10) In Around the World with the Ingreedies - A Taste Adventure, we meet Chef and his intrepid gang of ingredient hunters – comic characters called the Ingreedies, who take us on a world trip that  tantalises our taste buds and inspires adventure in the kitchen. Drawing on the culture, history, science and geography behind our food and serving it up as illustrations, maps and recipes, this book is a feast for both the eyes and tummy!